Monday, September 26, 2022

Been a while, again...

It has been a while since I posted anything - about 6 weeks - but here we are.

Since then, I have flown the C172, the CJ6A, and, today, the Piper PA38-112, ZK-WAC.

It is that time of the year again, and so time the practice for the Flying NZ Regional Competitions. This year, the Cook Strait region competitions are being held at Masterton in mid November, and again, for some reason, Wellington Aero Club wants me to compete in the Wigram Cup Instrument Flying [I/F] competitions. This competition consists of some basic partial panel instrument flying procedures.

I always enjoy the competition, and use it as my excuse to jump into a PA38 again [with an instructor] to get current and have 2 or 3 practices. Fun times!

Anyway, here's the aircraft and the FR24 track from today's flight. Not too bad considering it's been about 10 months since I flew a PA38 and about the same since I have had any I/F practice πŸ˜ƒ. I was under the foggles (so I couldn't see outside) from Sinclair Head in the south around to Ohau Point in the west.

Piper PA38-112, ZK-WAC, operated by Wellington Aero Club

This is where we went :-)

Oh yeah, in case you are wondering - it was 48 minutes from start up to shutdown, and 36 minutes of I/F practice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Monday, August 08, 2022

Been a while... Sim time?

A couple of weekends ago I went down to Christchurch for the Flying NZ AGM and Conference. That was a lot of fun - a great opportunity to catch up with fellow aviators from around the country, to help set the direction of the organisation for the next year and to learn a lot, especially on the conference day.

Amongst all the business, there was time for a bit of fun. One bit of fun was taking a look at the IAANZ/ Canterbury Aero Club simulator facility. More than just a chance to take a look, but to have a "fly" in their A320 simulator. I understand they are open for bookings, even if you don't fly and just want to have a go.

This is not some home-built bit of kit, but a professionally built masterpiece. For my turn, we took off to the south and did a rather large figure-eight pattern to end up back on the ILS for runway 16. Pleased to say I didn't break anything! Taxiing was perhaps the hardest part, but as you see here, I did manage to park it at one of the gates. Fun times!

I guess there would only be a couple of more fun ways to fly an A320, and nobody is going to give me a full motion sim, or the real aircraft, so this is it for now! πŸ˜‚

Monday, July 18, 2022

Weekend photos

After quite some time of not going out to get aircraft photos, here a few photos I took last weekend from Palmer Head.

Dassault-Brequest Falcon 50, N115MF

British Aerospace Jetstream J32, ZK-JSK, operated by Origin Air

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

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

Bombardier DHC8-311, ZK-NED, operated by Air New Zealand

Friday, July 15, 2022

Luxury two day escape to Wharekauhau!

 ... and help Wairarapa Flying Tigers to restore Harvard 33!

How to enter? Super simple, just click here for the Trademe auction!

Easy as, and supporting the Wairarapa Flying Tigers to get an awesome historic aircraft back in the air is a good thing to do!

North American AT-6C Harvard, Wairarapa Flying Tigers

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Nanchang fun

I recently went for a quick flight in the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO. It was just over 1.5 hours, from Wellington, abeam Paraparaumu then Foxpine, to Tokomaru, across the ranges and down to Masterton. After a quick stop to refuel, we returned to Wellington.

Coming along for the ride was Ady, who took the photos and video in this post.


Off the coast from Paraparaumu

Just over the Tararua ranges

Heading south to Masterton

Short final for runway 06 at Masterton

Looking south from Greytown towards Palliser Bay

Lastly, the landing at Masterton wasn't too bad. I blame the shuddering on the videographer πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Avplan online history

Here's a nice little feature available for subscribers to Avplan which was pointed out to me yesterday.

You can log in with your Avplan subscription and access flight history! Here's an example of a quick C172 flight back in April.

There are recorded flights from when I had my old iPad mini, as well as the new one. It seems that all you need is to have a flight plan open on the device when you go flying. Nice feature.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Been a while...

 ... since I last flew - one month to be precise.

Today's flight was just a series of circuits at Wellington International Airport, in the aero club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. Fun times, with sweet clearances, no delays and great weather.

Anyway, here's a reminder of what this awesome machine looks like.

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

Next up is a small video of today's Fiji Airways departure to Nadi [NFFN]. This is a Boeing 737-MAX8, DQ-FAD. It is good to see the regional operators returning to Wellington as the Covid restrictions are reduced.

This was shot on my new Samsung A73, so I'd say the image stabilisation is pretty good!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

This would be nice!

This would be a nice little machine - two seats, 1200km range, turboprop, 800kg MAUW. Christmas present for me anyone? 😁

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Avweb ditching video

Here is an interesting video on ditching survival rates, from Avweb. Take it how you want, but there would seem to be worse options than ditching [in some cases] and if landing in the water is your best option, then it is highly survivable.

Enjoy watching, it's only 5 minutes long.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

I would actually like this

Here is an interesting aircraft and one I would love to have a go in one day [no chance, of course!].

It's an English Electric Wren, 99 years old [in 2022] and has a massive 3hp engine! Fun times!

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Another hour in a Cessna 172

Saturday was a chance to take a couple of people for a flight to the Marlborough Sounds. The weather was nice - a bit breezy, but nice enough.

Yet again πŸ˜‚ I have managed to not take any photos of my own, but in a one hour flight, we managed to get across to the Marlborough Sounds, taking a look from Long Island down to Picton then across to Port Gore, before returning to Wellington.

The flight path

Friday, April 29, 2022

Murphy Super Rebel

There was an interesting visitor to Wellington last weekend, a Murphy SR2500TD Super Rebel, ZK-MSR. This is registered to a Tauranga address, although I understand it has just been sold and will be moving shortly.

I don't know too much about the aircraft, but it's a Canadian designed homebuilt, seat four, it looks great and I'm rather jealous of anyone who gets to fly one of these for fun! πŸ˜€

Also, the bear on the tail looks cool also!

Murphy SR2500TD Super Rebel, ZK-MSR

Thursday, April 28, 2022

An hour in a Cessna 172

Last weekend [Monday to be precise] I had a flight in a Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE. I was by myself, so rather than just go sightseeing, I thought I would practice some manoeuvres instead. So, after just one hour, I had practiced turns, stalls, FLWOP, constant radius turns, then rejoined with a short approach to land.

Fun times! No pictures from the flight, just this screen grab from an app.

The flight path

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Propeller from a World War 1 aircraft?

Here's an interesting picture of an old propeller, apparently from a SPAD aircraft with a 200hp engine.

It appears to have been made by a company called Hispano-Suiza. It would be really good to know if there is more history to this propeller, and particularly if it could be confirmed as a type that would have been fitted to a World War 1 SPAD aircraft.

If you do know more, and particularly if you have links to information to support your views, please leave a message. I'm definitely keep to learn more!

Old propeller

Old propeller - do you know more?

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Boss

Monday's flight was in the Club's Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO. It was a quick trip across to Omaka aerodrome to pick up a couple of people and return home. It was a fantastic day for flying with bright skies and light winds - almost the perfect day for a flight across Cook Strait.

Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO, operated by Wellington Aero Club

While crossing Cook Strait I had radar monitoring, and this was followed by a very welcome clearance to "track direct to Omaka, 2500 feet or below" - a sweet clearance that saved me from having to descend earlier and navigate the transit lane. Nice. On arrival, a slight change of wind meant and overshoot and reposition for another vector. All fun. Heading home a short time later was another easy flight across Cook Strait and back into Wellington.

The only real challenge was someone flying around Omaka/ Woodbourne with a stuck mic. Heavy breathing is not really wanted on the frequency 😬, especially with various aircraft wanting ATC clearances and the like. Oh well, these things happen, nothing to get too excited about.

Flight track

Sunday, April 10, 2022

All fingers accounted for

Saturday was another day to head to Masterton airfield and continue my flight training on the Piper J3C-50, ZK-AHD, with Wairarapa Flying Tigers.

Today's flight was more upper air work - stalls, steep turns, slow flight, slips and an overhead rejoin. I was also seated in the rear seat, which was an interesting experience with limited visibility, but one I'll get used to since this aircraft is flown solo from the back seat. Next lesson will likely be lots of circuits. That'll be a lot of fun!

Not only that, but I am also learning some of the ground stuff, like starting the engines of the J3 and the de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moths. These aircraft don't have starter motors [it seems to be just additional dead weight to carry around 😁], so they start using the Armstrong method, or swinging the propellers by hand. Fun times, and at the end of the day, all fingers are accounted for.

Only two photos from today, of two of Wairarapa Flying Tiger-operated de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moths, ZK-ANL and ZK-BLK. Once up to speed on the J3, this will be the next bit of fun.

de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, ZK-BLK, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, ZK-ANL, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Time for a clean

I went flying on Sunday afternoon. The aircraft needed a wash prior to the flight... so, no, this was not after my flight... Clearly the previous flight had some fun 😏

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

Monday, April 04, 2022

Cessna 152

One visitor to Wellington on Sunday, a Cessna 152, ZK-NAK, which is operated by Nelson Aviation College.

Cessna 152, ZK-NAK, operated by Nelson Aviation College

Monday, March 21, 2022



A fairly cryptic title I suppose, but very relevant to this post, as I had my first flight in a Piper J3C-50 Cub, ZK-AHD last weekend! What a fantastic experience!

Piper J3C-50 Cub, ZK-AHD, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

This aircraft is operated by the Wairarapa Flying Tigers, alongside their Tiger Moths, and DHC Chipmunk [although this is awaiting servicing at the moment]. It is powered by a Continental A50, developing a massive 50hp* and has a max all up weight of 498 kgs. Definitely the lightest aircraft I have every flown and very definitely the lowest powered, by a long shot. Climb is a sprightly 60-65mph [no, not knots] and stall is about 35mph.

The panel is appropriately vintage as well

Piper J3C-50 Cub, ZK-AHD, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

What a fantastic and fun machine it was to fly!

For this first lesson, it was turns, basic stalls, slow flight, an overhead rejoin and some circuits including 3 pointer landings and a wheeler landing. We actually tried two wheeler landings, but one was so bad, I went around. Fun times!!

Piper J3C-50 Cub, ZK-AHD, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

The aircraft was flown with the door open [as I suppose a Cub should be flown...😁]. The speeds are quite sedate which provides more time to think about this, but with just under an hour in the seat today, there is certainly still more work to be done before I'm competent to take it up myself.

Fun times, and I'm definitely going back for more!

Piper J3C-50 Cub, ZK-AHD, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

My understanding is that after a Cub rating, there may be an opportunity to do a Tiger Moth rating. That would be fun also!

* 50hp would be a similar number of horses as I have years... low power, young years? 😁

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Two flying tigers

Yesterday I went on a trip to Masterton. I flew the Nanchang CJ6A, ZK-MAO, over there and back. In between times, I had a nice meal at the Kittyhawke cafe.

I also got to see these two de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moths, ZK-ANL and ZK-BEW, starting up for a flight. One day πŸ‘

It is great to see these awesome aircraft still being used regularly. There's even a chance I may end up flying them one day. Stay tuned.

de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, ZK-ANL, ZK-BEW, operated by Wairarapa Flying Tigers

They are also available for joy rides if you are interested. Wairarapa Flying Tigers is the place to go to find out more.

If you're a pilot and are interested in flying these wonderful aircraft, you can use the same website to make contact with Wairarapa Flying Tigers.

Monday, March 07, 2022

A quick trip to Paraparaumu

I was not planning to do any flying on Sunday, and I didn't. I did however sit on board as a passenger as the Club's Piper PA38-112, ZK-EQX, was flown to Paraparaumu for some planned maintenance.

Not much to say about the flight, except it was a bit windy in Wellington, but surprisingly nice in Paraparaumu. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures.

Runway 34 at Wellington. I hate rolling shutter...

A bit of new road, not currently in use. Near Mount Wainui

Final approach into NZPP. That's the Paraparaumu Town Centre in the middle

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Taupō again :-)

The weather yesterday was just about exceptional. There was little wind, the skies were fairly blue apart from some high cloud through the Desert Road, with just a wee bit of anti-cyclonic gloom [see, I sound fancy!] limiting the visibility down to around 20-30 km in places.


Flying past Mount Ruapehu, on the way home

Knowing that there was likely to be very nice weather a few days out, I booked the Nanchang CJ6A for most of the day, and planned a trip from Wellington to Taupō and return. Originally, I was going up the coast to near Whanganui, then up the Desert Road, then returning back via Masterton. The return trip changed for reasons I'll explain later.

Also on the way home. Lovely weather!

The first change was that I flew into Whanganui for fuel. The Nanchang only has 2.5 hours endurance. Given a legal minimum reserve of 30 minutes, we are down to 2 hours flight time. With the Club [sensibly] wanting an extra 15 minutes reserve, we are down to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The flight was planned for 1 hour and 28 minutes, so quite doable. That anti-cyclonic gloom I mentioned? Probably better to have a few more minutes reserve up my sleeve, so I popped into Whanganui for fuel. Hello Jonathan and Zac.

ADSB-In is nice, but eyes are important

Turns out it was all no problem. It all cleared up as I got closer to Waiouru. Still, I'm never heard anyone complain about having more fuel than they needed to have at the end of a flight.

Taupō is a great aerodrome to visit any day. The cafe in the terminal is always a great place to stop and have a snack. Also, hello Anthony and Alex. Bacon butty and Pepsi Max - the lunch of Kings!

It was then that a small issue was found. I use an iPad Mini 6 for my aeronautical charts and navigation planning. It works great, but on longer flights may need a recharge. I have a backup that is usable [on the phone], but it's not ideal.

As it turns out, the cable I selected has a feature. It charges the phone but not the iPad??!?. So, rather than fly through some less familiar airspace, I came back via the same route [but without stopping in Whanganui]. Home in around 90 minutes, and the iPad had plenty of juice for the entire flight [and would have for the original plan... but you know... threat and error management and all that]. Also, NZWU and NZPP available should I have been concerned about fuel [which wasn't an issue].

The naughty cable now has two new features - after confirming that others cables work fine, I chopped the ends off and have ordered some replacements. I guess that just goes to show the importance of testing equipment before I head off..

Munted cable

Anyway, that's today's trip.

Nice equipment :-)

Where to next??

Monday, February 28, 2022

A new shirt, and a slightly older hat

Last Saturday's flight to Hawera was the first outing for my awesome new Nanchang branded polo shirt. It looks good alongside my slightly older baseball cap hat also.

I might be biased 😁

Branded polo shirt and baseball cap

Monday, January 31, 2022

Must not fly again in January...

... because I've already done about 15 hours this month...

This evening's chariot was Wellington Aero Club's latest acquisition, Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-EQX. What can I say. It is a Tomahawk. It flies like a Tomahawk. Take-off was fine, stalls were fun, turns good, landing about perfect.

I promise, no more flying in January 2022. I'm done for the month!

Piper PA38-113 Tomahawk, ZK-EQX, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Kia ora Palmy

Another weekend, another flight! Yesterday's flight was planned as a quick trip from Wellington to Palmerston North, across to the Wairarapa and back to Wellington. I had never flown into Palmerston North in daylight [I did a dual night cross country in there some years ago] and with the amazing weather we have had recently, well, why not!

All went well, until I had my entry clearance into the Wellington control zone... some spotted a drone flying around, which caused a few delays. For me, it meant diverting to Masterton for fuel and returning a little later than expected.

As for photos - these are courtesy of Ady who came along for the ride. Thanks for sharing!

These first few photos are from the University arrival into Palmerston North's runway 25 and the departure on a Hiwinui departure.. In the first photo, the airport is is in the centre of the photo.

Left base for NZPM, runway 25

Short final for NZPM, runway 25

After the touch & go on the Hiwinui departure

A view across the Manawatu Gorge

Next up are some pictures heading south passing [what I think is] Eketahuna, with a couple of controlled burn-offs in progress. It's easy to see the wind direction and strength. A nice gentle northerly.

Eketahuna, heading south

Somewhere north, heading south :-)

In the next photo, we are near Featherston [that's the town you can see in the photo], on the way to Mount Matthews, for our first attempt at getting into Wellington.

Hello Featherston!

Next up are two photos approaching, then inside, the Orongorongo Valley. These were taken just before I had been given a control zone entry clearance, which was just prior to a drone was reported to be flying around. This meant a diversion to Masterton [which we had flown past earlier] for fuel. The Orongorongo Valley is where a lot of basic mountain flying training is undertaken by Wellington Aero Club.

Approaching the Orongorongo Valley, just east of Wellington

In the Orongorongo Valley, just east of Wellington

After all that, we returned to Wellington a couple of hours later than expected. Still, it was a nice day to fly down the Wairarapa Valley and across Palliser Bay to return to Wellington.

Southern Wairarapa and Palliser Bay

Finally, if you were flying a drone/ RPAS* near Wellington Airport on Saturday... please don't. It is dangerous and highly disruptive. You could end up in prison... and they don't allow you to fly your drone in prison either 😬. has some great information to help keep you out of trouble.

* RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, aka a drone.