Monday, February 28, 2011

Auckland/ Ardmore Visit - Post 2: Auckland Aero Club flight over Auckland City

Sunday afternoon I went out to Auckland Aero Club again. It was good to catch up with a few people, especially Merv the Club Patron. The highlight of the afternoon was to go for a flight in a Cessna 172S, ZK-JRE. This aircraft has Garmin G1000 displays, but apart from that [and the associated extra buttons to push], it flies juts like C172.

I had almost forgotten how nice it was to fly over Auckland city - clear, unobstructed airspace [well, most of the time], and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf all right there. Thanks Jason for making the time to take me up :-)

The photos are of Rangitoto Island, then a couple of pictures of the CBD. Next is a photo of the G1000 screens [sorry, it's not a very good one]. Lastly, is the Slingsby T67B Firefly, ZK-WAE. I flew some hours in this a few years ago, although never got round to having a rating signed off.

Auckland/ Ardmore visit - Post 1: X-Flight and the Warbirds Dakota

After a bit of an absence, I made another visit to Auckland last weekend. This was an opportunity to catch up with some people I hadn't seen for a while [more details on my other blog, Rodney's WTAOG Stuff - Andrew, Anita and Tahi will be making an appearance shortly :-)].

My first visit was to see Rob and Helena at Rob's Patisserie in the suburb of Ponsonby. Well worth a visit if you're looking for a bite to eat, or a fancy cake for a special occasion!

After this I went out to Ardmore airport to visit Auckland Aero Club [where I am still a member], and got to catch up with Wayne of X-Flight fame [and winner of a national aerobatic flight competition earlier this year]. Wayne provides aerobatic adventure flights and from the videos I have seen, it would be a real experience! Well worthwhile checking out! or phone 0800 XFLIGHT [New Zealand callers only].

The first two pictures are of X-Flight's Extra EA300/L, ZK-XRA. The last is a picture of the NZ Warbird's Douglas DC3, ZK-DAK taking off. More pictures from my visit to Auckland Aero Club tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Christchurch Earthquake

By now most of you would have heard of the terrible earthquake which struck Christchurch city at 12:51pm on 22 February 2011. Unlike the September 2010 quake, this time there are numerous dead and injured. The full resources of this country [and many other countries] are mobilised to support the rescue and recovery efforts.

Big kudos to Air NZ for their response, putting on domestic B747 and B777 flights between Auckland and Christchurch, plus additional flights from other centres, and at very very cheap rates. Nice one AirNZ!

You will all have seen the carnage on various news websites, but for authorative information, I recommend the official Civil Defence website. This site provides regular updates, and the information is likely to be more accurate than from many other sources. It also provides information for those currently in Christchurch, and for those who wish to assist in some way. This includes financial donations through reputable organisations like Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the various banks.

The following photos are of an RNZAF Boeing 757-200, NZ7571, departing Wellington [having arrived about 30-40 minutes earlier]. A short time later NZ7572 also arrived and departed to/ from Christchurch. For more information on aircraft movements, MRC Aviation provides some information [certainly more and better information that I can provide].

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heavy and not-so-heavy metal

The weather was fantastic in Wellington today, and the Club was kept busy flying all day. Visitors today included a number of light aircraft from various parts of the country, plus the following. The first is an RNZAF Boeing 757, NZ7571. This is the largest aircraft to regularly use Wellington [although not the largest aircraft to ever land here].

Next is a Sounds Air Cessna 208 Caravan, ZK-TZR, followed by an Aerospatiale AS 350BA, ZK-HZN, registered to Search And Rescue Services Ltd of a Taupo address. Last is a Beech 76 Duchess, ZK-JED, registered to Ardmore Flying School of Ardmore airfield.

Next weekend I'm planning to do some flying for myself, so here's hoping for good weather next Sunday...!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Calibration, lighties and a big fence

It was a fairly quiet day at the airfield today. The weather was better this morning, but from late morning onwards there was a fair amount of low cloud hanging around which tended to curtail things. Another curtailing factor was an unannounced round of airfield navaid calibration.

The calibration is necessary to ensure that the approach aids are still functioning to the specified standards, but side effects include interruptions to other traffic [especially VFR flights like the aero club's flights!].

Anyway, the aircraft being used [pictured below] is a Vincent Aviation Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH, on behalf of the Airways Corporation of NZ.

Other aircraft from today include a Robinson R22 Beta, ZK-HHQ and registered to Heliflite of an Auckland address and a Piper PA18 Cub, ZK-BQY which is also registered to an Auckland address.

The last photo shows the new fence that has sprung up around the old aero club hanger which the the airport company [Wellington International Airport Ltd - WIAL] is preparing to demolish. A real shame...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Today's larger aircraft

Some larger aircraft from today are a Boeing 737-800, ZK-ZQD and registered to Jetconnect [Qantas]. This aircraft is a very new arrival [February 2011] to the Jetconnect fleet and has been named "Sir Edmund Hillary".

The next are a few pictures of Air New Zealand's latest Airbus A320, ZK-OAB.


Today's smaller aircraft

In the first of two posts from today, here are some of the lighter aircraft I saw. The first is a Beech F33A Bonanza, ZK-EDS. This aircraft is registered to a Palmerston North address and was parked up at the Aero Club for much of the day.

The second is a Cessna 208, ZK-TZR, registered to Sounds Air.

Last is a British Aerospace Jetstream 31, ZK-JSH and registered to Vincent Aviation. The aircraft appears to have just undergone some engine test runs and so perhaps this was a test flight?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Crazy About Rugby!

Air New Zealand has been generating a bit of interest lately with its latest arrival, an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OAB. This aircraft is the first and only of the fleet to be painted All Black [they did have a bright green Boeing for a while], and is celebrating not only New Zealand's passion for the game, but also the upcoming Rugby World Cup which is to be hosted around New Zealand. Quite appropriate with New Zealand also winning the Rugby 7's here in Wellington this weekend!

ZK-OAB is being used on the domestic routes and is bound to be a popular addition to the fleet. No word on how long it will remain in these colours [does anyone know how long a paint job lasts?].

The only negative [almost sorry to mention this] is this story from the NZ Herald website, announcing that mobile phone calls and txt messaging will be allowed on the aircraft... so much for peace and quiet on a 1 hour domestic sector!

Anyway, back to the aircraft. Here are some pictures from just this evening [still cloudy and wet in Wellington today!]. The final picture pretty much sums it all up! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Beech C90A

Much like yesterday, today's weather consisted of low cloud and high humidity - not much fun for anything really. There were a lot of aircraft parked up Wellington as they could get in, but met minima was below what they could use for takeoff. Needless to say, there was no Club flying today.

One visitor was this Air Wanganui Beech C90A King Air, ZK-MKG. This aircraft was on an air ambulance run, and in between times, I was taken out for a better look at it [thanks to him who claims to have no internet presence!]. The aircraft has been repainted recently [click on the registration label below to see the previous paint scheme], and looks really flash.

Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

American Champion 7GCBC Citabria

Low cloud prevented much flying today at Wellington. For much of the day cloud was reported as Broken at 700 feet [or thereabouts]. Temperature has been hovering around 25 degrees C and high humidity. At least it's no where near as bad as Cains has had recently...

An attempt to get flying was made by this American Champion 7GCBC Citabria, registration ZK-CIT, and registered to a Papakura [most likely Ardmore airfield] address.

It was still at Wellington when I left for the day - I guess due to the cloud more than anything.