Thursday, July 23, 2009

Interesting web site

OK, mea culpa! Some of you will have seen the original version of this post - I've decided to replace it, thanks to a couple of comments.

Here's a Wikipedia page that provides links to quite a number of New Zealand aerodromes. I can't vouch for accuracy of the information [in any case, there are authoritive sources for all of this information], but it still has some useful information. Click here for the site.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nanchang startup

I finally got a good series of pictures of the smoke generated by the Nanchang CJ6, ZK-JNA, starting up outside of the aero club. It's not always this smokey, but it looks good when it is :-)

Today's Wellington visitors

It has been another great day weather-wise at Wellington. I spent most of the afternoon at the aero club, and spotted these visitors.

Top to bottom are:

Cessna 152, ZK-NPN, New Plymouth Aero Club
Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-EYC, Canterbury Aero Club
Piper PA46-310P, N9099Z, registered to a Bangor, Pennsylvania, USA address, although I understand that it is based here in New Zealand


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Various other movements

Along with the more "unusual" movements today, I captured a number of "run-of-the-mill" aircraft.

Top to bottom are:

Cirrus SR22, ZK-YUG
Air New Zealand Boeing 737-300, ZK-NGJ
Air Nelson Bombardier DHC-8, ZK-NEU
Polynesian Blue Boeing 737-800, ZK-PBF
Helilink Agusta A119, ZK-ITR

Nanchang CJ6 Solo

Congrats to Pete from the aero club who got to fly solo in the Nanchang CJ6, ZK-JNA!

Here's a couple of photos of the momentus occasion:

Qantas Boeing 767 at Wellington

A very unusual visitor to Wellington today was this Qantas B767-338, VH-OGT. Unusual, because Wellington does not get many Boeing 767 flights from any airline - mostly they seem to be infrequent foreign government aircraft visitors [The Chinese spring to mind].

At this stage, it appears that this aircraft diverted here from Christchurch, which has had fog-related issues most of the day, as evidenced by more aircraft than usual parked up in Wellington [perhaps surprisingly, the weather at Wellington has been absolutely fabulous all day...!].

USCG Gulfstream G-V and Air National Gulfstream G-IV

It has been a good day for spotting aircraft at Wellington today. A recent arrival [in the last couple of days] was this United States Coast Guard [USCG] Gulfstream G-V, seen here parked on the RNZAF apron. As reported on MRC Aviation, USCG aircraft are rather infrequent visitors to New Zealand, so it was good to see this one.

As a comparison, I also saw the Air National-operated Gulfstream G-IV, ZK-KFB which departed later in the day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What digital SLR?

Gidday readers!

I'm after a bit of advice!

I might be purchasing a new camera soon, and want some advice from those of you who know about such things :-) I'm still very much learning about DSLR cameras, so forgive me if the specs below seem a little basic.

Main gripes about my current camera [an Olympus SP-500UZ] are the speed of the auto-focus, no practicable manual focus and image quality can be a bit naff [and that's not all down to me :-)!!].

My basic requirements/features needed are:

10+ mega pixels [essential]
Fast auto-focus and manual focus option [essential]
5-6 frames per second capability [optional]
Interchangable lenses [essential]
Anti-shake/stability [preferred]
Well-known/ respected brand [preferred]

My budget is under NZD$2000 [approximately USD$1000], so I know that it's not going to be super flash [entry level DSLRs are available for around NZD$900]! Oh yeah, I must be able to purchase and get support in New Zealand. Any suggestions about a particular camera? Even a particular brand? What's good about it, not so good? Other features I should consider?

Please leave a message, or email

Thanks in advance!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Young Eagles and visiting aircraft

It was another good winter's day in Wellington... waiting for the weather to go bad :-). Earlier this week I was asked to take some Young Eagles for a flight. As it turned out, I only had to take one up - well worth it though as the young fella had never been in a light aircraft before. As [almost] always, I took the Piper PA28-181 Archer, ZK-TDJ up; he managed to spot his house from the air and he enjoyed the flight.

Visitors spotted today include a Piper PA28R-200 Arrow, registered to Rick Lucas Helicopters, ZK-EKR. The Cessna 172M, ZK-DRM is registered to Waitomo Aero Club in Te Kuiti. Tucked in behind the Cessna is a Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk from Marlborough Aero Club.

Finally you'll see a few pictures of a Morane-Saulnier MS 893E, ZK-FOX. I don't know anything much about this type, but apparently they a good little performers. Note in the last picture I have highlighted the leading-edge slats in their deployed position.

United Airlines and a broken guitar

Probably best you read the story on his website, but in short, United Airlines in the USA broke a USD$3500 guitar and refused to reimburse the owner... who just happened to be a muso going on tour. Bad move.

Check out the details on this website and play the video.

Friday, July 10, 2009

NZ Post Fokker F27 Friendship

Here's a picture of what is believed to be an NZ Post Fokker F27 Friendship at Wellington recently. The photo was taken from some distance away and being night it's a little grainy, but it's not too bad.

It's not my photo this time, so "thanks" and a big pretend chocky bar to Silke for sending it and allow me to put it up! :-)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Pilatus PC12 and Jetstar A320

The weather today was cold and dreary, so not much fun trying to get photos. Despite that, spotted today were another Jetstar A320, VH-VQD. Unless it was extremely late :-), I believe that this was the Auckland-Wellington aircraft and that it arrived on time. If so however, it still managed to leave around 15 minutes late. I guess that's a risk when you are planning on 30 minute turnarounds in a 177 passenger aircraft.

I'm not sure if Jetstar have their third aircraft operating on domestic sectors yet, but if not, I might have just managed to photograph the entire fleet :-) ha ha ha

In other news, an unusual visitor was an Australian registered Pilatus PC12, VH-VTF. This aircraft has been seen making a number of arrivals/departures into Wellington. Rumour has it that it's here conducting demonstration flights and that an air ambulance operator may be taking a look. This particular aircraft is registered to Poolhurst PTY LTD, of a Brisbane, Australia address.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Changes are afoot...

OK, nothing too exciting, just advising that I'm making some small changes to the layout of the blog over the next week or so.

Do let me know what you think! In particular:
  • Is the blog easy to read?
  • Are the colours OK?
  • Is the information in the sidebar OK?
  • Do you want more/ less information?

Basically, any comments are most welcome!

Many thanks!