Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cessna 402 and a Dash 8

No flying today [my wallet would not let me :-( ], but I did get a couple of interesting pictures. First was this Cessna 402c. ZK-VAD is registered to a Nelson address and was filling in for a couple of Capital Air sectors.

The remaining pictures are of an Air Nelson / Air New Zealand Dash-8. I like the first picture because of the rainbow appearing to the south after some light rain. The second shows the Dash-8 parking at... the RNZAF apron. What looked liked a fairly full plane-load of passengers then disembarked. I'm not sure what the occasion was and I was hoping for something more exotic :-)

Cessna 402CAir Nelson Dash-8 and rainbowAir Nelson Dash-8 at RNZAF apron

Saturday, April 26, 2008

RNZAF Iroquois formation into Wellington

I was out flying again today [mainly more FLWOP practice] and was monitoring the Christchurch Information frequency. I heard CHCH Info talking to a couple of RNZAF Iroquois pilots someone in the South Island [I'm not sure exactly where].

Later in the day, two Iroquois arrived at Wellington. I'm guessing the '03 and '16 were those two choppers. Here are three of the photos I managed to get. Unfortunately the approach was from the south, so the formation picture is a bit "distant".

RNZAF Iroquois helicoptersRNZAF Iroquois helicoptersRNZAF Iroquois helicopters

Cessna, Piper and the Kawasaki

No, we're not flying motorbikes these days [although fuel prices might be easier on the wallet], but a Kawasaki BK-117 helicopter as operated by Lifeflight as Westpac Rescue in Wellington. I caught this picture as it was departing for a short ride somewhere.

Other pictures are ZK-MBT, a Piper PA44-180 Seminole operated by CTC Wings, based in Hamilton and ZK-BUS, a Cessna 180 registered to an Ashburton address.

Westpac Rescue / Lifeflight Kawasaki BK-117Piper SeminoleCessna C180

Air West Coast Dornier Do 228

This Air West Coast Dornier Do 228 was spotted at Wellington today. ZK-VIR is a "one of type" on the New Zealand register and has been operated by Air West Coast for under a year. Having previously seen inside the aircraft it has spacious seating and so is probably quite comfortable for most passengers. Not sure how noisy the cabin is though - those two Garrett turbines are hardly what you would call quiet...

Air West Coast Dornier Do 228Air West Coast Dornier Do 228

Friday, April 25, 2008

A beautiful day for a flight...

What a fantastic day! I went for a flight today of 1.2 hours starting around 10:30 am. The surface wind on takeoff was variable at 3 knots, and when I came back, 180 degrees at 4 knots. Absolutely awesome!

I took up Piper Archer PA28-181, ZK-TDJ by myself for some much-needed/wanted practice of forced landings, stalls and turns. Being such a fantastic day, I did an Eastbourne departure, out by Mount Matthews to the southern Wairarapa area. After few turns, stalls and FLWOP practices, I headed back via the Pencarrow arrival procedure.

Sorry, no pictures [I was too busy flying].

As an aside, I was listening to Christchurch Info most of the time. It was interesting hearing of the SPAR at Hamilton [3000 meters viz and broken at 400 feet if I remember rightly?], and the interesting radio calls from pilots around the country... a bit of patience and some accurate position reporting could have helped one or two of them I think :-(

Sunday, April 20, 2008

WAC Open Day # 4: Other visitors

In addition to visiting aircraft, we had a number of other visitors. These included the Aviation Security Service who had a display and put on a demonstration with one of their bomb detector dogs [the dog was also good at sniffing out the bangers on the BBQ :-)], and the airport fire/rescure service who bought out a fire appliance and rescue boat. Unfortunately I ran out of battery life before the demonstration.

The Airways Corporation [provider of all Air Traffic Services in New Zealand] provided a really good display and sponsored a couple of the spot prizes. Capital Books had their wares available, particularly a good range of aviation related books. Our friends from Flight Experience were also keen to promote their public B737 type simulator also.

People hanging around at the AVSEC displayAirport Fire/RescueAirways Corporation of New ZealandCapital Books

Saturday, April 19, 2008

WAC Open Day #3: Vincent B1900D

Vincent Aviation sent one of their airliners along - a Beechcraft B1900D - for the day. Like the other aircraft, this was open for visitors, so I took the chance to jump in and get some pictures.

You'll also see from the pictures that it was a dull day. What the pictures don't show is the temperature or the wind...

Vincent Aviation B1900DVincent Aviation B1900DVincent Aviation B1900DVincent Aviation B1900D

WAC Open Day #2: RNZAF visitors

The Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] sent a couple of people across - one a pilot flying the CT4/E airtrainer [manufactured by Pacific Aerospace in Hamilton], and a recruiter driving a car [he probably would not have wanted to fly in or out today anyway... the weather was not much fun!]. You'll notice both the aircraft and the car are in the hanger - this was simply because of the weather - most of our aircraft were inside for the day.

The CT4/E is used by the RNZAF for ab-initio pilot training. The vehicle has a fairly nice paint job :-). Here are the pictures.

RNZAF CT4/ERNZAF recruiter vehicle

Wellington Aero Club Open Day

Wellington Aero Club put on its two-yearly open day today. Unfortunately the weather was reasonably atrocious with very cold temperatures, wind and [earlier in the day] rain. This meant that a couple of aircraft could not make it, no scenic helicopter rides and less visitors [in the end we only had a few hundred people through].

Despite that, it was still a good day. As promised, Air New Zealand sent a B737-300 over for about 3 hours which was very welcome. This aircraft attracted a great deal of attention from those present, not only for the fact it had the heating switched on! Air New Zealand arranged for 2 pilots and 5 flight attendants to show people around. They also laid on muffins and other food, which was very welcome.

Here are some pictures of the Boeing including a closeup on the Holidays titles and the instrument panel. Later posts will cover the other aircraft and visitors present.

Air New Zealand B737-300Air New Zealand B737-300Air New Zealand B737-300Air New Zealand B737-300 instrument panel

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wellington to Christchurch, return

I had a business trip to Christchurch today, and so [as usual] I took my camera along, just in case I saw something interesting. I flew on an Air New Zealand B737-300 to Christchurch and a Mount Cook Airline ATR72 from Christchurch back to Wellington.

Here are the [better of the] photos I got. The first is of a Polynesian Blue B737-800 at Wellington. It came out surpisingly clear considering it was shot through glass. The next are a few pictures of Wellington City as we climbed out - the Basin Reserve [can anyone advise why the Basin has rugby posts on it? I though only cricket was played there], WestpacTrust Stadium [aka the Cake Tin] and then looking back to Wellington [we took off on runway 34, right to left in this picture].

The last image was of the inside of the ATR72 this evening. Both trips were fairly uneventful apart from a little turbulance both ways, and one of the Mount Cook hosties trying to convince a dance troupe to give us a demo in flight [they did wave their arms around a bit and got a clap :-)]!

One thing that was reinforced again, is that it is sooooo hard to get a good picture whilst climbing at several hundred knots, with turbulance and cruddy aircraft perspex to shoot through :-(

Polynesian Blue B737-800Basin ReserveWestpacTrust Stadium / Cake TinWellington International AirportMount Cook Airline ATR72
(Thanks to ZKARJ for the correction to the original version of this post)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wellington Aero Club open day

This is just a notice that the Wellington Aero Club will be having an open day this Saturday, 19 April 2008. We'll have a range of aircraft available, including all of our own fleet, plus visitors from Vincent Aviation, Air New Zealand, Lifeflight, the RNZAF and others.

If past events are anything to go by, this should be an excellent day and a fantastic opportunity for the community to come and see what we get up to and what we can offer.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another Wellington visitor

Here is a picture of a Cessna 182E at Wellington on the weekend. ZK-WKK is registered to an Auckland address. As you can see, the weather looked lovely - in fact, when I went flying on Sunday afternoon [hopefully some pictures in the next few days], the gentle breeze was only about 4 knots on the ground, and not much more at 2000'.

Cessna 182E

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Aircraft nationality marks

Just in case you are interested... here is a link to a PDF of the ICAO [International Civil Aviation Origanisation] list of aircraft nationality marks.

ICAO Nationality Marks

Now, spot quiz... can anyone tell me how come New Zealand has 3 allocated nationality marks? There's the familiar ZK, but I see that there are also ZL and ZM. Any ideas what these have/can be used for?

Gulfstream 550 departing

I spotted this Bermuda registered Gulfstream [reg VP-BLW] taxying for departure at Wellington today.

Drooling over the Mustang!

This Cessna Mustang, reg N1749L, was busy at Wellington today. I saw it depart and return a few hours later [This may be the Wellington-Queenstown-Wellington trip referred to in the MRC Aviation blog].

The Cessna Mustang is quite possibly the best looking executive jet I have ever seen. It has smooth clean lines and looks like it was designed by an artist, as much as an aircraft designer. Nice! If I ever do go and get a CPL/ATPL, I'd much rather fly something like this than a Boeing or an Airbus :-) Absolutely stunning!

Cessna MustangCessna MustangCessna MustangCessna MustangCessna Mustang

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Non-resident singles

In addition to the Vans RV10, there were a number of other single engined visitors to Wellington today. Here are three that I got photos of.

The first, ZK-RNT is a Beech A36, registered to a Christchurch address. I've always liked the look of these aircraft - they are fairly large [for a single] and look solidly built. Next was ZK-MAS, a Cessna TR182 from Hamilton. Lastly is ZK-OMT, a Piper PA32 from Milton.

I'm still not convinced about the strength of the main gear of the Cessna retractables - they always look a bit weak. I guess they just have to be treated well.

Beech A36Cessna TR182Piper PA32

Hello, my long lost friend! I'm getting old!

What follows is a picture of a Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk in Canterbury Aero Club colours. Nothing too exciting about that perhaps, but ZK-RPD is one of the PA38's that I learned to fly in. I last flew this on 28 August 1999 with my then instructor [Hello Jason!] up at Ardmore Flying School [not sure, but I think it had a blue/white paint scheme back then].

Ouch! I've been flying for over 10 years now [28 February 1998 was my first flight]. I really am getting old!

ZK-RPD - Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk

Superb Vans RV10

I spotted this superb Vans RV10 at Wellington earlier today.

ZK-RVT is classified as an "amateur built" aircraft, although the finish looks anything but amateur! I'm not sure of the specs, but it appears to have a big engine, a constant speed propeller, capacity for almost 300 litres of avgas, and several LCD panels in the cockpit. Oh yeah, and four comfortable looking seats. Have a look at the last picture and that wingtip lighting - LEDs will have very long life and low power consumption.

The most stunning part of the aircraft has to be the finish. Look at the paint job. Pity the fool that first gives this aircraft a scratch!

Vans RV10Vans RV10Vans RV10Vans RV10

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

... and now it's time to go home ...

A final couple of comments on the trip to Auckland...

Auckland airport does not have a great reputation [in my arrogant opinion :-)] as a place to get good pictures. I realise that are places [like the dedicated public viewing areas off the airport] where you can get good shots, but not many that easy to get to or convenient - especially on site.

I did find one however. The airport company have conveniently built a large photography/ viewing area, cunningly disguised as a car park :-) Have a look at the first two pictures to see what I mean. The vantage point conveniently looks over the domestic terminal. You get [almost] unobstructed views of the taxiway and the entire runway.

A number of the photos on my other Auckland posts were also taken from this vantage point.

Anyway, I got to fly back to Wellington in Air New Zealand's lime-green coloured Boeing B737. At least it's not that colour on the inside!! As with the flight up, it was comfortable, and with Qantas recently re-introducing service on the main trunk we managed to get a small snack and a "free" beer as well :-) Yum.

Air New Zealand terminalQantas / Pacific Blue terminalAir New Zealand Holidays lime-green Boeing B737

Emirates aircraft at Auckland

Here are pictures of two different Emirates aircraft at Auckland. The first three pictures are of an Emirates Boeing B777 taxying for departure and then taking off. The final two are of an Airbus A340 that departed just ahead of us.

Emirates Boeing B777Emirates Boeing B777Emirates Boeing B777Emirates Airbus A340Emirates Airbus A340