Photo credit: www.nypost.com

Size matters.

And weight matters.

Note to self: Stop chugging down Starbucks like a CFM56 engine does Jet A1 because-
1) abate capitalism contribution
2) waistline should be directly proportionate to current operating aircraft’s wingspan (case in point: a flying school cadet versus a Boeing 747 captain)- let midriff not reflect a wide body aircraft pilot; nor a wide body pilot.


It’s mocking me.

Jeering to its hearts content.

The white luminous EFOB (estimated fuel on board) indicates a hefty 9.5T. I welcome fuel like the next pilot. As the saying goes, there are 3 items completely useless to an airwoman (airman): runway behind you, airspace above you, and fuel in the browser.

But this particular blob of fuel, abetted by gravity, adds to our ZFW (zero fuel weight) of 56.6T to arrive at an aggregate sum of 66.1T. That’s a 100kgs over our MLW (maximum landing weight).

Now, (certain) airlines crucify for three great sins. They are, by increasing order of severity: ATC infringements, refusing the hackneyed practice of FDP extensions, and aircraft limitation exceedance (which include, but is not limited to, landing overweight).

Given my limited skill set, flying is my sole rice bowl. And since a girls’ gotta eat, I endeavour to save my job, and simultaneously, my oversized ass.

“We gotta burn this fuel,” I tell my partner of the day (the FO). “Hafta bring the weight down below MLW.”

We request to make an orbit at our present position. Had one too many curry puffs for breakfast. Mind if we do a couple of laps to burn off the weight?

Approved, says the bored ATC controller.

So we gently ease the aircraft into a right hand bank. The PFD display a perfect rate one turn.

Oh, don’t mind us. Just etching circular contrails in the sky to burn liquid gold here.

“Burn, baby, burn,” I mutter under my breath.

Glitter might not be gold, but this liquid gold is unequivocally ka-ching ka-aching!

I watch the white EFOB keenly. 9.4… 9.3…

“Kinabalu, we are ready for approach.”


On an unrelated note, here’s a sunset view from the cockpit, just so I could misquote Shakespeare.

But look, the dusk in denim mantle clad! (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1)