Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aviation - the early years

I was going through my books the other day and discovered an older book that chronicles the very early years of aviation from balloons prior to the Wright brothers, through to the inter-war period.

The book consists of over 450 pictures from the Hulton Getty Picture Collection [from what I can tell, part of the well-known Getty Images] and is narrated in English, French and German. The book was first published in 1997, and was put together by Peter Almond.

If you're interested in hundreds of black-and-white photos of the very early years of aviation, then this is the book for you. The book is in a hard-cover format and would be well at home on a lounge tabletop or library.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yesterday's Wellington visitors

Before the flight with Pete in the Nanchang, I took photos of a number of aircraft visiting Wellington, and the aero club's apron area.

The first photos are two pictures of the Akrotech Giles G200, ZK-LGT, which is undergoing it's test flight programme. The second is a Piper PA28-140, ZK-DNE, registered to a Papakura address. The most exciting aircraft would have to be the Cessna P210N Centurion, ZK-VIR. This aircraft is registered to Air West Coast, and is a pressurised model. Nice.

Lastly is an Aerospatiale AS350BA, ZK-HZN. This helicopter is registered to Search and Rescue Services Ltd of a Taupo address.

A flight in the Nanchang

Yesterday I had the privilege [and pleasure!] of a flight in Nanchang CJ6, ZK-MAO thanks to one of the syndicate members [thanks Pete!]. It was a quick flight out to the southern Wairarapa area, followed by a bit of Tomahawk chasing and back for some circuits. Despite the look of the weather, the flight was very smooth - just a low-ish cloud base.

While out in the training area, we spotted an aero club PA38 Tomahawk [ZK-JFE]. A bit of gentle tail chasing followed [the PA38 didn't stand a chance :-)].

The order of the photos is roughly startup to the final turn to final approach. Wellington locals should be able to pick out the various scenic points in the pictures.

Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More aviation photos?

Hmmm, maybe not right now... the cloud is several hundred feet BHL [Below House Level...], which makes for no photos. Viz can't be more than 100 meters in the cloud [it's too windy for fog].

Looks like weather will be better tomorrow, although airline traffic tends to slow down a lot over the Christmas period, so there's less change of seeing anything interesting. In any case, I imagine that most GA pilots will still be tucked up nicely next to a beer and a thick steak on the BBQ with the whanau :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas my friends!

With this being my final post prior to Christmas, I thought I'd just say"Merry Christmas", and thank you all very much for your support over the past year [in fact, 4 years that this blog has been running!]. It is always great to receive your comments [and corrections...].

A very special thank you to those who have taken the time to introduce themselves and say "hi" during the year.

I wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas, and if we don't meet beforehand, an awesome new year!

Oh yeah - Karl - your Russian Fudge is on your desk :-) Enjoy it before the other instructors do!

Final pre-Christmas pictures are as follows:

Cessna 172B, ZK-BZT, registered to a Christchurch address
Cessna A152, ZK-FLH, currently registered to Mainland Air, but online with Wellington Aero Club for a few months
Akrotech Giles G200, ZK-LGT, registered very recently [21 Oct 2009] to a Wellington address
Gulfstream G-IV, ZK-KFB, registered to Air National Ltd in Auckland

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First flight of the Boeing 787

I don't usually comment on such things, but congratulations are due to Boeing on getting their new wizz-bang new 7-late-7 [sorry... couldn't resist :-)] airborne earlier today. Being on the other side of the world, I don't have photos of my own, but here are links to some reputable aviation sources:


Bangalore Aviation

I'm sure if you Google for Boeing 787 first flight you'll pick up a bunch of hits also.

I'm also sure that Boeing's airline customers will be relieved that this step has finally been undertaken, although there's a long way to go yet...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Windy Wellington

I love windy, stormy, days, except perhaps when I want to go flying :-)

This weekend has been a windy one. As you'll see in this series of photos of a Jetstar Airbus A320 landing at Wellington, there was a strong westerly component [it was a north-westerly "breeze"], which made it fun for those landing on an [almost] north-south orientated runway [runway 34 is in use].

What's the clue in these photos? Well, if you orientate yourself to the pilot's view, I am standing to the LEFT of the aircraft, but I can only see the RIGHT hand side in the initial photos. The second photo is the same as the first one, except that I've enlarged it to show the detail better. In the third image, the aircraft is still pointing at the aero club. As always, click on the images for a better look.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Yesterday's other aircraft

In addition to the smaller aircraft, I snapped photos of the following types. The first is a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, ZK-SAA, operated by Sounds Air. This aircraft was parked up for a few minutes to let a group from the New Zealand Association of Women in Aviation. Just sorry I couldn't make it for the trip [thanks for the invite though]!

The second is the local rescue helicopter, ZK-HLF, a Kawasaki BK117 B-2, operated by Helilink Ltd. Last is a picture of an Air Nelson Bombardier DHC-8-311 [Dash 8], ZK-NES retracting its undercarriage.

Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday's GA aircraft

Yesterday [Saturday] was a fantastic day weather-wise - one of the best we have had afor a long time. For those that ventured in to the skies they were almost guaranteed an awesome flight with a very light breeze and very clear skies.

Here are a few of the general aviation [GA] types that visited the Aero Club apron. Top to bottom are:

Piper PA34-200 Seneca, ZK-ROC, registered to Helipro Aviation Training Ltd
Morane-Soulnier MS880B Rallaye, ZK-BZZ, registered to a Nelson address [and first flight into Wellington for the owner]
Cessna 180A, ZK-FDO, registered to a Blenheim address
Cessna 182T, ZK-KBL, registered to Withoutalid Ltd of Oamaru

I had a quick peek in the window and ZK-KBL is one of the new glass cockpit models... flash!