Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jetstar A320 departing Wellington

Here are my first pictures of a Jetstar aircraft. Jetstar is a subsidiary of Qantas. VH-VQB is one of their A320's operating the domestic routes after the withdrawal of the Qantas-branded B737's from these routes.

It has been a horrible start to operations for Jetstar. On Time Performance [OTP] has been so hideous that within the first couple of weeks Jetstar had to substantially revise their schedules. Combine that with a large amount of negative publicity about people who have been refused boarding due to arriving late/ slow check in queues [take your pick - I don't know what the answer is] and it's been a nightmare.

Hopefully they can sort this out soon or it's looking a little bleak. My pick is that everything will settle down in a few weeks as Jetstar get their operations sorted and travellers get used to a true Low Cost Carrier [LCC] operating model.

Anyway, to the pictures. Quite simple; taxying, rotating and departing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Taylorcraft 20 and Airbus A310

Here are a couple of rather more unusual visitors for Wellington.

The first is a Taylorcraft 20, ZK-BQM, which was parked at Wellington all/most of the day. This particular aircraft is registered to a Christchurch address.

Just after I got home this evening, I received word a Spanish Air Force Airbus A310 was at the airport. I rushed back to the airport [within the speed limit of course!], but fading light pretty much totally beat me to it. Anyway, here's the best of a bad couple of pictures [and significantly altered at that] - perhaps someone got a better picture that I can link to?

UPDATE: Check out MRC Aviation for these photos of the Spanish Airbus

Monday, June 15, 2009

Road Trip #3: Going home

Here are the last couple of photos from the road trip... Firstly Tokoroa aerodrome - not much cop as there wasn't anyone around and I didn't want to delay my return home by too much. The last photo is of Mount Ruapehu, taken from the side of the Desert Road section of state highway 1 - on a nice day it's a fantastic place to fly around, along with Mounts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.

Unfortunately I missed Turangi aerodrome, and the others missed out because it was getting dark...

As a side note, after 7.5-8 hours driving yesterday, I'm knackered and am not keen to hop into the car anytime soon!

Road Trip #2: Waikato Aero Club

While on the road trip, I scheduled some time to go visit another blogger, Euan of the Making a Kiwi Fly blog [Gidday Euan!]. Unfortunately there was no flight due to the weather, but I did manage to get some photos.

There were a few things that had changed since I last flew in to Hamilton [several years ago]. The parallel grass runway was dug up - apparently they are putting in another sealed runway. Secondly, the new tower had been built - quite an impressive structure!

Anyway, to the pictures. Top to bottom are:

Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-UFS
Alpha R2160, ZK-WKF
Cessna 172M, ZK-DRQ
Cessna 180K, ZK-JFG
Control Tower
Waikato Aero Club building plus Control Tower

Road Trip #1: Low flying DC3's

I've been on a bit of a road trip last weekend - nothing really to do with aviation, but I did manage a few photos that might be on interest.

The first are of two "low flying" DC3's. The first is at Mangaweka International Airport, and is painted in the Cookie Time scheme. The second is at a McDonald's in Taupo. I didn't get up in to the Cookie Time aircraft, but I did get a couple of [dark] photos through the perspex of the McDonald's one. Sad to see a DC3 reduced to providing a place for kids to eat their junk food...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bye bye Qantas. Hello Qantas' little sister

Today was the first day of operation for Jetstar, the LCC [Low Cost Carrier] offshoot of Qantas, operating domestic routes in New Zealand, in place of the Qantas brand. Jetstar are using 177 seat A320's in place of the Qantas B737's.

Today was notable for the delays - up to 2 hours by the end of the day, but we'll see how it goes over the coming months.

No pictures at the stage, and unfortunately, there's unlikely to be any for a while as I won't be able to get the airport this weekend or next... we'll see, maybe someone from WAC will be kind enough to send a good photo along which I could publish :-)

In the meantime, here's a link to a fellow blogger with a bit more detail on the topic... there's bound to be more out there shortly also.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Yay! I got to go flying today!

Yeah OK, so it was only a few circuits... a normal approach, short approach, a go around and told to extend downwind to follow an Air NZ B737. Three takeoffs/landings plus the go-around in 0.5 hours. Who says there are always holdups at Wellington?

Next challenge has got to be the BFR [Biennial Flight Review] - it's nominally due on 4 August, but I might get it done in July, or later in August. Well see. The BFR is needed so that I can continue to take passengers - basically, no BFR, then I get limited to student pilot privileges [no passengers would be the biggest limitation] until it is done.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Windmills at Wellington

I went for a flight today as a passenger in the back of a Piper PA28-181 Archer. Josie [PIC] was heading out to do some "windmill spotting" on the western side of the Wellington Control Zone and I was invited to go along for the ride. For those that do not know, Meridian Energy is putting up a bunch of windmills across the western hills of Wellington. Apart from generating electricity, I imagine that they are going to make for a wonderful landmark, especially for us VFR flyers in the near future.

Wellington is well known for its wind, although as you'll see in some of these photos, it has been a very still day today - just perfect for windmill spotting!

The first photo is of Josie and Pete, then several of windmills themselves, followed by some pictures of the trip back into Wellington from the north, then across the harbour to Wellington's CBD. The final photo looks across the northern end of Mount Victoria to the CBD. At the extreme right/middle, you can see a round building. That is the "Beehive" and along with the old building to the right of it, form part of the Parliament precinct.