9M-PRJ makes maiden trip to Redang Island
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By Paul Jansen
The white sands and clear waters of Redang Island, east of mainland Malaysia, are a strong attraction for the adventurous General Aviation pilots
Redang Island’s distance from the Malaysian mainland have two distinct benefits. There is almost no pollution in the air or water. And though it is attracting more people of late, the island is still relatively devoid of the worst excesses of mass tourism – ubiquitous souvenir shops, aggressive touts, and garish neon lights which blot out the twinkling stars.
So once again, I made the trip aboard a four-seater Piper. This time with Dawson Lee, a Johor Flying Club member. My previous flight was almost exactly a year ago, with another member, Roger Lee, in the club’s Piper Archer, 9M-JFX. However, this time around, I flew in 9M-PRJ, a Piper Warrior II I had bought from the Singapore Youth Flying Club.
Dawson and I took off from Seletar airport (WSSL) and landed in Senai (WMKJ) in Johor 15 minutes later. After registering our arrival with the Immigration authorities, and a quick refueling, we took off for Kota Bahru (WMKC) in the extreme north of Malaysia. This leg took a little less than three and a half hours. After topping up our tanks, we headed to Redang Island (WMPR), touching down about 40 minutes later.
The folks at the airport were friendly and we took a taxi to the jetty and a speed boat to our hotel, the Redang Beach Resort. Two things you should be prepared for: the need to use costly speedboats to get around to most hotels, and the need to book your accommodation early if you want to stay at the good resorts.
The island was as enchanting as before. This time, instead of snorkeling in the turtle hangout, we visited the Marine Park. The corals were interesting. Unfortunately, two visitors, “Nurul” and “Lee”, had carved their names on a brain coral, damaging it beyond hope of recovery. Fortunately, other visitors had more sense to leave the rest of the underwater attractions to posterity to enjoy as well.
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