Thursday, January 14, 2021

First photo from 2021

This is from the first set of photos taken in 2021. It's an Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNC.

Airbus A321-271NZ, ZK-NNC, operated by Air New Zealand

Anyway, I'm back at work now, so back to weekends only. However, and while not confirmed, I'm hoping there will be some exciting news on offer for Q1 in 2021. You'll all have to wait and see what this might be though... 😀

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Last photos from 2020

Here are some of last photos I took in 2020. The first is from the Wexford Rd lookout and is of an Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXK.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXK, operated by Air New Zealand

On the last day of 2020, comes a photo of another A320-232, this time VH-VGA, which is operated by Jetstar Airways.

Airbus A320-232, VH-VGA, operated by Jetstar Airways

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Socata TB9 Tampico

A recent arrival at Wellington is this Socata TB9 Tampico, ZK-TBA.

Socata TB9 Tampico, ZK-TBA


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Robinson R44

Late last year [31 December to be precise], this Robinson R44 II, ZK-IGK, was parked up at Wellington.

Robinson R44 II, ZK-IGK

Friday, January 01, 2021

A new year? Must mean it's time to fly!

It's a new year and what better way to celebrate than go for a flight? 😁

Better still, this flight bought up my 50th hour in the Nanchang, in around 18 months since I started learning to fly it, even with a big Covid19 lock-down in the middle.

Even better still to have a passenger, so welcome aboard Wayne! 

Today's flight was around an hour out to Palliser Bay for a look around. We stuck to around 1500' the whole time and watched the hills, the sheep, more hills, a lighthouse and a few cars, houses and rivers float by at 250kph.

A great way to start a new year!

Anyway, just one photo [thanks for this Wayne] of the Nanchang Grin after our flight [see below for details on how to obtain your own Nanchang Grin].

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, operated by Wellington Aero Club


Want your own Nanchang Grin? Shares are available (as at 1 January 2021). Click here for details on Trademe!

PS: I'm thinking this would have been the first Nanchang CJ6 flight anywhere in the world for 2021 [departure around 11:30 local time]. happy to be proven wrong, but equally happy to be right! 😂😂

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Holiday time. No lockdown. Lots of flying. It's a good time.

We are very fortunate in New Zealand. When the elimination approach to Covid 19, we've managed to get Covid 19 cases restricted to MIQ [Managed Isolation & Quarantine] facilities, albeit with the risk of an outbreak. No community transmission and a vaccine on the way. Good days!

This means that for all but recent arrivals, we have no need for a lock-down - something that many countries can only dream of! Even domestic flying is being built up again, although international flying is still extremely restricted.

No lock-down also means business as usual for private flying - all we need is good weather, which has finally arrived.

Earlier today I got to fly for the first time in December and about 6 weeks since my last Nanchang flight. The day was sunny, the turbulence non-existent and the air not too busy. In about an hour, I took off from Wellington, flew to Palliser Bay, followed the coastline around to the Palliser Bay lighthouse, then back again for a bit of "fun" near Lake Onoke then back for 3 circuits. You can do a lot in an hour at 250kph!

Anyway, here is the holiday photo. I'm hoping there will be more of these in the next few days before work starts up again 😀 Might be due for a haircut though...



Aviation in 1919!

I was recently given a very old book, published in 1919, called

AVIATION
THE THEORICO-PRACTICAL TEXT-BOOK FOR STUDENTS

That's not a spelling error 😃

So far, it appears to be focused on a combination of practical subjects such as aircraft manufacture and rigging, along with some theory and tips for training students. I'm sure it's going to be a very interesting read!

The book itself is hardcover and in surprisingly good condition for its age. I'm kind of glad I didn't have to read through and understand this when I was a student pilot though. Pretty sure that I would not have been interesting in how to assemble or rig an aircraft...

I have come across some interesting comments which will likely resonate with current day students and instructors though - I'll likely photograph and publish some of these as I read through the book.



It appears that the book has been republished and is available through the www.bookdepository.com, although I'm not sure how wide interest in this book would be these days.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Air New Zealand operated Boeing 767's

A wee bit of aviation nostalgia here, with images of an old Air NZ advertising pamphlet, promoting the introduction of their new Boeing 767's, on routes between Wellington and Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, starting in September 1986! Several copies of the pamphlet were left at the aero club a week or so ago, so naturally I grabbed one of them.

A couple of interesting notes from the brochure:

  • Passenger seating was 220 passengers (18 business and 202 economy) - about the capacity of Air NZ's new Airbus A321's
  • Special passenger features on these new aircraft include stereophonic music and the inflight video system
  • Special features in the cockpit included six cathode ray tube screens
  • There were at most only six return flights between Wellington and the three Australian ports [mind you, that's six more than we have now with the Covid 19 border restrictions...]
  • Lastly, Air NZ were still using TExxx [instead of NZxxx] flight numbers

From memory, the B767's would have been the first Air New Zealand wide body aircraft with a two-crew cockpit [no longer requiring a flight engineer] and so incredibly advanced for it's age.

I had a couple of flights between Auckland and Melbourne on B767's. The Business Class consisted of recliner seats in those days, which wouldn't even pass for Premium Economy these days. How things have changed!

Anyway, here are the photos.


If anyone has any additional details on these flights, that would be appreciated!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hopefully 2021 is a little less disruptive [especially when we all have the option of a vaccine...!] and there are more options for travel!


This picture was from a recent visit to Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Tecnam P2002 Sierra UL

Last weekend this Tecnam P2002 Sierra UL, ZK-LSF, parked up outside the aero club. This aircraft is registered as a microlight and is based at an aerodrome north of Wellington.

Tecnam P2002 Sierra, ZK-LSF

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Queenstown airport

Last Friday I arrived home after a brief visit to the South Island, which included a one day visit to Queenstown - one of the most spectacular looking parts of New Zealand.

The airport itself is surrounded by mountains, as the following pictures show. Many of the surrounding hills are within a couple of nautical miles of the airfield and rise several thousand feet above it. Amazing!






Here is one extra picture taken in the middle of Queenstown earlier in the day. Equally nice!

Finally, here is a brief video I took from inside the terminal as an Air NZ operated Airbus A320 departed.

I think I might have to do another visit down here one day and have a decent look around... maybe go flying - that would be nice!

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Gulfstream G650 at Wellington

Saturday's interesting departure was a Gulfstream G650, N650FX, which is operated by Flexjet. I say interesting, as we don't have that many visiting bizjets at Wellington and even less foreign bizjets during the Covid19 restrictions.

Gulfstream G650, N650FX, operated by Flexjet

Gulfstream G650, N650FX, operated by Flexjet

Gulfstream G650, N650FX, operated by Flexjet

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Dangerous Skies

Last weekend I had to pleasure of being the Chief Ground Judge for the Flying NZ Alpine regional competition. This was held at Omaka aerodrome near Blenheim and was hosted by Marlborough Aero Club.

I arrived after a Sounds Air flight into Woodbourne aerodrome on Friday evening. After checking into the motel (Cherylea Motel is really very comfortable and the prices were great), it was time for a brief visit to Omaka to see how things were set up and meet a few people.

It was stormy - thunder and lightning included - which made for a nice evening [nothing like a good storm to start the weekend off!]

Omaka airfield from the Marlborough Aero Club clubrooms

Competition day itself dawned cool with gentle breezes and ended very warm with close to 30 knot breezes. It was definitely fun watching others try to land and drop [simulated] bombs and liferafts in those conditions...

Dangerous Skies

Each regional competition finishes with a presentation dinner on the Saturday evening. Marlborough Aero Club arranged for their dinner to be held at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in their amazing WW2 display called Dangerous Skies. What an incredible place! It's not large, but exceptionally well designed! We were sitting in an open central area surrounded by old aircraft - what's not to like?

These first three aircraft are actually flyable [as in, they fly from time to time]. You probably wouldn't know it from what way they are integrated into the displays. just incredible!

First up is a Yakovlev Yak3M, ZK-VVS. This has previously competed in the Reno Air Races and still flies around the Omaka area.

Yakovlev Yak-3M, ZK-VVS, operated by Fighter Flights of Blenheim

Next up is a Flug Werk FW190A-8/N, ZK-RFR. This is also airworthy and one of very few of these aircraft still flying wordwide.

Flug Werk FW190A-8/N, Zk-RVR, operated by Chariots of Fire Fighter Collection of a Blenheim address

Last up is something a little different. ZK-AGC is a Fleet 16B and is operated by a local owner.

Fleet 16B, ZK-AGC

Next up are some equally impressive non-flying models.

First is a Lockheed Model 14. I understand that this is a real machine, rescued from a jungle somewhere and preserved with the display created around it. You'd be hard pressed to not believe that the "dirt" and many of the plants are not real.

Lockheed Model 14 display

One of the few "not real" aircraft in the display is this full-sized model of a Junkers JU87 Stuka which is hanging from the ceiling. Although low enough that I could reach up to one of the wheels, I completed missed this at first as I came around a corner and saw the Yak3M shown above 😐

Junker JU87 Stuka model

Lastly, it's worthy of note that this entire display is the work of local people. It is juts stunning. Well worth a few dollars to go and visit it!

There is also a WW1 focused display in the next building [entry is at additional cost] which is a little larger and also very impressive [and also with a number of flyable aircraft in the collection]. All-in-all, it's well worth a visit!

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Goat Farm visits

This past weekend Wellington Aero Club has hosted a visiting Piper PA28R-201T Arrow, ZK-TGF. This is registered to The Goat Farm and is based at North Shore aerodrome. As the name suggests, this Arrow is a 200hp Turbocharged version

Piper PA28R-201T, ZK-TGF, operated by "The Goat Farm"


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Bombardier BD-700 Global Express at Wellington

Last weekend I saw a very unusual visitor at Wellington airport - and more-so because of a Covid19 travel restrictions - in the form of a Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express, N989SF. This aircraft is operated by Crystal Luxury Air.

What a nice way to travel if you can afford it!

Bombardier BD-700-1A10, N989SF, operated by Crystal Luxury Air