Monday, April 21, 2014

It came Monday!

[yeah, sorry if the title makes little sense... but I'm not explaining :-)]

Today was the last of the Easter public holidays, and so being a nice day I spent most of it at the aero club. Speaking of a nice day, the weather has been better than forecast for most of the weekend - certainly the rain and southerly change has not as yet eventuated.

Anyway, I got another flight in today. Lance [passenger and honorary photographer] came along for the ride and in little over 45 minutes we had past over the entire Hutt Valley, across the Rimutaka ranges, down over Lakes Wairarapa and Onoke and back in to Wellington. Nice! Hopefully Lance has a few photos to share from the flight - if so I'll put some up in another post.

Meanwhile, here's the photo that relates to the title. ZK-DCM is a Piper PA34-200 Seneca, which is registered to Air Hawkes Bay Ltd [part of the Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club]. The Seneca arrived today for a short stop before heading back to its Hastings base.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Airbus and a King Air

Today's pictures are brought to you by a windy Wellington - not cold, not raining, just windy :-)

First up are two photos of a Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] Beech B200 King Air, NZ7123. Following that are two photos of one of Air NZ's Airbus A320-232 aircraft, ZK-OJQ.

The weather is still looking OK for tomorrow, so hopefully I get a second flight this weekend :-)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Even more surprisingly...

... the weather was good for flying today! This is despite the storms across many other places north and south of us. Wellington, it seems, has escaped the worst, which meant I got to go flying for just over an hour in the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT.

I must be getting enthusiastic, because I've booked myself in again on Monday afternoon [Easter Monday holiday here in New Zealand] :-). Here's hoping it's good weather for Monday also.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Somewhat surprisingly...

... the weather was much nicer than expected today! What wind we had even managed to reduce as the day went on, at least until the thunder and lightning started for a short time in the evening :-)

It almost goes without saying then that I am booked in for a flight tomorrow, when I'm sure that the weather will be rubbish... we'll see! At least I have a long weekend - it's the Easter break, so 4 straight days off work! Hooray!

I did manage to get a few photos from today. First up is a Piper PA34-220T Seneca, ZK-BJM, registered to Ridge Air of a Blenheim address.

Second are a couple of Air New Zealand aircraft - an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJS and a Boeing 737-3U3, ZK-NGD. the Boeing of course, is one of very few "classics" left in the Air NZ fleet as it transitions across to A320's for their domestic operations.

Last up is a BAE Jetstream Series 3100, ZK-JSH, registered to Vincent Aviation, here in Wellington.

Oh well, here's hoping for good weather tomorrow! Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hamilton and back on Air NZ

This past week I have been working in the Waikato - in several towns and the main city of Hamilton. The plan was to fly up on Monday and back on Friday using Air NZ [Air Nelson & Mount Cook] in both directions. I'm not a fan of early morning starts, but with my flight departing at 7:05am, I was never going to get a sleep in...

The weather in Wellington that morning was pretty much cruddy. So much so, that it seemed that no aircraft were able to land. It was just as well our Bombardier DHC-8-311 had overnighted at Wellington. There was a short delay to allow others to try an land [they all missed and diverted] before we [a colleague and I] got going.

The arrival into Hamilton was nice. The skies were fairly clear, no fog, but starting to get warm. The rest of the week was hot and muggy - not much fun, but such is life.

We finished early enough late Friday morning and so after lunch, headed out to Hamilton Airport [ICAO code: NZHN] about 3 hours early for our flight. We weren't able to change to the earlier flight [the boss won't buy flexi tickets], so we got comfortable for a long wait. About 45 minutes later we were paged, and due to fog being forecast at Wellington, we were shifted onto the earlier flight after all! The only real difference being that we would have another Air Nelson DHC-8 flight back home [instead on a Mount Cook ATR72]. Nice!

Anyway, we headed home and landed about 30 minutes before the fog hit. Yay!

In short, a couple of nice flights, good work by Air NZ in getting us there and back and for shifting us to the earlier flight. After a week away though, I'm kinda happy to have my own bed again :-)

Anyway, pictures. These are all from Hamilton this afternoon. Top to bottom are:

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEZ [my ride home] & ZK-NEQ [off to Christcurch] of Air Nelson. Air NZ
Piper PA31, ZK-MJF, registered to the Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust
Mitsubishi MU-2B-30, ZK-KOH, registered to Search and Rescue Services of Taupo

Sunday, April 06, 2014

2014 Royal Tour of New Zealand

I guess most NZ-based plane watchers would have worked this out by now, but this coming week should be a very interesting times. If the royal tour is coming to a place near you, you might like to look out for the aircraft that will inevitably be involved. has details of dates and locations, and if you're in Wellington, there should be plenty of movements from the RNZAF Air Movements Apron during the week or so. Apart from arriving on an RNZAF B757 into Wellington [from Sydney], I do not have details of what aircraft will be involved in flying them to/ between other centres. I would imagine that the B757's would be doing most of the work though.

Unfortunately will be unable to get to Wellington Airport for most of the week... if anyone does see any interesting/ unusual aircraft that they are happy to share with the world, please email me [but it will take a few days for me to respond].

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Another day detached from terra firma

After just over 2 months of no flying [I've been busy and then the weather hasn't always been cooperative] I got to go flying today. I decided to make it a dual flight so I could practice a few things and get some feedback. Today's aircraft was the Club's Cessna C172N, ZK-FLT.

It all went fairly well. I'm safe, just a little rusty. I managed a few turns, stalls, a forced landing, low flying and some circuits back at Wellington and I was all done in 1.2 hours. Not bad for flying out of Wellington - there were no ATC delays and the skies were clear and smooth.

I'll do a flight by myself next weekend just to smooth things out a bit :-)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Today's visitor from CTC

Today's visitor to the aero club was this Diamond DA42, ZK-CTH registered to CTC Aviation Training of Hamilton. I thought this aircraft looked different from last time I photographed it, and when I compare images, I see it has been repainted using a single dark blue colour, a revised "coat of arms" and the words "committed to excellence" plastered on the winglets and fuselage.

A quick trip down south

I was working out of the office last week, in and around Christchurch and Dunedin. Unfortunately there wasn't much time for aviation-related sightseeing, but such is life.

I flew to Christchurch [NZCH] on Jetstar [definitely not my choice, but then I wasn't paying], and it looks like someone found cheap flights on Sunday morning... and that nobody else much likes flying anywhere on Sunday morning either [or maybe nobody else much likes flying Jetstar???]. The aircraft would have barely been half full.

My colleague and I were in row 5 on an Airbus A320 and there were a total of 3 passengers in front of us, and by the look of the interaction with one from the otherwise disinterested cabin crew, one of them was likely a Jetstar staffer.

Anyway, we survived the trip to Christchurch and on Wednesday evening flew on a Mount Cook/ Air NZ ATR-GIE ATR72 to Dunedin [NZDN].

On Friday we were due to fly direct from Dunedin home to Wellington but due to crew illness, we ended up flying back via Christchurch [on ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MCO, and ZK-MVB], and only arriving 40 minutes are the original schedule - nicely done Air NZ.

Anyway, photos... top to bottom we have:

View out of the Jetstar A320 soon after takeoff from Wellington.
Empty seats on the flight
Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGG, registered to Air NZ at Dunedin Airport
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MCO, registered to Mount Cook Airline, also at Dunedin Airport

Monday, March 17, 2014

RNZAF Lockheed C130 breakdown

The second piece of news from today is that an RNZAF Lockheed C130 Hercules, NZ7001, had an issue. I don't know the details, but it looks as though it is having a tire and/ or wheel replaced. As you'll see from the photograph, the aircraft is only just clear of the runway strip, but still in a controlled part of the aerodrome at holding point Mike 5.

The incident occurred this morning, and was apparently accompanied by airport fire/ rescue services [nothing in that, it'll be standard procedure], so it's taking a while to fix the problem. The runway was unavailable for a short time but was quickly back to normal [at least if you happened to be on the Eastern Apron...].

Firstly, the big news! Welcome to Wellington, ANA!

There are two interesting bits of news today, but the most interesting, by far, is the arrival into Wellington of ANA [All Nippon Airways] Boeing B777-381/ER, JA788A!

This is one of very few times that an aircraft of this size has operated into Wellington, with the obvious exception of a few Air NZ B777 flights in the past few years, and for those with long memories, the Qantas B747 flights of several decades ago. Oh yes - there was the Gulf Air A340 from 2009, but not many others.

My pictures are not great, although I hope to see the departure tomorrow evening [all going to plan], but here's the one I got from the other side of the airfield. If you want to see some great photos or for more information, check out the MRC Aviation blog posts HERE and HERE.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Brand new Air NZ A320

I know I've been a bit quiet for the last couple of weeks... partly this has been because of cancelled flights [so nothing to see], but also because I went up to Auckland for work last week [and no time for spotting! :-(].

I got home on Friday evening, before the forecast [and now rather real] bad weather hit Auckland - just waiting for it to arrive in Wellington, probably overnight. My ride home was a brand new Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXE. When I say "brand new", I understand it entered service the previous day [check out MRC Aviation for details and some great photos]. According to the CAA website, it only entered the New Zealand register on 10 March.

Despite the lack of comfort that comes from my knees banging on the seat in front, a brand new aircraft is a nice way to fly!

I didn't get any photos of it, but while at the Aero Club today, I did see another new one departing. ZK-OXD has only been on the register for a month and so in service just under a month.

I do hope to have some more regular posts in the next month or so, although I have some more work trips planned also... we will see.

Anyway, here are the pictures of ZK-OXD departing Wellington earlier today.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pacific Aerospace P-750 XSTOL!

After hanging around the Aero Club for a while today, I got a huge surprise when a Pacific Aerospace P-750 XSTOL [rebranded some time ago from the 750XL], ZK-KBK, registered to the manufacturer, landed and taxied in to park outside of the Aero Club!

Now this is one awesome aircraft! The aircraft was designed and is manufactured in Hamilton and sold all over the world. the P-750 XSTOL is the latest in a line of successful aircraft designed and built by Pacific Aerospace and appears to be popular in the skydiving community, but was also designed for passenger, freight and more. 

Anyway, the pilot [who wished to remain anon] allowed me to jump up into the cockpit and of course I got a few photos from around the outside also. All I can say is that it was comfortable to sit in and I'd certainly like to have a go in this one day... just a pity that my PPL and budget would probably say "no" :-( I can dream!

Here are the photos. First up the outside and then the cockpit and passenger cabin. Last up is the take-off. The website suggests a take off distance of 244 meters [800 feet] - very very believable from what I saw!

Anyway, enough of my rambling... on to the pictures!

Lighter aircraft at Wellington today

What follows are three of the lighter aircraft to grace the skies and surface at Wellington today [I do have a fifth one, but that is up next with its own post]. First up is the Piper PA24-260 Commanche, ZK-DAA. This is registered to a Manukau addresss.

Next is a Cessna 208B, ZK-MYH, registered to, an operator based at Paraparaumu.

Last up is a Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-IBK, registered to Skyline Aviation at a Napier address and operated as a rescue helicopter.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Portuguese Air Force CASA C295-MPA at Wellington

Further to my last post about the fog at Wellington, I was pleasantly surprised to see this Portuguese Air Force CASA C295-MPA Persuader, registration 16712, parked up on the RNZAF apron!

As far as I can tell, prior to New Zealand, this aircraft has been at the recent Singapore Air Show. As for why it is here? Who knows, but it would not surprise me to find the RNZAF looking at options for new airlift capability [though I wouldn't have though the C295 a replacement for the mighty C130 Hercules]. Probably not true, but if it does happen, you heard it here first! :-) ha ha

For more photos [ie: without the fog!], see this post on the MRC Aviation blog.

Fog in Wellington causes delays and cancellations

The past two days have seen a lot of fog in Wellington, with fog rolling in yesterday afternoon/ evening, lasting much of the morning and returning [though not as thick] this evening.

Needless to say there were many cancellations and delays, although when I visited the airport this evening, I saw most of the usual aircraft types operating, from British Aerospace J32, DHC8, ATR72, B737 and A320.

After seeing the fog this evening, I'm starting to wonder what it would take to actually close the airport :-)

Anyway, top to bottom we have:

General Dynamics Allison Convair 440/580, ZK-CIE, registered to Air Chathams
Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJH, registered to Air New Zealand
Boeing 737, rego unknown [for obvious reasons!] registered to Air New Zealand
ZK-OJH taking off
British Aerospace Jetstream Series 3200, ZK-LFW, registered to Vincent Aviation
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MCO, registered to Mount Cook Airline
View across to the Airport terminal

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cessna 172N

Today's visitor was this Cessna 172N, ZK-JHC, which is registered to a Palmerston North address.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

A Cessna P210N Centurion

What follows is a new one for me... an American-registered Cessna P210N pressurised Centurion.

This aircraft, registration N526CH, has what appears to be a turbine engine, including a "JET A-1" decal on the right hand ride just in front of the registration. The FAA website states that this aircraft has a reciprocating engine... I had thought there was a conversion of the 210P model that had the turbine, maybe there are other conversions also? Does anyone have any more information?