Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Airline pilots, on video, still have a sense of humour

Most airline cockpit videos I have seen, everyone is extremely straight-laced and there's hardly a misunderstood, or just missed, radio call.

This one is a little different with a crew that is professional but still very obviously have a sense of humour. It is well worth watching for just under 15 minutes. Ther are a several good snippets of information about how they are flying the A350 [tl;dr it is highly automated], although it's the last 5 minutes that the dry sense of humour comes out best.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Gulfstream G650 at Wellington

A couple of weeks ago [I'm in catch up mode!], this really nice Austrian registered Gulfstream G650, OE-LTF, was parked up at Wellington. The aircraft is operated by a company called Avcon Jet.

Gulfstream G650, OE-LTF, operated by Avcon Jet
Also at Wellington, but this time departing, was this Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-VXM, which is operated by Skyline Aviation. Not a great photo, but it looks great!

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-VXM, operated by Skyline Aviation

Friday, February 14, 2020

HBBPC 2020 - Cessna taildraggers

In this final planned post from the Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs for 2020 [the final planned post, but I might put one or two more up later...] I have photos of some of the Cessna taildraggers that competed.

First up is a Cessna 185, ZK-CAK, which is registered to a Wakefield address.

Cessna 185, ZK-CAK
ZK-BYJ is a Cessna 180C and is registered to an Oamaru address. I understand that in a past life it was operated by Mount Cook Airlines [happy to be corrected on that if I'm mistaken].

Cessna 180C, ZK-BYJ
Lastly, ZK-BJX is a beautifully presented Cessna 180, with is registered to Palms on George of a Pukekohe address.

Cessna 180, ZK-BJX

Thursday, February 13, 2020

HBBPC 2020 - Various taildraggers

The HBBPC bring out a few less common types to compete, and here are a couple of them.

The first is a Maule M-6-235, ZK-MTP. This aircraft is registered to a Blenheim address. It looks great with those big tires on it.

Maule M-6-235, ZK-MTP
Second is this large and [awesomely] noisy North American Harvard. I didn't catch the rego, unfortunately. The fluorescent livery stands out really well!

North American Harvard

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

HBBPC 2020 - Super Cubs

Healthy Bastards always has a good select of Piper PA18 Super Cubs entered and this year was no exception. Here are a few of the Super Cubs that competed [I know I missed ZK-BTU for some reason...].

This first one, is a PA18A-150, ZK-BOY. The "A" means it is an ex-agricultural model, and the -150 is [should be] the engine horsepower. This is a local machine, being registered to a Blenheim address.
Piper PA18A-150, ZK-BOY

ZK-CVC is a PA18-150 model and is registered to a Seddon [so fairly local] address.

Piper PA18-150, ZK-CVC

ZK-BTX is a PA18 model and is regstered to a Hastings address.

Piper PA18, ZK-BTX
ZK-JLB is a PA18-135 model and is registered to a Blenheim address.

Piper PA18-135, ZK-JLB

Lastly, this is ZK-BKN, which is a PA18A-150 model and is also registered to a Blenheim address. I have many good memories of this aircraft from when it was at Wanganui Aero Club a few years ago. This was the aircraft I received by PA18 rating, which was my first, and so far remains my only, taildragger rating. Fun times!

Piper PA18A-150, ZK-BKN

Friday, February 07, 2020

Waitangi Day Nanchanging

Last Thursday [Waitangi Day in New Zealand I went on a longer trip in the Nanchang. The plan was to fly from Wellington down to Rangiora, then up to Kaikoura and back home to Wellington.

I didn't quite get to Rangiora as there was some lower-level cloud a little north of Rangiora and with me being very unfamiliar with the area and in an aircraft with limited fuel [the Nanchang has 2.5 hours endurance], I elected to divert up to Kaikoura.

Aside from the cloud which stopped me, it was a fantastic day for flying! After crossing Cook Strait, I flew along the Awatere Valley to Molesworth Station. Here are a few photos from the Awatere Valley. It's a beautiful part of the country - I think I'll have to come here in winter.



I eventually got up to 8,500'. It's the highest I have taken the Nanchang so far. Full throttle was reached between 5,000' and 5,500' but it still generated about 600mm mercury power at 8,500', which is what is used for a local cruise, so I suppose that is not bad.


This photo is about 10nm prior to Molesworth Station and appears to have an airstrip on it. Google maps suggest it would be about 550 meters long.



From there I turned south directly on track to Rangiora, before turning north and landing at Kaikoura. Whale watching was in full force with boats and aircraft out - rather interesting hearing the aircraft coordinate their activities as I was flying in and out. A quick refuel and I headed back to Wellington.

The next two photos were taken as I crossed the Waiau River as I headed north to Kaikoura. What an amazing piece of the country! I was at about 2,500' at this point.



The obligatory picture of a cool aircraft at a really nice airfield - ZK-MAO at Kaikoura airfield.
Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, operated by Wellington Aero Club

All up, it was about 2.5 hours of flying and at least that much fun! For my final image, here's my track from the trip.


Thursday, February 06, 2020

HBBPC 2020 - Various taildraggers

This is the first of three posts with some of the taildraggers at the HBBPC.

The STOL competition has three categories - microlight, light touring and heavy touring. Within these, many of the taildraggers may have had a slight advantage [except for the microlight category where those awesome Zenair CH701's took out the first 3 places], but it still comes down to pilot skill.

Anyway, on to the taildraggers.

First up is a Zlin Aviation Savage, ZK-KSC, registered to a Mairehau [Christchurch] address.

Zlin Aviation Savage, ZK-KSC

Next up is a SkyStar Kitfox IV, ZK-JFA, of a Kaiapoi address.

SkyStar Kitfox IV, ZK-JFA

The next aircraft is a Titan T51 Mustang, ZK-TCV. Unlike some of the other T51's in the country, this one is registered as an amateur built aeroplane, instead of a microlight, due to its MUAW being over the microlight category. It has a beautiful finish on it and is pretty much local being registered to a Nelson address.

Titan T51 Mustang, ZK-TCV

Last up for this post is a Murphy rebel, ZK-VAN, truly is local, being registered to a Blenheim address.

Murphy Rebel, ZK-VAN

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

HBBPC 2020 - Tricycle aircraft

As you might expect at an event promoting strip flying, there were a lot of taildraggers entered, although there were also a lot of tricycle undercarriage aircraft. Many of them were C172's, although there were a few different types on offer.

Here are a few of them.

First up, a Cessna 172A, ZK-CKX, which is registered to a Timaru address. Being an A model, it certainly is old, but that's no impediment to a precision landing comp.

Cessna 172A, ZK-CKX, registered to a Timaru address

Next up is a Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-EQH, which is operated by Marlborough Aero Club. It's a really good example of a Hatchet having been well looked after by the aero club.

I think this was flown by several pilots in the precision landing comp and from memory there was an instructor on each flight. The reasons include one competitor being an Englishman who doesn't have a New Zealand licence and a couple of Marlborough Aero Club students. It's great to see some students having a go!

Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-EQH, operated by Marlborough Aero Club

Next up are three of my favourite aircraft from the comps. They are all Zenair CH701 STOLs and just looking at them you can see they are built for short takeoffs and landings. Needless to say they pulled off some impressive performances on the day, with ZK-NVY, ZK-JUG [previous post] and ZK-TIA getting 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the microlight category of the STOL comp.

I think if I were to own a microlight, one of these would be high on the list!

Zenair CH701 STOL, ZK-TIA, registered to a Rangiora address

Zenair CH701 STOL, ZK-SLO, also registered to a Rangiora address

Zenair CH701 STOL, ZK-NVY, registered to a Merivale [Christchurch] address

Monday, February 03, 2020

Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs 2020

Last Saturday was the annual Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs at Omaka aerodrome.

The champs have been running for eight years and this was the second time I attended, although to spectate, rather than compete, this time. The event is becoming a fixture on the aviation calendar with entries increasing every year. I think I might have to have another go next year - at least in the precision landing comp, but maybe the takeoff and landing comp also.

The day, of course, was filthy hot with very little breeze. Really for these events [including I would suggest the spectators] you want 20-30 knots wind and colder conditions Still, it is what it is and a fun day appeared to be had by all.

Anyway, this and next few posts will have a selection of pictures from the day. Enjoy!

First up is the Boeing-Stearman A75N1, ZK-KJO. This is an awesome looking WW2-era trainer from the USA. I reckon it would be fun to fly, and who doesn't like an aircraft with a nice big radial at the front?

Boeing-Stearman A75N1, ZK-KJO, operated by Classic Aircraft Sales Ltd
Next up is an entry from Wellington Aero Club and their CFI trying out the precision landing comp. Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, is not quite what it seems, with a 180Hp engine and a STOL kit. This was the aircraft I flew to and from Omaka, although as noted above, I wasn't competing.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club
The Healthy Bastards would not be the Healthy Bastards without Dr Dave and his passion for every pilot being a healthy bastard. This Cessna 172 is Dr Dave's personal transport which he uses to fly IFR all around the country, conducting aviation medicals and capturing dinners. Interesting perhaps is that it is an R172K, which I believe means it is a Reims model.

Cessna R172K, ZK-RJG, operated by Bulls Flying Doctor Service
Always a crowd favourite are the Zenair CH701 STOL aircraft. ZK-JUG [pictures of ZK-SLO and ZK-NVY will be in subsequent posts] is about to land. These aircraft are impressive... another aircraft I would like to fly one day! This one is registered to a Kaiapoi address.

Zenair CH701 STOL, ZK-JUG
Anyway, that's it for this post. there will be several more over the next couple of weeks with some of the interesting range of aircraft that competed.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Airliners from last weekend

For this last post for January, here are three "random" airliners from last weekend.

First up is the Singapore Airlines operated Airbus A350-941, 9V-SME, seen here departing to Melbourne, then to Singapore.

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SME, operated by Singapore Airlines
Next up is a Virgin Australia-operated Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIR. For a short time there were three Virgin B737's parked up at Wellington.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIR, operated by Virgin Australia International Airlines
Lastly we have an Air New Zealand operated Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEZ.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEZ, operated by Air New Zealand

Thursday, January 30, 2020

What a beautiful machine!

Ok, I might be a tad biased, but what a great machine!

This Nanchang CJ6A is owned by Wellington Warbirds Ltd and is operated through Wellington Aero Club.

Anyway, I have close to 20 hours on type now since starting to fly it late last year. It starts off as hard work with a lot going on, but once you have a few hours, it's not hard at all - just a few more considerations around starting the engine, taxying and general engine handling with the 285hp supercharged engine.

Are you interested in flying it? Well, there may be some shares available in a couple of months. Contact me know if you want to know more! It is a great introduction to warbird flying, fairly economical to run and a lot of fun! Insurance requirements are pretty basic also, requiring a PPL, a minimum of 100 hours total time and five hours on type [which would be worked off through the type rating].

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO / Nanchang 55, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

RAAF Falcon 7X

This post is of a Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] operated Falcon 7X, A56-001, which departed Wellington last weekend.

The RAAF operated [or very soon will operate] three of these aircraft, replacing the CL604 Challengers [such as this one] which are getting rather old...

Dassault Falcon 7X, A56001, operated by the RAAF

Dassault Falcon 7X, A56001, operated by the RAAF

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Vintage weekend in Whanganui

Last weekend was the annual vintage weekend in Whanganui. Unfortunately I didn't get up [I was busy flying the Nanchang CJ6A instead 😃], but I heard that the weather was fantastic.

In addition to everything happening in town, there were a number of visitors to the airport. This included the Air Chathams operated DC3 and the Consolidated Vultee PBY-5A Catalina, ZK-PBY, which is operated by The Catalina Company!

I've only got one photo, but it's a good one [thanks mum!] of the Catalina.

Consolidated Vultee PBY-5A Catalina, Zk-PBY, operated by The Catalina Company

Also, note how nice the weather was, compared by Wellington from my previous post!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sunday's no-fly day

Sunday's weather was "interesting".

Just a few miles north of here, the weather was really nice. In Wellington, however, it was cloudy and wet. When I say cloudy, I mean, some of it was on the ground and the met reports were, at one stage, saying overcast at 200'.

Clearly no flying for me on Sunday.

Here are a few photos of the day. I think you'll see what I mean!

View across to the western apron

Boeing 737-808, DQ-FJN, operated by Fiji Airways

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEZ, operated by Air New Zealand

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Wellington Anniversary Weekend flying

Last weekend was a busy time for flying, even with the terrible weather on Sunday.

Saturday, I collected Nanchang CJ6A ZK-MAO from Omaka [NZOM]  and then took it on another flight later that afternoon with Rhys The Pilot. We took the Owhiro departure then tracked north to have a look around Kapiti Island and came back on a City Arrival procedure. Fun times.

Sunday was a write-off with the weather.

Monday was a public holiday and so I got to take the Nanchang up again, this time for some circuits at Kapiti. After refueling, I took off again around Kapiti Island and back for another City Arrival.

On Monday evening, I took Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO up to Kapiti [NZPP] to collect someone else who was flying a C172N, ZK-EKE, up for a 100 hr maintenance check.

All in all, a good few hours of flying for the weekend. Despite all the flying though, there's only one photo... of the Nanchang after it was put to bed in the club hanger this afternoon.

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, operated by Wellington Aero Club [for Wellington Warbirds]