Saturday, December 14, 2019

Dashing around

I'm into catch up mode, having taken a number of nice photos recently. With any luck, I'll be able to keep the regular posts coming [maybe even a couple a week or so], but time will tell.

This post is of two Bombardier DHC-8-311's departing Wellington last weekend. I really like how the aircraft is highlighted by the light, even with the obviously gloomy background.

The first is ZK-NEW and is painted in the current Air NZ livery.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEW, operated by Air NZ

The second is ZK-NEF and is still in the previous livery from some years ago.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEF, operated by Air NZ
Lastly, and very worthy of note is that Air Nelson and Mount Cook Airline operations have been merge onto the Air NZ AOC [Air Operations Certificate], hence the "operated by Air NZ" on the image labels, instead of "operated by Air NZ". Thanks to @zkarj for reminding me of this!

Friday, December 13, 2019


In this final post of a series of them from last Saturday, here's a nice photo of an ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVK, departing Wellington. Looks like the sun came out just at the right time to highlight the aircraft.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVK, operated by Mount Cook Airline

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Virgin Australia B737 with Max-like winglets

Virgin Australia's Saturday afternoon arrival was in Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIV.

Looking closely, you may notice that the winglets on this aircraft are not the standard B737-800 series winglets. Instead, they look rather more like the MAX series winglets.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIV, operated by Virgin Australia

Don't let looks confuse, however, this is definitely a -800 series aircraft. The MAX series won't be flying again until some time in 2020 [and I'm not going to guess when that might be!]. This is just an option for the NG series aircraft. Looks good though!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Saturday's Singapore Airlines arrival and departure

Saturday's Singapore Airlines arrival and departure were interesting to watch in the prevailing blustery conditions, but as you would expect, rather uneventful.

On Saturday the flight was in Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMI. The two photos show the arrival and then the departure.

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMI, operated by Singapore Airlines

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMI, operated by Singapore Airlines
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see an arrival on Sunday, as they had two attempts then diverted to Christchurch.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Fiji Airways Boeing 737-7X2

Today's post is from Sunday afternoon, looking at the Fiji Airways departure back to Nadi.

This flight used their Boeing 737-7X2, DQ-FJF, which, as the photo shows quite well, is one of the smallest Boeings being flown now. It was also a bit wet 😀

Boeing 737-7X2, DQ-FJF, operated by Fiji Airways

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Lifeflight Australia Ltd air ambulance

A surprise photo on Saturday morning was a Learjet 45, VH-CXJ, which is operated by Lifeflight Australia.

I haven't looked up when it arrived, but here it is departing Wellington mid-morning on Saturday. As you may be able to tell from the photos, the weather wasn't great. What you can't tell from the photos is that it was very windy wih a strong westerly component [up to 60 knots at 2000']. Unlikely to be a problem a few minutes after departure, but perhaps uncomfortable until then.

Anyway, here are the photos.

Learjet 45, VH-CXJ, operated by Lifeflight Australia

Learjet 45, VH-CXJ, operated by Lifeflight Australia

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Go arounds [and a little aviation "secret"]

It has been rather windy in Wellington today, with winds gusting up to around 60 knots on the ground. This, of course, meant a bit more work for the pilots, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I imagine it would have been a rather "exciting" ride for any passengers who are not familiar with a bit of turbulence!

At least three flights today went around and I got photos of two of them - both Qantas B737's - as they passed overhead the runway. An unusual view perhaps, but interesting.

First up is Boeing 737-838, VH-VYZ. This was just after an Air NZ A320 go-around and both aircraft headed around for a second attempt and a successful landing.

Boeing 737-838, VH-VYZ, operated by Qantas

Second up is Boeing 737-838, VH-XZC. This one did not make a second attempt and headed up north to what I presume was [but didn't check] a diversion to Auckland.

Boeing 737-838, VH-XZC, operated by Qantas

Now, just one thing that does annoy me a little. Sometimes people get rather too excited about a go-around. On occasions, social media lights up with "Qantas/ Air NZ/ Emirates/ Whatever Airline XYZ went around this afternoon! Does anyone know what happened??!??".

If you are one of these people, allow me to you let in on a little aviation "secret".

A go-around is a common procedure. It doesn't happen every day, but it is common and is normal.

If you are ever tempted to get too excited, please say the following 5 times: "A go-around is perfectly normal and nothing to get excited about". Preferably out loud so those around you can hear it also. ha ha

Thank you 👍

Friday, December 06, 2019

Dunning-Kruger Effect

This is not exactly aviation, but very related to aviation.

It's a video explaining the Dunning-Kruger Effect. A good [just under] 9 minute watch 👍

Monday, December 02, 2019

The National Airways Corporation returns??

Not quite NAC, but instead it is the Air Chathams operated DC3C-S1C3G, ZK-AWP, which has been repainted in this awesome NAC livery from many years ago!

This photo was taken outside of the Wanganui Aero Club last Saturday. Thanks to Leroy for supplying the picture.

I really should get my act together and go for a flight on this one day. I hear a rumour that there may be some summer scenic flights available, but I'm not seen anything official as yet. I probably should get a ride on a Convair before they disappear also...

Anyway, here's the aircraft.

Douglas DC3C-S1C3G, ZK-AWP, operated by Air Chathams

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Nanchang time!

I had the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, for the whole day today. The plan was to head up to Whanganui and take my father for a ride.

I had to wait for a while since there was low cloud at Whanganui, but that burnt off exactly as forecast, so around 10:30 I headed off from Wellington. The only cloud I encountered was between Wellington and Paekakariki, but once past Paekakariki, the skies were clear for the rest of the trip.

After arriving, refuelling and parking up, we had lunch, followed by a quick local flight around the greater Whanganui area, to the north then across to Kai Iwi and a bit further west, then back to Aramoho and back to land. Another refuel and I was soon on my way back home to Wellington. Also, Auckland Aero Club was at Whanganui on their way south. Hi Gavin!

Anyway, here are a few photos. Thanks dad for sending them!

Int his first photo, there are three of the 6 or 7 Auckland Aero Club aircraft, ZK-CAA from a local flight training operator and ZK-CIZ, a Saab 340 from Air Chathams. The photo was taken from the old control tower.

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Airbourne from Whanganui's runway 14

On the way back, north of Whanganui

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wellington Aero Club is 90! (post 2 of 2)

Following on from yesterday's post, here are a few more photos from last weekend's open day.

Hopefully, those of you who were able to get there enjoyed the day! I know that many of you took the opportunity to take flight for your first lesson/ trial flight with one of the Aero Club's instructors [I've seen lots of FB posts which indicated this was a lot of fun!]. There were also lots of fantastic photos and videos taken, so thanks for sharing those!

Lastly, weather permitting, my next flight is this coming Saturday, where I'll be taking the Nanchang up to Whanganui for a brief visit. Maybe see you there?!

Beechcraft Kingair 350, NZ2353, operated by the RNZAF

Beechcraft Kingair 350, NZ2353, operated by the RNZAF

Kawasaki BK117 B2, ZK-HLF, operated by Helilink

BAC BAC167 Strikemaster Mk88, ZK-BAC, operated by BAC 167 Strikemaster Ltd

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Wellington Aero Club is 90! (post 1 of 2)

Last weekend was Wellington Aero Club's 90th Anniversary celebration!

Celebration activities included our first open day in several years on the Western Apron, followed by a really nice dinner at the Rydges hotel in the main airport terminal.

Anyway, on to the open day. I'm not sure how many people came through, but it seemed to be a steady stream throughout the day which was good. It was particularly good to have support from Lifeflight and Westpac Rescue, Sounds Air, the RNZAF, Kapiti Warbirds [owners of ZK-END], BAC167 Strikemaster Ltd and airport rescue who all sent aircraft [and a fire engine] in to support the day.

I was a bit busy, so didn't take many photos. Thank you to Ron Edmands for most of these photos, as indicated.

North American Harvard 3*, ZK-END, operated by Kapiti Warbirds

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Cessna 208 Caravan, ZK-PDM, operated by Sounds Air

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Lifeflight

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Lifeflight

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, operated by Air Freight NZ on behalf of Lifeflight

Thursday, November 14, 2019

BFR done

Last Tuesday I completed the flying portion of my Biennial Flight Review [BFR]. This is a check that is needed every two years to confirm continued competence and to ensure I am updated on anything significant that has changed in the aviation world over the past couple of years. The aircraft was Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE.

My goodness, it was a fun flight! The instructor and I managed to get the few hours of perfect weather in what has otherwise been a period of rather poor weather. We could not have had it better. A gentle crosswind at Paraparaumu, smooth flying conditions everywhere and one of the best evenings to fly on that I have ever encountered.

EKE has a 180hp engine and a STOL kit. This means you can actually fly it at 50 knots indicated [with no flap] and do a rate one turn. It gets airborne super quick also. It can be a bit tricky slowing it down if you're not sufficiently ahead of the aircraft.

In 1.9 hours, we covered everything, including a trip up to Paraparaumu, across to Upper Hutt and then to the southern Wairarapa area for a forced landing and some low flying. Given it was evening, we came back as it was getting darker and landed a few minutes before ECT [if we had been delayed, the instructor was night current and I'm night rated, so it hardly would have mattered].

I don't have any photos from the flight, but then, I doubt they would have done justice to what we could see. Smooth flying conditions, amazing visibility and a fun fun fun time... I learned something and got reminded of a couple of things also... just how a BFR should be!

Anyway, flights are also booked in the Nanchang between now and Christmas, so I should be able to get some tripping around done. Watch out Whanganui, I'm heading your way in 2.5 weeks if the weather gets better 😎

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Older and newer Airbus'

Last Saturday I saw one of Air New Zealand's older Airbus A320-232's, ZK-OJH and one of their newest aircraft, an A321-271NX, ZK-NNB.

ZK-OJH is one of two [that I can recall] Air NZ A320's in a special livery, this one being the Star Alliance livery.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OJH, operated by Air New Zealand

Airbus A320-271NX, ZK-NNB, operated by Air New Zealand

Monday, November 11, 2019

A soon to be disappearing operator...

Another picture from the weekend is the soon to be disappearing [from New Zealand skies at least] operator, Eastern Australia Airlines, operating for Jetstar, and their Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQL.

These DHC-8's will be leaving New Zealand at the end of this month and [presumably] returning to Australia.

Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQL, operated by Eastern Australia Airlines/ Jetstar

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Another Singapore Airlines A350-900

Today's photo is of the latest Singapore Airlines-operated Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMB, to operate into Wellington and about to depart

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMB, operated by Singapore Airlines

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Airbus' 10,000th aircraft

Airbus' 10,000th aircraft is an A350-951, 9V-SMF, which is operated by Singapore Airlines. This was the aircraft that operated Singapore Airlines' service into Wellington on Sunday.

As can be seen, it's mainly the standard livery with just the addition of the 10,000th Airbus Aircraft logo on the rear fuselage.

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMF, operated by Singapore Airlines

Monday, November 04, 2019

Singapore Airlines' new A350 service to Melbourne [and Singapore]

Last Friday was the first of the Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350 services to Wellington [replacing the previous Boeing B777].

Singapore Airlines is the first airline operator of the A350 into Wellington, following on from the Airbus-operated flights last year.

These photos are from Saturday's flight which was operated by A350-941, 9V-SMC.

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMC, operated by Singapore Airlines

Airbus A350-941, 9V-SMC, operated by Singapore Airlines

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Piper Archer TX

A visitor from Canterbury Aero Club arrived on Saturday in the form on a Piper PA28-181 Archer TX, ZK-LJX. This is a new build Archer with twin Garmin 1000 displays.

Piper PA28-181 Archer TX, ZK-LJX, operated by Canterbury Aero Club
In other news, I did manage a brief flight this afternoon, moving Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE to Paraparaumu for a 100-hour inspection and planned maintenance next week.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I HAVE CLOTHES! The weather is better! Lots of flying! Time for a BFR!

I HAVE CLOTHES! The weather is better!

I suppose that's the most unusual post title I have ever used. Also, not something I typically celebrate since I usually have plenty of clothes around [no Cheryl, this is not Ottawa!] 😁

The reason for a minor celebration is that my suitcase, which was full of clothes and related stuff, my camera gear and most of my flight gear, was stuck in Masterton for the past few days. I had to wait the weather improved enough for them to fly back in a C172 after the Flying NZ Cook Strait regional comps last weekend.

Unfortunately, the Nanchang doesn't have space for a suitcase and I wasn't that smart about picking and choosing what would fly back with me on Monday.

I least I never had to stoop to borrowing a certain somebody's China Southern First Class pyjamas. That's a whole different story.

Lots of flying!

In other news, I thought it had been a big month of flying for me. Turns out it was. I did a total of 9.3 hours - probably the largest single month in a few years - and it felt really good!

October started with 3.7 hours solo, over 2 flights in Cessna 172s [ZK-EKE and ZK-CEO], including a nice trip to NZHS (Hastings aerodrome). It continued and finished with 2.2 hours dual and 3.4 hours solo in my Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO.

Combined with the previous type rating flights for the Nanchang, I now have a total of 16.5 hours on type, including 6 hours solo. I think I'm getting the hang of it now! I should stop promising people rides for a short time, as I'm up to three aerodromes I have to go visit already [plus Wellington] and probably 7 or 8 people...

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, operated by Wellington Aero Club/ Wellington Warbirds
Time for a BFR!

The next thing I have to do is undertake my BFR [Bienniel Flight Review]. Until that is done, no more Nanchang flying [it's an insurance requirement]... so hopefully it will be finished in the next couple of weeks. Until then, all those I have promised flights to will have to wait...!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Flying NZ Cook Strait Regional competition. Success!

This past weekend has been Flying New Zealand's regional competition, this year hosted by Wellington Aero Club [website / facebook] as Hood Aerodrome [Masterton].

As is usual, it was a very busy weekend, with arrivals day on Friday [although I did get some Nanchang flying in 😀] followed by a very busy competitions day on Saturday. We had a full day of competitions, starting with briefings at 07:30 and finishing up around 16:30 with the last of the bombing and liferaft competitions completed.

In case you're interested in competitions or the results, check out the Flying NZ competitions page []. Scroll down a little for the results.

I'm pretty enthusiastic about competitions, even if for the last 3 years I've been organising them rather than competing. I think that the practice competitors undertake is great for their own skills, it is a lot of fun and it's great for club hours also. A win-win-win situation! Not only that, but the social side of the competitions is good also. Typically there's a relaxed BBQ on the Friday before the competition, "formal" dinner on Saturday after the competitions and lots of laughs and tall stories in between.

Well done to everyone who competed, thanks to all those who helped in any way and congratulations to Wellington Aero Club who took out the main competitions, the Wigram Cup!

If you want to know more about Flying NZ competitions, send me a message, I'm happy to help!

Unfortunately, I was so busy with organising stuff that I didn't get to fly in the Streamer Cutting competition or get to take many photos, but it was an enjoyable day none the less!

I did get a couple of flights in the Nanchang CJ6A on Friday, one of Sunday morning and my flight home on Monday morning. All in all, a lot of fun there. I think I got close to 2 hours of circuits in total, most of them with a crosswind and one session following a Tecnam P2002JF [ZK-WRA from Wairarapa Aero Club] around the circuit. I flew some wider circuits just because of the relative speeds of our aircraft, so that's great practice also.

The trip home was fairly uneventful. The forecast westerly winds were there with a bit of wave going on, but not too much turbulence, although I suspect the Nanchang handles it better than some other aircraft. Airswitch was only 0.6 hours, including a go-around and circuit at Wellington on arrival [something much bigger and faster than me was behind me].

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Interesting and fun times!

It has been an interesting and fun time recently. Not much in the way of pictures yet, but there are likely to be some coming up in the next week or so.

Anyway, in the last 3 months, I have started and been signed off for, my Nanchang CJ6A type rating (thanks Simsy!). A bit of work but a lot of fun! I've also completed some currency work since the aircraft was in maintenance for a few weeks - also good fun!

I'm now just about due for my BFR which I hope to complete in the next week or two.

More important though is that this weekend is the Flying NZ Cook Strait regional flying competitions. This year they are being held at Masterton [Hood Aerodrome]. Like the last couple of years, I am directing the competitions, which a lot of help from some really smart and generous people. Thanks!

This year we have competitors from Wanganui, Hawkes Bay & East Coast, Kapiti and Wellington Aero Clubs. It's bound to be a fun time for all with flying and social events planned. I'm also competing in the Streamer Cutting - I think there are only two of us doing this, but this is an open entry comp, so if any others from member clubs want a go, we'll try and fit you in.

Hopefully, I'll have a few minutes to capture some pictures from the Friday and Saturday and maybe a rather more relaxing flight or two in the Nanchang 😁

Nanchang Syndicate Shares
One last thing. Are you interested in flying something a little different? Based near Wellington? Have a minimum of a PPL and 100 hours total time?

There might be some Nanchang syndicate shares coming up soon!

It's a great opportunity to get into warbird flying. If you've been flying the regular sorts of GA aircraft, this is quite achievable but it'll also provide a bit of a challenge! Let me know if you're interested and I'll give you the lowdown.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Two Cessnas at Wellington

Today's pictures [from last Sunday] are two quite different Cessna aircraft.

The first is a Cessna A185F, ZK-PRM. This aircraft is operated by Pelorus Air and is used to transport passengers across Cook Strait and around the Marlborough Sounds.

Cessna A185F, ZK-PRM, operated by Pelorus Air

The second Cessna for this post is a Cessna 650 Citation III, N163JM. Despite being US-registered, it is based in Wellington and makes fairly regular trips out and about. It appears that it undertook a return trip to Christchurch on Sunday.

Cessna 650 Citation III, N163JM

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Three DHC8s at Wellington

More pictures from last Sunday, this time of three Bombardier DHC8's. The first two are from Air Nelson [Air NZ].

ZK-NEE is still in the "old" Air NZ Link livery.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEE, operated by Air Nelson [Air NZ]

ZK-NEA is in the new livery.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEA, operated by Air Nelson [Air NZ]

Lastly, a livery that will be disappearing at the end of this month, is the Jetstar livery on the Eastern Australia Airlines-operated DHC-8's. Jetstar is pulling all of it's regional routes in NZ. I expect that these aircraft will therefore return to Australia.

Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQD, operated by Eastern Australia Airlines for Jetstar

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Old and the New

I have two photos of ATR-GIE ATR72 aircraft from Mount Cook Airline. The first is an older, and on the way out, aircraft, ZK-MCB.

ATR-GIE ATR72-500, ZK-MCB, operated by Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ]

The second is one of Mount Cook Airline's newest ATR72-600 aircraft, ZK-MZA.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MZA, operate dby Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ]

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Wellington Aero Club aircraft

It was an interesting day for flying today. A bit of cloud around, but very smooth conditions.

I did get up for a brief flight. I was planning on going to D'Urville Island, but with the cloud the way it was and not being sure of being able to get back if it clagged in, I turned back early. The aircraft [as usual for strip flying] was the Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, pictured here prior to departure.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club
The unexpected sight today though was a temporary Piper PA38-112, ZK-TDL. I understand we're using this for a week or 2 to cover some maintenance on ZK-WAC, so get your picrures while you can! It is currently registered to Kapiti Districts Aero Club and owned by a local engineer.

Piper PA38-112, ZK-TDL, operated by WAC, registered to KDAC

You can see the light wasn't great for photos, but I have to start rebuilding my collection somehow!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Air NZ A320-232

It has been a rather annoying week.

I managed to lose all my images and video when someone "helpfully" encrypted, then offered to decrypt [for an exceeding large fee] all the photos and videos I had on my NAS. I suppose it serves me right for not protecting the data well enough.

Needless to say I'll have to spend a lot of time taking photos and there will be a lot I can't replace. Stink. I will need to do some tripping around to get some more - just as well I have airpoints... and I will get better at protecting these new images...

Anyway, here is the first of the new set. An Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXD, at Christchurch last weekend.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXD, operated by Air New Zealand

Monday, September 23, 2019

Fiji Airways "baby" Boeing at Wellington

Last Sunday, Fiji Airways flew their Boeing 737-7X2, DG-FJF, into Wellington. The -700 series is a smaller sibling of the very common -800 series. The -600 is smaller still, but there were very few of those built.

Boeing 737-7X2, DQ-FJF, operated by Fiji Airways

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lancair ES

Yesterday's interesting visitor was this Lancair ES, ZK-EDZ, which is registered to an Upper Moutere address.

The aircraft is an amateuir built aircraft, and from what I can see, it was imported from the USA around 2013/ 2014. It was first registerd in NZ in 2015.

As I noted the last time I saw this aircraft back in 2017, it's a fast aircraft with a cruise speed between 180 and 190 knots. I'm thinking it would be a fun machine to fly and a great way to go places!

Lancair ES, ZK-EDZ, registered to an Upper Moutere address

Saturday, September 07, 2019

1.9 hours of fun

Today's fun flight was planned as a trip to D'Urville Island with another club member. The weather was good enough, but with a decent crosswind on the island airstrip, that was a no go.

We then diverted to Omaka Aerodrome for fun and fuel, which consisted of a nice trip towards Hastings township [not the North Island one!], then through the Woodbourne Control Zone to Omaka, fuel and back to Wellington. All up, it was 1.9 hours of fun flying.

The picture shows the plan and then our actual flightpath in green.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Virgin Australia Boeing 737

Today's picture is of a Virgin Australia-operated Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIY, departing Wellington on one of Virgin's trans-Tasman trips last Sunday afternoon.

Look closely at the second photo and you may see a small condensation trail emanating inboard [or on the right hand side of] the left hand engine. It wasn't particularly humid today - conditions must have been just right.

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIY, operated by Virgin Australia

Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIY, operated by Virgin Australia