Friday, March 27, 2015

A quick trip to Auckland on Jetstar

I had a quick trip to Auckland today for work. I didn't take my usual camera, so I only had my cellphone. The flights there and back were on a Jetstar A320. I wouldn't pick Jetstar, but then, I didn't book the flights...

The trip to Auckland was rather uncomfortable. Even at only 6'2", my knees were hitting the seat in front of me, and when the guy in front reclined his seat briefly, it was much much worse. Even one hour caged like a battery hen is too much. It was the least comfortable flight I recall every experiencing. On the way back I was allocated an exit row, so heaps of space. Nice and comfy!

Jetstar also appears to a little unconcerned about that thing called "hygiene". The first flight there was rubbish left in the seat pocket, and the second flight didn't have seat pockets, but the floor had lots of crumbs on it, and the tray tables had food/ drink stains that looked like they had been there a while. Maybe I'm just a wee bit to sensitive about sitting in and around the mess of strangers?

Anyway, I got a couple of photos and a brief video at Auckland, and a rather longer video of the approach into Wellington. The sound quality is very poor - I think I was occasionally covering the microphone... Doh! I'll get better with practice [well, maybe! :-)]

Anyway, here we go.

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

Control Tower at NZAA/ Auckland International

HEAPS of legroom on the way back. Much better than the battery hen treatment on the way to Auckland!


Video while taxiing at NZAA/ Auckland International

Video of the approach into Wellington International

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Life Flight Wellington open day

Today was Life Flight Wellington's open day. This is a big day for them the show what they do, and to raise some money for their rescue helicopter and air ambulance services.

I realised after I left I don't really have any pictures from inside the hangers, where they had food, bomb disposal, drug dogs, police, ambulances and fire service demonstrations... you'll just have to picture that :-P

Outside they had their British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW air ambulance and Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-HLF, rescue helicopter. The Jetstream was on static display with queues of people wanting to take a look through it, and the helicopter had the same queues in between its displays.

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW
Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-HLF
Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-HLF

Soon after these photos were taken, I headed over the to Aero Club. As you'll see from the following photos, the weather got worse after I left the displays... very glad I was not flying today!

View across to the Eastern Apron. Not nice...

Boeing 737-33A, ZK-NGR, operated by Air NZ

Boeing 737-33A, ZK-NGR, operated by Air NZ

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mitsubishi MU-2B-30 departs and Life Flight Open Day tomorrow!

I arrived at the Aero Club on a warm and not-too-windy day just in time to New Zealand's on Mitsubishi MU-2B-30, ZK-KOH, depart for Wellington.

This aircraft is operated by Search and Rescue Services of a Taupo address and so I presume it was operating as an air ambulance.


In other, semi-related news, the local Life Flight rescue and air ambulance service has their open day tomorrow, Sunday 22 March. Present will be the fixed wing and helicopter aircraft, other emergency services, food and drink and plenty to do for the kids. Even if the weather is a bit dodgy, they have a couple of big hangers and you'll be able to look inside their aircraft.

Click here for the official website: Life Flight Open Day.

Do take a look and support them if you are able. They are located next to the Aero Club, so are very easy to find!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Flight in a Nanchang CJ6

Today I had the pleasure of being a passenger in a Nanchang CJ6, ZK-MAO, courtesy of one of the syndicate members [Thanks Erich!]. The CJ6 is a Chinese designed and built aircraft, and was designed as an abinitio trainer for the PLAAF. This particular aircraft is owned by a syndicate and is based at Wellington Aero Club.

The trip was a quick trip out to the southern Wairarapa area for some gentle turns and a bit of a look around. Fun!

The aircraft is a nice one to sit in... quite utilitarian [as one would expect!] but very roomy. The instruments are the original Chinese instruments, except for the altimeter which was required to be changed [The Chinese use metric instruments, but the altimeter is the critical one]. It also has a digital g-meter installed in the front cockpit.

If you're interested in being a part owner in this aircraft, the syndicate is to be reformed very shortly. I can put you in touch with the syndicate representatives if you are interested. I understand you'll need at least a PPL and 100 hrs total time, but the syndicate is best placed to give you all of the information.

Anyway, on to a few pictures from the flight.

Turns in the southern Wairarapa

Looking north on the Pencarrow Arrival procedure into Wellington

Miramar Peninsula, looking South

An old gun emplacement on the hills around Strathmore as be departed. These are easily accessible by foot and are a great place to take photos!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Air NZ and Virgin Australia at Wellington

I have three photos to show of the many taken today. Types are two B737's and an ATR72.

First up is Boeing 737-319, ZK-NGG, operated by Air NZ. Next is a Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVD. Last up is a Virgin Australia Airlines operated Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIR.

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

ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVD, operated by Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ

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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spotting Locations at Wellington airport page created

A new addition to the blog is a page called Spotting Locations at Wellington airport [click here].

This page contains a description of some of the more accessible locations in and around the airport were you can stop, look and take photos.

As also, do take care as one or two of these have steep cliffs nearby [shouldn't be a problem if you stick to the paths or paved areas!], but they may allow you to take some spectacular photos form time to time.

Enjoy!


Sunday, March 08, 2015

Air Nelson/ Air NZ Bombardier DHC-8-311

Today's picture is of an Air Nelson/ Air NZ Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NER after landing at Wellington.

Also, the weather was much better today than yesterday. Good enough for a fair amount of Club flying.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Virgin Australia

My last post for today is of a Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIM.

Some of you will have heard that Virgin Australia is in the process of transferring all of their NZ registered aircraft to the Australian register and AOC. I'm not sure that this is one of them, as this aircraft has been on the Australian registered since 2012, and so it appears that they are using the flexibility of the re-registrations to use other aircraft in their fleet to service the trans-Tasman routes.

If anyone has different info, I'd be glad to hear it.

Anyway, here it is landing in the rain then departing in the dry:

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

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

Today's Airbus' and a Boeing

Before, during and after the first lot of rain there were a small number of movements. Unfortunately, Wellington is usually fairly quiet on the weekends... and I have to work during the week. Mind you, there's not such a large range of aircraft at any time that I can't see each type over a few weekend hours... :-)

So, here we have a few of the Airbus and Boeing aircraft that came through today.

Airbus A320-232, VH-VQF, operated by Jetstar Airways, leaving late morning

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJR, operated by Air New Zealand

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXG, operated by Air New Zealand. Clearly it's raining now...

... ZK-OXG just getting airborne

Airbus A320-232, VH-VQF, landing 3 hrs 15 minutes later, mid afternoon

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

The first decent storm of the year...

The first decent storm of the year arrived and left today, with high winds, some hail, thunder and lightening. I quite like storms, and unfortunately it didn't last long enough :-)

Obviously there was no Club flying today. Maybe there will be some tomorrow.

None of this stopped the commercial operations at Wellington though, as this and the following two posts will show.

First up I have pictures of a couple of ATR72-212A's. ZK-MVA and ZK-MVB are both operated by Mount Cook Airline/ Air New Zealand. ZK-MVA of course is the All Black livery, and ZK-MVB shows off the new standard Air NZ livery,

ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVA, operated by Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ

ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVB, operated by Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ

Sunday, March 01, 2015

What a weird situation...

I went flying again this afternoon in the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT. I last flew the C172 about a month ago, so I went up for a practice flight, consisting of turns, stalls, a FLWOP followed by some circuits.

It was a bit weird though when I took a look at my logbook prior to the flight.

Technically I was still current on the C172 at night, but not during the day. This means that, legally, Under the CARs [Civil Aviation Rules] I could take a passenger up for a night flight, but it would have been illegal to take a passenger during the day! Yes, that is nuts!

Not sure what makes it harder to flight during day time than night time, but then, I don't write the rules... Grrrrrr.

Anyway, I am now current by day [and night] for the next while.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Quiet at Wellington for a good reason

The good reason is that almost every one of the Club's aircraft headed off to Masterton for a day out and a bit of practice. Therefore, there was nothing much GA-wise to see.

I did get two photos though. The first is a Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-IBK, rescue helicopter which is operated by Skyline Aviation of Hawkes Bay.

The second is a British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-VAI, and is registered to Vincent Aviation (in receivership).

Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-IBK, Skyline Aviation


British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-VAI, Vincent Aviation

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!