Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Europe Trip 2011 #4: Hong Kong aircraft - 3

In this final post from the brief stopover at Hong Kong we have the following:

Boeing 747-346, HS-UTN, registered to Orient Thai
Boeing 777-232LR, N702DN, registered to Delta Air Lines
Airbus A321-231, M-MAJ, registered to Air Macau
Boeing 767-346ER, JA603J, registered to Japan Airlines

Europe Trip 2011 #3: Hong Kong aircraft - 2

The next set of aircraft seen at Hong Kong were as follows:

Boeing 747-467, B-HUB, registered to Cathay Pacific
Bombardier BD-700-1A11, B-KMF, registered to "Fang Group" [anyone have any more details?]
Bombardier CL-600-2B16, N15VC, registered to "Bank of Utah Trustee"
Boeing 737-84P, B-KBU, registered to Hong Kong Airlines
Airbus A320-232, B-6585, registered to China Eastern Airlines 

Europe Trip 2011 #2: Hong Kong aircraft - 1

A stopover in Hong Kong [even if only a couple of hours] provides for a much greater variety of aircraft and airlines than we normally see in Wellington - and as far as the airlines are concerned, in New Zealand.

This next set of posts detail some of those aircraft. In this post, the aircraft are as follows:

Boeing 747-346, HS-UTW, registered to Orient Thai Airlines
Airbus A330-322, HS-TEJ, registered to Thai Airlines
Airbus A330-322, HS-TEL, registered to Thai Airlines
Airbus A330-223, B-LNG, registered to Hong Kong Airlines
Boeing 777-337/ER, VT-ALJ, registered to Air India
Boeing 747-412, B-HKF, registered to Cathay Pacific Airlines

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Europe Trip 2011 #1: Wellington to London - the trip

Well, I've made it. all the way from Wellington to London in a little over 30 hours. Add in that I was awake for the preceding 10 hours, and that I only got 2-3 hours of broken sleep on the plane, it's a wonder that I feel human this morning!

The flights themselves were really good. The sectors were Wellington [ICAO code: NZWN] - Auckland [NZAA], Auckland - Hong Kong [VHHH] and Hong Kong to London Heathrow [EGLL]. I checked it out and no airline [that I could find] coukld get me from Wellington to London in a quicker time.

Air New Zealand gave me my requested standby upgrades [at effectively NZD$220 each] for both international sectors which was awesome, albeit with a window seat each time. Still, on the Hong Kong to London sector, the middle seat was free, so heaps of room to stretch out and relax and only one person to climb over :-) The service was great and it's a nice relaxing was to travel... now for a free upgrade to try business class? I don't think so somehow :-) All in all, well worth the extra dollars [Airports dollars anyway] for the upgrade!

Anyway, here are the first photos. Just three this time - the first light as we near Hong Kong, just after landing in Hong Kong and a picture of the Air NZ Boeing 777-219, ZK-OKA, that I traveled on all the way to London. You'll probably notice the engine... it is HUGE - an amazing piece of engineering.

The next post [when I get around to it] will have photos of many of the airlines I saw at Hong Kong.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Off on holiday!

Things might be a little quiet for a couple of weeks as I am off on a bit of a holiday in a few days. Do stay tuned however, as I hope to bring at least a few aviation related snaps from my quick trip "up north" [that is, the little continent they call "Europe"...]. Obviously, posting will be somewhat dependant on the availability of pictures and Wifi, although my hotels in Berlin and Prague advertise free Wifi, and London should be no problem, so I should be able to get some content up.

To follow the trip, you might also be interested in my other [non aviation] blog, the appropriately[?] named Rodney's World Travels and Other Grandiose Stuff :-).

Either way, there'll be a catch up when I get back.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today's Boeings

This final post for today consists of a number of the larger aircraft that frequent Wellington airport, mostly Boeings as it turns out... I did get some pictures of Airbus A320's, but not very good ones...

First up are a couple of Boeing 737-3U3's, ZK-SJC [airborne] and ZK-NGE [landing], both registered to Air New Zealand.

Second up is Boeing 737-838, ZK-ZQF, registered to Jetconnect [ie: Qantas] in their "Great Crusade"/ Rugby World Cup livery.

Lastly is a picture across to the international terminal with three aircraft from three airlines; Qantas/ Jetconnect Boeing 737-838, ZK-ZQE, Air New Zealand Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJA and Pacific Blue Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBL.

Today's helicopters

I saw two helicopters come in today. The first is the resident Westpac Rescue helicopter, a Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-HLF, which is back in service after maintenance.

The second is the local Robinson R44, ZK-IDO, registered to Volare Aviation. This R44 is parked in the Club's hanger.

Today's light aircraft

It was another awesome weather day today, so the Club's fleet were outdoing their thing, which was good to see.

Of the other movements, at the lighter end of the scale were these three. The first is the Akrotech Giles G200, ZK-LGT [resident in the Club's hanger], the second was a Mooney M20C, ZK-CKF, of a Christchurch address, and lastly, Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, ZK-MFT, registered to Skyline Aviation in Napier.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Turbine and a Radial

Just two photos today from my visit to the Aero Club. The first is a Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-IME, registered to Helicopters Otago Ltd. This helicopter has been filling in for the usual Westpac Rescue helicopter which was recently undergoing maintenance.

The second picture is of the radial engine in a Nanchang CJ6, ZK-MAO. Much nicer looking than a Lycoming :-).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In the middle of a storm, thanks for a laugh Qantas!

We're still in the middle of a 1-in-50 year storm, but I received this uplifting communication from Qantas CEO [ok, his marketing team...]. It gave me a good laugh!

When you read this, please keep in mind that:
  • I last flew with Qantas around 3-4 years ago and goodness know when before that
  • I'm a New Zealander and I'll always call New Zealand home
On the other hand, if Qantas wants to show off their product just give me a call - I'm sure we can organise something :-)

Ok, so this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, so have a laugh, but don't take it all too seriously... anyone have Alan's email address? I might send him a thank you :-) ha ha

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nasty, nasty, nasty

It would seem yesterday's miserable cold weather with evening snow was not the worst of it.

It appears that Wellington airport is effectively closed with Air NZ and Qantas showing all flights to/ from Wellington are cancelled for this evening. Jetstar shows it is operating [albeit with massive delays], although I suspect that is more to do with their crappy customer service not updating their website.

No pictures from the airport, but here's a couple of others which help to show what it's like. There is ice everywhere, it's bitterly cold and altogether rather miserable. What you can't see of course, is the wind... the house is shaking, or the thunder and lightening :-)

More details on my other blog : 1-in-50 Year Storm

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Still cold, still raining, snow soon to start and some of the civilian aircraft

Following on from my previous post, here are a few of the civilian aircraft that came and went. The first is a Piper PA34-220T, ZK-ZAG, registered to Golden Bay Air Ltd in Takaka. The next aircraft is an Air NZ Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJE.

Lastly are two photos of a Qantas/ Jetconnect Boeing 737-838, ZK-ZQD slowing up after landing.

Cold, rain, snow and the military visitors

The forecasts for today and the next 2-3 days are looking very good, in a weird kinda way. We are forecast to have snow, almost to sea level, for the first time in possibly several decades. It should be an exciting time for the next few days! Already, I've experienced a little snow at home this evening, and I'm hoping that it will start to settle on the ground on the next few days.

Apologies if you don't see the good side of this - especially if you've had heavy snowfalls that are creating problems, but it's a bit novel for Wellington.

Needless to say, there was no flying happening at the Club today, although the conditions did mean that I got a number of interesting photos. Some of them are "technically" not very good, but I hope you'll agree that they are still worth showing.

This post has a couple of Lockheed C130H's that came to visit. The first is a Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] C130H, registration A97-007, which did a touch-and-go then left for somewhere else. The second is an Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] C130H, NZ7002, which stopped at the RNZAF Air Movements apron. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A flight and some interesting aircraft

Today was looking doubtful for a flight, with low cloud at home and around the airport. It mostly cleared up by the afternoon, and I ended up doing a dual flight up to Paraparaumu airport [NZPP], about a 30 minute flight to the north, in a Cessna 172, ZK-FLT. This was my first flight in a Cessna for over 2 months, so it was good to get back in control.

There was a big surprise waiting at Paraparaumu, with a Air Nelson Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEA parked up. Air Nelson [part of the Air New Zealand group] will start flying between Paraparaumu and Auckland in the near future. Today looked like another famil exercise for the local staff and some VIPs who go a look inside the aircraft.

Other aircraft are a Jodel D.11, ZK-ECU and Cessna 172, ZK-FLT, both at Paraparaumu. Lastly is a photo of Cessna A185F, ZK-PRM at Wellington.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Good news! The Cessna is back and I got to go flying... in a Piper

Finally, some good news on the aviation front!

The first bit of good news is that the Club's Cessna 172, ZK-FLT is back on long after a lengthy lay-off for maintenance, including getting a paint job, replacement engine and an interior refit. It's looking very flash now, although I understand that the plain exterior might be simply awaiting some good ideas. I'll keep you posted.

The other good news is that, despite the poor weather [mainly the bit about the wind being 18 knots gusting to 30 knots and forecast to increase later today], I finally got to go flying today! Not in the C172, but in a Club Piper PA38-112, ZK-ESG. I haven't flown at all in the last 9-10 weeks [!!], and I haven't flown a PA38 since late December 2010, so I went up for a few dual circuits which was a good refresher. Hopefully I'll get a dual ride in the C172 next weekend. I'm due for a BFR at the end of this month, but I think that will wait until I get back from a brief holiday.... more on that later.

Anyway, here's a couple of exterior shots of the repainted C172.