Sunday, July 28, 2013

Night flying this evening!

Earlier this week I was asked if I wanted to go night flying on the weekend. Somewhat surprisingly :-) the weather turned out really good and so tonight I got my chance to get my night rating underway. This evening's flight was in the Club's Piper PA28-161, ZK-MBG [the same one I flew during daylight hours yesterday] and it started with flying up to the Hutt Valley for some medium and steep turns, then back for a series of circuits.

Fun fun fun!

One circuit was a full stop landing where we had to vacate the runway and do a tiki-tour of the eastern [main] apron and the last touch-and-go was followed by a flight over the city centre for 10-15 minutes while the tower took care of a bunch of departures. I'm hoping that the next flight is a dual checkout then off for some solo circuits.. we'll see and it might depend on how soon I get to do the next flight!

Did I mention it was fun? The only slightly freaky bit was heading back from the city to land. We had to head down to the south, and then keep going for a couple of miles. There's nothing much to see out the front [some lights off in the distance to the right in the South Island, probably Blenheim], and if I looked back over my left shoulder I could see the Airport and some of the city... but in front.... nothing. No moon, a few stars, no horizon... nothing. Oh well, that's what instruments are for, right?

Anyway, there's no photos [way to busy concentrating on that flying thing!] so you'll have to make do with this one. Did I mention it was fun? :-)

Another Massey Diamond

Just a very quick post this time... there's a reason which you'll see in the next post.

Today's visitor was this Massey University School of Aviation Diamond DA40, ZK-MTH. Unlike its counterpart from yesterday, this aircraft stopped off for an hour or so.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

That was fun... and here's hoping for tomorrow night

Today's fun was a flight in the Aero Club's Piper PA28-161, ZK-MBG. I had not flown anything for just over 2 months and I hadn't flown a PA28 for over 5 months, so it was good to get back into the air! Today's flight was dual [with an instructor] and consisted of a number of turns, a couple of simulated forced landings and back for some circuits at Wellington. We ran out of time for some solo circuits, but such is life.

As for tomorrow night, I'm hoping to start off a night rating in the PA28! A night rating [which will allow me to fly by myself and with passengers at night] has been right up there on my list of things to do, so I may as well get it over and done with :-) Assuming the weather is good enough, there will be more more details in the next couple of days... I can't wait!

In other news, here are a couple of visitors. First up is a Partenavia P68C, ZK-LAK, from Flight Training Manawatu which stopped off for a couple of hours. Next is a Diamond DA40, ZK-MTD, from Massey University School of Aviation. The final photo is a file photo of the PA28 I took flying today.


File Photo

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Today's weather and yesterday's Jetstar

Today's weather is dreadful. Windy and wet, temps in the single digits, wind-chill and water running uphill. Yep. I'm very grateful for double glazing, a heat pump and that I don't have to fly anywhere today!

There appear to be significant [although in some ways, less than expected] disruption to flights in and out of the capital with lots of turbo prop flights either cancelled or delayed... to be expected. It appears that Air NZ's "jet" fleet is not affected, although Jetstar appear to have issues [some would say that's business as usual :-)].

Anyhow, here's a picture from yesterday's visit to Wellington airport. It's a Jetstar Airbus A320-232, VH-VGA during the landing roll.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A gloomy day... with sharklets

It has been a gloomy and wet day at Wellington today... unfortunately all too familiar for this time of the year. On the bright side though, I did get to see Air New Zealand's latest Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXA, with its distinctive "sharklet" winglets.

The photos may look a little dull but they are a pretty accurate representation of the day so far... however, it could be worse and it may well be tomorrow with the surface wind forecast to reach 65kts [around 120 km/hr].

Anyway, here are the photos. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Back at Wellington... nothing much has changed... still windy :-)

Today was the almost the first chance I have had to hang around and take a few photos. True to form, Wellington was windy [apparently it was up to a 28 knot crosswind at times], which made for some extra work for the pilots and likely some extra stress for the passengers!

I have just four photos to publish today. Top to bottom are:

Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBG, Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ) - note the very very faded red paint - I guess this will be replaced with the new Virgin Australia livery in due course.
Airbus A320-232, VH-VGV, Jetstar Airways - landing after an earlier go-around.
Boeing 737-3K2, ZK-NGM, Air New Zealand
Boeing 737-337Q, ZK-NGO, also of Air New Zealand.
The Air NZ Boeing 737's are slowly disappearing as they are replaced by Airbus A320's, so there'll be less of these to photograph as time goes by.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Passing of a former Wellington Aero Club life member and instructor

Former Wellington Aero Club instructor and life member, Bill Coulter passed away earlier this year. In late April his ashes were scattered over water from a Club aircraft. I was fortunate enough to be there as the aircraft went out and came back, and I have two of photos of that day to share [the delay is because I was waiting until they had been published in the Club's Windsock magazine first].

I'm not going to repeat the obituary that appeared in Windsock [it's available for Club members and supporters on our Facebook page], but I did want to share two photos of the water cannon salute from the Airport Fire service as the aircraft [Cessna 172 ZK-FLT] taxied back to the Club. It's the first, and very likely the last, time I see a Cessna 172 getting a water cannon salute!

I hope you like the photos. You will need to click on them to get a bigger version. Remember, if you are a member or supporter of the Club, check out the full article in the Windsock - it's well worth the read!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Spotting at Auckland: Singapore, Jetstar, Malaysia and LAN

In this final post from the photos from Auckland, I have various photos; one each from Singapore Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Malaysian Airlines and LAN. Top to bottom are:

Boeing 777-312/ER, 9V-SWA, Singapore Airlines
Airbus A330-202, VH-EBB, Jetstar Airways
Boeing 777-2H6/ER, 9M-MRD, Malaysian Airlines
Airbus A340-313X, CC-CQF, LAN

Spotting at Auckland: Fiji, Cathay, Thai and Airwork

One aircraft I was very happy to see was the new Fiji Airways [rebranded Air Pacific] Airbus A330. This aircraft is a brand new aircraft and is painted in the new Fiji Airways livery... and it looks very nice!

The pictures, top to bottom are:

Airbus A330-243, DQ-FJT, Fiji Airways [formerly Air Pacific]
Airbus A340-313X, B-HXI, Cathay Pacific
Boeing 777-2D7/ER, HS-TJS, Thai Airways
Boeing 737-3B7, ZK-TLA, Airwork Flight Operations

Spotting at Auckland: Emirates

This post has the 3 Emirates aircraft that came in almost sequentially. Two A380s and a B777. Nice :-)

Top to bottom we have:

Airbus A380-861, A6-EDP, Emirates. Note the "Expo 2020 - Dubai UAE - Candidate City" logo near the nose
Boeing 777-31H/ER, A6-ECH, Emirates
Airbus A380-861, A6-EEH, Emirates

Spotting at Auckland: Air New Zealand

After getting home from my UK/ Europe trip, I had a couple of hours to get some photos at Auckland while waiting for my final [delayed] flight home. This and the following few posts show some of the photos I managed to get.

In this post, we have a few of Air NZ's fleet, including two of their newer aircraft. You'll also see a hint of the variable weather - sunshine interspersed with light rain. Top to bottom we have:

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJS, Air NZ
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVB, Air Nelson/ Air NZ
Boeing 777-219, ZK-OKD, Air NZ
Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCJ, Air NZ