Thursday, March 25, 2021

A couple of Cessnas at Wellington

Here are photos of a couple of Cessna C172's that have visited Wellington over the last couple of weeks.

The first is a Cessna 172M, ZK-DRQ, which is registered to a Hamilton-based syndicate.

Cessna 172M, ZK-DRQ

The second aircraft is a Reims/Cessna F172P, ZK-NAC, and is registered to the Air NZ Flying Club at a Christchurch address.

I assume that NAC in the registration refers to the old name for Air NZ's domestic operation, the National Airways Corporation. From their Facebook page, it appears that the flying club is a part of the Air NZ staff social club.

Reims/Cessna F172P, ZK-NAC, operated by the Air NZ Flying Club

Reims Aviation was a French company that licence-built some Cessna aircraft for a number of years, including the ubiquitous C172 series of aircraft.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Southern Wairarapa, Lake Onoke and the Baring Sector

Here's a brief video from a flight on 14 March, where I fly south down the southern Wairarapa toward Lake Onoke and Palliser Bay, then return to Wellington via the Baring sector.

The aircraft was Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. The video is sped up 6x as otherwise it would be very boring 😀.


Leave me a comment if there are more areas around Wellington or the top of the South Island you'd like to see in a future video. No promises, but I may be able to do it!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A channel introduction video

I've just published a new channel introduction video. Hopefully this gives a small taste of what you can see on this blog and on my Youtube channel!

Enjoy the video!

For a direct link to the Youtube channel, click here. Remember to like and subscribe to be kept up to date the all the latest content.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

White Silence - the story of the Erebus disaster

I have recently started listening to podcasts. A bit late to the trend I suppose, but, as they say, better late than never. I've selected a couple of aviation podcasts [and a couple that are not at all aviation related].

There is one about the Air New Zealand Erebus disaster on 28 November 1979 that I have found very very very interesting. Flight TE901 was operated as a scenic flight to Antarctica and utilised one of Air New Zealand's [then] state-of-the-art McDonnell Douglas DC10-30's, ZK-NZP.

The podcast is called White Silence and has been produced by two media organisations, Stuff and Radio New Zealand.

Erebus was, and remains, New Zealand's biggest aviation disaster, and perhaps one of the biggest disasters in aviation - certainly in the top few when it occured.

The introduction on the linked website starts with the following

On November 28, 1979, an Air New Zealand jet took off from Auckland Airport on a sightseeing trip to Antarctica. There were 257 people on board. Hours later everyone was dead.

That's a blunt, but pretty good summary of what kicked this off, although it doesn't even start to touch the impact on New Zealanders at the time, and in some ways, to this day. The politics, the trauma, of the subsequent investigations and retribution handed out are almost unbelievable 40 years later and are well covered in this podcast series.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry [presided over by Justice Peter Mahon] gave rise to one of the greatest statements [in my not-so-humble 😏 opinion] ever uttered by a judge, aimed directly at the airline and its actions and testimony after the accident. This statement was

An orchestrated litany of lies

Imagine this statement being levelled at any participant in a Royal Commission of Inquiry! An orchestrated litany of lies! And this, in a day when the airline was not only owned by, but in some ways, controlled by the Government. Whether fair or not, it was [and probably remains] as divisive and controversial a comment as it may appear.

If you have any interest in aviation, and particularly aviation disasters, this is almost certainly a must-listen-to podcast. It is consumed in eight episodes ranging in length from around 30 minutes to just over an hour.

Click on the image above [or click here] to access the podcast. It is well worth the listen! The website also contains links to other pictures, video and other interesting information.

Note: The above image is from the White Silence podcast website.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Overflying Paraparaumu airfield

This short video shows me flying overhead Paraparaumu airfield [ICAO code NZPP] in February. This was part of a fun flight from Wellington, around Kapiti Island, overhead NZPP and back to Wellington.

Enjoy the video!


If you like this type of content, then please like and subscribe the video on my Youtube channel. This feedback shows me that you appreciate the content, and finances permitting, I'll make more of them!

Sunday, March 07, 2021

First Qantas arrival in ages

Today saw thew first arrival of a Qantas aircraft into Wellington in ages - probably close to 10 or 1`1 months [that is, since the Covid 19 border lock-down].

This was not the resumption of business as usual however, but a one-off flight to repatriate some cricketers who may well have just been beaten by New Zealand's Black Caps national cricket team. It's not a great weekend for Australians as I heard that there netball team lost to our national team also.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of today's arrival of the Qantas-operated Boeing 737-838, VH-VZT.

Boeing 737-838, VH-VZT, operated by Qantas Airways

Boeing 737-838, VH-VZT, operated by Qantas Airways

Thursday, March 04, 2021

A recent flight up Transmission Gully

Enjoy the sights of the northern Wellington region as we track north up Transmission Gully, a new northern route in and out of Wellington. I've finally sorted the camera configuration, so hopefully this looks better than some previous videos.

It seems that like all new roads, it is much delayed, but it due to open in September 2021.

Enjoy the video and come back later this year to see if there's a new video of an opened road! 😁

Like this content?

I am hoping to do a few more of these types of videos, showing off parts of New Zealand as I fly around. Like and subscribe on my Youtube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

The Marlborough Sounds

Here's a brief video of a recent trip across the Marlborough Sounds [at the top end of New Zealand's South Island] and what turned out to be smooth flying conditions and good visibility.

The aircraft is Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. As I mentioned in the previous post [with content from the same flight], there's still a bit more fiddling to do with the camera settings, but I'm getting there!

Next in-flight video will have the camera's Linear mode set on. I can't wait! Ha ha

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Visitor from Nelson Aviation College

Last weekend, a Cessna 172S, ZK-NAX, from Nelson Aviation College visited Wellington.

Cessna 172S, ZK-NAX, operated by Nelson Aviation College

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Arrival into Motueka aerodrome

Following on from my last video of the 34 Owhiro Departure from Wellington, my destination on that flight was Motueka aerodrome [ICAO code: NZMK].

Motueka is located near the top of the South Island and is a really nice place to visit, even if this visit was just long enough to refuel the aircraft then the pilots.

The flight itself was across the Cook Strait, then the very scenic Marlborough Sounds [I might do another video on this], then on to where this video starts, crossing Tasman Bay. It's a nice part of the country to visit!

Camera settings are much better than last time, but still not quite right. I figure I may as well use the Go Pro's setting to generate a linear image. This crops down the field of view, but I think does make for a better result. That of course is for another day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

34 Owhiro Departure video

This is a short video of the 34 Owhiro departure from Wellington recently. 

This was the start of a flight to Motueka, near to top of New Zealand's South Island. The aircraft is Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. EKE is a wee bit special - it has a 180hp engine and a STOL kit. On this flight, with 120litres of fuel and two people on board, the takeoff roll was around 100 meters [maybe slightly over]. Not bad performance!

Anyway, enjoy the video. There will be further videos over the coming weeks, hopefully including the arrival into Motueka as well as video from across the Marlborough Sounds 👍


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

First flight with a new camera...

Here's my first flight with a new Go Pro camera. Unfortunately I had one of the settings wrong which makes for a very "interesting" effect. Accidentally shows off one of the great capabilities of the camera!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

MAUW Checkride

I got to be a passenger last weekend while another pilot underwent a Maximum All Up Weight [MAUW] checkride as part of his type rating on the club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE.

It's actually nice to be a passenger for once and to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the view, while someone else does the hard [fun] work. Fun times!

Anyway, here are a few photos from the flight around the Wellington circuit.

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

The old prison at the north end of the Miramar Peninsula

Right hand downwind for runway 34, looking back to the airport

A view to the south-east from the circuit

Final approach for runway 34

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Flight inspection time

Saturday afternoon saw the regular navaid inspection activities being undertaken at Wellington.

At it's simplest, it appears the navaid inspection involves checking that navaids are calibrated correctly, using an aircraft, in this case a Piper PA-42-1000 Cheyanne, appropriately registered ZK-FIS and registered to the Airways Corporation of New Zealand [provider of all ATC and AFIS/ FIS services in New Zealand].

Inspection runs consist of a number of approaches testing different navaids and appear to all be conducted at fairly high speed and definitely not configured for landing... 😀 Looks like fun times for the crew, although I imagine hard [and exacting] work also!

I'd be very keen to find out more, so if anyone who has any first-hand knowledge of this if happy to provide some details, I'd be keen to hear from you. Perhaps I could put up a post providing more details of this essential calibration service.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos on ZK-FIS as it overshoots after an inspection run.

Piper PA-42-1000 Cheyanne, ZK-FIS, registered to Airways Corporation of NZ

Piper PA-42-1000 Cheyanne, ZK-FIS, registered to Airways Corporation of NZ

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Crazy glider record

I know gliders routinely undertake cross country flying, but this is crazy!

A trans-Atlantic trip by a glider. In 1943.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Cessna 525A

Last weekend saw the arrival into Wellington of a Cessna 525A Citation, ZK-XXK, after a short flight from Hamilton. This aircraft is registered to a company called Wellington Jet Charters.

Cessna 525A Citation, ZK-XXK, operated by Wellington Jet Charters

Cessna 525A Citation, ZK-XXK, operated by Wellington Jet Charters

Thursday, January 14, 2021

First photo from 2021

This is from the first set of photos taken in 2021. It's an Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A321-271NX, ZK-NNC.

Airbus A321-271NZ, ZK-NNC, operated by Air New Zealand

Anyway, I'm back at work now, so back to weekends only. However, and while not confirmed, I'm hoping there will be some exciting news on offer for Q1 in 2021. You'll all have to wait and see what this might be though... 😀

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Last photos from 2020

Here are some of last photos I took in 2020. The first is from the Wexford Rd lookout and is of an Air New Zealand-operated Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXK.

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

On the last day of 2020, comes a photo of another A320-232, this time VH-VGA, which is operated by Jetstar Airways.

Airbus A320-232, VH-VGA, operated by Jetstar Airways

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Socata TB9 Tampico

A recent arrival at Wellington is this Socata TB9 Tampico, ZK-TBA.

Socata TB9 Tampico, ZK-TBA

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Robinson R44

Late last year [31 December to be precise], this Robinson R44 II, ZK-IGK, was parked up at Wellington.

Robinson R44 II, ZK-IGK

Friday, January 01, 2021

A new year? Must mean it's time to fly!

It's a new year and what better way to celebrate than go for a flight? 😁

Better still, this flight bought up my 50th hour in the Nanchang, in around 18 months since I started learning to fly it, even with a big Covid19 lock-down in the middle.

Even better still to have a passenger, so welcome aboard Wayne! 

Today's flight was around an hour out to Palliser Bay for a look around. We stuck to around 1500' the whole time and watched the hills, the sheep, more hills, a lighthouse and a few cars, houses and rivers float by at 250kph.

A great way to start a new year!

Anyway, just one photo [thanks for this Wayne] of the Nanchang Grin after our flight [see below for details on how to obtain your own Nanchang Grin].

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

Want your own Nanchang Grin? Shares are available (as at 1 January 2021). Click here for details on Trademe!

PS: I'm thinking this would have been the first Nanchang CJ6 flight anywhere in the world for 2021 [departure around 11:30 local time]. happy to be proven wrong, but equally happy to be right! 😂😂