Saturday, December 14, 2019

Dashing around

I'm into catch up mode, having taken a number of nice photos recently. With any luck, I'll be able to keep the regular posts coming [maybe even a couple a week or so], but time will tell.

This post is of two Bombardier DHC-8-311's departing Wellington last weekend. I really like how the aircraft is highlighted by the light, even with the obviously gloomy background.

The first is ZK-NEW and is painted in the current Air NZ livery.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEW, operated by Air NZ

The second is ZK-NEF and is still in the previous livery from some years ago.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEF, operated by Air NZ
Lastly, and very worthy of note is that Air Nelson and Mount Cook Airline operations have been merge onto the Air NZ AOC [Air Operations Certificate], hence the "operated by Air NZ" on the image labels, instead of "operated by Air NZ". Thanks to @zkarj for reminding me of this!

Friday, December 13, 2019


In this final post of a series of them from last Saturday, here's a nice photo of an ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVK, departing Wellington. Looks like the sun came out just at the right time to highlight the aircraft.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVK, operated by Mount Cook Airline

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Virgin Australia B737 with Max-like winglets

Virgin Australia's Saturday afternoon arrival was in Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIV.

Looking closely, you may notice that the winglets on this aircraft are not the standard B737-800 series winglets. Instead, they look rather more like the MAX series winglets.

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

Don't let looks confuse, however, this is definitely a -800 series aircraft. The MAX series won't be flying again until some time in 2020 [and I'm not going to guess when that might be!]. This is just an option for the NG series aircraft. Looks good though!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Saturday's Singapore Airlines arrival and departure

Saturday's Singapore Airlines arrival and departure were interesting to watch in the prevailing blustery conditions, but as you would expect, rather uneventful.

On Saturday the flight was in Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMI. The two photos show the arrival and then the departure.

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMI, operated by Singapore Airlines

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMI, operated by Singapore Airlines
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see an arrival on Sunday, as they had two attempts then diverted to Christchurch.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Fiji Airways Boeing 737-7X2

Today's post is from Sunday afternoon, looking at the Fiji Airways departure back to Nadi.

This flight used their Boeing 737-7X2, DQ-FJF, which, as the photo shows quite well, is one of the smallest Boeings being flown now. It was also a bit wet 😀

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

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Lifeflight Australia Ltd air ambulance

A surprise photo on Saturday morning was a Learjet 45, VH-CXJ, which is operated by Lifeflight Australia.

I haven't looked up when it arrived, but here it is departing Wellington mid-morning on Saturday. As you may be able to tell from the photos, the weather wasn't great. What you can't tell from the photos is that it was very windy wih a strong westerly component [up to 60 knots at 2000']. Unlikely to be a problem a few minutes after departure, but perhaps uncomfortable until then.

Anyway, here are the photos.

Learjet 45, VH-CXJ, operated by Lifeflight Australia

Learjet 45, VH-CXJ, operated by Lifeflight Australia

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Go arounds [and a little aviation "secret"]

It has been rather windy in Wellington today, with winds gusting up to around 60 knots on the ground. This, of course, meant a bit more work for the pilots, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I imagine it would have been a rather "exciting" ride for any passengers who are not familiar with a bit of turbulence!

At least three flights today went around and I got photos of two of them - both Qantas B737's - as they passed overhead the runway. An unusual view perhaps, but interesting.

First up is Boeing 737-838, VH-VYZ. This was just after an Air NZ A320 go-around and both aircraft headed around for a second attempt and a successful landing.

Boeing 737-838, VH-VYZ, operated by Qantas

Second up is Boeing 737-838, VH-XZC. This one did not make a second attempt and headed up north to what I presume was [but didn't check] a diversion to Auckland.

Boeing 737-838, VH-XZC, operated by Qantas

Now, just one thing that does annoy me a little. Sometimes people get rather too excited about a go-around. On occasions, social media lights up with "Qantas/ Air NZ/ Emirates/ Whatever Airline XYZ went around this afternoon! Does anyone know what happened??!??".

If you are one of these people, allow me to you let in on a little aviation "secret".

A go-around is a common procedure. It doesn't happen every day, but it is common and is normal.

If you are ever tempted to get too excited, please say the following 5 times: "A go-around is perfectly normal and nothing to get excited about". Preferably out loud so those around you can hear it also. ha ha

Thank you 👍

Friday, December 06, 2019

Dunning-Kruger Effect

This is not exactly aviation, but very related to aviation.

It's a video explaining the Dunning-Kruger Effect. A good [just under] 9 minute watch 👍

Monday, December 02, 2019

The National Airways Corporation returns??

Not quite NAC, but instead it is the Air Chathams operated DC3C-S1C3G, ZK-AWP, which has been repainted in this awesome NAC livery from many years ago!

This photo was taken outside of the Wanganui Aero Club last Saturday. Thanks to Leroy for supplying the picture.

I really should get my act together and go for a flight on this one day. I hear a rumour that there may be some summer scenic flights available, but I'm not seen anything official as yet. I probably should get a ride on a Convair before they disappear also...

Anyway, here's the aircraft.

Douglas DC3C-S1C3G, ZK-AWP, operated by Air Chathams

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Nanchang time!

I had the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, for the whole day today. The plan was to head up to Whanganui and take my father for a ride.

I had to wait for a while since there was low cloud at Whanganui, but that burnt off exactly as forecast, so around 10:30 I headed off from Wellington. The only cloud I encountered was between Wellington and Paekakariki, but once past Paekakariki, the skies were clear for the rest of the trip.

After arriving, refuelling and parking up, we had lunch, followed by a quick local flight around the greater Whanganui area, to the north then across to Kai Iwi and a bit further west, then back to Aramoho and back to land. Another refuel and I was soon on my way back home to Wellington. Also, Auckland Aero Club was at Whanganui on their way south. Hi Gavin!

Anyway, here are a few photos. Thanks dad for sending them!

Int his first photo, there are three of the 6 or 7 Auckland Aero Club aircraft, ZK-CAA from a local flight training operator and ZK-CIZ, a Saab 340 from Air Chathams. The photo was taken from the old control tower.

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

Airbourne from Whanganui's runway 14

On the way back, north of Whanganui

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wellington Aero Club is 90! (post 2 of 2)

Following on from yesterday's post, here are a few more photos from last weekend's open day.

Hopefully, those of you who were able to get there enjoyed the day! I know that many of you took the opportunity to take flight for your first lesson/ trial flight with one of the Aero Club's instructors [I've seen lots of FB posts which indicated this was a lot of fun!]. There were also lots of fantastic photos and videos taken, so thanks for sharing those!

Lastly, weather permitting, my next flight is this coming Saturday, where I'll be taking the Nanchang up to Whanganui for a brief visit. Maybe see you there?!

Beechcraft Kingair 350, NZ2353, operated by the RNZAF

Beechcraft Kingair 350, NZ2353, operated by the RNZAF

Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-HLF, operated by Helilink

BAC BAC167 Strikemaster Mk88, ZK-BAC, operated by BAC 167 Strikemaster Ltd

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Wellington Aero Club is 90! (post 1 of 2)

Last weekend was Wellington Aero Club's 90th Anniversary celebration!

Celebration activities included our first open day in several years on the Western Apron, followed by a really nice dinner at the Rydges hotel in the main airport terminal.

Anyway, on to the open day. I'm not sure how many people came through, but it seemed to be a steady stream throughout the day which was good. It was particularly good to have support from Lifeflight and Westpac Rescue, Sounds Air, the RNZAF, Kapiti Warbirds [owners of ZK-END], BAC167 Strikemaster Ltd and airport rescue who all sent aircraft [and a fire engine] in to support the day.

I was a bit busy, so didn't take many photos. Thank you to Ron Edmands for most of these photos, as indicated.

North American Harvard 3*, ZK-END, operated by Kapiti Warbirds

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Cessna 208 Caravan, ZK-PDM, operated by Sounds Air

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Lifeflight

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Lifeflight

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Lifeflight

Thursday, November 14, 2019

BFR done

Last Tuesday I completed the flying portion of my Biennial Flight Review [BFR]. This is a check that is needed every two years to confirm continued competence and to ensure I am updated on anything significant that has changed in the aviation world over the past couple of years. The aircraft was Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE.

My goodness, it was a fun flight! The instructor and I managed to get the few hours of perfect weather in what has otherwise been a period of rather poor weather. We could not have had it better. A gentle crosswind at Paraparaumu, smooth flying conditions everywhere and one of the best evenings to fly on that I have ever encountered.

EKE has a 180hp engine and a STOL kit. This means you can actually fly it at 50 knots indicated [with no flap] and do a rate one turn. It gets airborne super quick also. It can be a bit tricky slowing it down if you're not sufficiently ahead of the aircraft.

In 1.9 hours, we covered everything, including a trip up to Paraparaumu, across to Upper Hutt and then to the southern Wairarapa area for a forced landing and some low flying. Given it was evening, we came back as it was getting darker and landed a few minutes before ECT [if we had been delayed, the instructor was night current and I'm night rated, so it hardly would have mattered].

I don't have any photos from the flight, but then, I doubt they would have done justice to what we could see. Smooth flying conditions, amazing visibility and a fun fun fun time... I learned something and got reminded of a couple of things also... just how a BFR should be!

Anyway, flights are also booked in the Nanchang between now and Christmas, so I should be able to get some tripping around done. Watch out Whanganui, I'm heading your way in 2.5 weeks if the weather gets better 😎

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Older and newer Airbus'

Last Saturday I saw one of Air New Zealand's older Airbus A320-232's, ZK-OJH and one of their newest aircraft, an A321-271NX, ZK-NNB.

ZK-OJH is one of two [that I can recall] Air NZ A320's in a special livery, this one being the Star Alliance livery.

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

Airbus A320-271NX, ZK-NNB, operated by Air New Zealand

Monday, November 11, 2019

A soon to be disappearing operator...

Another picture from the weekend is the soon to be disappearing [from New Zealand skies at least] operator, Eastern Australia Airlines, operating for Jetstar, and their Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQL.

These DHC-8's will be leaving New Zealand at the end of this month and [presumably] returning to Australia.

Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQL, operated by Eastern Australia Airlines/ Jetstar