Flying to Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia

Pulau Pangkor, located in the state of Perak, Malaysia, is one of several smaller islands of the coast of West Malaysia accessible only via boat or aircraft.  Pangkor island contains a STOL sealed, 792m airstrip maintained by Malaysia Airports Berhard.

The thing I like about flying to this field – is its easily accessible from Subang airport and offers a variety of different flight experiences to keep your skills sharp.

Pangkor Airstrip

Flight Planning Considerations

  • AVGAS not available on Pulau Pangkor
  • C172 Fuel Requirements ?? Well roughly speaking –  total block time for return flight from Subang could be up to 2.5 hours.  Fixed reserves 45 minutes and 60 minutes holding / weather reserves, takes flight fuel to approx 4 hours.  May as well take full tanks in my opinion
  • Make it really clear on your flight plan your intention to land or perform stop and go
  • While you will be flying over water, you can stay gliding distance to land
  • Take water and some food.  You never know.  3G/4G signal available at 1500ft for most the way
  • I prefer early departure from Subang – less air traffic and cooler time of day
  • If intending to stop and stay a night or two – must call someone to unlock the airport and let you in / out.  Who to call?  I have no idea!C

Navigation

Basically, depart Subang to the West – then once you hit Kapar, head North almost running parallel with West Malaysia coastline all the way.  River inlets, townships & coastal contours make great navigation points.

When arriving to Pangkor, I recommend approaching via the West side of the island.  Rationale;

  • Nice scenery
  • Less likely to bust restricted airspace and end up carrying a 50mm stray shell courtesy from Lumut Navy base 🙂
  • You can look for clues of the prevailing wind conditions to expect on final – such as beach swell and the wind sock near the aircraft parking bay.
  • Check the general runway condition and for other aircraft!!

Waypoints I use

  • Subang
  • Kapar
  • Kuala Selangor
  • Sabak Bernam
  • Bangan Dato
  • Pangkor

ATC & Flight Levels

  • Once out of Subang Tower, you are passed to Lumpur Information & pretty much stay with them until approaching Bangan Dato township
  • About here you will be passed onto either IPOH Tower or Lumut Navy base or both
  • Again, on the way back you will be passed to Lumpur Information around Bangan Dato township
  • 1500 ft all the way most likely
Landing & Takeoff – my observations & tips;
  • The runway is sealed and in good condition, with a slight upwards slope towards the end of 22

  • Hills at the end of the runway, I reckon would make a go-around near touchdown in approach configuration nigh possible.  Pick a commit point depending on your aircraft performance & general confidence

  •  Look for the potential of tail winds on takeoff if you are planning a stop & go. On final you will have a good view of the Windsock and on ground prevailing conditions to consider. 

Above; East side of the island looking West, on approach to land.  The smaller island in the background is home to a 5 star luxury resort which you take a small boat from Pangkor to visit. I wonder if its still even open given the lack of international tourists over the past year…

Left; Morning Inversion Layer.  Heading North & looking West with Cameron High lands visible in the background.

Below Left; Rice Paddy fields in Perak.  The scenery reminds me of Bali, heading towards Tanah Lot.

Below Right; Just after leaving Subang Tower on Takeoff.  Morning sun with Genting Highlands in the background.

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