Saturday, October 03, 2015

Biennial Flight Review. Tick!

At least every two years, pilots are required to undergo a check of their skills... the Biennial Flight Review, or BFR, Basically, a BFR is a review of a pilots flying skills to determine whether they still meet the flight test standards for their licence, along with a review of theoretical knowledge. Unlike the original flight test, if a pilot fails one activity, they can do another flight, perhaps after some additional training.

Anyway, today was BFR day for me. Rather than the usual jump is a plane, go do the manoeuvres and go home, we [the Chief Flying Instructor and I], took a little longer and covered all of the required manoeuvers along with a flight somewhere interesting. In this case, we ended up flying out of Wellington, west to D'Urville Island and back again.

On the way over, we undertook most of the manoeuvres, including turns, stalls, a FLWOP and more. At D'Urville Island, we combined max performance takeoffs, precision approaches and crosswind circuits. We threw in some additional activities on the way back. The final landing at Wellington was flapless, so we covered everything in one flight. Fun times!

Anyway, here are a few pictures from around D'Urville Island, starting with the parking area and approaches at each end. Fun times indeed!

Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, parked up on D'Urville Island

Approach towards the north

Approach towards the south

Ready for takeoff

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Other aircraft from Sunday

Prior to my night flying last Sunday night, I was able to photograph a couple of lighter aircraft at Wellington.

The first is a Piper PA32R-301 Saratoga, ZK-ZIG, which is operated by Golden Bay Air of Takaka. The pilot dropped off three passengers at the Aero Club instead of the usual Eastern Apron gate.

Piper PA32R-301 Saratoga, ZK-ZIG, operated by Golden bay Air
The second aircraft was a Skyline Aviation-operated Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-IBK. This is a rescue helicopter/ air ambulance, although apart from dropping in the refuel, I'm not sure what it was up to.

Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-IBK, operated by Skyline Aviation

Monday, September 28, 2015

That big, bright moon

The last picture for tonight is tonight's big bright moon. This looks about as bright as what I had last night, although to get a clear shot, I've speed up the shutter speed a little so the image is a bit dimmer than 'real life' - little wonder I was casting a shadow as I took off!

I guess it would look better if I had a decent quality lens, but not bad for a tripod and kit lens on my deck this evening :-) Obviously it is cropped right down...

Night flying currency

I hadn't flown at night for a few months, so, on the first night of daylight savings time, it was time to go for some night flying. The flying consisted of a few dual circuits with an instructor, followed by 4 or 5 by myself.

The weather was about as perfect as you'd get in Wellington, with a very gentle breeze, probably only 1-3 knots [2-5 km/hr] of crosswind, no cloud and a bright full moon.

Actually, that moon was so bright it was almost cheating - dark yes, but so bright that I noticed a shadow from the moon light after takeoff a couple of times! Flights this evening were in the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT.

Before going I took a few photos. The first two are from my DSLR and the last one is from my phone. I'm both surprised the phone photo turned out so good [since I was holding the phone] and at the same time, not at all surprised that it is actually pretty rubbish :-(

Anyway, here we go.

View across the apron to the main terminal. Left-centre is Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, operated by Wellington Aero Club

View across the apron to the rescue fire station. Right-centre is Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Another view across to the main terminal. The blur in the centre is ZK-FLT airborne after a touch and go.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A microlight and a turbine

I have two aircraft from today to show. The first is a Dyn Aero MCR01 Club, ZK-WIK. This is registered as a microlight and registered to an Orewa address.

Dyn Aero MCR01 Club, ZK-WIK

The second aircraft is a Cessna P210N, N526CH, and has a turbine engine installed. Nice!

Cessna P210N, N526CH

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bye bye ZK-NGI

Here are some pictures from a "final call" flight of the last remaining Air NZ Boeing 737, ZK-NGI. 

Unfortunately I wasn't able to be on the flight, but thanks to Simon [I'm not at all jealous!] I have some photos to share of one of these flights. The flight was from/ to Auckland and about 15/20 minutes long.

Anyway, on to the photos!

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ [for now!]

Final call!

A spare engine

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ

NZAA from the air

NZAA from the air

Auckland from the air

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A reader request - pictures of Cessna A152 "aerobat" logo???

I've received a request for an image of the aerobat logo as found on some Cessna A152's. This is to be used non-commercially, to assist with a repaint of an overseas FRA152M, The particular logo in question is the one shown below, not the one that appears on a lot of tails.

Related to this, does anyone have a clear, hi resolution, side on image of Cessna A152M, ZK-EHP? This aircraft definitely used to have the correct image [as of late 2011], as shown in the following cropped image.

Any help would be appreciated! Please email me on with any images that you own the copyright to and which I can share with this chap in the UK. Images will not be published on this site without explicit permission.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wings Over Whales parked overnight in Wellington

A Wings Over Whales-operated Gippsland GA8 Airvan, ZK-KBZ, was parked up overnight in Wellington on Sunday night. The aircraft flew in from Kaikoura with people and equipment  to assist in rescuing a humpback whale which was in difficulty around Wellington. This operation also involved the local Police who provided their launch, the Lady Elizabeth IV, to transport the rescuers to the site.

Anyway, here's the aircraft parked up and tied down for the night.

Gippsland GA8 Airvan, ZK-KBZ, operated by Wings Over Whales from Kaikoura
P.S. - having written the article, here's one I found on the Dompost website.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Originair now flying between Wellington and Nelson

New Zealand's latest domestic regional carrier, Originair, has commenced operations on what must be one of the most hotly contested routes, between Nelson and Wellington.

I managed to get photos of their takeoff from Wellington this afternoon, and I do like their livery - different, but quite nice. The aircraft is a British Aerospace Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH. It is actually operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Originair. The aircraft itself has been around for a while, having been first registered in NZ in May 1997.

British Aerospace Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Originair

British Aerospace Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Originair

British Aerospace Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Originair

The trip home

The trip home from the competitions was decidedly less eventful than the trip to the comps. The weather was clear with no cloud, little wind in Wellington [about 8 knots down the runway, instead of gusting over 20 knots with a cross wind] and great visibility.

Heading home, we passed over Paraparaumu aerodrome then headed into the Hutt Valley for an Eastbourne Arrival procedure.

Here are a few photos from the trip.

First up are a couple of photos as Matt took off from Otaki airstrip.

NZOT airport parking aera

More aircraft parking at NZOT
Next up is a view southwards over the Kapiti area and the one of Paraparaumu aerodrome.

Looking south over the Kapiti area

NZPP aerodrome
Porirua city/ Pauatahanui/ Titahi Bay

More of Porirua and the Porirua harhour

Looking south over the Hutt Valley. Wellington is in the distance, mainly obscured by the strut 
Last up is a picture from, Wellington Aero Club. As we taxied in, these three gents [whose faces are slightly obscured] set to work with pushing the planes in and generally tidying up. Thanks guys!

The Three Musketeers and genius aircraft movers. One of whom has an exam to finish :-P

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Kapiti District Aero Club's aircraft at the competitions

Further to my previous post, here are the Kapiti Districts Aero Club aircraft which were present for the competitions.

Cessna 152, ZK-ELA, operated by Kapiti Districts Aero Club

Cessna 152, ZK-FLC, operated by Kapiti Districts Aero Club

Cessna A152, ZK-JEN, operated by Kapiti Districts Aero Club

Cessna 172S, ZK-KAZ, operated by Kapiti Districts Aero Club
Yep, Kapiti have a helicopter on line also. The guy in the left hand seat is waving :-)

Robinson R22 Beta, ZK-HNS, operated by Kapiti Districts Aero Club

Competitions at Otaki airstrip!

Today we had some friendly competitions with Kapiti Aero Club. These were held at the nearby Otaki airstrip [NZOT], as we can't really hold any competitions at Wellington or Paraparaumu aerodromes.

Otaki is a grass strip located on the southern edge of [naturally] Otaki town. It's an awesome strip which is long enough to be safe, challenging enough to keep you on your toes and, close to everything, but not directly on any main arterial air traffic routes, so quite.

Despite some pretty grotty weather at Wellington in the morning [and cloudy and hazy most of the way from Wellington to Otaki], we managed to get two aircraft from Wellington Aero Club to Otaki [a privately owned Cessna 206 and the Club's C172], plus a number of members who drove up to Otaki for the day. Kapiti took 4 of their aircraft and a sizeable number of instructors and members along for the day, and we all had fun! After some passing showers, the weather cleared up nicely just before lunch so we could make a start.

Competitions held were Bombing, Precision Circuits, Forced Landings, Low Flying and two Navigation comps. We are awaiting the results, but as I may have been the only competitor in the low flying... I'm in with a chance in that :-) I think i was fairly competitive in the Bombing competition also [RNZAF - if you're looking for someone to drop 250g containers out a window from 300', I'm here - I'll do it in exchange for a type rating in something...!].

Anyway, on to some pictures:

The view from NZOT, looking south-west

A gentle crosswind on a 15 knot windsock

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

Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, operated by Wellington Aero Club, about to drop a bomb on the target!

Cessna T206H, ZK-JWH, about to land

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Some random shots from the weekend

Here are pictures of a various aircraft from the weekend.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIS, is operated by Virgin Australia International Airlines and is seen here soon after landing at Wellington.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIS, operated by Virgin Australia International Airlines

Next up is another B737, this time a B737-838, ZK-ZQB, operated by Jetconnect [a subsidiary of Qantas].

Boeing 737-838, ZK-ZQB, operated by Jetconnect/ Qantas

Next up are two air ambulances, both of which have featured in this blog on occasions. First is the local resident, British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW. This is operated by Air Freight on behalf of Lifeflight Wellington.

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight on behalf of Lifeflight Wellington
The second ambulance is the Starship Hospital air ambulance, a Beechcraft B300, ZK-SSH, operated by Skyline Aviation.

Beechcraft B300, ZK-SSH, operated by Skyline Aviation

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Very rare, almost extinct!

Following on from yesterday's post about the increasing rarity of Air NZ's Raytheon B1900D's, here's a truly rare, and soon-to-be extinct one!

Today was the final day of regularly scheduled Boeing 737 flying for Air New Zealand, with the last of their B737's, a B737-319, ZK-NGI, undertaking a full day of flying between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The only additional flights are expected to be part of a farewell tour to various airports next week.

This marks the end of over 40 years of B737 domestic and international flying with Air NZ [utilising B737-200's initially then moving to the -300's] and I guess the end of the transition to an all A320 fleet for domestic and much of the regional flying.

Anyway, here are a few photos from the last scheduled passenger flight takeoff from Wellington. It didn't take up much runway - other photos I have indicate it was off prior to taxiway M4... full noise and a lighter load perhaps?

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ