Wednesday, March 28, 2012

RNZAF 75th anniversary airshow

I'm starting to get a wee bit excited about this coming Saturday!

This year is the much-anticipated 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF], and this weekend is the airshow at Ohakea airbase! I'm booked to fly in with 3 others in the Club Cessna 172. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the mixture of military and civil aircraft, including aircraft from Australia, the U.K., Singapore, New Caledonia, the U.S. and, of course, New Zealand. It'll also be my first chance to see the RNZAF's new helicopter fleet... here's hoping I get to jump inside one for a good look :-)

Details are here:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Canadian Cessna Citation

Today's surprise visitor is the following Cessna 750 Citation X, C-GCUL, seen here parked up outside the Execujet hanger at Wellington. It's not the best day for photos, being overcast, dull and damp... Oh well!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

RNZAF Beech B200 taking off

The following picture is an RNZAF Beech B200 King Air, NZ1885, taking off from Wellington.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In case you thought Air NZ "grabaseat" fares were the cheap ones...

What follows was a surprise for me. Air NZ's grabaseat fares are supposed to be the cheapest fares on offer, but look what happened when I went to book a flight to Hamilton earlier today...

Grabaseat fares are not always the cheaper option. Click for a larger version

That's right, the grabaseat fares are far more expensive than the Smartsaver fares! I almost got caught out, and it's a lesson to not listen too closely to the marketing BS. I wonder how many people got conned by this?

Gulfstream G-V at Wellington

The following is a Gulfstream G-V, N85V, seen outside of the Execujet hanger at Wellington airport today. It had just been refuelled, so I guess it is off shortly. I last saw this aircraft back in December 2008.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wellington visitors

Just a couple of visitors to Wellington highlighted this time around. The first is an Airwork Flight Operations Fairchild SA227-CC Metroliner, ZK-POF, departing.

The second is a Diamond DA40, ZK-MTH, registered to Massey University School of Aviation.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Flight to D'Urville Island - post 4

All good things must come to an end, so after a few fun hours on the island we jumped into aircraft and headed back to Wellington. I got to fly back as a passenger in the Piper Warrior which was nice for a change.

On the way back we were formatted on by the Cessna 172N. ZK-FLT got up nice and close as the first two pictures will show. Following that is a picture of the Marlborough Sounds [some of the best scenery in the country!], then back in to Wellington.

The last photo is completely unrelated to the trip - it is the Airwork Flight Ops Fairchild SA227-AC Metroliner, ZK-LFT taking off some time after we got back.

Flight to D'Urville Island - post 3

While D'Urville was a nice quiet place to visit, two other Cessna 172 aircraft arrived. The first was Cessna 172N, ZK-EHH, registered to an Otaki address.

The second aircraft was a bit surprising. It's an "original" Cessna 172 with a tail-dragger conversion! ZK-BSU looked very nice and is the first time I have seen a C172 tail-dragger. Note also the original "straight tail", and the main gear which is moved just forward of the struts, instead of well behind as in the usual tricycle undercarriage configuration.


Flight to D'Urville Island - post 2

Arrival at D'Urville Island airstrip was exciting! The maps made it look a bit more spacious than reality, but I was shown how to do a nice controlled approach, which in essence involves good airspeed control and a nice tight "circuit".

Some time after landing, I got to do it for myself in the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT. That was a huge amount of fun, although needing a bit more concentration than landing on most runways! The gravel surface could also be challenging if you try to brake too harshly or have trouble with directional control.

It is very nice being at a quiet airfield, with 4-5 landings in around 30 minutes. The strip itself is about 800 meters long, so plenty of room for a most light aircraft. The terrain is the biggest issue - there are hills pretty much everywhere, and where there are no hills, sand dunes :-)

The first three photos are looking over the strip, including of the Cessna landing. Next are a few of the Club instructors and members on one of the dunes. What each of the photos show is the the weather was perfect! We don't get many of these days - bright sunshine and very low winds. Nice!

Flight to D'Urville Island - post 1

Today was supposed to be a quiet day, with a visit to the aero club and not a lot more.

As it turned out, the Club trip to D'Urville Island was on, and there happened to be a spare instructor and Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-ESG!

I had not flown a PA38 since late October last year, but why let that stop me... after all, it was going to be dual. To save on the "boredom" of the trip, we threw in 30 minutes of simulated i/f [instrument flight]. The last time I did any of this was 1 June 2008 [!], so all things considered, it went better than expected.

Club aircraft taken were ZK-ESG, plus Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, another Piper PA38, ZK-WAC and Piper PA28-161, ZK-MBG.

Enjoy the photos and more details in the next post!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Vincent Aviation's "new" BAe 146!

Today's visit to Wellington airport was bought about by the news of Vincent Aviation's latest acquisition, a British Aerospace BAe 146 Series 200, ZK-ECO being out and about. The aircraft has just had a new livery applied and I think you'll agree, it looks awesome! Even the engine cowlings look great with the small logos on them.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it for the photo flight [it's a little thing called work - but thanks a lot for the invite!], but did manage to capture the arrival back and some photos inside and out. Many thanks to Peter Vincent and the team for allowing me a good look around!

Anyway, here are a few of the photos. I've also provide a link to a time-lapse video of the new livery being applied.


Changed Pacific Blue/ Virgin Australia Airlines livery

Today being a Monday I would not normally go out to the airport. Today was a bit different for reason that will come clear in my next post.

For this post though, I got a bit of an unexpected surprise. Pacific Blue is rebranding as Virgin Australia Airlines. I'm not sure how far this will go in terms of repainting the fleet, although I suspect that what I saw this evening is temporary until a full repaint of the Pacific Blue fleet.

A couple of things to note are the new "Airline of Virgin Blue" titles on the fuselage, and the original Pacific Blue branding elsewhere. Anyway, this aircraft is Boeing 737-8BK, VH-VOX. You can see the original livery by clicking here...

Other photos are of an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJR, registered to Air New Zealand and a Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-IME from Helicopters Otago.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

A stormy day in Wellington

As forecast, it is a wild weather day today. At one stage winds were gusting around 50 knots at the airport - would hate to think what it was like around some of the hills!

Needless to say,there was not a lot of flying happening around Wellington. It was only late morning that I saw the B737/ A320 aircraft arriving and departing [although there had been a few departures earlier on].

So, just a couple of pictures today of Air New Zealand and Jetstar aircraft taking off. Good on them - although I'm very happy to be on the ground today:-) Top to bottom are:

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJN, registered to Air New Zealand
Airbus A320-232, VH-VGV, registered to Jetstar Airways
Boeing 737-3U3, ZK-NGD, registered to Air New Zealand [2 photos]

Friday, March 02, 2012

After the wrap up, one more post :-)

I've been back home for a few days and having had a look through the rest of the almost 400 photos, I've found a few more I wanted to publish of various "random" aircraft that were hanging around over the week. So, here goes. Top to bottom are:

Canterbury Aero Club 3 ship formation team practice
Cessna 208B, ZK-MJL, registered to Salt Air Ltd
Eurocopter EC130 B4, ZK-IFC, registered to North Shore Helicopters Ltd
NZ Aerospace CT4/B, ZK-JMV, registered to a Mount Maunganui address
Cessna 162, ZK-AAC, registered to Auckland Aero Club
Robinson R22 Beta, ZK-ISC, registered to a Birkenhead address