Thursday, September 10, 2020

Boeing 757-200

As followers of aviation in NZ will know, the only local operator of the Boeing 757 is the Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF].

The RNZAF operate two of these aircraft in a quick change configuration, enabling them to transport crew and freight as needs arise. The cargo door is located between the first and second passenger doors, as seen in this photo of NZ7571 departing Wellington.

Interestingly, there has been a bit of publicity recently about the kiwi roundels, with it being the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the current version with the bright red kiwi in the middle. This aircraft shows that off quite nicely.

Boeing 757-2K2, NZ7571, operated by the RNZAF

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Convair

An aircraft that has become increasingly rare over the years [and soon to be "extinct" from New Zealand skies] is the General Dynamic Allison Convair 44/580.

These days, the only local operator is Air Chathams, where the aircraft is used to transport people and freight between the Chatham Islands, Wellington, Auckland and occasionally Whanganui. It is unfortunately one of few local types that I have not yet had a flight on... I'll have to see what I can do before they are permanently grounded.

In this photo, ZK-CIE is departing Wellington to the Chatham Islands a few weeks ago.

General Dynamics Allison Convair 440/580, ZK-CIE, operated by Air Chathams

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Visiting Archer

 From last weekend, here is a Piper PA28-180 Archer, ZK-DUQ.

This aircraft is operated by Kaikoura Aero Club and was parked up on what was an unflyable [for VFR flights anyway] day.

Piper PA28-180 Archer, ZK-DUQ, operated by Kaikoura Aero Club


Monday, August 31, 2020

An ORCa at Wellington

A regular visitor nowadays is Air Kaikoura Aero Club, who operate a couple of Gippsland GA8, including this one, ZK-ORC.

 Air Kaikoura have operated a VFR air transport operation between Kaikoura and Wellington for the past few months, in addition to their whale spotting operation.

Gippsland GA8, ZK-ORC, operated by Air Kaikoura

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cobwebs... gone

Last weekend I had a quick trip to Masterton in Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. The weather was fantastic and the flying smooth.

One of the things I like about how we operate the Nanchang is that we have an Airswitch, instead of the typical Hobbs.

In most light aircraft, the Hobbs meter automatically starts ticking over soon after the engine starts. This is fine, and it allows for aircraft hire rates to appear lower, but it can cause some people [idiots all of them...] to rush the pre-takeoff procedures as they are paying the entire time the engine is running.

With an Airswitch, the timer only starts when your airspeed increases [typically on the takeoff roll] and finishes as you slow down after landing. The benefit of this is that pilots have no need to rush their start up, taxi, runup and shutdown procedures. This is particularly important in an aircraft with a larger engine, like the Nanchang with a 9 cylinder radial engine that needs time to warm up and cool down.

Anyway, the Airswitch time was only 0.6 hours (36 minutes) each way. On the trip to Masterton, this include an overhead rejoin, a touch and go and a second circuit before landing. On the way home, this included a look at the Orongorongo valley then back around to look at Mount Matthews.

 At owners rates, this is a fairly cheap day out 😀

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


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Kapiti Airport at risk of closure!

Kapiti Airport is at risk of closing. This would be a travesty for the local community, the local aero club, aircraft owners, maintenance providers, and airline operators!

The loss of Kapiti Airport may reduce safety as it is usually the best-placed airport before or after heading across Cook Strait. Closing the airport puts locals out of work and irreparably impacts Kapiti Districts Aero Club!

Let's stop this by supporting the retention of the airport, saving local jobs and employers!

Unfortunately I can't embed the video, but here's a link to watch the recent news article.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/seven-sharp/clips/locals-have-concerns-over-future-of-kapiti-airport 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The KAT

Last Sunday afternoon I got to take the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, across to Omaka aerodrome for a maintenance check. As it was going to be there for a few days, a ride was organised to bring me back [thanks Malcolm!]. That ride was a Piper PA28-161, ZK-KAT, which is also operated by the Wellington Aero Club.

The ride back was a great opportunity to play with Avplan on my iPad mini, since I don't get to do this as much when I'm actually flying the aircraft. It was good fun and I learned a couple of things, particularly about how the terrain map works [short version: it's pretty good, although I sometimes had the impression the terrain was further away than in real life, not that we ever got that close!].

Anyway, here are a couple of photos from the 16 City Arrival back into Wellington. First up we are approaching the city from the west with the camera pointed south.


Here's the panel of ZK-KAT.

Piper PA28-161, ZK-KAT, the panel
Here's a really nice photo looking south over Mount Victoria to Island Bay and with the Miramar Peninsula and the airport on the left.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

ATR72 on the Western Apron

Just a quick couple of photos today with the arrival of an Air New Zealand ATR-72-600, ZK-MVE, to the Western Apron at Wellington today.

Rumour has it, the aircraft was transporting people subject to Covid19-related quarantine from Auckland to Wellington.

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVE, operated by Air New Zealand
ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVE, operated by Air New Zealand

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Nanchang flying

It had been about 5 weeks since I last flew the Nanchang, so with good weather yesterday I took the opportunity to go for a quick flight. I had a spare seat, so rather than waste some perfectly good space, Gareth, one of the Wellington Aero Club students, came for a ride.

After a 34 Ward Departure, we headed to Mana Island, did a few orbits of that, then headed back for a 34 Owhiro Arrival. It wasn't as turbulent on the arrival as I thought it could have been - just a couple of gentle lumps every now and then.

All up, 42 minutes from start to finish.

Many thanks to Gareth who took these really nice photos! I'm quite impressed with how the first one came out as a monochrome image [and yes, I really need a pair of prescription sunglasses].

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO
This next photo is of one of the steep turns near Mana Island. I think that counts as looking into the turn.

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO

This was just before turning onto final approach and is a really nice shot of the rear cockpit. The rear cockpit has most of the instruments and buttons from the front, but is missing a few controls and is laid out quite differently. This photo also shows the weird artificial horizon [AH], which shows the ground on top and the sky underneath. I never did work out why the Russians and Chinese did that.

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO
Last up is a photo from about a 1/2 mile final. For the smart-alecs out there, yes the PAPI shows 4 white lights, but that's normal as I tend to have quite a steep approach in the Nanchang [mainly as I really want to be able to see where I am heading...].

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO

Monday, July 06, 2020

British Aerospace Jetstream 31

Origin Air is back up and running [after Covid19 and preceding that, a loooooong period of other troubles] with their British Aerospace Jetstream 31, ZK-JSH.

I think they have a very nice livery - possibly one of the nicest around New Zealand.

British Aerospace Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH, operated by Origin Air

British Aerospace Jetstream J31, ZK-JSH, operated by Origin Air

For those blog visitors from outside of New Zealand, welcome!

We are very fortunate to have no Covid19-related restrictions in place, aside from isolation/ quarantine for [almost] everyone entering the country and limits on who can arrive [citizens, permanent residents and a few other exceptions].

There are no travel restrictions within New Zealand, no social distancing requirements, no business restrictions. It has been tough, but it seems a lockdown for 7 or so weeks [which was well complied with], followed by gradually loosened restrictions, has worked well so far. It will continue to be tough for some business for a while, but I would suggest, not as tough as the ongoing partial lockdowns in some other nations.

Sorry you are unable to travel here right now, but it's keeping us safe, and as other countries catch up* to us, I'm sure that restrictions on travel will be loosened.

* yes, I'm aware that Taiwan, along with Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa and several other of our Pacific neighbours have done very well also.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

You can always go around!

Here's a good song for those who forget that a go-around is [almost] always* a great option, or for those who get unusually excited about seeing an aircraft carry out this completely normal manoeuvre...

What's better is that this version doesn't have all the rubbish video snippets attached showing poor landings or similar...



* ok, so there are some strips where, due to obstacles or surface slope, a late go-around may not be possible, but most of you are not flying into those...

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lockheed P-3K2 Orion

I had a day off work last Thursday which practically guaranteed that the weather would be awful, which it was 😆.

I did get down to the Aero Club to give the Nanchang CJ6A a bit of a clean, but just before arriving, I saw a Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] operated Lockheed P-3K2 Orion, NZ4202, taxiing out.

An unusual feature people often asked about is the "spike" sticking out the back of the aircraft. This is a MAD [or Magnetic Anomaly Detector] which is designed to detect magnetic anomalies [its name says it all...], especially submarines that might be lurking around underwater.

Lockheed P-3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF
Lockheed P-3K2 Orion, NZ4202, operated by the RNZAF
These aircraft will be replaced by four Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft [derived from the Boeing 737 airliner]  over the next few years. The RNZAF's first set of instructors for the type are currently undergoing training in the USA.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hanger visitors

Just over a week ago, Wellington Aero Club had a number of visitors undercover.

First up was a very nicely presented Cessna 177B Cardinal, ZK-TEC. The Cardinal is a very sleek aircraft and very low to the ground [as in I could see over the wing quite easily and the elevator is about shin height]. You would want to rotate too much on departure or flare too much on landing! It is really nicely presented though. ZK-TEC is registered to Matrinair and normally resident in Feilding. I think it was in the hanger for a single night.

Cessna 177B Cardinal, ZK-TEC, operated by Matrinair of Feilding

Next up was another Cessna, this time a C172S, ZK-JSD, which is registered to Air Hawkes Bay Ltd, of a Hastings address. This aircraft had flown in IFR and was just in for the night.

Cessna 172S, ZK-JSD, operated by Air Hawkes Bay Ltd of Hasting
Last up was perhaps the most interesting aircraft and one that will be here for a few weeks [although not online with the club]. It is a Cessna U206F, ZK-DWX, which has been purchased by a local person. I was particularly interested in the venturi tube on the left side of the fuselage [a venturi tube makes it interesting by itself!]. My understanding is that it will be flown privately and refurbed over time. The paint job looks really nice though as it is!

Cessna U206F, ZK-DWX

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Pilatus PC12/47

Like the last post, this is from early June, where I came across a Sounds Air operated Pilatus PC12/47, ZK-PLB, departing Wellington.

This aircraft clearly shows it's heritage as an ex Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft from Australia. I've had a couple of flights in the PC12 and it's a nice aircraft as a passenger. The pilots appear to like them a lot also.

Pilatus PC12/47, ZK-PLB, operated by Sounds Air

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Airbus A321-271NZ

It has been a while since I posted anything [oops!]. This has been more a lack of posting than a lack of photos, so over the next week or so I'll be catching up.

Early June I took some nice shots of an Air NZ operated Airbus A321-2761NX taxiing and departing Wellington one evening. I'm not sure if I prefer the taxiing picture in the sunlight, or the brightly lit background of the departure shot. I'm sure you'll let me know in the comments!

Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNF, operated by Air New Zealand

Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNF, operated by Air New Zealand

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A320 at the Bridge St mound

Following on from last week's posts, here's another picture from the Bridge St mound of an Air NZ operated Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXB, departing on runway 34. It's nice to see a bit more air traffic around, even though it is still very quiet.

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

Lastly, with the reduction in COVID 19-related restrictions, I'm trying to get back into a Tuesday/ Thursday publishing pattern, with photos from the previous week or two. It won't always work out that way 😀 but we'll see how I go!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cessna 182

Here's that nice Cessna 182T I saw a few days ago, this time departing Wellington on a fantastic autumn day.

This was photographed at the "Bridge St mound" which is a mound of dirt that provides a great view of the runway. It's located on Bridge St [obviously] and is a great place for photographing aircraft, particularly of arrivals onto runway 16.

Cessna 182T, ZK-WYT

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The latest jet on FR24?

Wellington Aero club's latest installation of ADSB has been in one of our Piper PA38-112 Tomahawks, ZK-TAW, which is a good prompt to get updated photos onto Jetphotos, which then appear on Flightradar24.com.

Of course, this also means it appears on FR24 as a medium-sized jet, so probably a chance to get that corrected also 😀

Go for it, plane spotting team!

Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-TAW, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Currency flight in a Cessna 172

I hadn't flown a Cessna 172 for just over 3 months, so last Sunday afternoon I had a dual currency flight in Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE.

Fun times! Included was a max performance takeoff from Wellington, some strip flying at Battery Hill, a bit of low flying and a rejoin into Wellington via the East Arrival [from the south east], finishing with a flapless approach. 1.2 hours of fun!

No photos from the flying [I was having too much fun!] but here's one of ZK-EKE in the evening just prior to being put in the hanger.

It was, of course, another perfect day of flying in the Wellington region!

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Cessna 182T

Today's picture is this nicely polished Cessna 182T, ZK-WYT, which is registered to a Penrose [Auckland] address.

Cessna 182T, ZK-WYT

Friday, May 15, 2020

I did that aviation thing again!

Apologies for the mug in front of the plane, ruining the shot... but I got to do that aviation thing again today [Saturday], after our Covid 19 restrictions on flying ended last Thursday.

It was great to get up for a few crosswind circuits in the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO after around two months of not being able to fly. I managed 4 circuits in 0.6 hours, this included a brief hold at one point and a deliberate go around from 500' on one of the approaches [great practice].

Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO
Oh yeah - I really do need a haircut.

Also, if anyone makes this the KP banner image, there'll be trouble!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Airplanes!

Not normally something to get excited about, but with the recent loosening of rules, this was the first day I have been able to get out and see a couple of aircraft flying around.

First up is an Air New Zealand-operated Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-XXX. As has been noted elsewhere, these are now using Air NZ callsigns, so instead of Link 1234, it's now New Zealand 1234 Lima [and ex Mount Cook flights being NZ1234 Mike].

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEO, operated by Air New Zealand
The second aircraft os a Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-VXM. This aircraft is operated by Skyline Aviation of Hawkes Bay. Given the restrictions on travel, my guess is it would have been operating an essential services charter or air ambulance.

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-VXM, operated by Skyline Aviation
Lastly, it's great to be out and seeing some aviation happening! Hopefully it won't be too long until I can get back into the cockpit myself. I'm sure the Nanchang is feeling a bit lonely these days...!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Passenger ejected from a fighter jet!

I suppose many you have heard of this incident already, but for those who haven't, or those who want one view of what happened, here is the video for you!

Try not to laugh too hard when you watch this...😂

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Walkalong glider for those with an "in house PPL" right now...

Here's an interesting video of some guys building super lightweight gliders out of polystyrene. The video includes the gliders, wind tunnels, and some super-dodgy use of candles [no, it's not recommended!].

So, aside from the pyromania, this could be very interesting for those of us who are at home for the next few weeks, waiting out the Covid19 virus.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dassault Falcon 50 at Wellington

From last week [before the Covid19 lockdown], I was at the aero club and saw this Dassault Falcon 50, N115MF, departing Wellington.

Perhaps it is nothing too special, but it is one of the last photos I managed to get prior to the lockdown.

Dassault Falcon 50, N115MF
As previously flagged, until this lockdown is lifted, I'll try and find some interesting posts to keep us all entertained. I'm thinking of a few youtube videos which I have liked. Hopefully, they will be interesting to you also!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Lock Down

Like where much of the rest of the world is heading, the Prime Minister of New Zealand announced on Monday 23 April 2020 that New Zealand had moved to Covid19 Alert Level 3, with a move to Level 4 on Wednesday [yesterday]. My understanding of Level 4 means the shutdown of all non-essential services and people remaining at home [with a few exemptions], including, working from home.

Clearly, this means there will be a massive reduction in air traffic over the next four weeks [minimum], and no opportunity to get out and fly myself around or to easily observe air traffic.

All aero clubs and other flight training/ recreational flying organisations must be closed by now and all private/ recreational flying is also prohibited.

So, there will obviously be a big reduction in the usual posting on this blog until this is lifted.

I will try and find some interesting posts from time to time. I do have content for one or two more posts after this one. I am thinking of a small series of interesting online videos that I have found from time to time and if you have any thoughts on that matter, please let me know!

I have already heard of people who seem either oblivious to, or who don't care about, the lockdown.

If you are like this, please don't be a dick. The lives of people are dependant on a few weeks of lockdown. There are very few people in this fine land who will tolerate that level of selfishness! If the lockdown is not obeyed, it is likely there will need to be an even longer period of lockdown. Be a #GreatNewZealander and we get through this much easier and faster.

For authoritative sources of information, I can recommend the following NZ Government sites:
[clearly this list does not include Twitter, Facebook other  media sites, or your mates 2nd cousin's aunty...!]

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Kawasaki BK117 B-2

This Kawasaki BK117 B-2 was quite a way from home recently.

ZK-HGW is registered to Helilink of a Papakura address and is seen here parked on the western apron at Wellington, outside the rescue helicopter base.

Kawasaki BK117 B-2, ZK-HGW, operated by Helilink

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Aerostar 601

Topping off a fine weekend for flying [including just over 2 hours in the Nanchang], there was a visit from this beautiful looking Aerostar 601, ZK-JOS, on Sunday. This aircraft is operated by Matrinair Ltd and is based in Feilding.

I've never flown into Feilding, so it might be a nice place to take the Nanchang one weekend :-)

Aerostar 601, ZK-JOS, operated by Matrinair

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Vans RV4 at Wellington

Last weekend this really nice RV4 visited Wellington. It's the second time I have seen ZK-RVV at Wellington. The first time was two years ago on 1 April 2018.

Vans RV-4, ZK-RVV, operated by Tauranga Aeroplan Co

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Rockets and rubber bands

The last three or four weeks I have been looking at a Youtube channel called Flite Test. It's a channel with a lot of really cool radio-controlled aircraft [don't groan too loud!], with everything from what you might expect to flying hammers, kayaks and more.

It's pretty awesome!

I saw a video the other day which was a bit different. The Flite Test team did an episode on free flight models, some of which are rocket launched with spring-loaded wings and others which are powered by rubber bands. This includes an eight-engined monster right down to an extremely light inside-only model.

It's a pretty cool video, so I thought I would share it.




This may end up being a small series on model aircraft... I'll see how I feel and what reaction to get to this one. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Flying NZ National Championships and International Wings Trophy #4

In this last post from the Flying NZ Nationals, I just wanted to show a couple of awesome aircraft I spotted during the competitions.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't spend a lot of time taking photos at these events, but I did get photos of a couple of interesting Cessnas.

First up is a Cessna 172, ZK-REV. Now to be clear, it is a Cessna 172. Not a 172A, or N or M or R or anything, but a 1957 Cessna 172A. From memory, it has a 6 cylinder Continental developing 145 Hp [but happy to be corrected]. There won't be many of these left flying anywhere.

Cessna 172, ZK-REV

Second up is a Cessna 195, ZK-AZK. This has a 7 cylinder radial engine and it looks amazing! Again, there won't be many of these flying around anywhere.

Cessna 195, ZK-AZK

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Flying NZ National Championships and International Wings Trophy #3

After all the fun, games and serious competition, we end up at the presentation dinner. This is where we find out if we did as well as we thought. It's also another chance the let the hair down without worrying about competing.

The evening starts with a welcome, then into presenting scholarships to the Young Eagles to support and encourage them in their flight training. Following this, we intersperse results with dinner and dessert.

The food was great, so was the band, everyone was having a good time and it didn't take long for the paper airplanes to start flying. Everywhere. All directions. I wish I had videoed it [some others did]. the following picture shows the scene, although somehow all the paper airplanes were on the ground at this point!

180 people in a hanger for a party! Paper airplanes lying around everywhere!


For the second year, I had the honour of announcing the results which is a fairly serious activity, especially as many competitors had spent a lot of time and money to practice, come and compete. I did hand over these duties for the Wigram Cup announcements [since I was in it and for many it is the main event].

As for my results?

Second in the liferaft competition [that's a nice surprise] and a very surprising first in the Wigram Cup Instrument Flying event! Absolutely stocked with that! The win came with a cup [which has to be handed back next year] and a plaque which I get to keep. There are also certificates for the win and the Wigram Cup second place.

The Cup

The plaque

Overall, Wellington came second in the Wigram Cup [congratulations to Whenuapai Aviation Sports Club who took out the Wigram this year!].

Tauranga Aero Club did a fantastic job of organising much of the event in conjunction with Flying NZ. I think the set the standard [or at least, kept it very high], which is a great effort!

Anyway, that's about it. Competitions are a lot of fun. The social side is great fun also [at one stage, a certain CFI was supplying paper for the paper airplanes..!]. I can't recommend this enough. The only requirements are you must be a member of a Flying NZ club and for some event, you must have won at your regional competition. Simple, eh?!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Flying NZ National Championships and International Wings Trophy #2

So, what did I get up to during the competitions? Well, I had work to do each day.

On Wednesday I scribed for one of the Wings 3-Ship Formation judges. This is a competition where teams of 3 aircraft fly a formation routine and try to impress the judges with their skills. The scribe assists a judge by writing down the scores as the judge calls it, leaving the judge to concentrate on watching the flying.

Later on, I was running around assisting where I could collecting results and helping to add them up.

I also helped with ground judging a bombing competition [yes, bombing], where competitors fly low overhead and drop an object, trying to hit the target. From memory, the target was threatened a couple of times, although it is usually the safest place to stand...! Once the "bomb" is dropped, the ground judge measures the distance and direction from the target and radios the competitor so they can adjust their aim next time around.

Near the bombing target was the airport's fire rescue training device. It's an old de Havilland Devon - ex RNZAF and civil register by the looks [ZK-UCO appears to be the old civil registration]. I think it would require a little more than polishing to get this running again...!

Airport Rescue training device
The bombing target was also in line with, but well separated from, the grass runway. It made for a nice little video of an aircraft coming in to land.



Other days I continued to help with checking judges scores, trying to obtain completed score sheets, occasionally round up competitors and the like. In other words, general dogsbody.

Thursday was the main competition day for me, with three competitions to compete in!

First up I was part of Wellington's Wigram Cup team. This is a team of four people, for four competitions, where competitions are scored in their individual competition as well as as part of the team.

It's the premiere event [aside from the Wings Trophy] and so keenly contested for. I was in the Wigram I/F ("partial panel instrument flying") event where I fly without being able to see outside and with some instruments off or covered up. Fun times!

Second I flew in the Streamer Cutting. This is where we throw a fully biodegradable toilet roll out and then fly around trying to cut it with the wing. Each competitor gets two attempts and the combined score for both attempts decides the winner. I had never flown the aircraft before, but it was an Alpha R2160, ZK-SWZ, and so aerobatic, as was the instructor/ judge.

Alpha R2160, ZK-SWZ, operated by Southern Wings


Lastly, I was dispatcher in the Liferaft Dropping competition. This is a bit like the bombing competitions, except it is a 15kg object that gets dropped. The pilot flies and the dispatcher tosses the liferaft out on command. Fun times!

I think I'll put the results in the next post, so hang about a couple of days and you'll find out what happened!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Flying NZ National Championships and International Wings Trophy

This past week has been a fun and busy time.

From last Tuesday I was in Tauranga [NZTG] for the annual Flying NZ National Championships and this year, it included the International Wings Trophy competition between New Zealand and Australian teams.

The original plan had me flying the Nanchang up on Tuesday, but with awful weather, that was scrubbed in favour of me buying an Air NZ ticket. I can confirm that it is very very expensive to buy a regional ticket for same-day travel, but beggars can't be choosers and I did have air points, so it was slightly less painful. I also made use of one of my lounge passes to have a feed and a drink before departing.

Our other two aircraft [Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE and Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-WAC] were similarly delayed, but they were able to fly up on Wednesday which was good.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Beer and pretzels in the Wellington Koru Lounge
The event itself was a large one with competitions from Wednesday until Saturday and the presentation dinner on Saturday evening.

In addition to the Wings team from Australia, there were competitors from Whenuapai [north Auckland area] down to Timaru, many of whom flew their aircraft in. Unfortunately, as I was both helping on the official side and competing, I didn't take a lot of photos. The following two show a tiny proportion of the registered aircraft.

Local and competitor aircraft

Local and competitor aircraft
As much as it is a serious event, there is also a lot of fun. I haven't heard of any mascots being stolen this year, but there was a pirate flag raised between the Australian and New Zealand flags... the words say "Rebel 'til I die". I'm not saying who put that up [but wasn't me!].


Anyway, it was a busy week. the next post will cover what I got up to during the week, and the third post a couple of key results. The last post will have a couple of very interesting aircraft you may not have seen before.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Cessna 172N

Here is a picture of Wellington Aero Club's owned and operated Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. It's not quite a "standard from the factory configuration", as it has a couple of interesting mods.

The first is a 180hp engine, instead of the standard 160hp engine. The second is a limit of 30 degrees for the flap [due to the changed engine]. The third change is a STOL kit, which combined with the 180hp engine means it gets off the ground rather quickly.

The last mod is perhaps unexpected. Under the right wing, there is a camera hatch, complete with mounting bracket for a go pro style action camera and a cover. I think this might be the only one in the country [on a C172 at least], but I'm happy to be corrected on that one.

Want to fly this? Contact Wellington Aero Club. They are very happy to help you fly this or one of the other aircraft in the fleet.


Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE, operated by Wellington Aero Club