Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Holiday time. No lockdown. Lots of flying. It's a good time.

We are very fortunate in New Zealand. When the elimination approach to Covid 19, we've managed to get Covid 19 cases restricted to MIQ [Managed Isolation & Quarantine] facilities, albeit with the risk of an outbreak. No community transmission and a vaccine on the way. Good days!

This means that for all but recent arrivals, we have no need for a lock-down - something that many countries can only dream of! Even domestic flying is being built up again, although international flying is still extremely restricted.

No lock-down also means business as usual for private flying - all we need is good weather, which has finally arrived.

Earlier today I got to fly for the first time in December and about 6 weeks since my last Nanchang flight. The day was sunny, the turbulence non-existent and the air not too busy. In about an hour, I took off from Wellington, flew to Palliser Bay, followed the coastline around to the Palliser Bay lighthouse, then back again for a bit of "fun" near Lake Onoke then back for 3 circuits. You can do a lot in an hour at 250kph!

Anyway, here is the holiday photo. I'm hoping there will be more of these in the next few days before work starts up again 😀 Might be due for a haircut though...

Aviation in 1919!

I was recently given a very old book, published in 1919, called


That's not a spelling error 😃

So far, it appears to be focused on a combination of practical subjects such as aircraft manufacture and rigging, along with some theory and tips for training students. I'm sure it's going to be a very interesting read!

The book itself is hardcover and in surprisingly good condition for its age. I'm kind of glad I didn't have to read through and understand this when I was a student pilot though. Pretty sure that I would not have been interesting in how to assemble or rig an aircraft...

I have come across some interesting comments which will likely resonate with current day students and instructors though - I'll likely photograph and publish some of these as I read through the book.

It appears that the book has been republished and is available through the www.bookdepository.com, although I'm not sure how wide interest in this book would be these days.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Air New Zealand operated Boeing 767's

A wee bit of aviation nostalgia here, with images of an old Air NZ advertising pamphlet, promoting the introduction of their new Boeing 767's, on routes between Wellington and Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, starting in September 1986! Several copies of the pamphlet were left at the aero club a week or so ago, so naturally I grabbed one of them.

A couple of interesting notes from the brochure:

  • Passenger seating was 220 passengers (18 business and 202 economy) - about the capacity of Air NZ's new Airbus A321's
  • Special passenger features on these new aircraft include stereophonic music and the inflight video system
  • Special features in the cockpit included six cathode ray tube screens
  • There were at most only six return flights between Wellington and the three Australian ports [mind you, that's six more than we have now with the Covid 19 border restrictions...]
  • Lastly, Air NZ were still using TExxx [instead of NZxxx] flight numbers

From memory, the B767's would have been the first Air New Zealand wide body aircraft with a two-crew cockpit [no longer requiring a flight engineer] and so incredibly advanced for it's age.

I had a couple of flights between Auckland and Melbourne on B767's. The Business Class consisted of recliner seats in those days, which wouldn't even pass for Premium Economy these days. How things have changed!

Anyway, here are the photos.

If anyone has any additional details on these flights, that would be appreciated!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hopefully 2021 is a little less disruptive [especially when we all have the option of a vaccine...!] and there are more options for travel!

This picture was from a recent visit to Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Tecnam P2002 Sierra UL

Last weekend this Tecnam P2002 Sierra UL, ZK-LSF, parked up outside the aero club. This aircraft is registered as a microlight and is based at an aerodrome north of Wellington.

Tecnam P2002 Sierra, ZK-LSF

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Queenstown airport

Last Friday I arrived home after a brief visit to the South Island, which included a one day visit to Queenstown - one of the most spectacular looking parts of New Zealand.

The airport itself is surrounded by mountains, as the following pictures show. Many of the surrounding hills are within a couple of nautical miles of the airfield and rise several thousand feet above it. Amazing!

Here is one extra picture taken in the middle of Queenstown earlier in the day. Equally nice!

Finally, here is a brief video I took from inside the terminal as an Air NZ operated Airbus A320 departed.

I think I might have to do another visit down here one day and have a decent look around... maybe go flying - that would be nice!

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Gulfstream G650 at Wellington

Saturday's interesting departure was a Gulfstream G650, N650FX, which is operated by Flexjet. I say interesting, as we don't have that many visiting bizjets at Wellington and even less foreign bizjets during the Covid19 restrictions.

Gulfstream G650, N650FX, operated by Flexjet

Gulfstream G650, N650FX, operated by Flexjet

Gulfstream G650, N650FX, operated by Flexjet