Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Two days, three types

I've been doing a wee bit of tripping around for work the last few days. yesterday I flew from Napier to Wellington to Christchurch and today, Christchurch back to Wellington.

Napier to Wellington was a Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NES, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ. This picture is as it taxied in the gate at Napier [ICAO code: NZNR] airport.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NES, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ

Next up was the flight to Christchurch on an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXI, operated by Air New Zealand. This, and the last photo, were taken on my cellphone, so not bad photos considering...

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXI, operated by Air New Zealand
Last up is my flight from Christchurch to Wellington this evening. This was operated by ZK-NGI, one of the last two Boeing 737's still operated by Air New Zealand. Thankfully I was able to select an exit row, so the leg room wasn't too bad... This was the view as we headed north to Wellington.

The wing of Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air New Zealand... not bad scenery either!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A quick video out of Kerikeri

Following on from my previous posts, here is a quick video, taken as we climbed out of Kerikeri... it was started of course after takeoff when we were allowed to use mobile devices.

Apologies for the sound quality - it's a combination of my phone and the positioning on the window...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Two more from Taupo, including a mystery...

Here are two more "local" Taupo aircraft from today's brief stop at Taupo.

First up is Pacific Aerospace PAC750XL, ZK-SDT, operated by Skydive Taupo. This is the second use of ZK-SDT that I can find... the first being on another PAC750XL, which had an untimely demise in the waters of Lake Taupo. I particularly like the paint job on this one!

Pacific Aerospace PAC750XL, ZK-SDT, operated by Skydive Taupo
Next up is a mysterious Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel. Some sources have this registered as ZK-WJL, although this doesn't show up on the CAA Aircraft Register that I can see. Any ideas anyone?

Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel. Maybe ZK-WJL?

Kerikeri to Auckland and Taupo to Wellington

Kerikeri to Auckland was on Monday evening. As with the arrival, this was on an Air Nelson-operated Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEC. Here are two photos of the aircraft arriving at Kerikeri.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEC, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEC, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ
Earlier this evening [Thursday], after a few days of driving down to visit various work locations, I had a flight from Taupo [NZAP] to Wellington. Air NZ has withdrawn from this route as it retires their Raytheon B1900D's from service.

Sounds Air has recently taken up the route after acquiring some Pilatus PC12/45 aircraft, including ZK-PLZ. This would be my first flight in a PC12 and I've been looking forward to it.

The flight is only about 45 minutes long and as you'll see form the photos, it was an awesome day to be flying. There were only a few clouds and mild turbulence as we arrived into Wellington. The only issue was the position of the sun... if it had been morning, I'm sure the airborne photos would have been fantastic... oh well! I've decided that the PC12 is a nice aircraft for these reasonably short routes. The seats were comfortable [although mine was a little short on leg room], we came back at FL200, so above any weather [had there been any], it was reasonably quiet inside, the crew were polite and professional and we were on time. All good!

Anyway, here are the photos of the PC12 and the trip home. Enjoy!

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLZ, operated by Sounds Air

Mounts Ngaruahoe [left] and Tongariro [right]

Mounts Ruapehu [foreground] and Taranaki [background]

Mount Taranaki

Descending into Wellington as the sun went down. What a lovely day!

Moving around...

I have been moving around the countryside for the past few days for work. This included four flights, starting in Wellington, up to Auckland and Kerikeri, back to Auckland and then Taupo to Wellington. This post will cover the first day of flying, the next will cover the 2 and 3 days.,

I started last Sunday with the Wellington - Auckland - Kerikeri flights. We [my colleague and I] had planned for a 25 minute layout in Auckland, but that turned out to be "optimistic". Unfortunately we were delayed for an hour in Wellington while Air NZ loaded extra pax and bags onto our flight. We were put on to a later Auckland - Kerikeri flight, which meant a couple of hours in Auckland.

That of course meant some plane spotting time in Auckland :-)

So, here are the photos from Wellington [NZWN] and Auckland [NZAA] and one from Kerikeri [NZKK].

Wellington Airport terminal

Airbus A330-223, B-6547, operated by China Southern Airlines

Airbus A330-223, B-6547, operated by China Southern Airlines

Boeing 787-9, ZK-NZE, operated by Air New Zealand

McDonnell Douglas MD11F, N610FE, operated by FedEx

McDonnell Douglas MD11F, N610FE, operated by FedEx

Boeing 777-319ER, ZK-OKO, operated by Air New Zealand

Following this, we headed up to Kerikeri [NZKK]. We arrived in the dark, on the third attempt. The previous two were aborted well in sight of the runway [hard to tell at night, but I'm sure we passed over the airfield no higher than 1000' AGL on one of the approaches]. Something to do with a computer or antenna problem or something according to the F/O.

Aircraft for this flight was a Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEP, operated by Air Nelson.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEP, operated by Air Nelson

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cessna Centurion and a Pilatus PC12 cockpit

Today's interesting visitor was this Cessna T210R Centurion, which is registered to B B Aviation of a Fielding address. There aren't too many of these aircraft on the NZ register. The last time I saw this particular aircraft was also in Wellington, back in October 2010.

Cessna T210R, ZK-TRO, operated by B B Aviation
The second photo is a follow-on from yesterday's pictures of Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS. Today I was given permission to have a look inside, and I have to say, the front office looks really nice :-) The passenger seats looked comfortable enough also - I'm quite looking forward to ride in one of these in the near future.

Cockpit of Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Currency, learning and supreme aeronautical coolness!

I went flying today in order to re-attain day currency on the Cessna 172. It was a bit of a weird situation really which goes back to NZ's Civil Aviation Rules [CAR], in particular CAR Part 61.37 (b) & (c).

Basically, CAR Part 61.37 (b) provides the currency requirements to be able to take passengers by day, and CAR Part 61.37 (c) does the same for night flight. Boiled down this means 3 take off and landings in the type of aircraft by day [or night as appropriate] by myself.

As it turns out, at the beginning of the day I could quite legally have taken passengers for a flight at night, but I was unable to do so during the day!

Nuts perhaps, since night flight is harder than day flight, but they are the rules. No great problem I suppose and since there was a crosswind, so I got a series of crosswind takeoffs and landings, with flapless and 'normal' approaches and a practice go-around with full flap... all good practice.

In other news, we had one of Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12/45's, ZK-PLS, in the hanger today, as some of their pilots underwent a type rating ground course. Here are a couple of photos.

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air
I'll be getting my first ride in one of these fine looking aircraft later this month on the regular Taupo to Wellington route - it should be fun!

Last up is a picture of a Gulkstream GVI, ZK-KFB. While operated by ExecuJet New Zealand, this is Peter Jackson's private jet. Very nice ;-)

Gulfstream GVI, ZK-KFB, operated by ExecuJet New Zealand

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Today's aircraft

Aircraft from today's visit to Wellington airport are a couple of Sounds Air Pilatus PC12/45's, an Airwork Fairchild SA227-CC, an Air NZ Airbus A320 and a Fiji Airways B737.

First up are the two currently flying Pilatus PC12/45's, ZK-PLZ and ZK-PLS, which are operated by Sounds Air. They have obviously not had their planned repaint, which will be very welcome when that happens. Sounds Air's third PC12 has been repainted and is now undergoing scheduled pre-entry refurbishment.

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLZ, operated by Sounds Air

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Next up is a Fairchild SA227-CC Metroliner, ZK-POF, which is operated by Airwork. As previously noted, these aircraft are about to the sold [maybe scrapped, but I guess probably sold], so it won't be long until all we have are memories of these fine aircraft.

Fairchild SA227-CC, ZK-POF, oerated by Airwork

Air New Zealand continue to acquire more Airbus A320-232's. This one, ZK-OXF, is July 2014 addition to the fleet.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXF, operated by Air NZ

Last up are two more pictures of a Fiji Airways operated Boeing 737-808, DQ-FJN. This is the same aircraft as seen last weekend.

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

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

Saturday, July 04, 2015

More from the B767 departure

Since publishing my last posts, I've been offered and given permission to publish a video and a couple more photos.

Many thanks to Ross P for the photos and to Nick C for the video. The video was taken from the Wellington Aero Club, and the photos show the aircraft climbing over Lyall Bay towards the south.

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ, climbing over Lyall Bay

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ, climbing over Lyall Bay

Air NZ's Boeing 767 into and out of Wellington!

Today saw a very unusual visitor into Wellington, in the form of an Air NZ operated Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL!

This aircraft came up from Dunedin [after an earlier morning flight from Auckland to Dunedin] carrying Highlanders rugby supporters, arriving about 10:32am. It departed Wellington heading to Auckland about 12:15pm.

First up are a couple of photos from the landing.

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ

Next up are photos from the departure. It must have been very light, as the aircraft was airborne just after M4 and well before taxiway M5! I'm guessing it was a combination of a light fuel load, little freight and full noise for takeoff. Nicely done anyway!

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ, taxying to the holding point

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ, rotating and almost all wheels off

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ, airborne before taxyway M5!

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCL, operated by Air NZ, on the way home to Auckland

Lighter aircraft in Wellington

Today's first post is of a couple of lighter aircraft on the Western Apron at Wellington. First up is a Sounds Air Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS. This was parking up after dropping off a load of passengers on the Eastern Apron.

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Second up is a Cessna 172L, ZK-DAT. This aircraft is registered to a Blenheim address and bought over 4 hopeful Highlanders supporters for the big game this evening.

Cessna 172L, ZK-DAT

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Air NZ Boeing 767 due in Wellington this weekend

With the Hurricanes vs Highlanders rugby game this weekend, there is expected to be an increase in flights and passengers through Wellington over the weekend. Apart from an increase in A320, DHC8 and ATR72 flights, there will be a very special Air NZ operated Boeing 767 flight from Dunedin to Wellington!

This is due to arrive in Wellington on Saturday at 10:35am. I don't yet have a departure date, time or location, although there are, unsurpringsly, no seats to Wellington to Dunedin on the Sunday, so perhaps it is overnighting?

One last little surprise is that there will be a Mount Cook ATR72 flight from Wellington to Auckland on Sunday afternoon - this will be the first of these in a long time [if ever].

The photo is a file photo I posted exactly 2 years ago - 1 July 2013 of an Air NZ B767 landing at Auckland.

Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCJ, operated by Air NZ, 1 July 2013. File photo.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bula Fiji Airways!

Fiji Airways have started a twice weekly Nadi-Wellington-Nadi service. These flights are scheduled for Thursday and Sunday afternoons, and last Thursday were the first flights in and out.

This afternoon I was at the airport in time to catch the arrival then departure of the second flight. As with the first, Fijian Airways used a Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, in this case B737-808, DQ-FJN. I'm hoping they occasionally slot in the smaller B737-700 on a weekend, but we'll see.

As for the flight timings, I usually much prefer an afternoon departure when I go on holiday, so these flights would be very convenient for me. Two days a week might be a bit awkward, although Fiji Airways also flies into Auckland and Christchurch, so no drama getting home when I want to. Maybe I will try them out one day - Fiji for 1.5 weeks anyone??

Pictures are of the arrival and then the departure.

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

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

Sounds like a sewer pipe dashing :-P

Four pictures of interest today start with a Sounds Air Cessna C208B Grand Caravan, ZK-SAW. This is the newest Grand Caravan in the Sounds Air fleet and has yet to get the Sounds Air livery applied.

Cessna C208B Grand Caravan, ZK-SAW, operated by Sounds Air

Next up is an aircraft type which is on the way out. Major changes at Air Freight NZ and Airwork will see their Convairs and Metroliners sold off [or scrapped], to be replaced with a number of Boeing 737-400's. Click here for further details from the MRC Aviation blog. These aircraft were sometimes known as the "San Antonio Sewer Pipe" in recognition of where they were built and the shape of the fuselage... :-)

In these pictures we have Fairchild SA227-AC Metroliner, ZK-NSS, taxying in at Wellington. This is operated as an air ambulance, although it seems its time is up shortly also.

Fairchild SA227-AC Metroliner, ZK_NSS, operated by Airwork Flight Operations

Fairchild SA227-AC Metroliner, ZK_NSS, operated by Airwork Flight Operations

Lastly  Air Nelson/ Air NZ Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NEW. It's obviously not that new now, as it has been on the register from October 2007. As mentioned in an earlier post, there are a few more of these arriving later this year in the form of competition from Jetstar/ Qantas.

Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NEW, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ

Friday, June 26, 2015

Metflight Now Available to Recreational Pilots!

I have just returned from a CAA AvKiwi seminar, and one of the comments made was that the excellent Metflight GA product is again available to recreational pilots at no charge!

The website address is:

Logging on for holders of a valid Part 61 licence is by using your Part 61 licence number and the Initial Grant Date ["Issued" date on older style licences] of that licence [printed on the bottom right of the licence]. For Part 149 certificate holders, contact your organisation for details of how to log on.

This is a great safety bonus for recreational pilots, and is something that all pilots should use, especially when venturing away from your home airport :-)

Login example for Part 61 licence holders is: