Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Wellington pictures

The weather has not been particularly condusive to visual flight rules [VFR] flying this weekend. Certainly the cloud has been a bit variable, and there's been patches of [well needed] rain. Surprisingly it was reasonably warm.

I did however manage to get a few photos from different locations [thanks Nick for the ride]. You'll see what I mean by the weather. Pictures are of the Eastern Apron [from the south], two photos of an Air New Zealand Airbus A320 during departure, and ATR72 and a Dash-8.

Wellington International Airport Eastern ApronAir New Zealand A320Air New Zealand A320ATR 72Dash 8

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jetstream J32 - spot the difference

Here are pictures of two Jetstream J32's. One of them is obviously not airworthy right now [here's a clue - check the left wing... there's something missing...!]. However, there is another difference - can you tell what it is?

I'm not sure of the reason for this. Presumably it's just a temporary measure until it is ready to be made airworthy again, but if anyone can advise what's happenning, we'd all like to know!

BAE Jetstream J32BAE Jetstream J32

Cessna R182

This is a picture of a Cessna R182 at Wellington, a short time prior to departure to its Hamilton home base. This is one of only two retractable 182's in the country.

Cessna R182

Ilyushin II-76 cargo plane needs every inch of the runway

This is is video made by an Australian air traffic controller [not sure what airport]. It is, as he says several times, unbelievable! It's a fully loaded Ilyushin II-76 cargo plane using every last inch of the runway.

Perhaps the best part of the video is the controller's commentary :-)


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Robinson R44 at Marton

I attended part of the Rangitikei College 50th Anniversary Reunion on Friday and Saturday over the Easter break. While not much of what happenned would be of interest to readers of this blog, I did manage to get a couple of pictures of a R44 that was part of a flyover and that acted as the camera ship for some of the photographs. Here's one of them.

Robinson R44

Australian Pilatus PC12

Today's new aircraft picture is of a Pilatus PC12/47 with an Australian registration. VH-OOI hails from Western Australia and it's owners were over for a tour of New Zealand. When pictured here at Wellington, they were getting ready to depart to Rotorua.

This particular machine came out of the factory in April 2007, was flown to Australia and onto the Australian register on 25 June 2007. Given it's young age, it's hardly surprising that it is in immaculate condition throughout.

Many thanks to David [I think I have his name correct] and the pilot for allowing me in to take a look and get a picture of the flight deck! All of the people involved with the aircraft were very friendly indeed.

A couple of things to note from the pictures [apart from just how beautiful the aircraft is!] would have to be the cockpit [lots of glass] and the large cargo door on the left side. The predominantly grey colour with blue underbelly and accents also looks stunning.

Pilatus PC12Pilatus PC12Pilatus PC12Pilatus PC12

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ohakea Open Day # 14: Leftovers

"Leftovers" may be the title of the post, but "leftovers" can often taste good when reheated the next day :-)

These are a few pictures that remain from the series of pictures that I took on the Ohakea Open Day. These pictures include a Titan T-51 Mustang replica [actually a microlight category aircraft], one of the Kiwi Blue parachute display team, the Hughes 369 helicopter which performed an awesome display early in the day, the Kiwi Thunder Mustang taking off prior to its display, an Army LAV [Light Armoured Vehicle, not shorthand for Lavatory...!], and two more pictures of the Australian F-111 performing two passes, one with the wing in the swung back position.

Titan T-51Kiwi Blue ParachutistHughes H369Army LAVKiwi Thunder MustangAustralian F-111Australian F-111

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ohakea Open Day # 13: MX-2 display

The MX-2 is a stunning [and not just the paint job!] aerobatic aircraft, owned and flown by Doug Brooker, a well know New Zealand aerobatic pilot.

I'm not sure just how to describe the aerobatic routine. Certainly pictures can not do justice to what was done, even if I had a good enough camera and were skilled enough to get any decent pictures!

I guess this is genuinely one of those things you just have to see. The F-111 you can photograph dumping and burning. The CT4/E you can capture in formation. Likewise for the ex-military aircraft. The C130 and P3K likewise can be photographed doing some impressive manoeuvres, but the MX-2, apart from being small [and so harder to capture detail], just defies me.

I guess that the only thing that I can say is that an extremely capable aircraft piloted by an equally extremely capable pilot is an extremely formidable combination.

MX2 aerobatic aircraft

Ohakea Open Day # 12: RNZAF Red Checkers

Just as an airshow would not be complete without ex-military aircraft being displayed, the same could be said for the RNZAF Red Checkers display team. They seem to get invited to most airshows around the country, and the RNZAF seems to make a genuine effort to accommodate as many as they reasonably can [although I suspect that if you just want to put on a display for a couple of your mates, you're out of luck!!].

There's no doubt that this team, made up of Air Force instructor pilots, has an immense amount of talent, and putting together a 9-ship formation is not exactly easy, but I have to say that compared to the F-111 dump and burn, and Doug Brooker displaying his MX-2 [next post], these displays start to look a "little the same" once you've seen a few of them.

Before you start flaming me..!... I want to reiterate, that these aircraft are being flown by extremely capable pilots, but let's face it, a CT4/E [even in the most capable hands] is just not as exciting as an F-111, or an MX-2, or even [dare I say it] a C130 being thrown around.

The lynch mod will be formed outside my home tomorrow at 5:15 pm :-)

Still, their two-ship mirror and the 3rd barrel rolling just behind them does look pretty awesome [but I didn't get any photos of this... stink!].

Here are some photos of the of the 9-ship formation prior to the Red Checkers breaking out into the rest of their display.

RNZAF Red Checkers CT4/ERNZAF Red Checkers CT4/ERNZAF Red Checkers CT4/E

Ohakea Open Day # 11: Ex-Military Piston/Rotary

Further to my last post, there were also a good range of other ex-military aircraft on display. Being more plentiful than the jets, they always take up a sizable portion of the display time, and never seem to disappoint. Unfortunately, I was somewhat distracted with some of the other [ground] activities and so did not manage to get as many display pictures as I would have liked to. The DC3 was also doing scenic rides on the day.
Top to bottom are:
DH82a Tiger Moth
'Yakrobat' formation display team
Trojan [x2]
DC3 Dakota [x2]
DH82a Tiger MothYak52'Yakrobat' formation display teamHarvardP40CorsairTroganTroganDC3 DakotaDC3 Dakota

Ohakea Open Day # 10: Ex-Military Jets

Airshows in New Zealand would not be complete without a range of ex-military aircraft attending and putting on a display. For a such small country, New Zealand has a proud reputation in the restoration and ex-military aircraft that have served in various western and eastern block countries over many decades. From reproduction WW1 through to 1960's designed trainers and fighter jets, we have a wide selection; not only available to view, but, importantly, in flying condition.

The support from this group of enthusiasts was very evident at the Ohakea open day.

In this post, we have pictures of many of the civilian owned and operated, ex-military jets at the open day. Top to bottom are:

de Havilland Vampire
L39 Albatross
Cessna Dragonfly [x2]
Albatross/ Vampire/ Dragonfly formation

de Havilland VampireL39 AlbatrossCessna DragonflyCessna DragonflyAlbatross/ Vampire/ Dragonfly formation

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ohakea Open Day # 9: P3K Orion

The P3K Orion is the RNZAF's primary surveillance aircraft. It's capable of extended range and time operations. Depending on configuration [particularly if 2 engines are shut down], these aircraft have an endurance of up to 15 hours - this can be very helpful when flying longer range missions, such as protecting New Zealand's maritime interests in the deep southern ocean, or conducting SAR operations around New Zealand or the Pacific.

Despite what seemed to be a false start early on in the day [The P3K got to the runway holding point, then turned back to the apron], the P3K crew put on an awesome display. The following are a couple of the better pictures I managed to capture.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ohakea Open Day # 8: Two indians and a strong dude

The RNZAF know how to display their aircraft really well. Those involved in the helicopter and fixed wing displays certainly lived up to that.

Unfortunately, often, still pictures do not [can not] do justice to the displays or the professionalism of the air and ground crew involved.

Here are a few pictures of the Bell 47G Sioux, the UH-1H Iroquois and the C130 Hercules strutting their stuff.

The Sioux is the RNZAF's basic helicopter trainer. Yes, it's ancient! Still, it's due to be replaced in 2010 by the Agusta A109.

The Iroquois is the RNZAF's main helicopter, and is used for the usual range of "helicopter type stuff" that the military has need for. In addition they are involved in Police, search and rescue and civil-emergency relief type activities. Thankfully, the Iroquois is due to be gradually replaced, starting in 2009 by the NATO-inspired NH90.

The C130 of course is the RNZAF's troop/cargo transport capability [ok, there are also the B757's which are off getting cargo doors fitted at the moment].

In this series of pictures are the Sioux, followed by the C130 conducting a precision cargo drop, and the Iroquois transporting cargo, deploying Police counter terrorism troops, and the obligatory "grab a visitor's car and drop it somewhere"... Ladies and gentlemen, if you're missing your car, and it is a white one, it's over there... :-)

RNZAF Bell 47G SiouxRNZAF Bell 47G SiouxRNZAF C130H HerculesRNZAF UH-1H IroquoisRNZAF UH-1H IroquoisRNZAF UH-1H Iroquois - Hey Chris - was that YOUR car???

Ohakea Open Day # 7: Static Displays

An airshow would not be complete without a number of static displays, and this open day was no exception. Unfortunately I was not as interested in the static displays, and so few pictures. These static [or trade] displays showcased the diverse roles performed by members of the RNZAF on a daily basis. There were also the obligatory recruiting stands from the RNZAF, Navy and New Zealand Cadet Force.

One of the more interesting displays [for me] was the avionic flight workshop. This showcased a wide range of activities that these people get up to, from instrument repair trough to night vision systems. The basic flight sim on offer was being well utilised by the kids.

Other items in the static display included several of the aircraft that also participated in the flying programme - more on those in other posts. There were also some dedicated display aircraft.

First of these are the McDonnell Douglas A4K Skyhawk, BAC 167 Strikemaster and the Aermacchi MB339CB. The Skyhawk used to be New Zealand's fighter jet until the Labour Government of 2001 decided to abandon our strike capability [they are now wrapped in latex at Woodbourne aerodrome]. The Aermacchi was the lead-in jet trainer which fell to the same fate [although look here, as some of these are still flying from Ohakea today]. The Strikemaster was New Zealand's lead-in jet trainer until replaced by the Aermacchi.

The last picture is of an immaculate Singaporian C130 Hercules. When I say immaculate, I mean immaculate. Although I didn't get to see inside [the line was about 1 hour long...!] this C130 was polished top to bottom. Quite a different finish from the RNZAF Hercs and their matt grey finish.

RNZAF MD A4K SkyhawkRNZAF BAC 167 StrikemasterRNZAF Aermacchi MB339CBRNZAF Aermacchi MB339CB with right wing detachedSingapore C130 HerculesSingapore C130 Hercules