Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Diamond Twinstars and an A319

I was at the aero club for a meeting this evening, and got to photograph a couple of interesting aircraft.

The first two are Diamond DA42 Twinstars from CTC Aviation Training, based in Wellington. I believe that both ZK-CTJ and ZK-CTM are here for the night.

Diamond DA42 Twinstar, ZK-CTJ, operated by CTC Aviation Training of Hamilton

Diamond DA42 Twinstar, ZK-CTM, operated by CTC Aviation Training of Hamilton

Last up is a terrible picture of what I believe to be an Airbus A319-133/CJ, B-6435, operated by a company called Evergrande. Unfortunately this was the best I could get. It appears to have left this evening [after I left the airport], but well after dark.

If anyone has a daylight picture of the arrival from this afternoon that I could share, feel free to send it my way :-)

Airbus A319-133/CJ, B-6435, Evergrande. Told you it was a bad photo!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

At the end of a dreary day...

... there is not much to do except to share a couple of pictures and an old war movie.

The pictures are of two types which are rapidly disappearing from NZ skies - the Boeing 737-300 and the Raytheon B1900 - which Air NZ are in the process of withdrawing from their fleets.

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGI, operated by Air NZ, but not for much longer

Raytheon B1900, ZK-EAR, operated by Eagle Airways/ Air NZ, but also not for much longer

The video is an old one called "The Final Countdown", Be warned that the plot is rubbish, the acting worse and the script... well... never mind. It does however have lots of footage of Tomcats, Corsairs, Zeros [actually I think they might be North American Harvards painted up to look like Zeros...], some helos, an aircraft carrier and what might be some historic footage. Great if you have about 1.5 hours of your life to waste! Enjoy [if that is possible!! :-)]!

  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight Boeing 787-8 arrives at Wellington

Today's exciting news was the arrival of an Adu Dhabi Amiri Flight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, A6-PFC, into Wellington less than an hour ago.

I understand that the aircraft is here in support of the UAE team in a Cricket World Cup game tomorrow. The aircraft arrived direct from Nadi, Fiji.

Unfortunately it arrived right on dark, so the photos are not very good at all. These are the best two that I had [and yes, I had to brighten them somewhat]. Unfortunately I probably won't get to see it's departure.... I had to scrape myself off my deathbed :-( to get these... damn man flu!

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, A6-PFC, Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, A6-PFC, Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight

Monday, February 16, 2015

RAAF Boeing C17A Globemaster III at Wellington!

Today's cool photo is of a Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] Boeing C17A Globemaster III, A41-207, parked up at Wellington! What a cool machine!

This aircraft arrived at Wellington earlier today., but left around 5pm-ish for a quick trip to Blenheim/ Woodbourne and back. Sources indicate that among the passengers was the Hon Gerry Brownlee, who appears to have found yet another way to avoid the airport queues :-)... but serious, as Minister of Defence, I suspect that this might be a precursor to the rumoured announcement of the RNZAF purchasing 2-3 of these aircraft in the next 12 months, Yes, I'm calling it - with a 75% probability - so not certain, but close enough. We will see.

Anyway, here is the picture!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Civil activity at Wellington

Just a couple of civil aircraft to show today. First up is an Evektor - Aertechnik Sportstar Plus, ZK-NPT. This aircraft is a Light Sport Aircraft [LSA] and is registered to Pacific Pilot Training of a Nelson address. As cane be seen, it is tied up nicely, which is just as well as the weather was turning rather awful soon afterwards. Speaking of the weather, it was bad enough that a couple of our pilots diverted elsewhere this afternoon... :-)

Last up is Jetstar's Airbus A320-232, VH-VGF. I know I have published this a few times, but it does look really nice :-)

Evektor - Aertechnik Sportstar Plus, ZK-NPT, registered to Pacific Pilot Training of Nelson

Evektor - Aertechnik Sportstar Plus, ZK-NPT, registered to Pacific Pilot Training of Nelson

Airbus A320-232, VH-VGF, registered to Jetstar

Military activity at Wellington

Just a couple of items of note today, with the RNZAF's NHI NH90, NZ3301, still at Wellington this morning. It appears that they went to leave, only for the helicopter to go u/s [unserviceable]. This resulted in the helicopter staying until later in the afternoon.

With the NH90 still here, it meant a different parking location for the Boeing 757-2K2, NZ7572, much closer to the aero club. The B757 was only here for 30 minutes or so before leaving for Christchurch then back again later in the afternoon for another 30 minute stay.

Anyway, here are a few photos:

Nato Helicopter Industries NH90, NZ3301, tied up awaiting a fix

Boeing 757-2K2, NZ7572, arriving at Wellington

Boeing 757-2K2, NZ7572 and Nato Helicopter Industries NH90, NZ3301 parked up

NZ3301 getting ready to leave...

NZ3301 taxiing out for departure

NZ3301 taxiing out for departure

NZ3301 lifting off - note the helicopter crewman standing at the door with a leg out!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Helicopters at Wellington

I arrived back in Wellington today after my brief holiday in Whanganui. I only had an hour or so at the aero club, but I did sight a couple of interesting helicopters.

The first one is a Nelson-Malrborough rescue helicopter, a Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-IMN, registered to Garden City Helicopters of a Christchurch address.

The other helicopter is a NATO Helicopter Industries NH90, NZ3301, operated by the RNZAF. This arrived and shut down at the RNZAF Air Movements Base just down the apron from the Aero Club.

Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-IMN, registered to Garden City Helicopters of Christchurch

Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-IMN, registered to Garden City Helicopters of Christchurch

Nato Helicopter Industries NH90, NZ3301, registered to the RNZAF

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Type rating in a Tomark SD4 Viper!

I am on holiday at the moment in Whanganui. The main reason is for a family visit, but while here, I have been quite keen to learn to fly Wanganui Aero Club's [or click here] Tomark SD-4 Viper, ZK-EAW. The Viper is a Light Sport Aircraft [LSA] and as such it's a wee bit lighter than other aircraft I have flown with a MAUW of only 600Kgs.

The aircraft is powered by a 100Hp Rotax 912 and gets along quite nicely at about 100 knots and a miserly 18.5 litres of mogas 91 per hour! The twin Dynon displays are pretty cool - easy to use although taking a bit to get used to for a crusty old PPL like me :-) - with combinations of PFD, Engines instruments and a nav/ map display available, and pretty much everything but the radio handled through it! It is also significantly less expensive to run [less fuel, cheaper fuel, likely less maintenance] that a 40 year old PA38 [and flies at least as well as a Tomahawk!]. Stall warning is the buffet - no sirens or warning lights here, but basic and power on stalls appeared easy enough to handle. It glides well at a comfortable 65 knots.

The aircraft is easy enough to fly, with just a few obvious differences from the heavier GA aircraft I am used to:

  1. Being lighter, there is not much inertia. You really do need to watch limitations [such as flap speed - only 76 knots] and engine RPM a little more closely [although it will get easier with time]. It's easy to reach a limit if you're not paying attention.
  2. The flaps are not painted on like some GA aircraft [ok, I am NOT thinking of the C172 right now!]. For the FLWOP I put the flap in too early. We made the paddock [and yes, we landed in it] but I could have left them up for longer. With the glide approach onto NZWU, I thought I was too high, but with a bit of flap we made it easily onto the runway. The EFATO was easy to handle.
  3. Procedures are a bit different, especially with the two displays containing everything, so a checklist helps. Temps need to be right before taxi and runups but this only takes a couple of minutes. Rotax engine RPMs are a little different [about double] a Lycoming, so something to look out for.
  4. Speaking of the engine, it's a Rotax 912. It needs to be "burped" on the first flight of the day. Obviously a guy designed this engine ["burping" ha ha ha. Sorry ladies, maybe it's a guy thing] :-). To be fair though, it is more of a gurgling noise...
  5. For it's weight, it flies well in wind. First flight we had gusts up to around 20 knots and it handled them fine. It does handle turbulence better two-up though. I certainly noticed the reduction in weight on my solo circuits - a little more bouncy, but nothing disconcerting.
  6. No mixture. That's right, it is automatic.
  7. No toe brakes. There's a single lever below and behind the throttle and it works well.
Apart from all that, it's fun to fly!

If you haven't done a rating in something this light, or if you're interested in what an LSA might have to offer, definitely try this out! If you're one of those pilots who things that the smaller the easier, then you might be surprised what you'll learn in this machine compared to that Cessna or Piper you're flying right now. I'm sure the team at Wanganui AC would be very happy to help you out and I'm also sure that you'll enjoy the experience!




Sunday, February 01, 2015

RNZAF Orion at Wellington

Today's surprise visitor was an RNZAF Lockheed P3K2 Orion, NZ4202.

I hadn't seen one of these in a long time. Last photograph was a P3K on the missed approach at Wellington back in December 2013. The last time I got close to one was in March 2012 at the RNZAF 75th anniversary open day/ airshow.

Lockheed P3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed P3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed P3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF. This shows off the MAD* quite nicely!

Lockheed P3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed P3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF. Shutting down the outer engines


*MAD - Magnetic Anomaly Detector. That thing which helps detect underwater submarines, and I suppose ships in low cloud?

Wet at Wellington

The weather was not exactly conducive towards VFR flying today, but we certainly need the rain after a long period of high temperatures and bright sunshine! Just a couple of pictures this time [although something more exciting coming up very shortly!].

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJS, operated by Air New Zealand.

Three aircraft on the international apron. Left to right are:
Boeing 737-838, ZK-ZQA, operated by Jetconnect/ Qantas
Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBI, operated by Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ)
Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJK, operated by Air New Zealand

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wellington's movements today

After several days of great weather, today was still fine, albeit with a wee bit of cloud around. I wasn't flying, but I was around to see Wellington Aero Club beat out target hours for the month - one of the biggest results in well over a year which is good to see! The hours target for next month will be even higher, so we'll be working hard to beat that also

Commercial aircraft caught in the act of committing aviation are as follows.

Airbus A320-232, VH-VGF, registered to Jetstar

This aircraft had an interesting taxi route this afternoon. It headed south along the taxiway, then turned back onto the apron and eventually back onto the taxiway, this time headed north to the runway holding point. Almost as though the crew taxied the wrong way...?

Another photo of Airbus A320-232, VH-VGF, registered to Jetstar

Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGG, registered to Air New Zealand

Gulfstream GVI, ZK-KFB, registered to ExecuJet New Zealand, but better known as film producer Peter Jackson's personal plane!

Gulfstream GVI, ZK-KFB, registered to ExecuJet New Zealand

Sunday, January 25, 2015

More pictures from yesterday's [day] flight

Here are some additional pictures I have been sent from yesterday's big daytime flight. Many thanks to Amy for sending these through!

Flying over the Southern Wairarapa area at about 4,500', looking north. that is Lake Wairarapa in the middle

Over the east cost of the North Island, again looking north.

Northern end of the Hutt Valley with Kaitoke Airstrip in the foreground, and a glimpse through to the Southern Wairarapa area in the background.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A fantastic day, a 13,000' flight and it's not over yet!

Today was one of the magic days that just screams out for a flight! No cloud, fairly gentle breezes and very hot.

Today's flight was in the Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT and three of us flew out of Wellington, across to the East Coast of the North Island, climbing to 13,000' on the way across. the views were awesome - we could see all the way up to Mt Ruapehu and despite a breeze of up to 20 knots at 2000', there was virtually no turbulence, even close to hills, except perhaps on the way back down the Hutt Valley.

It is fair to say that taking off with 120 litres of fuel, 3 people and at least 24 degrees meant that the aircraft struggled through those last 3,000' but we made it!

Photos from this flights are from Andrew. Thanks!

 Crossing the Rimutaka Ranges at about Mt Matthews

Flat Point [including Flat Point Aerodrome, NZFT] from 13,000'

Masterton airfield [NZMS] from 9,500'. The full size image is very interesting - it should pockets of haze that make the photo look fuzzy, but other parts which are very sharp.

Yep, we made it.

Lastly, why it is not over yet? Well, I'm flying again tonight. My budget is taking a hit, but I do want to keep current at night, so today is too good an opportunity to pass over!

Some visitors

Today's aircraft photos consist of a homebuilt aircraft, an air ambulance and two airliners.

 Vans RV12, ZK-JRV is registered to a North Shore address.

Fairchild SA227-AC Metroliner, ZK-POB, is registered to Airwork Flight Operations of Auckland and is operated as an air ambulance.

ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVD, is one of Mount Cook Airline's new ATR72-600's

Fokker F27 Mk 50 [aka F50], VH-FKO is registered to Alliance Airlines, and as previously reported has the contract for Tauck Tours flights in New Zealand.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some random shots...

After the hectic activities of the past few days, I've now got just a few "random" pictures left to show. The first two are from Masterton, the last from Wellington.

Piper PA28-161, ZK-MBG, is operated by Wellington Aero Club [WAC]. This aircraft was at Masterton on display at the WAC stand and is the reason a couple of us drive over to Masterton on Monday evening.


Cessna T182T, ZK-ZZR is registered to Izard Pacific Aviation of a Taupo address.


Last up is a Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBF, of Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ) Ltd landing at Wellington. This aircraft carries the Virgin Samoa/ Airline of Samoa titles, including the custom engine cowling design. Nice!