Sunday, December 30, 2007

A tale of two Cessnas :-)

Here are a couple of pictures of recent arrivals at Wellington. The first is a Cessna 150 that has parked outside of the Aero Club. ZK-DOB is registered to a Hamilton address, and has an interesting paint scheme.

The second is a Citation Jet CJ-3 just landing at Wellington and about to taxi to the eastern [main] apron. This CJ-3 [ZK-TBM] is registered to Pacific Jets in Christchurch.

Cessna C150Cessna Citation CJ-3

Another C172 online at Wellington Aero Club

Wellington Aero Club has another C172 online for a while. ZK-FLT is a C172N and has been around a few operators in the past 24 or so years in the country, mostly around Ardmore, Tauranga and Palmerston North. I first saw this aircraft when I was flying out of Ardmore a few years ago.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Armee de L'Air CASA CN-235 at Wellington

I spotted a French Air Force [Armee de l'Air] CASA CN-235 at Wellington today. I'm not sure when it arrived, but I did see it leave this morning. This is the second time that I spotted one of these departing Wellington. The first time was a year or so ago, when I mistook it for a Transall C-160 [the two aircraft are fairly similar at first glance].

While it is somewhat smaller then a C130 Hercules [including of 2 engines!], it has a similar configuration to the C130 with a high wing, "mid" tail and a rear loading ramp.

The first picture is of it parking on the RNZAF Air Movements apron at Wellington, the second taxiing and the third, airborne off runway 34.

French CASA CN-235French CASA CN-235French CASA CN-235

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas to you, your family and your friends!

Thanks for taking the time to visit, to leave comments, and in doing so to provide support and encouragement for me to continue these aviation ramblings.

May you have an enjoyable, restful, refreshing and safe Christmas! I hope to "see" you around here again next year! Merry Christmas particularly to my friends/visitors from Wellington [hello WACers], Auckland [greetings AAC and NSAC] and Hamilton [gidday Waikato Aero Club]!



P.S.: No, I don't believe in Santa - that should be obvious - but here's a picture of Santa at the North Pole, and perhaps a suggestion as to why global warming would be bad [or good, depending on your particular bent!]

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cross country passenger

I went out to the Aero Club this morning and ended up getting invited along for a cross-country flight as a passenger [Yippee!]. The plan for the flight was Wellington- Paraparaumu [touch and go] -Wanganui [full stop landing]- overhead Waverley- return to Wellington.

It was a good flight, and I managed to get a few photos [of varying quality...], as follows. Top to bottom are:
- Climbing out from Wellington
- Looking towards Wellington Airport / Lyall Bay
- The Hutt Valley [north of Wellington, just north of Avalon]
- Approaching Paraparaumu Airfield
- Kapiti Island [just west of Paraparaumu]
- Approaching Wanganui
- Wanganui Airport apron
- The old Wanganui Control Tower [has not been manned for many years]
- Piper Archer PA28-181 from Air Hawkes Bay visiting Wanganui

Enjoy [I did!]!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter

Now this is a picture that I am particularly happy with [if I do say so myself!]. It is a Taranaki-based rescue helicopter that visited Wellington earlier today. I snapped this as it was departing, and it turned out surprisingly well. I particularly like the illusion of an air-to-air shot with the lack of ground features, even though in reality I was about 3 feet AGL [above ground level] and the helicopter was probably not much more than 150 - 200 feet AGL.

Unfortunately I did not get its registration and so, not being a helicopter buff in any respect, I can't even tell you what type it is [I'm hoping someone can enlighten me... hint... hint...!], much less any other details.

Taranaki-based Rescue Helicopter

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Smaller chopper at Wellington

Just a couple of random pictures of a Hughes 269C at Wellington a couple of weekends ago. This one was only here for a few minutes before departing again.

Hughes 269CHughes 269C

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Piper PA31 Navajo Air Ambulance

A Piper Navajo equiped as an air ambulance visited the Wellington Aero Club for refueling today. After a quick chat with the pilot [who did a bit of instructing at the Aero Club last year], I was given the OK to pop in and have a look. Apparently the aircraft is really good to fly with good, pilot-friendly characteristics.

On another note, it was a stinking hot day today. The ATIS was reporting 27 degrees [Celsius] at one stage, and it was humid. Kinda glad I was not stuck inside an aircraft today :-)

Here's a couple of pictures I snapped while it was here.

Piper PA31 NavajoPiper PA31 NavajoPiper PA31 Navajo

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Westpac Rescue Helicopter

While assisting with the Aero Club Working Bee [see previous post] today, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter [normally parked a little further down the apron] stopped down our end of the apron for a few minutes. Here are a couple of shots I got as it lifted off and turned to head back to its base.

Westpac Rescue HelicopterWestpac Rescue Helicopter

Aero Club Working Bee

The Aero Club had its annual pre-Christmas working bee today. Apart from the "normal" activities of giving the club house and surrounds a good scrub and clean, we were also able to almost finish the hanger door project.

Today's activities included putting on the door handles [a seemingly small task that makes a big difference!] and replacing the surface of the front of the hanger either side of the doors. Once that was done, the Club's yellow panels with the logo were reattached. It's starting to look a lot smarter now!

Here's a couple of pictures., The first is a little after the work was done, and the second at the end of the day. After this, we all retired to the bar for a drink and BBQ. What an awesome day!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

RNZAF C130 Hercules

These are pictures of an RNZAF C130 Hercules that came into and out of Wellington today. Apparently this particular aircraft made at least a couple of visits today, this time coming in VFR [Visual Flight Rules]. The first two pictures are on arrival and the second two on departure a few minutes later.

RNZAF C130 HerculesRNZAF C130 HerculesRNZAF C130 HerculesRNZAF C130 Hercules

Are your reaction times any good?

Here's a fun site that allows you to test your reaction times. It's based in Adobe Flash, so you'll need a plugin for this [most browsers have this anyway].

Unfortunately, it's quite addictive!

Sheep Reaction

Leave a comment with your best reaction times!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cirrus SR22

An Ardmore-based Cirrus SR22 visited Wellington today as part of a trip around much of New Zealand.

Wikipedia has a reasonable rundown on the aircraft which is starting to become popular in New Zealand, along with its close cousin the SR20.

Cirrus SR22

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Air Force UH-1 Iroquois

A Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] UH-1 Iroquois helicopter visited Wellington today. While here [for barely 5 minutes] it picked up Matt Ferris who is an RNZAF C130 Hercules pilot who is cycling the length of New Zealand by himself raising money for prostrate cancer research ["Movember"].

For those not familiar with New Zealand, there's a chunk of water between the North and South Islands... hence the Iroquois ride. For details of this sponsored ride, you can go to Matt's Facebook page [Facebook login required]. Far out, you could even follow the instructions on that page and cough up some cash or something for a worthy cause :-)

Here are two of the best pictures I got at the Iroquois flew past the Aero Club on its departure.

Polynesian Blue

Here's a picture of a Polynesian Blue [aka Virgin Blue] B737-800 taking off at Wellington today.

Polynesian Blue B737-800

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Welcome Pacific Blue!

Just in the last week or so, Pacific Blue [local outpost of Australia's Virgin Blue] has started flying New Zealand's rather lucrative main trunk [Auckland / Wellington / Christchurch] routes. Pacific Blue have been flying trans-Tasman [to/from Australia for those of you outside of the Pacific region] for some time, and so it was only a matter of time I guess before they decided to enter the domestic market.

If nothing else, it has provided a temporary shakeup, with plenty of $39 one way fares. While fares will undoubtedly rise in the future, this arrival of competent domestic competition has seen the two other main operators [Air New Zealand and Qantas] respond in ways that can only be good for the consumer.

The only issue is that historically, New Zealand only really has room for a couple of domestic main trunk operators. It will be interesting to see how things lie in a couple of years. Pacific Blue/Virgin Blue is a tough competitor, and I doubt that they will give up easily.

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures.

Pacific Blue B737Pacific Blue B737

Thomson from the UK or Air New Zealand?

What a surprise when I saw this aircraft landing at Wellington today! It's a UK registered B737 in the colours of Thomson []. Given that even the mere hint that an airline is considering starting services in New Zealand makes the "front page" [and nothing has been said], I was surprised indeed.

Turns out that this aircraft is being operated by Air New Zealand. I'm not sure of all of the details [can someone fill us all in???], especially as it still hs a UK registration.

In any case, it is always good to see new and interesting liveries flying around [some local operators could learn from this :-)].

B737 ThomsonB737 Thomson

Vans RV-6 amateur build airplane

Earlier today an awesome looking [though for Wellington, unusual] visitor popped in for a short time. It's a Vans RV-6 which had flown direct to Wellington from Queenstown in about 2.5 hours.

This particular model cruises at about 140 kts on 160hp with a fixed-pitch wooden propeller, which is quite good for a two seater, but nothing too unusual for many of the better amateur built aircraft.

[As an aside; notice the weather? Fantastic!]

Vans RV-6Vans RV-6Vans RV-6

More of the Southern DC3

As mentioned in my previous post, Wellington had the pleasure of a DC3 arrival last week. The aircraft is still here, and earlier today I saw a bunch of hard working engineers removing the right hand engine.

I also had the pleasure of a quick look inside the aircraft which was really neat. The cockpit is clearly from another age [just look at those control wheels!] but it's still a beautiful aircraft! Another thing that struck me was just how large the engine looks when sitting on the trailer. Hopefully it will be back in the air shortly where it belongs.

The following are some of the pictures I got of the aircraft at various times during the day. Top to bottom:

DC3 engine still being worked on
Engine off
That huge engine closeup
DC3 cockpit

DC3 engine being worked onSans engineCloseup of engineBeautiful cockpit

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Southern DC3 at Wellington

Here are some pictures of the Southern DC3 Dakota [or C47 for my American viewers] parked up at Wellington just outside of the Aero Club. ZK-AMY has [like any DC3] a long history, more details of which are available on the Southern DC3 Trust website.

Apparently, ZK-AMY was not actually heading for Wellington, but had an issue with an engine, and so diverted here, along with the requisite "fuss" accorded to any aircraft reporting an in-flight problem.

Southern Trust DC3Southern Trust DC3Southern Trust DC3Southern Trust DC3

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lime Green Boeing

I was sitting in the lounge at Wellington Aero Club earlier today when a lime-green Air New Zealand B737 landed. An ugly colour, but sure to attract attention. It seesm that Air New Zealand have decided to advertise their ability to organise holiday packages, and what better than on an aircraft?

This particular aircraft is ZK-FRE. ZK-FRE was one of the original Freedom Air aircraft [from when that airline was set up by Air New Zealand to crush their new-found competition in Kiwi Travel International Airlines]. This is at least the 3rd paint scheme from that time, the original being Freedom's bright yellow colour, the next Air New Zealand's white with blue tail, and now this one.

Air New Zealand B737Air New Zealand B737