Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Crosswind circuits at Cloudy Bay airfield

Cloudy Bay [NZCL] is a recently opened airfield located at [unsurprisingly] Cloudy Bay, near Blenheim. It's a really, really nice grass airfield, is well laid out, and not busy. Cloudy Bay is located just within the Woodbourne Control Zone, but there's never an issue with a clearance to operate in the circuit.

Last Saturday I visited with a couple of other club pilots for a few crosswind circuits. Circuits were done on runway 15, although with the gentle crosswind, I could have used either runway.

In the following video, you'll see that there was a gentle crosswind on approach and departure, but not much on the ground. As usual, I won't claim they are perfect, but they were safe, and fun!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Republic of Indonesia B737 at Wellington

Last night saw the arrival of a really nice looking Republik Indonesia [Republic of Indonesia]-operated Boeing 737-8U3 BBJ2, A-001. It was dark, so I waited until this evening to pop out for some photographs. Here are a couple of them.

Boeing 737-8U3 BBJ2, A-001, operated by the Republik Indonesia

Boeing 737-8U3 BBJ2, A-001, operated by the Republik Indonesia
It is due to leave this evening [and as can be seen in the pictures, is being prepped for that] but I'm not feeling great, so didn't hang around in case it left in daylight...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Departing Auckland

I've just spent a couple of days in Auckland and here are two photos as we were taxying for departure. They're from my cellphone camera, so not great...

The first photo is an Airbus A340-313, 9H-SUN, which is operated by Hi Fly Malta, and being used to cover for some of Air NZ's grounded B787 Dreamliners. I'm struggling to see any positive comment about the aircraft from those who have flown on them, but I suppose better than the flight being cancelled?

Airbus A340-313, 9H-SUN, operated by Hi Fly Malta
Next up is a Boeing 757-236(PCF), VH-TCA, which is operated by DHL [Tasman Cargo Airlines]. It's a regular visitor to New Zealand with the Jeremy Clarkson mugshot on the tail.

Boeing 757-236(PCF), VH-TCA, operated by DHL [Tasman Cargo Airlines]
Last up is a photo as we approached Wellington for a runway 16 arrival. There was lots of cloud around, including the covering on top of Kapiti Island.

Kapiti Island

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Visit to D'Urville Island

Here's another visit to D'Urville Island.

The video starts with an inspection run to look at windsocks, other aircraft [none] and other hazards, followed by some approaches. I don't claim they were perfect, but they were safe. Also, if I had angled the camera better, there would have been more of the outside views showing... :-(

Next fine weekend I'm free, I might have to go out and practice again!

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Australian P-8A Poseidon

Here's an interesting visitor at Wellington from a few days ago! It's a Boeing P-8A Poseidon [B737-8FV], A47-004, which is operated by the Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF].

Boeing P-8A Poseidon [B737-8FV], A47-004, operated by the RAAF
As indicated, the photo is not mine, but was supplied.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gulfstream G550

Today's photo is of a Gulfstream G550, N97FT. It would be nice to afford one of these!

Gulfstream G550, N97FT

Friday, March 09, 2018

The end of Timaru (not really!)

Although this is the last of my posts about the competitions at Timaru!

The first photo in this post is of a Yakovlev Yak 52, ZK-JPW, which is operated by Ashburton Yak Syndicate. It is a really nice livery IMHO!

Yakovlev Yak 52, ZK-JPW, operated by Ashburton Yak Syndicate
Next up is Stoddard-Hamilton SH-3R Glasair III, ZK-PGB, which is operated by PGB Syndicate of a Christchurch address. This aircraft is really fast and demonstrated this by a fast pass at 500' down the airfield. Nice.

Stoddard-Hamilton SH-3R Glasair III, ZK-PGB, operated by PGB Syndicate
A visitor not associated with the championships was this Beechcraft G58 Baron, N298WA, which arrived on a IFR flight plan. Unlike some countries, there are a limited number of foreign registered GA types operating in New Zealand - probably only because we are a long way from many places.

Beechcraft G58 Baron, N298WA
Saturday morning was the remaining competitions - the microlight circuit competitions and the Jay Peters Trophy for professional pilots. Once those comps were complete, we move onto something special with some types which most people were unfamiliar with, including the following powered parachute and some very high powered jet model aircraft!

This was equally exciting for pilots and Timaru locals who came out to watch, a welcome rest for competitors and a chance to start clearing equipment away for the rest of us.

Unfortunately I did not get any good photos of the model aircraft [including some control line combat which was awesome to watch!] but I did get one decent photo of the powered parachute.

Powered parachute
In my very last photo, it is Sunday midday and this was my ride home. I have flown down to Timaru on Air Nelson flight Link 193, and here's Link 192 ready for boarding and the flight home. It is of course a Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NFI. A nice comfy ride, a good operating crew and I was back in Wellington in around an hour.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-BFI, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ
That's it for this event. Hopefully I'll get to see you around at your club, regional or national event over the next 12 months!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Alpha Aviation/ Robin and Piper

This further post from the Flying NZ National Championships concentrates on the Alpha Aviation/ Robin and Piper aircraft.

Pipers are probably familiar to most pilots, although Robins maybe not so much. The Alpha Aviation aircraft are a continuation of the Robin R2000 series aircraft and until production [in Hamilton, New Zealand] was halted in around 2008, seemed to enjoy moderately successful sales in New Zealand. I'm not sure about overseas.

There are a number of operators of the Alpha Aviation R2120 and R2160 [aerobatic version] aircraft, North Shore Aero Club being a prime example. Anyway, on to the pictures!

First up is a Robin R2160, ZK-RBN, operated by Canterbury Aero Club

Robin R2160, ZK-RBN, operated by Canterbury Aero Club
ZK-TZK is a Robin R2120U [so non-aerobatic, smaller engine] whoich is operated by North Shore Aero Club.

Roin R2120U, ZK-TZK, operated by North Shore Aero Club

ZK-VCC is another aerobatic R2160, also operated by Canterbury Aero Club. It seemed to be kept quite busy over the days that I was there.

Robin R2160, ZK-VCC, operated by Canterbury Aero Club

Now on to a small selection of the Piper aircraft that were on the field.  First up is a Piper PA28-140 Warrior, ZK-DEL, which is operated by Mid Canterbury Aero Club.

Piper PA28-140, ZK-DEL, operated by Mid Canterbury Aero Club

Another PA28-140 Warrior is ZK-ECY which is registered to a private owner at an Ohaupo address.

Piper PA28-140, ZK-ECY
Lastly we have one of several of the ubiquitous Piper PA38-112 Tomahawks, ZK-EYE, which is operated by Canterbury Aero Club. I haven't flown one of these in several years, but I do have good memories of them!

Piper PA38-112, ZK-EYE, operated by Canterbury Aero Club

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

High wing aircraft at Timaru

I'm starting to struggle with ideas for how to divide the photos up, so here are some of the high wing aircraft [aside from those Piper Super Cubs previously published...] that were at the competitions.

Obviously, most of them will be Cessna's, but I'll start with something a little different.

First up is a Rans S-6ES Coyote II, ZK-TPC, which is registered to a Temuka address.

Rans S-6ES Coyote II, ZK-TPC
Next up is a Cessna A150L, ZK-TWT, which is operated by South Canterbury Aero Club, the host aero club of this year's Nationals.

Cessna A150L, ZK-TWT, operated by South Canterbury Aero Club

Next up is a Cessna A152, ZK-TAY, which is operated by Tauranga Aero Club. As with the previous aircraft, the "A" means it is aerobatic.

Cessna A152, ZK-TAY, operated by Tauranga Aero Club

ZK-ELS is also a Cessna A152, this time operated by Kapiti Aero Club.

Cessna A152, ZK-ELS, operated by Kapiti Aero Club

Now on to the Cessna 172's. ZK-EOI is a Cessna 172N and is operated by North Otago Aero Club.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EOI, operated by North Otago Aero Club

ZK-TAB is also a Cessna 172N and is operated by Tauranga Aero Club

Cessna 172N, ZK-TAB, operated by Tauranga Aero Club

Next up is a Cessna 172M, Zk-DKM. This is registered to a Whanganui address and was flown by a competitor from the Wanganui Aero Club.

Cessna 172M, ZK-DKM
Last, but certainly not least, is this Tecnam P2008, ZK-ZZB, which is operated by Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club. Since mid January, it has been re-designated as a class 2 microlight, having previously been registered as an LSA [Light Sport Aircraft].

Tecnam P2008, ZK-ZZB, operated by Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

On the ground at Timaru

Sporting events by the Flying New Zealand National Championships [or the local regional events for that matter] don't just need competitors and air judges. There is a frightful amount of work that occurs on the ground leading up to and during the competition.

Essential ground-based activities on the competition days include:
  • Event Director
  • Chief Scorer  and team who compile all the scores and determine the results
  • Landing grid with at least 11 people to monitor landing position for several events
  • Chief Ground Judge and assistants for record results on the landing,. bombing and liferaft grids
  • Aerobatic judges
  • Formation judges
  • General runabouts to do whatever, whenever
  • Catering
  • ... and much more
This year I spent most of my days on the landing grid. These were long, hot days, occasionally being chased by flying insects and assisting [I think I was helpful! :-)] the Chief Ground Judge as well as running around the airfield from time to time. It was hard work, but fun also.

Here are a few photos from the ground ops.

First up - our Chief Ground Judge Paul and me [I'm a good looking one on the left!] on the landing grid. This was just about the longest we got to sit down for...

Some of the landing grid observers waiting for another aircraft to land. Volunteering for the grid is also a great way to safely get up close to the action!

A perk of the job was being able to "borrow" a vehicle and helpers to drive around. In this case, one of the Young Eagles and I are waiting near the bombing and liferaft dropping grid for the call to come and collect the dropped items!

Young Eagles is a programme for 12-17 year olds who are passionate about flying. It originated in the USA but is run locally by many aero clubs.

Young Eagles get to fly, learn about aviation, are taught about safety, have outings to aviation related activities and they seem to have a huge amount of fun! Many airline and recreational pilots started out in a programme like this. If your teenager is interested, contact your local aero club and see if they have a Young Eagles group.

In addition to the local programmes, there are scholarships available which can help young people with their flight training and a yearly conference held at the same time as the national championships!

Monday, March 05, 2018

Taildraggers at Timaru

Welcome to Timaru!

There were a number of taildraggers at the Nationals, a few of which are photographed here. Many of these were used in competitions, including for the Jay Peters Professional Pilot Competition [although I think a couple of A Cats might have shared a PA38 at one stage. Scary thought! :-)].

First up is a Piper PA18-90, ZK-BTU. This is operated by Wanganui Aero Club and was the Super Cub I took for an hour of solo circuits on Wednesday evening. Fun times!

Piper PA18-90 Super Cub, ZK-BTU, operated by Wanganui Aero Club

Maule MX7-180A, ZK-MUL is registered to a Great Barrier Island address.

Maule MX7-180A, ZK-MUL

This beautiful Vans RV6, ZK-VRV, is also privately operated, this time out of Paraparaumu Airport.

Vans RV6, ZK-VRV
Is it even possible to have a gathering of great aircraft without a De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth? Quite possibly not. ZK-BRL is is New Zealand built example and is operated by East Canterbury Aviation.

De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, ZK-BRL, operated by East Canterbury Aviation

This next aircraft is also a Vans RV6, although in this case an RV6A, denoting the nosegear version. ZK-RVF is registered to a Tauranga address.

Finally, here are two more Super Cubs. Both of these aircraft were used for competitions flying and some private flying or training.

ZK-BNL is a PA18-150 and is operated by Canterbury Aero Club. I was told that it has a 160hp engine in it.

Piper PA18-150 Super Cub, ZK-BNL, operated  by Canterbury Aero Club

Piper PA18-150, ZK-BNM. This Super Cub is operated by South Canterbury Gliding Club.

Piper PA18-150 Super Cub, ZK-BNM, operated by South Canterbury Gliding Club
Finally, here's a brief video of ZK-BNL landing on the grid during one of the competitions. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Flying New Zealand National Championships 2018 at Timaru

The past few days have been very busy. I've been in Timaru for the Flying New Zealand National Championships! I was not competing but more general dogsbody and landing grid help. It was a lot of fun! There will be several posts over the next few days, but here's a quick one to start off with.

The event is run by Flying New Zealand and is the premiere flying competitions for aero club pilots from around New Zealand. This event was hosted by the South Canterbury Aero Club [well worth looking up if you're in the area]. Most competitors came from winning their regional event competitions [you may recall that I was the Event Director for the Cook Strait region competition last year] although there were a few wildcard events where people could enter for the Nationals and the winner going on to the main competition.

Timaru is a lovely place although very hot each day. I suspect there would have been a bit of sunburn for anyone who didn't make use of the free sunscreen!

Anyone, on to some photos and a video. First up are a few photos from the event days.

A few of the competing aircraft

An event is not complete without a safety briefing!

Hawkes Bay East Coast Aero Club's WA Morrison 3-ship formation team

Pyrocumulus from a local paddock burnoff
Following on from the last photo of the pyrocumulus, here's a video of the same event. It appears the local farmers like a wee burnoff, and while it's a bit hard to see in the video, the top of the cloud is developing rapidly.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fiji Airways departure from Wellington

It's been a while since I posted anything about Fiji Airways, so here's a picture of one of their Boeing 737-808, DQ-FJN departing Wellington. This is the aircraft with the UN Climate Change Conference livery - an issue which I imagine Fiji [along with many South Pacific nations] would be particularly interested in.

As you can see, it was quite windy today, with the aircraft being airborne prior to Mike 5 on a runway 34 departure.

Boeing 737-808, DQ-FJN, operated by Fiji Airways

Business Jets at Wellington

Here are three business jets seen at Wellington on Saturday.

The first is a Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger, N360SL. The registration goes back to a generic registrant.

Bombardier CL-600-2B16, N360SL

The second is also a Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger, VH-LEF. The registered operator is Air National Australia, although it appears to be owned by Linfix Express Charter.

It's unusual to have any Challengers at Wellington, but very unusual to have two at one time!

Bombardier CL-600-2B16, VH-LEF, operated by Air National Australia

Last up is a Cessna 525B Citation Jet, ZK-RJZ. This aircraft is operated by Tirohanga Holdings Ltd, but is basically Robert Jones's personal transport.

Cessna 525B Citation Jet, ZK-RJZ, operated by Tirohanga Holdings

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Temporary arrival at Wellington Aero Club

Wellington Aero Club has temporarily leased another Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-FML. This is to cover maintenance of another of our fleet. I'm not sure how long it will be on line, so if you're interested in flying it, I suggest making a booking sooner rather than later.

This is not the first time ZK-FML has been part of our fleet - we also leased it a few years ago. I'm led to believe that this is the original colour [not sure if it has been repainted though]. I think it looks quite nice!

Piper PA38-112, ZK-FML, registered to a Blenheim address