Monday, February 27, 2012

Flying NZ National championships: Dinner and a wrap up

Well, this is it, the final post from the Flying NZ National Championships for 2012.

The final dinner and prize giving was held at Snow Planet. For those of you who know anything about New Zealand, the Auckland region is not at all associated with snow. This is an indoor ski slope, with a nice restaurant attached [pictures below].

The organisation was superb! Flying NZ and the North Shore Aero Club [and others] can be very proud of a very well run event, which appeared to go smoothly, despite all of the weather problems. I think in the end, only the ribbon cutting competition was cancelled.

All in all, despite not flying as well as I could [and should] have, the whole event was great fun [actually, a huge amount of fun], and I'm definitely planning to compete in the regionals later this year, then hopefully the next Nationals also. In case you're interested, the results can be found here:

The following pictures show the restaurant, as well as the view from the restaurant into the ski slope.


Flying NZ National championships: The Wings Trophy competition, the weather, the PM and some other general views

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the weather was very interesting. It varied between windy and calm, wet and dry, overcast and patches of blue... each day...

Thankfully it was all good on Saturday for the Trans Tasman Wings Trophy competition. The Wings Trophy is a competition between New Zealand and Australia and held in each country on alternating years. This year was New Zealand's turn to host it, and, to cut a long story short, our team retained the title! Well done guys!

We were privileged to have the New Zealand Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key open the event. Personally, I'm not keen on all his politics, but he is the PM, and it was very good to have him there. He even hung around a bit longer to watch the formation flying competition. Nice.

Anyway, on to the pictures. The first are of the weather, then the PM, the two Wings Trophy teams [NZ on left, Australia on the right] then some other general pictures from the day. Take a good look at the weather pictures - in one, even the ducks are walking [says a lot!]!. The last one is of a dodgy looking formation flight - you'll need to click on the image, but there are about 20 "aircraft" in that one!


Flying NZ National championships: Great Barrier Airlines

Great Barrier Airlines is another commercial operator, this time based at North Shore AD. Their fleet appears to consist of a few types, including the following:

Piper PA31, ZK-NSN
Britten-Norman BN2A-26, ZK-FVD
Britten-Norman BN2A Mk.111-2, ZK-LGC
Britten-Norman BN2A Mk.111-2, ZK-LGF
Partenavia P68B, ZK-PLA

Flying NZ National championships: Salt Air

North Shore has a couple of scheduled operators coming and going most days. The first of these is Salt Air. Salt Air is based in the Bay of Islands area and provides [almost] daily flights to and from North Shore AD. Their fixed wing fleet [they have a couple of helicopters also] consists of Cessna 208B, ZK-MJL and Gippsland GA8, ZK-MAB.

Flying NZ National championships: A few more and "Gorillas on a Plane"

OK, so were are getting to the end of the "random" aircraft pictures. Here are a few more, then onto the weather, the PM, a very unusual formation and dinner.

Piper PA28-140, ZK-EBM, registered to Canterbury Aero Club
de Havilland DH82A, ZK-ASM, registered to a Bayswater address, including instrument panel. This aircraft was used for the "preflight defect" competition. I think from memory the engineer introduced 28 defects [!] and the winner got something like 24 of those. Amazing!
Hawker Beechcraft G58, N298WA
de Havilland DH84, ZK-AXI, registered to an Albany address. This photo was taken as it taxied in from a flight with some very excited Young Eagles [and a couple of very very happy instructors] on board. Lucky Gorillas [I'm not explaining that comment - you had to be there!]! :-)

Flying NZ National championships: Even more aircraft

Here are some more "random" aircraft...

Alpha R2160, ZK-WCD, registered to Waikato Aero Club
NZ Aerospace CT4/B, ZK-JMV, registered to a Mount Maunganui address
Slingsby T67M200, ZK-TZX, registered to North Shore Aero Club
Nanchang CJ6, ZK-FRU, registered to a Mt Eden address
Cessna A185F, ZK-WAP, registered to a Sandringham address

Flying NZ National championships: More aircraft

Not so much of an introduction this time - straight into the aircraft.

Robin R2120U, ZK-TZL, registered to North Shore Aero Club
Piper PA28-140, ZK-DIW, registered to a Browns Bay address
Socata TB10, ZK-JIE, registered to RNZAF Base Auckland Aviation Sports Club
Cirrus Design SR22, ZK-FMN, registered to a Howick address
Cessna A152, ZK-FLF, registered to Auckland Aero Club

Flying NZ National championships: A place to stay and various aircraft

One of the great things about Flying NZ comps is the opportunity to catch up with other pilots - most of whom you won't have seen for 6 - 12 months. This year I was the only Wellington Aero Club competitor and stayed with the Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club team in Orewa. A lot of fun, but as they say, what goes on tour stays on tour.

Anyway, here are some more photos.

Piper PA28-161, ZK-KAT, registered to North Shore Aero Club
Piper PA38-112, ZK-EQH, registered to Marlborough Aero Club
Panel in ZK-EQH
Cessna 172B, ZK-BZU, registered to an Albany address
Cessna A152, ZK-TAA, registered to Tauranga Aero Club
Cessna 177RG, ZK-DPD, registered to a Tauranga address

Flying NZ National championships: Introduction

If you thought the blog was a little quiet last weekend, you'd be right. The past week [Tuesday to Sunday], I was up at the Flying NZ National Championships and Wings Trans Tasman Trophy competitions.

The competitions were held at North Shore aerodrome [NZNE] and I was entered into the Airwork Cup - PPL Low Flying event. Unfortunately I didn't fly particularly well but still managed a 3rd-equal result.

The weather was very interesting... at times a little windy, often cloudy and raining although with some nice weather at times.

Anyway, this and the following posts will have some photos from the time I was there. I won't try and bore you with all 371 photos though :-), just a selection of the ones I think are more interesting, or informative.

Top to bottom are:

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKG, registered to Air Hawkes Bay. This was the aircraft I used in the Low Flying comp
Piper PA38-112, ZK-FTP, also registered to Air Hawkes Bay
Piper PA28-140, ZK-DOQ, registered to North Shore Aero Club
Robin R2120U, ZK-TZG, also registered to North Shore Aero Club
Cessna 150M, ZK-LRD, registered to a Waitakere address

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Now here's something a little different...

I had another low flying practice flight today... although I'm left hoping I can do things a little better on competition day! Oh well.

In better news, I've been sent a few pictures from Canberra International Airport [ICAO: YSCB]. Here are some of the photos, and a big thank you to Martin S for sending them to me! Top to bottom are:

Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW, VH-ZPB, registered to Virgin Australia Airlines
Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YFH, also registered to Virgin Australia Airlines
Bombardier DHC-8-402, VH-QOM, registered to Sunstate Airlines [operating as Qantas Link]

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today's [non] flying and other stuff

So much for a couple of low-flying practice flights today. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. I'm hoping to get one in tomorrow, as the Nationals is this coming week.

Some of the aircraft that were flying today include a three that I don't get to see too often and one that is rather more common.

Top to bottom are:

Raytheon/ Beech B1900D, ZK-EAQ, registered to Eagle Airways
British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-ECR, registered to Vincent Aviation
Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-IME, registered to Helicopters Otago
Beech B200 Super King Air, NZ1882, registered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force