Sunday, October 18, 2020

Round-the-world Cessna 182 at Wellington

Yesterday I got to see something a little unusual in the Aero Club hanger - an American-registerd Cessna 182R, N9953H!

This aircraft is in the middle of an around-the-world trip which has been caught up in the Covid19 lockdown.

In addition to flying around the world, the pilot is seeking donations for a charity called African Promise. details of the flying, which has taken the pilot through the USA, middle east, down the Asia and Australia to new Zealand are on his website www.katamarino.com - a very interesting read!

Cessna 182R, N9953H

Sundry logos on the aircraft

African Promise logo from the aircraft

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Canterbury Aero Club PA28

About a week ago, this Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-LJO, visited from Christchurch. This aircraft is operated by the Canterbury Aero Club and was here on an IFR training flight.

Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-LJO, operated by Canterbury Aero Club

Friday, October 16, 2020

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang

I'm really in catch up mode now, with another photo from a couple of weekends ago.

This one is of Skyline Aviation's Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-VXM. I reckon these are great looking aircraft, but maybe just add some "teeth" on the front for a bit more "attitude"? 😂

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-VXM, operated by Skyline Aviation of a Napier address

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The bandages have gone...

One of Life Flight's air ambulances has recently returned to service after a bit of a "birthday". The most obvious changes are the new livery and the introduction of 5-bladed props.

The old livery was the Weta-designed "bandages" livery. The new one is simpler but in some ways stands out better with the bold red fuselage.

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight for Life Flight

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight for Life Flight

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Marlborough Aero Club Cessna 172

Last weekend we had a quick visit from a Cessna 172E, ZK-OMR, which is operated by the Marlborough Aero Club from Omaka airfield.

It's a nice machine, with a mainly red fuselage and the rest being polished metal. From memory, it has a 180hp engine also, so it's got a lot of "up and go".

I've included a closeup of the decal on the tail - I've participated in the Health Bastards Bush Pilot Championships once and have watched a couple of times - it is a great spectacle but even better to participate in!

Cessna 172E, ZK-OMR, operated by Marlborough Aero Club

Decal on the tail of ZK-OMR

Monday, October 12, 2020

Visiting Archer

Last weekend we had a visiting Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-EBZ, which is operated by Mid Canterbury Aero Club of Ashburton [aka Ashvegas].

Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-EBZ, operated by Mid Canterbury Aero Club

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Piper Tomahawk time

Yesterday I flew a Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk for the first time in a while. It was a good opportunity for a bit of dual and a quick refresher on basic instrument flying. I am rusty 😀

The weather wasn't quite as nice as yesterday. It was a bit breezier which made things interesting but overall a fun time.

Aircraft for today was ZK-FML. Legend has it, it is the fastest Tomahawk in the country [that might be B.S. but it sounds like a good rumour....!]

Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-FML, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Friday, October 09, 2020

Fabulous Friday Foray to Far-off Feature-rich Fields

Earlier this afternoon I took off from Wellington, headed to Whanganui to refuel, then up to Waiouru and the Desert Road corridor to Taupo, to refuel both the aircraft and myself.

After we both had a quick drink 😀 I took off out of Taupo, headed across to the western side of the mountains, then down around the Chateau, Ohakune, Whanganui and back to Wellington.

This was my first time into Taupo in probably 20 years and the first time I have seen the Chateau airstrip [I really do need to go visit it one day...]. The cloud was few to scattered at 6,500', and perhaps broken up against the mountains, so there were no hilltops to see unfortunately.

Also, unlike the trip from a couple of days ago, I had no passenger, so the quality of the photography has decreased somewhat... but here they are!

Heading north. Left to right: Mounts Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro

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

Heading south. Left to right; Mounts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe

Heading south. Mount Ruapehu with the top 3000' hiding in the cloud

Lastly, thanks to those who made me feel welcome as I tripped around today! Kindhearted souls offered to throw me out of a plane in Taupo [it's not the fall that kills you...], invited me to visit their place near the Chateau [yep, need to do this!] and questioned why I wasn't visiting them in Whanganui [when they missed me a few hours earlier...]. Also, sweet-as ATC clearances departing and arriving at Wellington today! Thanks team! A great day to fly!

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Wairau Valley, Dip Flat, Omaka and Wellington

I start a new job next Monday, so this week is all about trying to get some flying in! Yesterday I went for a jaunt with Ger, from Wellington across towards Omaka, passing through the transit lane to the Domes reporting point, then up the Wairau Valley.

Near the western end of the Wairau Valley we turned left and headed up to look around Dip Flat reporting point, before heading back to Omaka to refuel and stretch the legs. From there, we headed back to Wellington. 

It was a good day for a flight and we had a lot of fun! Don't think I quite sold Ger on flying the Nanchang though! 😂

Anyway, here are some photos and video from Ger [thanks for sharing!].

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

Crossing Cook Strait, looking north-west towards the Marlborough Sounds

Looking west along the Wairau Valley

Looking west as we track to Dip Flat

On the ground at Omaka

A view of Wellington City. A nice compact CBD!

A brief video looking west across the ranges.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Sounds Air Pilatus PC12

Here's a quick snap of a Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLZ I got last week. It's a really nice "corporate" livery!

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

Monday, October 05, 2020

Gulfstream Aerospace G650ER

This Gulfstream Aerospace G650ER, A7-CGD, was parked up at Wellington on Saturday, having arrived a day or so earlier. This aircraft is operated by Qatar Amiri Flight [according to their website] is a "private VVIP airline [which] operates exclusively for the Royal Family and high ranked government staff of the State of Qatar".

No idea what it is doing here considering the current Covid19 restrictions, but a guess would be to repatriate some Qatari citizens - that is of course only a guess.

Gulfstream Aerospace G650ER, A7-CGD, operated by Qatar Amiri Flight

Also looks like it has been a bit windy here recently... 😂

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Jetstar is back flying

It seems that when New Zealand's Covid alert level gets high enough to require social distancing, Jetstar Airways decides that it's not worth while flying. To be fair, it might not be financially worth it.

This means that Jetstar has recently started flying again after a shutdown brought on by the recent [now contained] Covid outbreak in Auckland... so, here's one of their A320's landing at Wellington last weekend.

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Today's flight

I went flying today in my Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. The plan was to head overhead Lake Station and Murchiston to Westport for fuel, then overhead Karamea to Nelson for more fuel then home again.

The weather was mostly good, until I got just past Lake Station, where it was a rubbish, a bit rainy and with cloud down on the hills. I wasn't sure I could go south to get into Westport [and in any case, I didn't have a lot of excess fuel anyway], so I diverted to Nelson. After refueling in Nelson, I took a Bolder departure, then headed to The Brothers and back to Wellington for a 16 City Arrival. 

Fun times! In the followed screen shot from Avplan, the red track was the planned track and the green track is what I actually flew.

Lockheed C130H

This past week or so has certainly had some interesting weather! In Wellington, even us locals have been commenting on the wind, with gusts up around 60 knots [about 110km/hr] at times. On the past weekend, the crosswind component was gusting up over 30 knots at times.

As you may have seen from previous posts, this has provided a bit of excitement for those of us on the ground watching others landing with more go-arounds than I have seen on a single day previously. Still, as I always say "go-arounds are a perfectly normal procedure and nothing to get excited about". they can look interesting though.

This set of photographs is of a Royal New Zealand Air Force operated Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, landing at Wellington. You can see from the second photo that there was a strong crosswind, which is fairly unusual for Wellington, but very prominent recently.

Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Air NZ turboprops

Last Saturday, I had a brief trip to Christchurch and back on Air NZ. Both flights were in ATR-GIE ATR72 aircraft and were about as comfortable as you've expect in an ATR72 😀 The weather was fine during my flights which was nice, and everything ran to time.

As I noted in my past post however, Sunday was a "bit different" with strong gusty winds making for some go-arounds and [what I imagine to be] some fairly turbulent rides about the country.

Here are some photos of the Air NZ-operated turboprops which made it into and out of Wellington during the weekend. The first one is an ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVP, which just happened to be the aircraft I flew down to Christchurch on yesterday [could have done with a clean, Air NZ...].

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVP, operated by Air NZ

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MZB, operated by Air NZ

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