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...

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.