Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Yep, another year is drawing to a close. I hope you have had a good 2008 and that you will have a very happy 2009!

Anyway, for the last post of the year, here are a couple of photos - two from today and one of the lovely orange sunset last night. Remember to click on the photos for bigger versions.

Cessna C172M, ZK-FKS, Rick Lucas HelicoptersAirbus A320, ZK-OJH, Air New ZealandA warm sunset setting behind the hills from my place

Monday, December 29, 2008

Piper, Convair and Cessna

I'm having a Christmas/ New Year break at the moment and so I spent most of the day down at the aero club :-). I know, hard to believe...!

I wasn't planning on flying but then found out that I had a small surplus in my flying account; the temptation got the better of me!

I took a Piper Tomahawk PA38-112 up for 30 minutes of circuits. Some people think that Wellington has lots of delays for us lighties, and certainly it pays to avoid the "rush" periods, but that 30 minutes [on the hobbs] included 2 touch and goes, an approach and overshoot and the final landing. I also had a couple of orbits thrown in for separation reasons, so in reality it can be pretty good.

Aircraft spotted today include the following three:

Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-FJT, from Canterbury Aero Club
General Dynamics Allison Convair 440/580, ZK-CIB, from Air Chathams
Cessna 525B [aka a CJ3], ZK-TBM, from Pacific Jets

Piper PA28-181, ZK-FJT, Canterbury Aero ClubGeneral Dynamics Allison Convair 440/580, ZK-CIB, Air ChathamsCessna Citation Jet 3, ZK-TBM, Pacific Jets Ltd

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Armee de L'Air CASA CN-235

I popped out to the aero club again earlier today, and spotted an Armee de L'Air CASA CN-235. I went to take some photos, only to see the battery warning light come on on the camera display. Stink!

I did manage to get a shot of the aircraft taxiing, but the screen went blank just as I was pushing the shutter for the takeoff picture... you'll just have to use your imagination :-)

Anyway, here's one I did get. Taking a look at the paint, It looks particularly rough, especially compared to some other pictures of this type I have.

Armee de L'Air Casa CN235

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kapiti Aero Club at Paraparaumu

I've just arrived back in Wellington after a few days away over Christmas. No flying unfortunately, but I did snap a quick picture of some of the Kapiti Aero Club fleet at Paraparaumu.I was not able to get in for a closer look - there was a Gone Flying notice on the door :-)

Anyway, here's the picture of 4 Cessna C152's [actually, ZK-JEN is an A152].

Cessna C152, Kapiti Aero Club

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thanks for all of your visits, comments and contributions over the past 12 months!

Next year is sure to be another good one. Already I'm looking forward to the first airshow at Masterton/Hood aerodrome - there's sure to be a bunch of pictures.

Anyway, enjoy your Christmas break and we'll meet again in the new year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wings Over Wairarapa 09

The biennial Wings Over Wairarapa airshow is to be held at Masterton [Hood] Aerodrome on 17 & 18 January 2009 [this happens to be the Wellington Anniversary Day holiday]!

I went to this show last time it was held 2 years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'd certainly recommend it this time around!

I've had a look at the website [] and it looks like a very exciting show is planned. In addition to a range of World War One, World War Two and inter-war aircraft, there will be displays by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and a range of other post-war designs. The website indicates that over 70 aircraft types will be participating in the display over the 2 days!

A highlight this time around is certain to be Doug Brooker's two-seat Spitfire Mk 1X. In fact, the website indicates that there may be a second Spitfire in attendance if the engineers can finish the restoration in time. Wow!!!

Check out the website for more details including entry costs and how to get there.

Something a little different

It's been a wet and windy day at Wellington, so not much flying. In fact, it's been one of the quietest weekends at Wellington that I've seen. I did get a couple of photos though.

The first is a Piper PA28-140, ZK-CUA. This aircraft is registered to Canterbury Aero Club. I strongly suspect that it is a leased machine as it's not in the usual CAC red, black and white scheme.

The second is a Kawasaki BK-117. ZK-HAW is registered to Helilink in Auckland and appeared to be filling in for the usual bright red and yellow Westpac Rescue helicopter.

The final picture is a photo of... a Microsoft flight simulator screen at the Aero Club. We've just put in a very simple setup with control column, rudder pedals and throttle quadrant and even an intercom. The projector helps with the enjoyment factor a lot. The "aircraft" is an Air Nelson [Air New Zealand] Dash 8.

Piper PA-28-140, ZK-CUA, Canterbury Aero ClubKawasaki BK-117, ZK-HAW, HelilinkWellington Aero Club, Microsoft Flight Simulator

Monday, December 15, 2008

Famous Quotes

Here are a couple of [old] famous quotes related to aviation...

"There will never be a bigger plane built." -- [Allegedly] a Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the model 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two Gulfstream G-V's at Wellington

Today I managed to capture photos of two N-reg Gulfstream G-V's at Wellington. The first, N85V, is a Gulfstream GV registered to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA Trustee in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second, N107GV is a Gulfstream GV-SP registered to a Wilmington Trust Co Trustee of a Wilmington, Delaware address.

I don't have any further details on these fine looking aircraft [including people or the reasons for their visits], so feel free to update us all if you have any information.

Gulfstream GV, N85VGulfstream GV-SP, N107GV

Thanks to Mike of
MRC Aviation for the heads up on their arrival!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Various visitors, small and large

A couple of other bloggers gave me a heads up on some expected visitors to Wellington over the weekend. I did see what looked like a Gulfstream GIV in the distance, but I was not able to get a decent photo. I did however manage to get an OK photo of a Qantas Boeing B737-838 taxying then getting airborne. VH-VXA has been registered to Qantas since December 2000.

The second photo is an Eagle Airways [an Air New Zealand subsidiary - hence the paint scheme] Raytheon/Beech 1900D, ZK-EAE, departing. Lastly there's a picture of a CTC Cessna C172S, ZK-JMC.

Apart from that it has been [another] nice Saturday for flying with a lot of the Club trainers up and flying around which is good to see. Unfortunately this did not include me - the bank balance says "No" :-(

Qantas, Boeing B737-838, VH-VXAQantas, Boeing B737-838, VH-VXAEagle Airways, Raytheon/Beech B1900D, ZK-EAECTC Wings, Cessna C172S, ZK-JMC

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What a FANTASTIC day!

Wow! What a day it was today!

The weather was exactly as forecast, with very little cloud and light winds - a perfect day to go flying... twice. The first flight was included two workmates plus the son of one of them. For those that know Wellington, we performed a 16 Sinclair Departure [leaving to the south-west], around the western coastline, past by Mana Island, then to Paramata and an Eastbourne Arrival [arriving from the north-east].

The second flight was the same route with some other friends.

In both cases, it was as smooth as can be. Visibility was around the 30-40 km range. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, which, apart from a safe and legal flight, is most important.

One comment that cropped up from both flights [and comes up in many flights] is just how different things look from the air. I guess that perhaps us pilots can sometimes take this for granted so it's good to get a reminder every now and then.

Unfortunately there were no photos from the flights [the passengers on the first flight forgot while admiring the scenery - that speaks volumes by itself I guess! The photos from the second didn't turn out well enough].

I did get a few snaps of other aircraft though. The first is a Cessna C172M of Taupo Air Services, ZK-DHU. I understand that the pilot was here on a training flight. The second is a Piper PA28-236 Dakota, ZK-EQQ, registered to Air Hawkes Bay. The last is a another [from a 30 November post] picture of ZK-DGI a Piper PA28-140 of a Nelson address.

Taupo Air Services, Cessna C172M, ZK-DHUAir Hawkes Bay, Piper PA28-236 Dakota, ZK-EQQPiper PA28-140, ZK-DGI

Friday, December 05, 2008

Half a day means the pilot can play!

OK, so with titles like that, I'm never going to be a poet...!

I had a half day at work today, so I took the opportunity to pop down to the aero club during the day. I'm not usually at the club on weekdays, so it's good to see how different things are. At times the airport seemed much busier than on weekends.

I spotted a couple of interesting aircraft. The first is a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle. ZK-TRC is registered to Air Manawatu and is often used for aero-medical missions.

Second aircraft is an Air New Zealand Airbus A320, ZK-OJA is painted in the Star Alliance promotional scheme. Interestingly, this aircraft had performed a low-level go around a short time earlier - it's a shame I didn't get any pictures, but it sure looked good!

Last pictures are a Gulfstream GIV-X parked on the western apron. N851GG is registered to a California, USA address. It appears to have been registered on 18 July 2008, so it's quite a new aircraft.

Air Manawatu, Cessna 421 Golden Eagle, ZK-TRCAir New Zealand, Airbus A320, ZK-OJAGulfstream GIV-X, N851GGGulfstream GIV-X, N851GGGulfstream GIV-X, N851GG

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A little diversion - to Fiji

While sitting in Wellington "enjoying" the highly variable weather, a fellow Wellington Aero Club member was enjoying a few days in the sun in Fiji.

I'm jealous! :-)

Bill was good enough to take a few photos of the Air Pacific Boeing B747-400 at Nadi that he was shortly to fly back to New Zealand on. He also happens to be a student pilot who is enjoying solo consolidation - so much so that he can't wait to get out of the circuit! :-). Anyway, here are the photos.

Air Pacific, Boeing B747-400, DQ-FJKAir Pacific, Boeing B747-400, DQ-FJKAir Pacific, Boeing B747-400, DQ-FJKAir Pacific, Boeing B747-400, DQ-FJK
Photo credit: Bill Fawcett

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Wellington Visitors

I was back out at the club today and in addition to a couple of yesterday's visitors still here, there were a few extras.

First is Piper PA28-140, ZK-DGI, registered to a Nelson address. Second is Piper PA28-180, ZK-SNE, which is registered to a Blenheim address [I think this may be based at Omaka aerodrome?]. The last few pictures are of a CTC Diamond DA-42 Twin Star. ZK-CTI is based at Hamilton and on a Hamilton-Wellington-Woodbourne-Nelson-Palmerston North-Hamilton [I think I have this correct - I might have missed something...] flight. The Twin Star is also [affectionately??] known as the Death Star by some other bloggers in this part of the world. Incidentally, from memory, this is also a nickname for the Ted Smith Aerostar.

Enjoy the pictures. Next week, weather permitting, are a couple of flights with friends around the greater Wellington area. If the weather is nice I'll hopefully have some pictures of the local environment to show just why Wellington is the best place to fly from :-)

Piper PA28-140, ZK-DGIPiper PA28-180, ZK-SNECTC Wings, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, ZK-CTICTC Wings, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, ZK-CTICTC Wings, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, ZK-CTICTC Wings, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, ZK-CTICTC Wings, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, ZK-CTICTC Wings, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, ZK-CTI

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wellington Visitors

It's been another hot day in Wellington, with the temperatures around 25 deg celsius [yes, that is quite warm for Wellington!], clear skies and a gentle breeze. I snapped photos of the following visitors today.

The first is a Cessna F152, ZK-NPI, from New Plymouth Aero Club. I'm not sure how long it is staying, but it's been here at least one night. The second is another new Piper PA28-181 from Canterbury Aero Club. ZK-LJE is one of the new "glass cockpit" PA28's that Canterbury seems to be importing these days. The last is a Massey Aviation PA28-151, ZK-EBH, after a touch and go.

New Plymouth Aero Club, Cessna F152, ZK-NPICanterbury Aero Club, Piper PA28-181, ZK-LJE
Massey Aviation, PA28-151, ZK-EBH

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New to a blog near you - Flight Line Internet Radio!

It has been an interesting few days for me and this blog. A few days ago I was contacted by Don of Flight Line Internet Radio asking if I was interested in putting out an audio version of some of my blog content. I have never considered doing this before [I figure I'd get bored with the sound of my voice quite quickly - and so would everyone else! No cheeky responses required, thank you!], but after a couple of discussions in email and on Skype, I've decided to give it a go!

At this stage, there will be occasional pieces put together every now and then, commenting on some of the things I've experienced in GA flying in New Zealand. My first piece has been submitted, and it's loosely based on Remembrance Day 2008 flying display at Masterton from the past week. As soon as I find out the play schedule, I'll let you know.

Anyway, back to the station. I've been listening for a few days, and it ticks all the boxes for me! Loads of music, and a number of awesome shows [the Warbird Beer Show is not to be missed!] - it just seems to work... really well! It's the sort of station that could be left on in the background of almost any office or home.

Want to have a listen? Top right of this page, just click on the play button and it'll start up. Depending on feedback, I may make this automatically start on page load in the future.

Want to find out more? Go to

New Canterbury Warrior

A quick trip to the Aero Club today resulted in nothing much happening, but I did spot this Canterbury Aero Club Piper PA28-161 Warrior III parked up. ZK-LJD is a very recent additional to the Canterbury fleet, with first registration on 2 October 2008. A quick peek through the perspex confirmed that this is one of the new glass cockpit models.

Canterbury Aero Club, Piper PA28-161 Warrior III, ZK-LJDCanterbury Aero Club, Piper PA28-161 Warrior III, ZK-LJD

Friday, November 21, 2008

Remembrance Day 2008 # 12 : Home Again

All good things must come to an end, and the Remembrance Day 2008 flying display is no exception.

At the end of a few hours of exciting, even exhilarating, flying displays, we had to come home. We had a good 15 minute walk back to the aircraft [including getting a "big telling off" :-) from some 10-12 year old who didn't like the way we were walking back...], it was time to pre-flight and plan our trip home.

With no briefing facilities available at Masterton and having heard rumours of increasing winds back at Wellington [we had heard that the 2000' wind was up to 40-ish knots - not good in amongst the Wellington hills] I made a quick call to the friendly poeple at Wellington Tower. It only took a quick discussion to realise that the reported weather was not much different to when we left. That was quite a relief as neither of us wanted to have to leave the plane and take a trip back to Wellington in a van [although that was always going to be a viable option if the winds were up].

Before we left, I got the pictures of the Cessna C185A, ZK-CBY, off to throw more "victims" out [earlier in the day I got a few pictures of skydivers], and this Sounds Air Cessna C208 Caravan, ZK-PDM . The Caravan was also due to head back to Wellington with a load of passengers.

We jumped in and headed back. The weather was interesting [to say the least]. We flew pretty much the eastern side of the Wairarapa valley and still picked up a fair amount of mountain wave off the hills. It's an interesting experience to be pointing the aircraft nose down and climb at 500' per minute. It was mildly lumpy all the way back at around 2500'. Based on conversations with the Sounds Air pilot, they had much the same at 4500'.

Turning north-west in Palliser Bay to head towards Wellington, we were indicating around 100 knots [slower than normal due to anticipated turbulence] with a GPS indicated ground speed of about 53 knots... I did wonder what we were in for, especially looking at the water where the wind was picking it up and "throwing" it a considerable distance.

Despite this we only got a couple of large thumps in the Pencarrow sector, and once holding at the Harbour Entrance visual reporting point, it wasn't too bad. Once cleared to continue our approach and then land we received the usual bumps at around 100'-150' followed by things getting very smooth below 100'. The landing was [rather surprisingly] good all things considered.

There ended a great day out. Well worth it, and highly recommended for all when the next one comes up. Thanks to the Vintage Aviator, pilots, the airfield and other operators for making this day possible.

Skydive aircraft, Cessna C185A, ZK-CBYSkydiver about to landSounds Air, Cessna C208, ZK-PDM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remembrance Day 2008 # 11: DH82A Tiger Moth

Another aircraft at the display not associated with World War One is the De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth.

The Tiger Moth arrived between the World Wars and trained several generations of military and civilian pilots around the world. The Tiger Moth was used extensively in New Zealand as it was not only operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a pilot trainer, but also in the civilian world; both as a trainer and also to introduce aerial applicaion of agricultural chemicals, such as superphosphate.

I understand that the Tiger Moth was bought into the display at short notice, after the Avro 504K engaged in a bit of "tree hugging" the previous week [engine failure, followed by the pilot climbing down the tree...]. Shame to not see the Avro, but at least the pilot walked away.

De Havilland DH82A Tiger MothDe Havilland DH82A Tiger MothDe Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth

Remembrance Day 2008 # 10: Curtis P-40E Kittyhawk

While Remembrance Day is all about the signing of the armistice which came into effect on 11/11/1918, there were a couple of aircraft in the flying display that are not associated with World War One.

The most obvious of these was the Curtis P-40E Kittyhawk. It's incredible to think that in the space of 20 years or so we went from bi-planes [and tri-planes], open cockpits, wood and cloth construction and rotary engines to monoplanes with closed cockpits, mainly metal construction [yes, I am aware of the mighty Hurricane, but still!], oxygen systems and over 1000hp.

The P40 [in all its various models] was flown by air forces from around the planet, including the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and, as shown in this example, in China, as well as with various American and other allied units.

I only managed one reasonable airborne picture [it's a little faster then the other aircraft on show...]. Enjoy anyway!

Curtis P-40E KittyhawkCurtis P-40E KittyhawkCurtis P-40E Kittyhawk