After the disappointments of the past few weeks, with aircraft [un]availability and weather problems, it was sooooooo good to get up and see some fine weather! After getting to the Aero Club at about 9am and checking the aviation weather, it was looking good for the entire day. Yippee!
I was able to get our transport for the day [Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-TDJ] preflighted and passengers called and relaxed for a short time. We left a little later than expected [we were gone around 10:30], but there had been delays for other flights with a maritime disaster exercise in Wellington harbour [hence the picture of the Helipro BK-117 ZK-HYI].
The trip across Cook Strait was uneventful and with fantastic views in all directions. Approaching the Woodbourne Control Zone, I contacted the tower and was cleared for the Ponds Arrival procedure to Omaka. Omaka is probably unique in New Zealand [someone correct me if I'm wrong] in that it is an uncontrolled aerodrome within a control zone, thus requiring a clearance for all operations... confused? Basically, you get a clearance to do something and are then pretty much left to it [for example, circuits]. The only other requirement is to report on the ground once complete.
Omaka appears to have positioned itself as a centre for aviation heritage [more in my next post], and despite being right next to Blenheim, it has a wonderful relaxed country aerodrome feel to it.
Anyway, here are pictures the Helipro BK-117 at Wellington and of some of the aircraft we spotted at Omaka. Hover over the pictures for brief details of each aircraft. More details on this Bristol Freighter can be found here.