Saturday, September 27, 2014

Looks like it's had a paint job since last I saw it...

Today's photos are of Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBG, of Virgin Australia Airlines departing Wellington on another trip across the Tasman. The last time I saw this aircraft [back in January] it was in the very faded Pacific Blue livery.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A wee bit of exciting news

Today's wee bit of exciting news is that I am heading off to Omaka [Blenheim] in two weeks time to undertake some strip flying training with Marlborough Aero Club. Looks like it is will be a fun weekend with 3 or 4 of us from Wellington Aero Club heading over and back on Sounds Air with 5 hours of training flights each over the two days.

I do remember doing a couple of hours of strip flying training a few years ago, and that was great fun. This should be pretty much mind blowing, with some training at Omaka aerodrome then off to find some of the many strips/ paddocks in the local area! I'll be using one of their Cessna 172's, so at least I'll be competent on the aircraft before I start. I suspect I'll be MUCH better at it by the time I finish!

The only thing I am a little nervous of is the weather. I really hope the weather cooperates so the training can go ahead... else it's an expensive trip to Blenheim for the weekend :-(

There will certainly be some photos to share afterwards... especially of any scary looking strips...

For those that might be interested... here is a link to the MAC website page: Marlborough Aero Club: Strip Flying Introduction

At the end of this, I hope I'll be competent to venture off to some of the more challenging and very scenic locations like D'Urville Island airstrip with a bit more confidence.

Mum - don't read this. Too scary. Oh, too late? :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another good day detached from the ground

Yep, I got to go flying again today, although it almost didn't happen.

I was scheduled to take up a couple of passengers today, but with some rubbish weather not moving through as early as expected and it all looking rather non-scenic and potentially a bit rough, I thought it was better to pull the plug on that flight.

Instead I spent a fun 48 minutes flying out to the Southern Wairarapa area in the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, doing a few rate 1 [shallow] turns, a simulated forced landing and then flew back.

As it turned out, there were quite smooth flying conditions, although still fairly gloomy and clouds down around 1700-1800' in places. Good enough for me though and perfectly safe. I even managed to pull off an awesome landing - especially compared to my last flight a couple of weeks ago :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Old tail-cam footage from an Air NZ B737-200 flying into Wellington

I stumbled across the following awesome footage [from 1996] of an Air NZ Boeing 737-200, ZK-NAT, flying a visual approach into Wellington. What you see in the video is the aircraft joining right-hand downwind from just west of Island Bay, continuing over the city then a right turn in to land.

Just a pity the current crop of Air NZ aircraft don't have tail [or nose] mounted cameras :-)

Anyway, enjoy the video!

Unusual visitors

I popped out to the Aero Club today, only to see some unusual visitors to Wellington on the ground and in the air.

The biggest surprise is was an Air NZ operated Boeing 767-319, ZK-NCK! It has been a long, long time since I have seen a B767 at Wellington.

Next up is a Piper PA38-112, ZK-FJR, from Canterbury Aero Club, which was parked in the old engine run-up bay. Next to this was a Cessna 180K, ZK-JCW, from Canterbury Aviation Ltd. The final picture is of the underside of Cirrus Design SR22, ZK-FMN, registered to an Auckland address, during an overshoot.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Air New Zealand retires its last Boeing 747

The big aviation news from New Zealand over the past few days is that Air New Zealand has retired the last of its Boeing 747-400's, with the final revenue flight one from San Francisco to Auckland.

I wasn't at Auckland to see the arrival of the last flight, a Boeing 747-419, ZK-NBV, although many other sites have some good information, such as this post from MRC Aviation which has a brief history of the type with Air NZ and an old Air NZ promotional video featuring the type.

As for my pictures, these include two photos of ZK-NBV on approach to Auckland back in January, reproduced below, which are my last photos of this particular aircraft.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday was low cloud and drizzle, today was sunshine. Beautiful weather to be flying in! I was planning on going for a flight, but as it turned out there was a happy coincidence of my preferred aircraft being wanted for another flight and an offer of a flight in the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. Not hard to work out what I did :-)

So, many thanks to Erich who took me up for a ride! After a few circuits, we headed out to the Southern Wairarapa for a look around before returning to Wellington. As the photos show, the weather really was good!

In different, although related, news, during one touch-and-go I got to see the "10th anniversary" Airbus A320-232, VH-VGF, from Jetstar - it's a bit of a "desperation shot" with no time to get the best lens or set up the shot...

Anyway, here are the photos:

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A wee bit wet today

I was due to go for a flight today, but with low cloud and drizzle appearing and remaining, there is no way that was going to work. In fact, it's just after 16:00 NZST and the cloud is only just lifting from my house which is a few hundred feet above sea level.

Oh well. Maybe tomorrow, although I suspect the weather will still be rubbish.

At least on days like today, there are usually still a few good photos to be had. Today was no exception.

Perhaps the most interesting landing of the day would go to the Jetstar crew who managed to land an Airbus A320 on Wellington's runway 16 and pull off at taxiway A6 - around 1100 meters from the threshold. It must have been very very light to do that as they usually exit much later, especially in damp conditions and reasonably light winds.

Anyway, here are the photos. Top to bottom are;

Airbus A320-232, VH-VQC, of Jetstar
British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, of Vincent Aviation [the local air ambulance]
Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEK, of Air Nelson [Air NZ]
2 x Boeing 737-8FE, ZK-PBD, of Virgin Australia Airlines [NZ] Ltd