eurocopter hangar

I was invited for a helicopter ride by the great (crate?) people at Heineken on Saturday. The scheduled takeoff was at 11 am at Eurocopter in Subang Airport with a briefing at 10:30 am. The helicopter experience is a prize for the people who participated in the Crate Expectations (sorry for the lame pun above) online game by Heineken.

eurocopter

I left early to pick up Rin coz she has misgivings about my navigation skillz. The two contest winners arrived soon after us. Cheesie and I didn’t win the game but we were invited to experience the helicopter ride anyway. Cheers Heineken! OMG! There are so many bad puns in here. ;)

montage

Anyway, after driving into the Eurocopter car park, we were recognized by the liaison there for the 11 am takeoff and brought into the secure hangar. I was half afraid they’re going to ask for my MyKad or driver’s license coz I neglected to bring both.

ferrari

The Eurocopter hangar houses an impressive fleet of helicopters – there’s even one used by the Ferrari team during the F1 season. We were given a tour of the hangar and introduced to the different helicopters there.

pre flight

The helicopters can be rented – the liaison told us a heartwarming story about a guy who proposed to his girlfriend by hanging a huge “Will You Marry Me?” banner on some building and getting down on bended knee on the helicopter when they panned over the building.

prep

We had to wait for the engineer to come (his car broke down) so our flight was delayed for about an hour or so. The pilot cannot take off without the safety engineer’s green light – a very good safety precaution.

start

Thus, after a short wait…we got on the helicopter, buckled up and put on the on board communications device (the technical term for this is “headphones”).

fly montage

The pilot got the helicopter started up…

airborne

…and we’re airborne! =D

Cue Ride of the Valkyries.

charlie

I just couldn’t resist. Heh!

subang

It’s a great feeling to be on a vertical takeoff aircraft. The flexibility of the HH-65 Dolphin is impressive. We flew over Subang

pj

PJ (I can see you taking a shower in your house with my l33t zoom lens :p)

onwards

…and onwards to KL city.

kl

The pilot circled the KL Twin Towers and other landmarks in the city, giving us a lot of photo ops.

klcc

I could see mini people playing in the splash pool outside KLCC. I think we were hovering at about 1,000 feet.

Check out the KLCC Flyover video!

batu caves

We headed off to Batu Caves after that and did a flyby of the limestone hill. It’s the most famous Hindu shrine in Malaysia, with temples inside the caves. I’ve been there once during Thaipusam and it’s great to have a bird’s eye view of the place.

statue

I also managed to snap a photo of the huge Lord Murugan statue standing guard outside the cave network.

pyramid

On to more secular sightings, we flew over Sunway Pyramid. Hmm…religious imagery on a shopping mall – right after the real thing. How ironic.

sunway lagoon

Sunway Lagoon from above looks smaller than the actual water theme park.

cemetary

I also managed to capture a photo of a rather large cemetery. I like cemeteries. I have a morbid fascination with death.

condo

Cheesie got all excited when she spotted her condo and I managed to spot mine too. No, that’s not a picture of either of our humble abodes. Security reasons, ya know. ;) However, this is where I work. You can probably see me slaving in a cubicle if you squint hard enough. Seriously. It’s Kelana Jaya.

traffic

I can see that the inbound traffic to KL was pretty congested last Saturday. I saw you (yes, you) stuck in traffic while I’m soaring above. ;)

gab

I suspect that there was an intentional flyover of the GAB factory where we had dinner and drinks at The Tavern last month. I’m kidding, the place is on the way back to Subang Airport as the crow flies.

land

It was an awesome experience. Flying over KL and the outskirts of the city on a helicopter is certainly an episode that I won’t forget. The roar of the rotors, the chatter of air traffic, the feeling of being suspended in the air – it’s amazing!

end

Cheers to Heineken and Nuffnang for the invite!

tavern

I drive past the GAB (Guinness Anchor Berhad) factory every day on my way to work. I’ve always wondered what goes on inside, being a beer aficionado and all. I was delighted when I got an invite to visit The Tavern @ GAB. The Tavern is an exclusive invite-only pub located inside the factory and the best thing about it is that the beer comes fresh from the factory just beside it. Oh, and the beer is free too. =D

montage

The interior of The Tavern is tastefully decorated and feels warm and cosy. I like the ambience of the pub and there is in fact a real boiler used in the brewery adorning the bar. Nice!

beer

The Tavern has a wide array of beer on tap. The good people at Heineken were kind enough to provide us with a free flow of beer…

food

…as well as food. I must admit, everyone was wondering – What’s the catch? Free food, free beer, there’s gotta be a catch.

us

Well, there isn’t one. It’s just a casual get-together for bloggers to eat, drink and be merry.

aud

I had a lot of fun at The Tavern. We were given the opportunity to pour beer from the tap.

cindy

It sounds easier than it actually is. The glass has to be angled at 45 degrees before gradually brought up to a vertical position. I poured mostly foam the first time I tried it. I am saddened to report that the girls did much better than the guys.

presso

We were also the very first to be privy to the new Heineken UEFA Champions League game – Heineken Star Final 2009. I am astounded by the game mechanics. I didn’t think this was possible using just Flash. Heineken Star Final is a massively multiplayer game where you sail to Krabi, Thailand on a raft.

cam

It’s meant to emulate the journey from the previous Heineken Star Final destination to this year’s Heineken Star Final destination. You can send messages in (Heineken) bottles to other people playing the game – a very nice touch for communicating in-game.

drinks

The rafts are customizable so you can tinker with your design until you find an ocean-worthy vessel adorned with the flag of your choice. I also love the concept of joining fleets – the fastest person to make the arduous (well, not really when you’re sitting behind a computer, but think immersive! ;)) journey in the shortest amount of time wins.

umbrella

You can join a fast fleet (if they accept you) or create your own fleet. The game is amazingly simple, yet has immense replay value coz a lot of the features have to be discovered gradually. Playing through the entire game takes 5 real-time days (!).

carol

I’ve honestly never played an online Flash multiplayer game like this before. I can just imagine the insane amount of coding that produced this masterpiece.
 
Heineken is also going around Malaysia in April for their A Night in Rome party. It’s going to be held in four different places – Ipoh, Johor Bahru, KL and Miri. I’m glad they didn’t leave Sarawak out. You can check out the dates at the Heineken website.

game

Meanwhile, I’m setting sail again in a couple of days.

Just surf over to Heineken Star Final and look for SixthSeal.com (the fleet, not the blog). The grand prize winner is going for an all-expenses paid trip to Krabi, Thailand to watch the UEFA Champions League live under the stars on the beach. Heineken will be served too, from what I’ve heard. ;)

krabi_pic

You want to win a trip to Krabi?

Krabi, ahoy! =D

(That’s not my in-game raft, BTW)

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