Saturday, November 22, 2014

Another windy day... hopefully better tomorrow

It has been another windy day in Wellington with up to 50 knot gusts at times, so no light aircraft flying today... I am booked in for a flight tomorrow, so we'll see what that is like.

Photos today are just three. First up is a Gulfstream G650, ZK-KFB, which is registered to ExecuJet, but is better known as Peter Jackson's plane.

Next up is a Sounds Air Cessna 208, ZK-PDM and last is an Air Nelson/ Air NZ Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEG. Both of these are departing into the strong, gusty winds.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

China's President Xi Jinping departs Wellington...

... on an Air China operated Boeing 737-89L, registered B-5342.

As it turns out, I have seen this aircraft at Wellington previously. In June 2010, then Vice-President Xi Jinping visited Wellington.

Anyway, here are three of the 50-odd photos I took this evening. Unfortunately, these are about the best of the lot. You can probably tell that there is a lot of glare this evening...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

RNZAF Boeing 757-200

I happened to be out at the airport this evening on Aero Club business and arrived in time to see the arrival of this Boeing 757-200, NZ7571, operated by the Royal new Zealand Air Force [RNZAF].

For my overseas readers, the B757 is one of two operated by the RNZAF and is the largest aircraft that they operate. It is also the largest aircraft type to regularly operate into Wellington.

Monday, November 17, 2014

US Air Force and RNZAF at Wellington

Today's special visitors at Wellington are a US Air Force Boeing C40C/ B737-7CP, registered 05-0730 and an RNZAF Boeing 757-200, NZ7571.

I'm guessing that the B737 is here after the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. Maybe the B757 is the same. I'm also going to keep a quiet eye out over the next few days, as there have been a few foreign leader's aircraft visiting New Zealand recently. It would be interesting to see if any of them are planning of coming to Wellington.

Anyway, here are the photos. Fairly self-explanatory really.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Overnight at Wellington

Just one photo from today. This time a Cessna 172M, ZK-LQA, operated by Airline Flying Club of a Papakura address [based at Ardmore AD].

My understanding is that the aircraft had a hurried move into the engine run-up bay [which is relatively sheltered] late last night due to the stormy weather which hit Wellington overnight and today.

As an aside, I saw the Wellington METAR indicating surface winds with up to 60 knot gusts this morning, although it may have died down by the time I got out there.

Homeward bound

Last up on my trip home to Wellington was another flight in an Eagle Airways operated Raytheon B1900D, ZK-EAE. Like the trip north to Taupo, there were only about 5 passengers on board for the flight home. Unlike the trip north, the views were somewhat more impressive.

Three simple photos here. Firstly, the aircraft, send and third are two views of the eastern side of Mount Ruapehu as we headed south. The photos of Ruapehu are black and white - they seemed to look better that way.

Meat bombing and more at Taupo

While waiting for my trip home to Wellington, I took the opportunity to capture a few pictures of the local happenings.

Taupo is well known for its sky diving and so it is little wonder that most of the flights were associated with people deliberately falling out of a perfectly good aircraft [fools! ha ha ha]. Top to bottom in this set of photos are:

Pacific Aerospace 750XL, ZK-JQK, operated by Tandem Skydiving Ltd
Pacific Aerospace 750XL, ZK-SDT, operated by Skydive Taupo Ltd
2 x GAF N22C, ZK-SNZ, operated by Tandem Skydiving Ltd
Lastly, tandem jumper about to land


In addition to these, were a couple of other interesting pictures to be had. First up is a local rescue helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350B2, ZK-HZJ, operated by Search and Rescue Services Ltd. Next is a Cessna U206F, ZK-RPM, operated by TAM Flight Ltd of a Mt Maunganui address. lastly, it's great to see an airport that provides for GA pilots as well as the airlines :-)


My first visit to Invercargill!

At Invercargill
I had the privilege of spending last week working at a couple of my employer's more remote worksites. This trip saw me fly firstly into Invercargill and then up to Taupo.

I had never been to Invercargill before, so I was interested to see what the airport was like. The terminal itself was pretty basic, but mostly functional. It is also undergoing a major revamp, to the extent that the baggage collection point is currently in a marque outside the main terminal.

The following pictures are from Invercargill airport [ICAO code: NZNV] on the day of my departure. Top to bottom are the terminal, the baggage claim area and the control tower.

In additional to some local light aircraft, there were two commercial flights that came and went. The first is an Air Nelson Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NFB and the second is the aircraft that would take me to Christchurch, an ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MCU, operated by Mount Cook Airline:

Flights to Taupo
The flights to Taupo [Invercargill - Christchurch - Wellington - Taupo] were reasonably eventful.

We were flying abeam Christchurch when the ATR72 was struck be lightening. I did not see anything, but it was one very loud bang. One of the flight attendants just about jumped out of her skin... hardly surprising!

The flight from Christchurch to Wellington was in a Boeing 737, and we got "moved around' a wee bit. Nothing frightening at all, actually, just a bit of fun.

Wellington to Taupo in a Raytheon B1900D was less eventful, although we did get to land, and de-plane in a fair amount of rain. Fun times!

I only have a couple of photos from this part of the trip - the first is looking out at the clouds below us in the cruise towards Taupo and the second is the inside of the mostly empty plane. More pictures from Taupo will be in my next post.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Night flying last night!

Last night was my first night flight after gaining my night rating. The weather was absolutely perfect with hardly a breeze [variable direction, 2-3 knots most of the time], no cloud and very little other traffic. Just perfect for a newly night rated pilot flying a Cessna 172N :-)

What was even better was that Saturday night was the night of the Wellington Guy Fawkes night public display. I swear I only found that out on Saturday morning :-) but who could resist the temptation? There was a NOTAM covering the display, and we [Amy, Rhys and I] would be flying well clear of the display area.

After takeoff on runway 16 we flew via the harbour to Lower Hutt/ Petone and flew around there for a while [sorry for keeping you awake Glenn B! :-)] and after the display started we came back for a few circuits.

Anyway, here are some photos from Amy and Rhys. It's hard taking photos on cameras at night, but I think they did a good job.

First up is a picture of the departure from Wellington. It was only a few minutes past ECT, so there's still plenty of light around.

This was what greeted us as we circled over Lower Hutt for 30 minutes or so. What the picture doesn't show are the many small fireworks being let off in backyards all over Lower Hutt and on the beach. It was a great sight from above!

This picture is of Wellington City as seen from Lower Hutt. Before the display, obviously! :-)

The display has started as we headed back for some circuits. As good as the photos are, they don't really do justice to what we saw, but such is life! There's a reason I think the three of us had the best seat in the house!

At this point we are left base for runway 16, and the display continues.

This is one of the best photos we got. Please remember we are using phone cameras, which is why there is nothing too detailed or close up [that and I was keeping my distance!]

Last, but hardly least, it has been a busy few weeks of flying. The top sticker is from October's strip flying course at Marlborough Aero Club and below that, the all-important night rating sticker!

[Many thanks to Rhys and Amy for sharing their photos!]

Another nice day in Wellington

It was another nice day in Wellington today. A little more breezy than yesterday, but nice nonetheless.

I spent an hour or so at the Spruce Goose cafe this afternoon with friends, and took the opportunity to get a few photos from a slightly different angle to what I usually get.

First up, it is great to see the Lifeflight Air Ambulance airborne again. It has been a rough time with Vincent Aviation going into receivership [Vincent's supplied at least the flight crew and maintenance], but these things have been worked through and now this British Aerospace Jetstream Series 3200 [J32], ZK-LFW, is flying again.

Next up is an Air New Zealand Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJB.

Following on from that is this Jetconnect [QANTAS] Boeing 737-838, ZK-ZQH. Jetconnect of course if a QANTAS subsidiary which runs most of the QANTAS branded services between New Zealand and Australia.

Last up is another QANTAS subsidiary, Jetstar. This ia an Airbus A320-232, VH-VGN.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

More from windy Wellington

Next up from today's "sightseeing" are some of the smaller aircraft [in fact, I think these were the very smallest aircraft] I saw operating today. Not surprising really!

Top to bottom are:

Beech B200 King Air, ZK-MYM, operated by This was operating an Air Ambulance service while the Wellington-based Lifeflight operation gets sorted after Vincent Aviation folded recently. Hopefully some good news on that front in the next week or two.
Beech B200 Super King Air, NZ7121, operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF]. The two photos show the departure and a later arrival back into Wellington. Odd that the RNZAF is flying around on a Sunday [not unheard of, just a little unusual].
Raytheon [originally Beech] 1900D, ZK-EAP, operated by Eagle Airways [Air NZ].
Cessna 208B, ZK-SAY, operated by Sounds Air.
The slightly smaller Cessna 208, ZK-PDM, also operated by Sounds Air.

Windy Wellington Weighs In With Worth While Wingding

You might need to look up the Wingding bit, but if you know anything about Wellington's wind, the rest will make sense!

Yes, the wind was blowing hard today. Gusts up in the mid-40 knots and crosswinds always make for exciting times at Wellington airport and today was no exception. This really was one of those days where I was very grateful to be on the ground! Needless to say, there was plenty of opportunity for photography and I came away with just over 150 photos for the day. This and following posts will highlight just a few of them.

Anyway, on to the first set of photos. This set contains:

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGH, operated by Air NZ. Take a close look as this aircraft is airborne on runway 34 just past A8! It must have been lightly loaded.
Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXD, also operated by Air NZ. This picture was taken just as it hit some turbulence which swung it to the left.
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVD, operated by Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ]. The two photos show the start of the missed approach. It landed safely later on.
Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NEQ, operated by Air Nelson [Air NZ]
Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NEP, also operated by Air Nelson [Air NZ]. This provides a nice contrast between the new and old liveries [ZK-NEQ having the new livery].