Thursday, November 30, 2017

Competition aircraft

As mentioned in an earlier post, as the Event Director for the competitions, I didn't have time to take a lot of photos. There were plenty taken by others [FB is a bit of a goldmine for these], but I did get a few.

First up is my favourite aircraft, although it was not competing. This is a Piper PA18, ZK-BTU. The aircraft is a 90Hp model with no flaps, and I'm looking forward to having a fly over Christmas. I should be able to get some more photos and maybe some video also. The aircraft is registered to Wanganui Aero Club, having move there around September of this year.

Piper PA18, ZK-BTU, operated by Wanganui Aero Club
Next up are a couple of photos from the flightline of the visiting aircraft.

Last up is an AESL Airtourer 115, ZK-CWA. This is registered to a Napier address.

AESL Airtourer 115, ZK-CWA

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sunday in Hastings

Sunday in Hastings was a relaxing day after the Saturday competitions. After a lazy start, I went for a walk around parts of central Hastings [it's a nice place] followed by a trip out to the Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club for a local flights in Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO.

What was intended to be a quick trip around ended up being 1.5 hours of sightseeing and circuits - probably half circuits. I had almost forgotten how many you could do at an uncontrolled aerodrome!

Anyway, here are a few pictures.

First up is Mt Erin - one of the landmarks I saw when flying from Lake Poukawa towards Te Mata Peak.

Mount Erin
Next up is perhaps the best known natural feature in the area - Te Mata Peak. This just happened to be one of the points in the Bledisloe Trophy [Junior Navigation], NZ Herald Cup [Senior Navigation] and Microlight Navigation events. This was probably one of the easier points to spot. What you can't see in this photo is the hang glider operating just on the other side of the peak.

Te Mata Peak
Next are two pictures of Cape Kidnappers. This is a protected area for Gannet breeding, and as such I was 2,200' above the ocean at this point [there's a restricted area from the surface to 2,000 feet].

Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers
I actually started the day with a walk through the town. The hotel was on Railway Road.... and this is probably one of the few places to make a railway a feature for a town centre. Really well done!

Centre of Hastings

Monday, November 27, 2017

To Hastings and back!

This past weekend I was in Hastings for Flying NZ's annual Cook Strait regional competitions. These were hosted by the friendly team at Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club at their fantastic facility near... Hastings [obviously!].

This year I was the Event Director, which as one wise person told me, meant that if there were any incidents, it's my signature on the form... Just as well it all went well!

Getting to Hastings from Wellington is fairly simple - just around 1.5 hours each way in Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO. It's a fun flight, especially when the weather is nice, but actually good when the weather is not so nice also. I got to see both.

The first photo is from the trip north to Hastings last Friday. No wind to speak of, clear skies, great visibility, George* doing the hard work of following the magenta line [yes, that is cheating! Ha!] and a bag of lollies on the dashboard.

The Office and View from Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO, operated by Wellington Aero Club

The trip home on Monday was a little different. Still next to no wind, George put to work for some of it, but no lollies to be seen [nor as much scenery as it turns out]! On the plus side, I still spent most of the flight at around 3000' and I was able to wash the plane gently a couple of times...

Dark clouds

Heavy rain off to the left - no flying through that!

Gloomy but better than it looks

Always return your aircraft as clean as you received it?
It may not surprise you but I spent much of this flight looking - do I have an out [yes - going back or left to the coast]and  do I feel safe [yes also!]. Lastly, I didn't get any photos, but it is was surprising the number of farm strips or other suitable landing areas that appeared that I could have used if needed.

The competitions were on the Saturday. As the Event Director I was a bit busy to run around with the camera for that, but on Sunday I took the aircraft for a local flight an a bunch of circuits. More on that later, but all in all, a great weekend of flying.

* George - One rumour is that this originated with British pilots in WW2 and might be a reference to King George - owner of the aircraft. While there are a number of other explanations, I like this one.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

All Black ATR72

Here's a picture of the Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ] operated ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVA from earlier today at Wellington.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVA, operated by Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ]

Thursday, November 16, 2017

GA aircraft at Wellington last Saturday

Here are some GA aircraft seen at Wellington last Saturday.

First up is a Cessna 172S, ZK-NAB, which is operated by Nelson Aviation College.

Cessna 172S, ZK-NAB, operated by Nelson Aviation College
Next up is a Beech B200 Super King Air, ZK-MDC, operated by Air Wanganui, in an air ambulance configuration.

Beech B200 Super King Air, ZK-MDC, operated by Air Wanganui
Last up is a helicopter, in particular a Bell 206L, ZK-HMA. This aircraft is registered to a Manukau [Auckland] address.

Bell 206L, ZK-HMA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

RAAF Hercules

This post is of an RAAF-operated Lockheed Martin C130J, A97-448, which was briefly at Wellington last Saturday. It was one of at least a couple of C130's that operated through Wellington on Saturday.

Lockheed C130J, A97-448, operated by the RAAF

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bombardier at Wellington

Here is another photo of Bombardier CL600-2B16, N913TK, operated by a company called Christ Holdings in Texas, USA.

This photo was taken just after the aircraft was refueled in preparation for an overseas departure. Vehicles at the Execujet hanger included one clearly labelled as "Customs". It appears that the aircraft has been hidden away in the Execujet hanger since it arrived.

What a nice paint job :-)

Bombardier CL600-2B16, N913TK, operated by Christ Holdings

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Air New Zealand Dreamliner at Wellington

Air New Zealand sent a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Wellington twice today. the aircraft was ZK-NZF and was used to help with increased demand around tonights's All Whites vs Peru football game. Whatever the reason, it is good to see something different around here!

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, ZK-NZF, operated by Air New Zealand

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, ZK-NZF, operated by Air New Zealand

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, ZK-NZF, operated by Air New Zealand

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Action on the Western Apron

I only spent a few hours at the airport this afternoon and regrettably, I didn't take my good camera.

This was a pity as there was a fair amount happening and phone cameras just don't do so well, especially when you become dependent on a digital zoom rather than optical.

First up is an Airbus A320-232, VH-VFJ. This aircraft is operated by Jetstar Airways. the only reason it is on this side of the airport is that it apparently sucked another aviator [of the furry flying kind] through an engine a few days ago. Scuttlebutt is that this necessitated an engine change which was accomplished while parked inside the Execujet hanger.

This was the first time it had been outside for a few days. Note the chocks are in place. I don't recall it getting noisy, so I'm not sure what checks were being done.

Airbus A320-232, VH-VFJ, operated by Jetstar Airways
Next up is a business jet, namely a Bombardier CL600-2B16, N913TK, operated by a company called Christ Holdings in Texas, USA. It was though that this was bringing the German President to town, but now I am not sure. You'll see why shortly.

Bombardier CL600-2B16, N913TK, operated by Christ Holdings
The third and final western apron visitor was another airliner, in this case a Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIL, which is operated by Virgin Australia Airlines. A common enough visitor, but this was flew in from Sydney to park on the RNZAF military apron, just to the south of the aero club. Shortly after this, a large entourage left, escorted by Police.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIL, operated by Virgin Australia Airlines

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Flight up the Transmission Gully

Last weekend I took a quick trip with another club member, Peter M. The flight was in the club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT.

Part of the flight took us over the roadworks which are part of the new Transmission Gully road. This is covered in the following video.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Weekend visitor

I'm in catch up mode.... last Saturday there was a Cessna R172K, ZK-ELO, to a private owner in Feilding.

Cessna R172K, ZK-ELO