Saturday, January 25, 2014

More from Otaki

In addition to flying up to Otaki and back again [see previous post] there was plenty to do at Otaki. Everyone got to go for a local flight. For club students, this was a chance to practice in uncongested airspace and to practice forced landings and overhead rejoins. For me, it meant an opportunity to do a few circuits and practice landings on a shorter [about 750 meters usable] grass strip with a crosswind. Fun times!

Added to this were the friendly locals who provided a BBQ and gas cylinder and we provided some meat, bread etc for a very tasty lunch [and thanks to Amy for organising this, along with the rest of the day!].

Overall a great day! I know there are a lot of pilots [both licenced and students] who are looking forward to the next trip. I think this is planned to be D'Urville Island in February. Very very nice!

Here are a few more pictures from the day. Top to bottom we have:

Otaki airfield's hanger and "workshop" area
American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon, ZK-DCL
Cessna 172N, ZK-EHH. I last saw this aircraft at D'Urville Island in March 2012

Otaki Airstrip today!

Wellington Aero Club held their much anticipated club trip to Otaki airstrip [ICAO: NZOT] today. The day dawned with awesome weather and everyone arrived at the aero club at about the appointed time.

Knowing how club trips can take time [sometimes a LOT of time :-)] to get going, I made a point of arriving early and pre-flighting the club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, which would be my aircraft for the day.

After a good briefing, mine was the first aircraft to get going and depart [did I mention I don't like wasting time if I don't need to?] with three of us onboard and heading to Otaki. A gentle 45 minute flight time [including runups] and we arrived first.

It took just over an hour or so [did I mention that it sometimes take a LOT of time? Ha ha ha], the remaining aircraft had arrived.

Weather at Otaki was hot hot hot and when I arrived, still air. By the time we left mid afternoon the winds were about 15 knots straight across the runway. A bit lumpy but fun none-the-less. The flight home went via Paraparaumu to refuel.

Anyway, on to the pictures. These pictures cover off the aircraft [including privately owned ones] that came up from Wellington. The next post will have a few special extras from the airfield. Top to bottom we have:

Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT
Piper PA28-161, ZK-MBG
Piper PA38-112, ZK-WAC
Piper PA38-112, ZK-JFE
Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO
Giles G200, ZK-LGT
Picture of all of the aircraft

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Boeing and a Dassault

I was planning on flying today, but the wind was a bit higher than I am comfortable with... so I've rebooked for next weekend. Hopefully the weather is better then!

There were two interesting visitors at Wellington today. The first is the RNZAF Boeing 757-2K2, NZ7571.

The second is a Bermuda-registered Dassault Falcon 7X, VP-BZE which arrived today and was parked up outside of Execujet.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Christchurch visit

Today was my first visit to Christchurch in many years. I will update my WTAOGS blog at some stage to put up the pictures from the CBD, but this post contains a few images form Christchurch Airport [ICAO code: NZCH].

Just a couple of notes. Firstly, most of the views from around the terminal, carparks and ground are rubbish. I did get a reasonable picture of a Singapore Airlines B777 departing from runway 20, but mostly the others were obscured by buildings, poles, layers of glass and fences.

Anyway, here's what I did get, top to bottom:

Christchurch Air Traffic Control Tower
Lockheed LC130H, 83-0493, of the US Air Force on the US Antarctic Programme apron
Douglas DC3C-S1C3G, ZK-AMY, registered to Southern DC3 limited, and soon to be retired
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MCB, registered to Mount Cook Airline / Air NZ [unfortunately this had to be shot through 2 sets of thick glass...]
Boeing 777-212ER, 9V-SVK, registered to Singapore Airlines


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sounds, Boeings and an Airbus

What an awesome day today! Light winds and lots of sun... a great combination!

What made it even better was that I got to go flying. Stu and Mirachel came along for a ride across Cook Strait to the Marlborough Sounds. For those familiar with the Wellington area, we were able to head out over and about Karori, then straight across the water to Tory Channel. We followed this south then turned north up through Queen Charlotte Channel, across to The Brothers, to Mana Island then back to Wellington. The aircraft today was Wellington Aero Club's Piper PA28-161, ZK-MBG.

I didn't take any photos [I left photography to Stu today], but the first image is a map of our approximate flight route - all done and dusted in just over an hour. Nice!

Other photos were a couple of Boeings - a Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBG and an RNZAF Boeing 757-2K2, offloading what looked like a bunch of school kids..??

The last photo is an Air NZ Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXB landing.


Sunday, January 05, 2014

Auckland visit - Jan 2014: Three Airbus' and then I'm off home

In this final post from yesterday's visit to Auckland, we have three Airbus'.

First up is this Airbus A330-302, B-18356, from China Airlines. The second is an Airbus A340-313, CC-CQF from LAN Airlines.

Last up was my ride home, an Air NZ Airbus A320-232, ZK-OAB.

Auckland visit - Jan 2014: Two more Boeings

In this post I have two more Air NZ operated Boeings. Apart from the manufacturer and the operator, they have one more thing in common: they're both on the way to being replaced.

The first is the Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCI. Air NZ's B767's will be replaced over the coming years by the new B787-9's that Air NZ has on order.

The second is the Boeing 747-419, ZK-NBV. I believe that Air NZ only has two of these aircraft left in it's fleet, having been [mostly] replaced by the B777-319's. I'm not sure what the replacement schedule is, but I can't imagine there will be any left after 2014.

Auckland visit - Jan 2014: Boeing 777's including Smaug

Next up are 4 photos of 3 Air NZ Boeing B777's.

The first two photos are of B777-319ER, ZK-OKO, featuring the "Smaug" livery from the Hobbit movie. It's a very, very impressive work of art!

Next is an older B777-219, ZK-OKE and last up is B777-319ER, ZK-OKM.

Auckland visit - Jan 2014: Airbus A380's

Next up [but some of the last to be photographed] were these two Emirates Airbus A380-861's which taxied out within minutes of each other and departed one after another.

I'm still very impressed with the size of these things and to see two of them head off at the same time is even more impressive when you've spent most of the time looking at rather smaller aircraft like the B737 or A320 :-)

Anyway, here are A6-EDM and A6-EDF taxiing out and taking off.

Auckland visit - Jan 2014: Boeing 737's

Next up in my Auckland trip photos are these B737's.

I especially like the new livery on the Fiji Airways aircraft, including their Boeing 737-7X2, DQ-FJF. Next up are a couple of Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 787-8FE's, ZK-PBG and ZK-PBL.

Last up is is a Jetconnect/ Qantas B737-838, ZK-ZQA.

What these [and many of the other posts] show is the interesting weather. At the viewing area Liz and I were baking in the unrelenting sun, but many of the photos from the session show the dark clouds off to the east... what I would have given for a bit of shade!

Auckland visit - Jan 2014: Boeing 787-8

One of Boeing's B787-9 Dreamliner flight test aircraft was due into Auckland yesterday evening at 6pm. So, a few days ago I purchased a ticket to Auckland [and being short notice, it wasn't cheap...], arriving mid-afternoon and leaving for home at 8pm.

Unfortunately fore me, the B787-9 was delayed leaving Seattle, so I was almost back in Wellington before it arrived... bummer!

However, I did have the pleasure of a few hours of spotting at the viewing area with the indefatigable Mother Goose ("hi Liz!") and also got to see a number of very interesting aircraft.

One of these was the China Southern Airlines Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner, B-2733! This is a really nice livery, and was my first time to photograph a Dreamliner in airline service.

Enjoy these photos, and more to come in the next few posts of other aircraft.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

An Agusta and a Convair

A less-than-usual visitor today was this Agusta A109E, ZK-ITR. This helicopter is registered to Helilink of an Auckland address, but is operated as the Taranaki Community rescue helicopter. Today's visit appeared to be just to drop something off and a hot refuel before leaving.

The second aircraft is the General Dynamic Allison 440/580 Convair, ZK-CIE, of Air Chathams. It came in this afternoon and appears to be parked up for the night.