Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Three DHC8s at Wellington

More pictures from last Sunday, this time of three Bombardier DHC8's. The first two are from Air Nelson [Air NZ].

ZK-NEE is still in the "old" Air NZ Link livery.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEE, operated by Air Nelson [Air NZ]

ZK-NEA is in the new livery.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEA, operated by Air Nelson [Air NZ]

Lastly, a livery that will be disappearing at the end of this month, is the Jetstar livery on the Eastern Australia Airlines-operated DHC-8's. Jetstar is pulling all of it's regional routes in NZ. I expect that these aircraft will therefore return to Australia.

Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQD, operated by Eastern Australia Airlines for Jetstar

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Old and the New

I have two photos of ATR-GIE ATR72 aircraft from Mount Cook Airline. The first is an older, and on the way out, aircraft, ZK-MCB.

ATR-GIE ATR72-500, ZK-MCB, operated by Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ]

The second is one of Mount Cook Airline's newest ATR72-600 aircraft, ZK-MZA.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MZA, operate dby Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ]

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Wellington Aero Club aircraft

It was an interesting day for flying today. A bit of cloud around, but very smooth conditions.

I did get up for a brief flight. I was planning on going to D'Urville Island, but with the cloud the way it was and not being sure of being able to get back if it clagged in, I turned back early. The aircraft [as usual for strip flying] was the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, pictured here prior to departure.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club
The unexpected sight today though was a temporary Piper PA38-112, ZK-TDL. I understand we're using this for a week or 2 to cover some maintenance on ZK-WAC, so get your picrures while you can! It is currently registered to Kapiti Districts Aero Club and owned by a local engineer.

Piper PA38-112, ZK-TDL, operated by WAC, registered to KDAC

You can see the light wasn't great for photos, but I have to start rebuilding my collection somehow!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Air NZ A320-232

It has been a rather annoying week.

I managed to lose all my images and video when someone "helpfully" encrypted, then offered to decrypt [for an exceeding large fee] all the photos and videos I had on my NAS. I suppose it serves me right for not protecting the data well enough.

Needless to say I'll have to spend a lot of time taking photos and there will be a lot I can't replace. Stink. I will need to do some tripping around to get some more - just as well I have airpoints... and I will get better at protecting these new images...

Anyway, here is the first of the new set. An Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXD, at Christchurch last weekend.

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

Monday, September 23, 2019

Fiji Airways "baby" Boeing at Wellington

Last Sunday, Fiji Airways flew their Boeing 737-7X2, DG-FJF, into Wellington. The -700 series is a smaller sibling of the very common -800 series. The -600 is smaller still, but there were very few of those built.

Boeing 737-7X2, DQ-FJF, operated by Fiji Airways

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lancair ES

Yesterday's interesting visitor was this Lancair ES, ZK-EDZ, which is registered to an Upper Moutere address.

The aircraft is an amateuir built aircraft, and from what I can see, it was imported from the USA around 2013/ 2014. It was first registerd in NZ in 2015.

As I noted the last time I saw this aircraft back in 2017, it's a fast aircraft with a cruise speed between 180 and 190 knots. I'm thinking it would be a fun machine to fly and a great way to go places!

Lancair ES, ZK-EDZ, registered to an Upper Moutere address

Saturday, September 07, 2019

1.9 hours of fun

Today's fun flight was planned as a trip to D'Urville Island with another club member. The weather was good enough, but with a decent crosswind on the island airstrip, that was a no go.

We then diverted to Omaka Aerodrome for fun and fuel, which consisted of a nice trip towards Hastings township [not the North Island one!], then through the Woodbourne Control Zone to Omaka, fuel and back to Wellington. All up, it was 1.9 hours of fun flying.

The picture shows the plan and then our actual flightpath in green.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Virgin Australia Boeing 737

Today's picture is of a Virgin Australia-operated Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIY, departing Wellington on one of Virgin's trans-Tasman trips last Sunday afternoon.

Look closely at the second photo and you may see a small condensation trail emanating inboard [or on the right hand side of] the left hand engine. It wasn't particularly humid today - conditions must have been just right.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIY, operated by Virgin Australia

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIY, operated by Virgin Australia

Monday, September 02, 2019

Lifeflight Wellington

Today's photo is of a Lifeflight Wellington [Air Ambulance]-operated Jetstream J32, ZK-LFT. This is operated by Air Frieght NZ on behalf of Lifeflight.

Jetstream J32, ZK-LFT, operated by Air Freight NZ

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Singapore Airlines aircraft change

A much anticipated announcement from Singapore Airlines recently was that they will be swapping their old Boeing 777-200's for new Airbus A350- 900's on their Wellington-->Melbourne-->Singapore route from 1 November 2019.

Passengers will notice a major improvement with the new aircraft type have a modern business class cabin and the introduction of a premium economy cabin. I imagine it will be a nicer ride for economy passengers also.

The last [and first] time an Airbus A350 operated into Wellington were trials by Airbus themselves, back in June 2018 [details here].

Today's photos are of Sunday's departure from Wellington, the aircraft being Boeing 777-212/ER, 9V-SQL. I can't say I'll miss these old B777's. They really are showing their age and it's always nice to have something a little newer appear.

Boeing 777-212/ER, 9V-SQL, operated by Singapore Airlines

Boeing 777-212/ER, 9V-SQL, operated by Singapore Airlines

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Killing Zone. How and why pilots die

I have just finished reading a very interesting book, called The Killing Zone. How and why pilots die.

Obviously a fairly morbid, yet attention grabbing, title, but well worth a read.

The author, Paul A Craig, is an American instructor pilot and the book looks at examples of, and reasons why, pilots crash their perfectly good aircraft, often [though not always] with rather fatal consequences.

It is obviously based on the author's experience and research and makes a few asumptions relating to the American environment. For example, it appears that private pilots in the USA end up with a night rating along with their PPL, and a sizable percentage of PPLs in the USA get instrument ratings. Both of these would be unusual in New Zealand. It would pay to keep in mind that examples of rules and practices can be materially different in New Zealand.

If I were to summerise the book, it would be to say that when a pilot has little experience and takes risks, they are more likely to end up the guest of honour at a party you don't want to be at. Secondly, if you actively manage risks [including having personal minimums] and continue to learn [higher licences, instruments ratings maybe type ratings and a bit of dual], that party is more likely to wait until you're much much older. 😀

The Killing Zone is well worth the read. It would be interesting to know if the statistics in New Zealand are similar - maybe an interesting research paper for someone?

Anyway, if anyone wants to borrow the book, I'm happy to lend it out - you'll need to pick up from me in Wellington of course, or get your own copy from BookDepository.com.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Beechcraft Bonanza, currency and another ADSB installation

The Bonanza

Today's interesting aircraft was a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, ZK-TRC, which is registered to a Warkworth [north Auckland area] address.

The Bonanza was designed in the 1960's, originally with a V Tail instead of the normal vertical tail seen on ZK-TRC. I've never flown a Bonanza, maybe one day, although I do have the Nanchang to get my head around, and to enjoy, first!

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, ZK-TRC

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, ZK-TRC

In other news, I flew a Cessna 172 for the first time in just over three months today. It was a dual checkout for currency and involved a flight to Paraparaumu, three circuits with a crosswind component of around 11-12 knots and then returned to Wellington. Fun times!

I have an instructor on board for the flight [club rules require a dual checkout if a pilot is not current] and another pilot in the back along for the ride. The aircraft was Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO.

Another ADSB Installation

The owners of Piper PA28-161, ZK-KAT, which is online with Wellington Aero Club now has an ADSB transponder installed, along with some other minor updates.

Here's hoping someone gets a photo of this aircraft onto Jetphotos.com, as it is now appearing on Flightradar24.com and other similar services 😀

I hear that, weather permitting, ZK-KAT and ZK-EKE [also ADSB equipped] will be heading down and around the South Island in the next few days, so keep a look out as they come to an aerodrome near you!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

More Nanchang training pictures

Yesterday I received a very welcome gift of some more photos of the Nanchang CJ6A, from Tim Gorman. Tim took these photos between my first two training flights on 27 July, when my instructor and I were in Paraparaumu for a short time.

The first photos is of the arrival [I'm in the back seat], then parked up after refueling, taxying for departure then airbourne.

Since this, I have had a cross country to Hastings, Waipukurau and Masterton and a couple sessions of circuits, culminating in my first solo on type. Hopefully just one or two more flights and I'll have a type rating.

Anyway, here are the photos. Thanks Tim!

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, owned by Wellington Warbirds Ltd

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, owned by Wellington Warbirds Ltd

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, owned by Wellington Warbirds Ltd

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, owned by Wellington Warbirds Ltd

Monday, August 12, 2019

Wellington Airport's official reopening October 1959

Last weekend I was given a copy of the offical souvenir booklet from the reopening of Wellington airport, way back in October 1959.

This reopening occured after the airport was rebuilt with a new sealed runway, a runway extension [how topical!] and associated infrastructure.

The booklet is 70 pages long and contains parts of the history of the airfield, along with numerous contemporary aircraft and pitches from aircraft manufacturers. There are mentions of the various airlines that did, or could have flown in as well as Wellington Aero Club and some pretty awesome photos of aircraft long gone for the skies.

BTW - it is Wellington Aero Club's 90th anniversary this year, so stay tuned for more on that over the coming months!

Anyone who follows my twitter feed [twitter.com/flying_geek] will know that I have tried, and failed, to claim the awesome prize of free flights from NAC, TEAL and Trans Australia Airlines, along with two weeks accomodation and spending money [£50!], to the Surfers Paradise in Australia. Looks like being born after the opening didn't help my cause...! I was looking forward to flights on the Electra and Viscount in particular 😀

Anyway, here's the title page and a couple of others. I hope that over the next week or so I can photograph all 70-something pages and recreate a PDF. I know that there's some interest in it, so once it's done, I'll look at making it available. Do be patient with me though!

Anyway, here are the photos as a taster of what is to come.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

More circuits, and then... even more excitement

Before I get into the meat of this post, special thanks to Paul Le Roy, a local photographer [and a very good one at that!] who supplied this photo of my instructor and I bashing the circuit yesterday. Thanks Paul! Hopefully there are more pictures like this to be had in the coming weeks, months and years!

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, owned by Wellington Warbirds Ltd
Anyway, I wasn't expecting to fly today. I didn't have a booking and the weather wasn't forecast to be great.

Ever optimistic however, I put all my flight gear in the car and headed out to the Club... only to find that two slots had come free... so flying for me!

After the usual preflight and worrying about whether or not I'd manage to start the engine from cold [it's a 9 cylinder radial, I think you have to experience it to understand!], it all worked out well and it wasn't too long before the instructor and I were airborne for some more circuits.
The wind was a bit odd for Wellington - we don't usually get much crosswind, although today was one of those days we did. Thankfully the crosswind died away just above the deck.

Until the instructor jumped out of course [thanks Andrew!].

Yep. My first solo in the mighty Nanchang CJ6A today!

I left it at a couple of circuits as that crosswind picked up - by my second landing, there was a 12 knot crosswind component, gusting up to 18 knots. It ended up being one of the better crosswind landings I have done, but still a great time to quit in case I ended up doing one of the worst on the next circuit! 😀

Obligatory post-first solo photo!
That's a big thumbs up from me after the flight! BTW - it's not shown well there, but it's an Aeroflot t-shirt that I'm wearing... didn't have anything Nanchang-y available for the occasion 😀

It is amazing what you can get up to at an Aero Club. Click here to find your local club!

So, what's next?

In a couple of weeks I have another flight to a different aerodrome, to polish up operations in a "normal" circuit. A bit of dual and a bit of solo and I should be close to the rating being signed off. Happy days!

Lastly, would you like to fly this amazing machine? It's currently only available to syndicate owners. So, if you have a PPL, at least 100 hours and can satisfy the syndicate owners needs [including the aircraft being based in Wellington and being willing to purchase a share], talk to me! We also happen to have a great instructor here to get you underway!