Monday, December 30, 2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019

A flight around Whanganui

So far, I have only had one flight over the Christmas period, where I got to take an aunt and uncle up for a flight around Whanganui, in Wanganui Aero Club's Cessna 172S, ZK-JIP.

The weather wasn't great, with a few clouds around 1400', but mostly a bit higher than that. There was very little wind though, so no turbulence during the flight. Best of all, everyone enjoyed themselves. We got a good look around Whanganui, across the city, out to Kai Iwi, back across to Aramoho and them rejoined to land.

I wasn't taking any photos, so thank you to the Chief Photographer 😀 sitting in the back seat for most of them.

Thanks also to Wanganui Aero Club for the aircraft. In case you were wondering, ZK-JIP was previously ZK-RQA.

Cessna 172S, ZK-JIP, operated by Wanganui Aero Club

Passengers, including the Chief Photographer on the right :-)

Whanganui, looking north

Whanganui, looking towards Whanganui River mouth

Kowhai Park from 1500'

Short final for runway 11

Panoramic view of Whanganui... taken from the Durie Hill elevator tower

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The boss today?

Saturday was a nice enough day for a flight, so I headed out to Paraparaumu aerodrome in the club's Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO, along with one of the club's student's, Eric.

It was a fairly quick flight with no delays at either aerodrome. We flew up, did a couple of crosswind circuits then we stopped for fuel and a chat with the locals.

After this, we took off, had a look at Kapiti Island, then returned to Wellington via Paekakariki, Pukerua Bay, Haywards then a Ward Arrival. Again, there were no arrival delays, so all up this was only 1.1 hours of flying. A lot of fun in a fairly short time.

Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO, operated by Wellington Aero Club
BTW, if you are flying around the Hutt Valley these days, do check your NOTAMS. There's one about a new frequency to use and a coming CFZ.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bye bye Singapore

This post is a simple photo of a Singapore Airlines-operated Airbus A350-941, 9V-SME, as it lifted off from Wellington on its way to Melbourne then Singapore.

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

Thursday, December 19, 2019

A go around is perfectly normal and nothing to get excited about

So, whatever you do, don't get excited by this post.

Last Sunday was rather blustery and everyone who ventured in [or out] was having to work a little harder than usual. There were a few go-arounds and I thought this partial sequence of photos from one of the go-arounds shows that it is [almost] never two late to decide to try again.

Before the social media warriors [worriers?? 😂] get too excited, while a lot of go-arounds are commenced earlier, it's not that unusual to go around just prior to, or slightly after touchdown. Sometimes the crew will start the go-around, then briefly touchdown, before continuing on their way.

Anyway, the sequence is left main down, right main down, left again [but almost level] and away we go. The aircraft is an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXL.

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

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

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

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

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXL, operated by Air New Zealand
Aside from all that, it's a nice view of the aircraft as it flies past at low altitude.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Last Sunday was a particularly windy day with very few light aircraft flying around.

One that did venture into Wellington was this Cessna 172M, ZK-WAX, of a Tarras address. It looked like a lot of "fun" for the occupants!

Cessna 172M, ZK-WAX

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Qantas B737

I know I'm the first to say that a go-around is a perfectly normal manoeuver and nothing to get excited about and this is no different [in case you needed a reminder!].

Having said that, I was about halfway down the runway when this Qantas-operated Boeing 737-838, VH-VZX when around from fairly low level [again, nothing to get excited about folks!] a couple of weeks ago or so. I guess the main thing with this photo is it shows how gloomy the day was. Look close and you can just make out the rain. Pity it doesn't show the wind as well 😃

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

Monday, December 16, 2019

Jetstar A320

As many of you will know, Eastern Australia Airlines [operating for Jetstar] has pulled its DHC8's out of New Zealand.

Jetstar, of course, is still operating its Airbus A320's between the larger centres in New Zealand. Shown here is a Jetstar-operated Airbus A320-232, VH-VFK, departing Wellington a week or so ago.

Airbus A320-232, VH-VFK, operated by Jetstar

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