Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Today's flight

I went flying today in my Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. The plan was to head overhead Lake Station and Murchiston to Westport for fuel, then overhead Karamea to Nelson for more fuel then home again.

The weather was mostly good, until I got just past Lake Station, where it was a rubbish, a bit rainy and with cloud down on the hills. I wasn't sure I could go south to get into Westport [and in any case, I didn't have a lot of excess fuel anyway], so I diverted to Nelson. After refueling in Nelson, I took a Bolder departure, then headed to The Brothers and back to Wellington for a 16 City Arrival. 

Fun times! In the followed screen shot from Avplan, the red track was the planned track and the green track is what I actually flew.

Lockheed C130H

This past week or so has certainly had some interesting weather! In Wellington, even us locals have been commenting on the wind, with gusts up around 60 knots [about 110km/hr] at times. On the past weekend, the crosswind component was gusting up over 30 knots at times.

As you may have seen from previous posts, this has provided a bit of excitement for those of us on the ground watching others landing with more go-arounds than I have seen on a single day previously. Still, as I always say "go-arounds are a perfectly normal procedure and nothing to get excited about". they can look interesting though.

This set of photographs is of a Royal New Zealand Air Force operated Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, landing at Wellington. You can see from the second photo that there was a strong crosswind, which is fairly unusual for Wellington, but very prominent recently.

Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Lockheed C130H Hercules, NZ7002, operated by the RNZAF

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Air NZ turboprops

Last Saturday, I had a brief trip to Christchurch and back on Air NZ. Both flights were in ATR-GIE ATR72 aircraft and were about as comfortable as you've expect in an ATR72 😀 The weather was fine during my flights which was nice, and everything ran to time.

As I noted in my past post however, Sunday was a "bit different" with strong gusty winds making for some go-arounds and [what I imagine to be] some fairly turbulent rides about the country.

Here are some photos of the Air NZ-operated turboprops which made it into and out of Wellington during the weekend. The first one is an ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVP, which just happened to be the aircraft I flew down to Christchurch on yesterday [could have done with a clean, Air NZ...].

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MVP, operated by Air NZ

ATR-GIE ATR72-600, ZK-MZB, operated by Air NZ

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

Sunday, September 27, 2020

A day for disruptions

Today was a day for weather-related disruptions at Wellington [and in other places]. This was perhaps most evident with a number of Airbus A320/ A321 and ATR-GIE ATR72 go-arounds and diversions.

Now anyone who knows anything about aviation will know that go-arounds are noting to get to excited about [they are a perfectly normal maneuver] also perhaps unusual for many passengers. On occasions where this also results in a diversion, this could be very inconvenient for passengers, but better to be safe.

In what is perhaps today's biggest disruption, an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXJ [pictured below] departed Wellington, flew to Queeenstown, where it overshot [went around], diverted back to Wellington, had one attempt to land at Wellington, before diverting to Auckland. That would have been a less than fun time for both the passengers and the crew!

It is also the start of school holidays, so it appears that Air New Zealand used a number of Airbus A321 NEOs today which made for some interesting sights as these lovely looking aircraft flew overhead the airfield...

Anyway, on the the photos! All of these aircraft are operated by Air New Zealand. 

The first photo is an Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXJ. You can compare the size of this aircraft to the second and third pictures, which are of Airbus A321-271NX aircraft, registered ZK-NNG and ZK-NNA. You can click on the images for lager sizes.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXJ, operated by Air NZ

Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNG, operated by Air NZ

Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNA, operated by Air NZ

The following are photos of Airbus A321 aircraft after landing at Wellington. The first one is ZK-NNA [pictured above] and the second is ZK-NNG, this time on a subsequent flight, having diverted back to Auckland earlier in the day.

Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNA, operated by Air NZ

Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNG, operated by Air NZ

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bombardier CL600

This image from last weekend is of an Australian-registered, but New Zealand-based, Bombardier CL-600-2B16, VH-BLM and is operated by BC Aviation Ltd of an Auckland address. I think these are great looking aircraft, even if getting a little old these days.

Bombardier CL600-2B16, VH-BLM, operated by BC Aviation
Bombardier CL600-2B16, VH-BLM, operated by BC Aviation

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


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