A Trip North

I’ve just got back from a short road trip which gave me the opportunity to drop into two airfields.

First was Taupo Airport, where I arrived just in time to see Taupo Tandem Skydiving‘s Cessna 208 Caravan, ZK-TTS, departing at speed — before I could get my camera ready. However, I stuck around and was rewarded with watching 8 jumpers descend on colourful ‘chutes.

This jumper seemed in a hurry to reach the ground as the final part of their descent was done in a tight, vertical spiral.

This photo is right side up; it’s the skydiver who’s wrong side up!

Before long, ‘TTS was on its way down, and I do mean down.

Cessna 208 Caravan, ZK-TTS makes a steep approach returning to Taupo Airport after offloading eight skydivers.

Finally, I got a good look at the aircraft as it touched down, though note it has no branding on the starboard side!

ZK-TTS rolls out on Taupo Airport’s RWY17.

While I was waiting on ‘TTS to return, a chap walked over to the fence and was videoing its arrival with an iPad. After it rolled out he introduced himself as Tim, and explained it was his daughter flying the Caravan! Apparently she had told him about the steep approaches and he had to see it for himself. Confirmed! Hopefully Tim will read this because he is the first ever recipient of my recently created cards I had made to hand out for just such occasions.

Update: Check out the comment from the pilot below!

Next up, I dropped into Hamilton Airport to see what was around. The answer was quite a lot, but most were not in a very good location for photography.

This was an interesting view. There were several helicopters operating out of the nearby Mystery Creek Fieldays event and I thought I might catch some comings and goings from the airport. An Airbus Helicopters EC120B took off just as I was walking over to the Heliport, but again my camera was not yet ready. I was rewarded, however, with this view through the large windows in the back of the Heliport hangar.

I have only been able to ID one of these aircraft; that being ZK-HTZ, a Hughes/McDonnell Douglas 369E. In the background, at far left, is likely ZK-HHJ, the Waikato Rescue Helicopter.

Update: I believe the Airbus Helicopters AS350 in the foreground is ZK-IWE, based on this recent NZ Civil Aircraft post.

Update 2: Furthermore, this post on NZ Civil Aircraft helped me pin down the LongRanger to being ZK-HEL5 (and in fact I then realised I part of the registration can, in fact, be seen in the photo).

Over on the far side of the airfield I spied Airwork/NZ Post Boeing 737-400F, ZK-PAQ, looking somewhat the worse for wear! Unbelievably, ‘PAQ is the only 400F of the NZ Post fleet I have ever captured before!

Airwork (for NZ Post) Boeing 737-400F sits forlornly outside the hangar. Well… I may be anthropomorphising a bit, but look at the state of that paintwork!

Finally, here is a really nicely coloured Beechcraft Super King Air.

Beechcraft Super King Air 350, ZK-APL.

That’s it; just the six photos. I really did only drop in, on my way to other places.





2 responses to “A Trip North”

  1. Annabel Ford Avatar
    Annabel Ford

    Hi Allister,
    Love the photos! I was the pilot of ZK-TTS that day, my dad Tim passed your card onto me😊 thank you

    1. Allister Avatar

      Hi Annabel! So cool to have you drop by!

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