Sunday, November 20, 2022

Business jets at Wellington

Following on from yesterday's post, once the weather had cleared and I had my flight, I went and grabbed a couple of pictures of the business jets parked up on the Western Apron at Wellington, outside the Execujet hanger.

I'm late to the party on this, but and with the closure of the small "extension" on Coutts St, it's a bit harder to get the photos I would have preferred. Such is life.

Anyway, here are three of the aircraft that were parked up. These are all Gulfstream aircraft - one G650ER and two G550's.

Gulfstream G650ER, N109CH

Gulfstream G550, N319FS

Gulfstream G550, N97FT

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Rainy day, time to fly

I was booked in to fly today, but It was a bit wet this morning and early afternoon. It cleared up in time though, so I ended up having a quick flight in the club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. Just a enough time to depart to the north, do a simulated FLWOP around Mana Island, then back in to land.

It was also a chance to use my new OzRunways subscription in flight for the first time. I was looking for an easy flight so it would not be a distraction. It worked fine, but I want to use it some more before doing any sort of review.

In other news, I have a new camera. I'm sure much to the horror of some people, I have downgraded to a point-and-shoot - a Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95. It's basic, seems to work well, and has a few pros and cons compared to my Canon EOS 700 I had been using. The major benefit is that I can stick it in my pocket. The major downsides so far is that the lens is not fantastic [but quite acceptable] and the autofocus is a bit slow. Still, I'm happy so far.

While waiting for the weather to clear, I took some photos. They turned out better than I expected. I have also adjusted the settings on the old watermarking tool I am using, so hopefully the JPEG compression artefacts are not quite as annoying. Photo sizes are quite a bit larger though.

First up are two photos of a Pilatus PC12/45, which is operated by Sounds Air. The second was taken through grubby glass, so not too bad I suppose.

Pilatus PC12/45, operated by Sounds Air

Pilatus PC12/45, operated by Sounds Air

Next up is Life Flight's British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW. This is operated by Air Freight NZ Ltd on behalf of Life Flight. The rain is quite obvious...

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight Ltd

Last up is this Bombardier CL-600-2B16, ZK-JCJ. This is operated by GCH Jet Operations. Again, it was raining a little at the time and this show up nicely in the photo.

Bombardier CL-600-2B16, ZK-JCJ, operated by GCH Jet Operations

Bombardier CL-600-2B16, ZK-JCJ, operated by GCH Jet Operations

Sunday, November 13, 2022

This weekend in Masterton

This past weekend was spent in Masterton at the Flying New Zealand Cook Strait Regional Competitions.

Good times with a lot of good flying, fun social times and another opportunity to assist with some of the ground judging.

It was looking a bit shaky at one time though, with the weather on Friday evening consisting on low clouds and rain. Saturday [competition day] was much nicer, although with the constant threat of the thunder and lightning that was striking other parts of the lower North Island. We did have to shut down competitions for about 30-45 minutes in the middle of the day due to the weather, but it all worked out.

The first three photos are from arrival day on Friday, including a panorama of the 20+ aircraft from Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Kapiti and Whanganui that came for the competitions (Hawera also arrived on Saturday).

The final two photos are from Saturday. There are some very dark and wet places under that cloud! There were plenty more of those coming and going during the day.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Lost the plot or right on the money?

It looks as though Air NZ may have lost the plot, with the airline apparently banning the carriage of electronic bag tags, such as the Apple Tag, in checked on bags (references here Air New Zealand, NZ Herald, Stuff). It also looks like an airline decision, rather that being driven by the regulator.

This comes a few weeks after Lufthansa upset a lot of people with a similar ban, but one which was overturned about one week later (NZ Herald).

With all the fuss (reasonable or otherwise) about lost baggage, it would be a real shame if airlines started clamping down on these trackers which, at the least, provide some hope when checked in bags are lost.

May be we'll see a similar backtrack from Air New Zealand soon.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

To Christchurch and back again

Earlier today I had a day trip to Christchurch. An early start [07:10 departure], which meant a practically inhumanly early, and at least antisocial, start to the day, getting up at 05:30. Sympathy is very welcome 😂.

It did mean it was about 16-17 minutes between my front door and the front door of the airport, and about 1 minute more to get to the gate, so I suppose it was not all bad.

It was an ATR72 both ways [urrrggghhhhh] but it's only a short trip, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much.

Before departure pictures... The first one is proof that it was still rather dull when I arrived at the airport. The second is my ride to Christchurch.

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

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVJ, also operated by Air New Zealand

Coming home this evening, the F/O announced that it is "slightly gusty" in Wellington. Clearly a great liar 😂, as the surface wind was reported as "330/23KT MAX 35 MIN 11", the 200' wind as "REP 340/46KT" and "MOD TO SEV WS AND TURB".

It was lumpy all the way in, but actually quite a fun ride. And I didn't have to pay extra for it! Ha ha

Anyway, photos on leaving Christchurch... the first picture is as we taxied out and the second as we past overhead Kaikoura and about 20-25 minutes before it got rather lumpy...😂

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVA waiting as we left

Crayfish land, aka Kaikoura

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Flying, visitors, engines

I had another competition practice today with about 30 minutes of simulated instrument flying. Not so flash - I definitely would not have won any prizes today!

Still it was safe, just not up to competition standards. Oh well, more practice to come! Today's aircraft was the Club's Piper PA38-112, ZK-EQX.

Piper PA39-112, ZK-EQX, operated by Wellington Aero Club

There was also a visiting aircraft here - a Vans RV7, ZK-JPH, which is registered to a Mount Maunganui address. It looks beautifully made and maintained. Very flash indeed.

Vans RV7, ZK-JPH

Lastly, here's a picture of an Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJS, being towed out. It ended up down the southern end of the airfield for an engine run, having spent a day in the Execujet hanger for some maintenance. Not the greatest photo - it was taken on my phone/

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

Monday, September 26, 2022

Been a while, again...

It has been a while since I posted anything - about 6 weeks - but here we are.

Since then, I have flown the C172, the CJ6A, and, today, the Piper PA38-112, ZK-WAC.

It is that time of the year again, and so time the practice for the Flying NZ Regional Competitions. This year, the Cook Strait region competitions are being held at Masterton in mid November, and again, for some reason, Wellington Aero Club wants me to compete in the Wigram Cup Instrument Flying [I/F] competitions. This competition consists of some basic partial panel instrument flying procedures.

I always enjoy the competition, and use it as my excuse to jump into a PA38 again [with an instructor] to get current and have 2 or 3 practices. Fun times!

Anyway, here's the aircraft and the FR24 track from today's flight. Not too bad considering it's been about 10 months since I flew a PA38 and about the same since I have had any I/F practice 😃. I was under the foggles (so I couldn't see outside) from Sinclair Head in the south around to Ohau Point in the west.

Piper PA38-112, ZK-WAC, operated by Wellington Aero Club

This is where we went :-)

Oh yeah, in case you are wondering - it was 48 minutes from start up to shutdown, and 36 minutes of I/F practice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Monday, August 08, 2022

Been a while... Sim time?

A couple of weekends ago I went down to Christchurch for the Flying NZ AGM and Conference. That was a lot of fun - a great opportunity to catch up with fellow aviators from around the country, to help set the direction of the organisation for the next year and to learn a lot, especially on the conference day.

Amongst all the business, there was time for a bit of fun. One bit of fun was taking a look at the IAANZ/ Canterbury Aero Club simulator facility. More than just a chance to take a look, but to have a "fly" in their A320 simulator. I understand they are open for bookings, even if you don't fly and just want to have a go.

This is not some home-built bit of kit, but a professionally built masterpiece. For my turn, we took off to the south and did a rather large figure-eight pattern to end up back on the ILS for runway 16. Pleased to say I didn't break anything! Taxiing was perhaps the hardest part, but as you see here, I did manage to park it at one of the gates. Fun times!

I guess there would only be a couple of more fun ways to fly an A320, and nobody is going to give me a full motion sim, or the real aircraft, so this is it for now! 😂

Monday, July 18, 2022

Weekend photos

After quite some time of not going out to get aircraft photos, here a few photos I took last weekend from Palmer Head.

Dassault-Brequest Falcon 50, N115MF

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-JSK, operated by Origin Air

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

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

Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NED, operated by Air New Zealand

Friday, July 15, 2022

Luxury two day escape to Wharekauhau!

 ... and help Wairarapa Flying Tigers to restore Harvard 33!

How to enter? Super simple, just click here for the Trademe auction!

Easy as, and supporting the Wairarapa Flying Tigers to get an awesome historic aircraft back in the air is a good thing to do!

North American AT-6C Harvard, Wairarapa Flying Tigers

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Nanchang fun

I recently went for a quick flight in the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. It was just over 1.5 hours, from Wellington, abeam Paraparaumu then Foxpine, to Tokomaru, across the ranges and down to Masterton. After a quick stop to refuel, we returned to Wellington.

Coming along for the ride was Ady, who took the photos and video in this post.


Off the coast from Paraparaumu

Just over the Tararua ranges

Heading south to Masterton

Short final for runway 06 at Masterton

Looking south from Greytown towards Palliser Bay

Lastly, the landing at Masterton wasn't too bad. I blame the shuddering on the videographer 😂😂

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Avplan online history

Here's a nice little feature available for subscribers to Avplan which was pointed out to me yesterday.

You can log in with your Avplan subscription and access flight history! Here's an example of a quick C172 flight back in April.

There are recorded flights from when I had my old iPad mini, as well as the new one. It seems that all you need is to have a flight plan open on the device when you go flying. Nice feature.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Been a while...

 ... since I last flew - one month to be precise.

Today's flight was just a series of circuits at Wellington International Airport, in the aero club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. Fun times, with sweet clearances, no delays and great weather.

Anyway, here's a reminder of what this awesome machine looks like.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Next up is a small video of today's Fiji Airways departure to Nadi [NFFN]. This is a Boeing 737-MAX8, DQ-FAD. It is good to see the regional operators returning to Wellington as the Covid restrictions are reduced.

This was shot on my new Samsung A73, so I'd say the image stabilisation is pretty good!