Thursday, June 03, 2021

Another Nanchang flight today :-)

It has been a fantastic day in Wellington today... the start of winter has come with light winds and blue skies... combine that with a week off work and it's a great day for a flight.

I took the Nanchang CJ6A for a flight around the southern Wairarapa area - around one hour to see most of the sights... nice.

The engine is still being run in, so I was operating it at slightly higher power settings which increases fuel consumption and a little extra speed - can't wait until we can get it back to normal power settings to operate it most efficiently.

Anyway, a couple of photos - the instrument panel then me squinting into the sun 😃

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

Squinting into the bright winter sun

Saturday, May 22, 2021

First Nanchang flight in a while...

I had my first Nanchang flight today, since early January. Unfortunately it needed some maintenance and combined with people being busy, it has only been back for a week or so.

The aircraft has had a top-end overhaul and is flying really well. We're running at higher power settings to bed everything in, so we chose a cross country flight instead of circuits. On the plus side, we were cruising at about 280 km/hr [150 knots], and occasionally up to 320km/hr in a descent [about 175 knots] instead of the normal 250 km/hr [or 135 knots]. The sights appear and disappear reasonably quickly at those speeds...

Today's flight was an attempt to get to Nelson, Greymouth and Franz Josef airports, but with cloud on the way to Greymouth, we ended up diverting back to Motueka. Motueka, aside from any other interesting things, has a small food and coffee outlet on the field, called Hanger Round. How appropriate.

Hanger Round happen to do really a mean cheese, bacon and caramelised onions toasted sandwiches. They also sell Foxton Fizz. Awesome!

Anyway, just over two hours flying today. It was a lot of fun and it'll be happening again soon enough. With the combination of currency, speed and changing plans, there are no photos from the flight - just one after we landed back at Wellington. Maybe next time!

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

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Air NZ A320-232

A few days ago, an Air New Zealand operated Airbus A320'232, ZK-OJB, delivered some passengers to the military apron at Wellington. This will have been one of the regular Covid-19-related transfers around the country.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJB, operated by Air NZ

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJB, operated by Air NZ

Friday, April 23, 2021

Christchurch Airport freight operations

Following on from my recent visit to Christchurch Airport, I have finally extracted an image form my camera showing a couple of Airwork operated Boeing 737's parked up on what appears to be a dedicated post/ courier apron. 

Airwork operates a number of Boeing 737 aircraft on freight operations around New Zealand, including ZK-FXL [a B737-4D7] and ZK-PAT [A B737-4Y0].

Boring 737-4D7 and -4Y0, ZK-FXL and ZK-PAT, operated by Airwork Operations

Image quality is not great - I was in the Koru lounge at the time - but good enough 😀

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Lancair ES

Another nice visitor to Wellington last Sunday was this Lancair ES, ZK-EDZ. This aircraft is registered to an Upper Moutere address.

The Lancair ES is an amateur built aircraft with a reputation for performance in a small package. With a 310Hp engine, cruise speed is around 190 knots. It apparently has a range of about 1200nm, which would be [just] enough for a direct trip from Auckland to Sydney in no-wind conditions [highly unlikely] or more practically, a one stop trip via Norfolk Island on the way over.

There's still a question about whether you'd want to, although it would probably be a lot of fun!

Lancair ES, ZK-EDZ

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

An MBB BO105 helicopter at Wellington

Sunday's "unusual" visitor was an MBB BO105 DBS-4 helicopter, ZK-IAA. This aircraft is registered to the AMH Trust, at a Nelson address.

It's a great looking machine and as far as I can tell, one of only two in the country.

MBB BO105 DBS-4, ZK-IAA, registered to AMH Trust

The Trans-Tasman bubble

It'll be no surprise to anyone in New Zealand or Australia that we now have a Trans-Tasman bubble operating, meaning that, with a couple of conditions, people can travel between the two countries with no need to enter quarantine on arrival.

It is a reflection of how well New Zealand and Australia have managed the Covid 19 pandemic, albeit with a number of hiccups, and a bit of good luck in place of good execution at times. Still, the results are what count, and they are really good so far.

This means that from Monday, there was a significant increase in flights across the Tasman with Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown receiving their first green flights [or no quarantine required] flights in around 12 months. Progress feels good.

Today's picture is of the first Qantas flight to land at Wellington utilising the provisions of the bubble. It's a Boeing 737-838 registered VH-XZF.

Boeing 737-838, VH-XZF, operated by Qantas Airways

* for those moaning about the slow vaccination programme, yes it feels very slow. Still, looking like it will be faster than Australia...

Sunday, April 18, 2021

A quick trip to Christchurch

I had a quick trip to Christchurch on Saturday, meeting with the rest of the Flying NZ executive team. 

While flying myself to Christchurch is fun, this time I went on Air NZ, with both flights operated by ATR72-600's. I didn't get many photos, but here are a couple from the trip home. They were all taken on my cellphone... which shows 😀

First up is a picture from Air NZ's Koru Lounge, looking towards the north-west. That's an Air NZ A321-271NX which has been pushed back.

View from Air NZ's Koru Lounge in Christchurch

Once on the ATR72, I was sitting in seat 6D, which is not great for photos with the big engine right out side, but hey, I could have purchased a better seat and choose not to, so it's all good.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, operated by Air New Zealand

This next picture I am very pleased with. It's a picture of Christchurch International Airport [NZCH] soon after take-off. Where were effectively in a wide and high right hand downwind position as we headed back to Wellington.

View of Christchurch International Airport [NZCH]

It was an evening flight, so last up is a view of Wellington City as we descended to land. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't really handle the dark so well, but it's all I got... Interestingly, with the reduced light, the propeller blades do look better... just not the rest of the photo...

Wellington City

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A couple of Cessnas at Wellington

Here are photos of a couple of Cessna C172's that have visited Wellington over the last couple of weeks.

The first is a Cessna 172M, ZK-DRQ, which is registered to a Hamilton-based syndicate.

Cessna 172M, ZK-DRQ

The second aircraft is a Reims/Cessna F172P, ZK-NAC, and is registered to the Air NZ Flying Club at a Christchurch address.

I assume that NAC in the registration refers to the old name for Air NZ's domestic operation, the National Airways Corporation. From their Facebook page, it appears that the flying club is a part of the Air NZ staff social club.

Reims/Cessna F172P, ZK-NAC, operated by the Air NZ Flying Club

Reims Aviation was a French company that licence-built some Cessna aircraft for a number of years, including the ubiquitous C172 series of aircraft.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Southern Wairarapa, Lake Onoke and the Baring Sector

Here's a brief video from a flight on 14 March, where I fly south down the southern Wairarapa toward Lake Onoke and Palliser Bay, then return to Wellington via the Baring sector.

The aircraft was Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. The video is sped up 6x as otherwise it would be very boring 😀.


Leave me a comment if there are more areas around Wellington or the top of the South Island you'd like to see in a future video. No promises, but I may be able to do it!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A channel introduction video

I've just published a new channel introduction video. Hopefully this gives a small taste of what you can see on this blog and on my Youtube channel!

Enjoy the video!

For a direct link to the Youtube channel, click here. Remember to like and subscribe to be kept up to date the all the latest content.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

White Silence - the story of the Erebus disaster

I have recently started listening to podcasts. A bit late to the trend I suppose, but, as they say, better late than never. I've selected a couple of aviation podcasts [and a couple that are not at all aviation related].

There is one about the Air New Zealand Erebus disaster on 28 November 1979 that I have found very very very interesting. Flight TE901 was operated as a scenic flight to Antarctica and utilised one of Air New Zealand's [then] state-of-the-art McDonnell Douglas DC10-30's, ZK-NZP.

The podcast is called White Silence and has been produced by two media organisations, Stuff and Radio New Zealand.

Erebus was, and remains, New Zealand's biggest aviation disaster, and perhaps one of the biggest disasters in aviation - certainly in the top few when it occured.

The introduction on the linked website starts with the following

On November 28, 1979, an Air New Zealand jet took off from Auckland Airport on a sightseeing trip to Antarctica. There were 257 people on board. Hours later everyone was dead.

That's a blunt, but pretty good summary of what kicked this off, although it doesn't even start to touch the impact on New Zealanders at the time, and in some ways, to this day. The politics, the trauma, of the subsequent investigations and retribution handed out are almost unbelievable 40 years later and are well covered in this podcast series.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry [presided over by Justice Peter Mahon] gave rise to one of the greatest statements [in my not-so-humble 😏 opinion] ever uttered by a judge, aimed directly at the airline and its actions and testimony after the accident. This statement was

An orchestrated litany of lies

Imagine this statement being levelled at any participant in a Royal Commission of Inquiry! An orchestrated litany of lies! And this, in a day when the airline was not only owned by, but in some ways, controlled by the Government. Whether fair or not, it was [and probably remains] as divisive and controversial a comment as it may appear.

If you have any interest in aviation, and particularly aviation disasters, this is almost certainly a must-listen-to podcast. It is consumed in eight episodes ranging in length from around 30 minutes to just over an hour.

Click on the image above [or click here] to access the podcast. It is well worth the listen! The website also contains links to other pictures, video and other interesting information.

Note: The above image is from the White Silence podcast website.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Overflying Paraparaumu airfield

This short video shows me flying overhead Paraparaumu airfield [ICAO code NZPP] in February. This was part of a fun flight from Wellington, around Kapiti Island, overhead NZPP and back to Wellington.

Enjoy the video!


If you like this type of content, then please like and subscribe the video on my Youtube channel. This feedback shows me that you appreciate the content, and finances permitting, I'll make more of them!

Sunday, March 07, 2021

First Qantas arrival in ages

Today saw thew first arrival of a Qantas aircraft into Wellington in ages - probably close to 10 or 1`1 months [that is, since the Covid 19 border lock-down].

This was not the resumption of business as usual however, but a one-off flight to repatriate some cricketers who may well have just been beaten by New Zealand's Black Caps national cricket team. It's not a great weekend for Australians as I heard that there netball team lost to our national team also.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of today's arrival of the Qantas-operated Boeing 737-838, VH-VZT.

Boeing 737-838, VH-VZT, operated by Qantas Airways

Boeing 737-838, VH-VZT, operated by Qantas Airways