Sunday, August 15, 2021

Wet and windy Wellington

Here is a brief video from Wellington airport after the wind turned to the south and increased in strength and the rain set in.


#CantBeatWellingtonOnANiceDay 😂

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Currency and ballast

On Saturday. I realised yesterday that I had not flown for about a month. Furthermore I wasn't current on the C172. So, rather than a couple of circuits, I went for a dual ride to do some turns, stalls, a FLWOP, low flying and a rejoin. Fun times and I feel rather more current now.

Following this I got to be ballast on a type rating flight, as part of a MAUW [Maximum All Up Weight] check. Again, fun times, and it's always good to sit in the back as someone else is flying the plane! The aircraft was Wellington Aero Club's Piper PA28-161, ZK-KAT.

Here are a few pictures on my ballast ride.





Next weekend should be interesting also, as I'm going to fly a Piper PA38-112. Fun times indeed!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

More Nanchang flying

Last Saturday afternoon I had the opportunity to go flying in the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. The weather was nice enough, but a bit lumpy in the Southern Wairarapa with mild and fairly consistent turbulence from Turakirae up to Lake Onoke.

Still, it was a fun flight of just over 30 minutes. We're still running the engine a little harder as part of the run-in, so I was cruising at 270-280 km/hr [around 145-150 knots]. Still, fuel consumption was about normal for a slightly lower power setting [mind you, I did lean the mixture], so I can't wait to see what it settles at when we are back to normal power settings in a few hours.

Anyway, a couple of photos. The first is looking north over Lake Wairarapa. The second is looking to the east. Both of these photos were taken at around 1,100' AMSL. The photo was taken on my phone, hence the artefact from the prop interacting with the camera sensor...



Sunday, July 11, 2021

Cessna 182 at Wellington

Today's photo is of a Cessna 182T, ZK-JLR, which is operated by Ragged Point Ltd of a Nelson address. This was seen at Wellington on Saturday afternoon.

I think a Cessna 182 would be a really nice aircraft to learn to fly... maybe one day!

Cessna 182T, ZK-JLR, operated by Ragged Point Ltd

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

A couple of rides on Sunday afternoon

Last Sunday afternoon I was able to go on a couple of quick flights, both times as a passenger. The first was a ride up to Paraparaumu with Vincent flying the Cessna 172N ZK-EKE.  The ride home was in a Piper PA28-161, ZK-KAT, courtesy of Pete.

Both of these were fun and as always, it's great to be able to sit back and relax while someone else does the flying 😁

I've got just a couple of photos of the flight back to Wellington as we raced the daylight to get home about 15 minutes before ECT [evening civil twilight... or night time].


Sunday, July 04, 2021

PA28 at Wellington

Today's visitor was this nice Piper PA28-151, ZK-DBW. This aircraft is registered to the Canterbury Warrior Syndicate, and has been upgraded to a 180hp engine. Good to see you this afternoon Andreas! 😀

Piper PA28-151, ZK-DBW, operated by Canterbury Warrior Syndicate

Thursday, July 01, 2021

The carburettor!

It's been a few weeks since I posted - mainly weather and general busyness, but I hope to fix that in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, here's a very very interesting video on the fascinating subject of carburettors! Most of the aircraft I fly have a carburettor, and while the basic concepts always made sense, this video from Smarter Every Day takes it to a new level.

The explanations are interesting enough, but the use of high-speed footage just blows my mind as it shows fuel and air being mixed and sucked along toward an engine. The video is almost 25 minutes, but if you have even a passing interest in aircraft engines with carburettors, or small engines in lawn mowers etc for that matter, this is a compelling and very interesting video!

Enjoy the video!

BTW - while not covered in the video, it's easy to visualise how carb icing occurs and why it's important to be on top of it.

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...