Sunday, January 27, 2008
The SR22 is a sleek looking, fast moving [around 180 kts cruise], powerful [310 hp], piece of modern machinery and includes a ballistic parachute [aka "chicken lever"!] in case of a big problem. It also feature "single lever" control for throttle and propeller control. I'll try and get some better photos when it's out in the open one day.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The first two pictures are various Air New Zealand branded Boeing B737, Airbus A320 and ATR72 aircraft. The third was just after takeoff showing a US Antarctic Program C130 Hercules that had landed a few seconds earlier, the fourth a US Air Force C17 Globemaster and finally an aerial shot back to Christchurch as we departed.
As much as I love flying out of Wellington [and I really do!], it is nice to see some of the variety of different types that fly into other airfields.
The cloud you see is just about the most that was seen during the entire flight [on departure an hour or so later, most of it had dissipated]. Note the 4th photo which is of Wigram airport [NZWG], located just outside of the Christchurch Control Zone.
Things don't always go to plan though, and I ended up being invited on an IFR cross country to Christchurch. Wow! Needless to say, I said "yes, thank you very much", and 30 minutes later I'm strapped into the back of a P28R [PA28-201R - Piper Arrow III to be precise] and we are off. I've never been on an IFR flight in a small aircraft before, so I was fairly excited. It turned out to be a really nice day so we were mostly in VMC [Visual Meteorological Conditions] so I had a good look around.
The set of photos [below] are actually of the visual arrival back into Wellington. The first is south-west of the city looking towards Wellington. The next includes the WestpacTrust Stadium [aka the Cake Tin] a cruise ship and the inner harbour, and the last is of the Wellington CBD area [including the Beehive and other Government buildings if you look closely]. Hard to imagine that much of this area was under water until the 1840 earthquake!
Many thanks to Brian for the ride today, and more pictures of the flight coming soon.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
It's a mach-7, heat treated, space shuttle-shaped origami [yep, folded paper!] plane to be launched by the Japanese from the International Space Station [no launch date set as yet], with the possibility that it will gently float back to earth. Here's the link:
Monday, January 21, 2008
In fact, circuits are a great way of helping to maintain competency [not just currency] as it's always the busiest, and most critical, part of any flight. This is especially true at Wellington with the variety of aircraft types [speeds] that operate here and a single runway. You need a constant awareness of what is in front and behind you, and to always look for ways to assist in making things flow easier. ATC do an awesome job, and sometimes just speeding up or slowing down a little, or flying a closer or wider base leg can help a lot.
Today I got 4-5 touch and goes in, 1 overshoot [my choice... poor approach], 2 short approaches [closer base leg] and 2 slightly stretched downwind legs [following other traffic]. Combine that with holding early and late downwind and having to sight the likes of an Air NZ B737, Air Nelson DHC-8, and Sounds Air GA8 at various times, it was very good value for money at around a 1 hour flight. I also feel as though I've brushed off a bit of rust [off me, not the aircraft :-)].
Aircraft for the day was this C172N, ZK-FLT.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
ZK-TZZ is interesting because unlike many P68C's, this one has a crew door on the right-hand side, making it substantially easier for the flight crew to enter and exit the aircraft. This would be a particular bonus when being operated on ATOs [Air Transport Operations], as without the crew door, the flight crew would either have to enter before the passengers, or push their way past them.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The first to arrive was ZK-FPI, a C152. Nothing to get too excited about perhaps, except that C152's don't come to Wellington too often - perhaps a consequence of Wellington's reputation for tricky winds.
The second is a Partenavia P68C, ZK-KAP. In New Zealand, the Partenavia is popular for both initial twin ratings, as well as multi-instrument rating training.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Take a look at the empennage, nose, engine mounts. All of them on the wrong side of ugly :-) I'm sure though that the aircraft has some fans out there, and fair enough. I would expect that with a substantially composite airframe, maintenance costs should be quite good for a twin. Those engines are reputably not very thirsty, and using Jet-A1 should help to keep the operational costs down somewhat.
Anyway, the top 5 cities and their yearly sunshine hours are:
- Wellington [2231 sunshine hours]!
- Christchurch 
- Auckland 
- Hamilton 
- Dunedin 
Now just to avoid confusion, there are sunnier areas, but not many people live there [heh heh heh] such as New Zealand's sunniest area, Blenheim with 2567 hours of sunshine. Blenheim is only about 20 minutes flight from Wellington, so it's easy to visit if we need to :-)
Welcome to Sunny Wellington!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The second is a Sounds Air Gippsland GA8 that dropped off some passengers before leaving straight away.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
You'll notice a couple of things in the photo. Firstly, although it has just taken off, it's already well up in the air - presumably because of light weights as well as good overall performance?. Secondly, look closely [click on the image for a larger version] and you'll see that it is polished all over. Wow - these people know how to look after their aircraft.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
This morning I was privileged to go up as a safety pilot for a club member doing some simulated i/f [instrument flying]. It's good to just sit, keep a really good eye out for traffic, terrain and enjoy the view. It was not a good day for photos, so nothing to show.
Later in the afternoon I snapped a couple of arrivals at the club. The first is a Maule M5 registered to a Martinborough [north east of Wellington] address, the second a Partenavia P68C from Canterbury Aero Club.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Here's a picture of a Piper Seneca II [PA34] visiting the Wellington Aero Club for fuel yesterday/last year :-) ZK-DCP is registered to Air Gisborne Ltd.