Sunday, February 26, 2017

Japanese Air Self Defense Force

One highlight of the airshow was being able to walk through some of the aircraft on static display. One of these was this Boeing KC767J from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force. The KC767 is based on Boeing's B767-2FK/ER commercial airliner.

There are some obvious modifications, including the large cargo door on the front left and the rather impressive refueling flying boom air-to-air refueling system out the back.

Inside are around 200 seats which makes it a bit odd that all the windows have been blanked out (still, there's usually nothing to see during any long flight, so no great loss...). Aside form that, the inside is fairly spartan with no overhead lockers or anything, all economy seating and, obviously, no IFE :-).

Boeing KC767J/ B767-2FK/ER, 97-3603, operated by the JASDF

Boeing KC767J/ B767-2FK/ER, 97-3603, operated by the JASDF

Boeing KC767J/ B767-2FK/ER, 97-3603, operated by the JASDF

Boeing KC767J/ B767-2FK/ER, 97-3603, operated by the JASDF

Boeing KC767J/ B767-2FK/ER, 97-3603, operated by the JASDF

RNZAF 80th Anniversary Tattoo at Ohakea

I went to the RNZAF's 80th Anniversary Tattoo yesterday - a lot of fun. It is going to take a long time to sort through the photos I want to share, but here are a few as a starter.

You'll see from the photos that it was a clear, sunny day [too hot really] but also with very little wind. I think I would have preferred some cloud cover to reduce the heat a little... but better than raining and a howling gale! 

These photo are of a few of the aircraft on static display. the next few posts will include some more of these, plus some of the flying.

This way to fun!

Lockheed C130H, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Boeing C17A Globemaster III, A41-212, operated by the RAAF

Boeing KC-135, 62-3561, operated by the USAF

Boeing F15SG, 8323, operated by RSAF

Boeing KC767J, 97-3603, operated by the JASDF

Friday, February 24, 2017

Airbus A400M at Wellington

Today's first-of-type for Wellington is this Royal Air Force-operated Airbus A400M, registered ZM401.

This aircraft will be at the RNZAF 80th Anniversary Tattoo tomorrow, so I hope to get a look inside of it there. For now however, here are two photos from the outside.

Airbus A400M, ZM401, operated by the Royal Air Force

Airbus A400M, ZM401, operated by the Royal Air Force

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Night flight from Wellington

Last Monday I went for a night flight from Wellington. It was mainly an opportunity to get current again having not flown at night for about 6 months.

Needless to say I had a couple of video cameras running and so I've included both feeds in the video for a view out the front and out the right hand side. It will look best full screen.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gulfstream G550

Saturday's interesting visitor to Wellington was this Gulfstream Aerospace G550, N917GA. It's unclear to me who it is operated by or for, but it was only here for a short time before heading off again.

Photos are from the landing on a gloomy Wellington day [note the thrust reversers in the first photo].

Gulfstream Aerospace G550, N917GA

Gulfstream Aerospace G550, N917GA

Gulfstream Aerospace G550, N917GA
In other unrelated news, I'm hoping for a good day at the RNZAF 80th anniversary air tattoo next Saturday. All going well there will be a lot of photos available in the following week :-)

Friday, February 17, 2017

In to Omaka

In this third and final video from last weekend's flight to Kaikoura, I have a video of the final part of the Kaikoura - Omaka flight. It's only the final part as "someone" didn't turn the camera on early enough...

This time it is Andrew M flying, and the video starts near the northern end of the Clarence river, across to the Awatere Valley, Taylor Pass and into Omaka. As you'll see it was a great day for a flight, and really nice to be able to sit back, relax and watch the world pass by as Andrew flew the plane :-)

Enjoy the video, and I'm sure it won't be long before another one pops up!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Down to Kaikoura

Following on from the video in my last post [Circuits at Cape Campbell airstrip!] we [Andrew M - another club pilot - and I] continued south down the coast to Kaikoura.

As you'll see in this video, this part of the country is incredibly scenic, although someone scarred by the recent earthquakes, with the seabed having risen in places, and huge landslides which have blocked the road and rail infrastructure in places.

Kaikoura airport itself is a lovely place and from what I hear, things are starting to pick up after the earthquake last year.

This video itself contains a small amount of footage form a second camera which I have been trying out [thanks Chris!]. I think I'm almost at the stage where I have to invest in some decent video editing software [especially since I've had some hassles this time around] so I can get picture-in-picture effects, better control over other elements, such as text overlays and sound. We'll see!

Anyway, enjoy the video!

The next video [probably late this week], will be of Andrew and my trip back to Omaka then Wellington.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Circuits at Cape Campbell airstrip!

Last weekend, Andrew [another Club pilot] and I headed off in the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, to Kaikoura [NZKI] then Omaka [NZOM] for a quick trip. We each did some of the flying which made for a fun day and also a relatively inexpensive one! It's nice being able to sit back and relax while someone else does some of the flying :-)

On the way down to Kaikoura we popped into Cape Campbell airstrip where I did a few touch-n-goes before continuing to Kaikoura.

This video shows the departure from Wellington, but is mostly of what we got up to at Cape Campbell. This started with an overfly at about 1000', followed by another pass at 500'. Both of these were to assess the condition of the strip and to try and detect any wind that might have been around [there wasn't much - maybe a very slight southerly]. Following this were a series of touch-n-goes.

One interesting sight is all of the land which has risen out of the sea after the recent series of earthquakes. Take a look - it is quite obvious in the video.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Video from the HBBCF 2017

Here is a brief video form the HBBCF held at Omaka on 4 February. Next time I'm going to be a little more organised with the the equipment, so I can get a decent amount of video to share!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

HBBFC photos

Here are a few more photos from last weekend, including my first look at a Cub Crafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub, ZK-PBC.

Cub Crafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub, ZK-PBC

Champion 7ECA, ZK-CMP

Piper PA28-180, ZK-SNE

Reims/Cessna F172P, ZK-EXE, operated by Air New Zealand Flying Club

Monday, February 06, 2017

More HBBFC pictures

Here's another set of photos from the HBBFCs last weekend.

As expected, there were a lot of taildraggers [and loads of them were Piper PA18 Super Cubs].

Piper PA18A-150, ZK-BNX, operated by BNX Syndicate

Piper PA18-150, ZK-CVC

Just Aircraft SuperSTOL, ZK-CVV

Zenith CH701 SP, ZK-ZMX

Piel Emeraude CP-301, ZK-CBP

Some of the parking for competing aircraft

I'm not waiting for some video to arrive to supplement what I took [which was very very little and of poor quality]. I hope to have a video up in the next week or two!

Healthy Bastards Bush Flying Champs 2017 - how did it get that name???

If you're looking for a primer on how the competition can to have this name, click here for the details.

If you've just looked at that link, you'll see that Dr Dave is heavily involved, but there are two more sponsors. Someone called Simply Avionics [self explanatory I suppose!] and local airline Sounds Air.

During the lunch breach, Sounds Air chief pilot, and event organiser Craig Anderson took a few lucky punters, including myself, up for a quick ride in one of Sounds Air's flash Pilatus PC12/45 aircraft, ZK-PLT. You wouldn't believe it, but just as we were lining up, my cellphone camera died! Grrr!!! So, no video form the flight.

Anyway, it was a fun flight. After takeoff we turned back and flew over Omaka airfield, then departed towards White Cliffs, on to the township of Seddon, before returning for another pass over Omaka followed by a short field landing.

Anyone who knows me well should know I'm a fan of Sounds Air.

Over the years I've flown with them several times to or from Picton, Nelson, Wellington and Taupo. They operate a great service on [what seems to be] an ever expanding route network. The PC12's are really comfy to fly in [likewise the Cessna C208B Caravans] and any avgeek loves being able to see what is happening up the front :-)

Anyway, here's the only picture... if my camera had not died, I would have had video from the flight. Oh well!

Pilatus PC/45, ZK-PLT, operated by Sounds Air

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Healthy Bastards Bush Flying Champs 2017

No, I didn't choose the name, but I did get to complete for the first time this year.

The Healthy Bastards Bush Flying Champs [HBBFC] is an annual flying competition run by Marlborough Aero Club at Omaka [NZOM] aerodrome each February. The competition consists of two events - a precision landing and a STOL [Short Takeoff and Landing].

The precision landing event winner is the person who lands closest to, but not prior to, a line marked on the ground. Each pilot gets two attempts.

The STOL event winner is the person who has the shortest combination of takeoff and landing distance. The distance of the shortest takeoff and landing are added together for the score. Again, each pilot gets two attempts.

I was flying Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, so I was never going to win when competing against pilots in Piper PA18 Super Cubs [and there were plenty of them], but I was along for the experience and to have a lot of fun - both of those aims were achieved.

Having said that, my best precision landing distance was only 13 meters which is good [and right about the average of 13.7 meters for everyone who scored], so I'm pretty pleased with that! The winner landed just 0.7 meters from the line!

In the STOL event, my best score was 120.5 meters. Not great, but pretty good for a C172N and no practice - certainly fair from shameful! Keep in mind, this was my takeoff AND landing distance added together! yes, it was windy :-) The winner in this event for the Light Touring Class was 38.7 meters in a Piper PA18A-160 Super Cub. By comparison, the winner in the microlight class had a score of only 18.2 meters in a Zenith CH701 with 130hp!

Anyway, it was a fun day! I hope to have a video up in the next week or so, and I will have a another post or two of images.

Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Glasair Sportmans 2+2, ZK-SPO, operated by Airventures NZ

Piper PA25-235 Pawnee, ZK-CIQ

Piper PA18, ZK-BTX

Zenith CH701 STOL, ZK-JUG


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Air NZ Airbus on Sunday

I think with this post I've finally caught up with the pictures from the past week or so that I wanted to publish. This picture is an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXM, which is [which obviously!] operated by Air NZ.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXM, operated by Air NZ
I'm hoping that this coming weekend, weather permitting, I'll have a more interesting range of aircraft to report on.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Evektor - Aertechnik Sportstar Plus

From last Sunday was a very interesting departure from Wellington: an Evektor - Aertechnik Sportstar Plus, ZK-MAC. This aircraft is operated by Pacific Pilot Training in Nelson.

What made it interesting is that at the time it took off, the wind was gusting up over 40 knots... it looked like it was being hammered by the breeze on the way up the harbour.

Evektor-Aertechnik Sportstar Plus, ZK-MAC, operated by pacific Pilot Training