From the digital shoebox

As you will see in a subsequent post, my Wellington Airport album on Flickr had nearly reached 1,000 images. Having spent a long time in my photo library of late, I had spotted a few aircraft that never made it to Flickr publication and so to get my album up to the magic 1,000, I decided to trawl through and see if I could find enough of that ilk to hit the mark.

First up and barely making it into my digital photo era is Air New Zealand/Airwork Boeing 737-200 QC, ZK-NQC. This was unique in New Zealand in being the only “Quick Change (QC)” model that had a large cargo door (visible in this shot) and could be converted easily between freight and passenger configuration.

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There is a locally based IAI Westwind, but I’ve chosen to include this shot of Aussie visitor VH-AJV. I don’t see these very often, but every time I do I wonder how the darned thing doesn’t scrape on the ground!


I particularly remember the day this Turkish government Airbus A319, TC-ANA, visited. It was the day my wife was undergoing major surgery in hospital. I had some hours to pass while she was in there and so headed out to the airport and was greeted by this.


Of a similar ilk is this Boeing 737-BBJ (based on a -700 series), HZ-MF2, operated by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


I couldn’t believe I had no shots of this aircraft on Flickr. Goodness knows I have a fair few photos of it. Freedom Air’s already brightly coloured, but also Looney Tunes-emblazoned Airbus A320, ZK-OJO.


This shot of Air Nelson (Air New Zealand Link) Saab 340A, ZK-NLE, is a little bit special. Surprisingly I have not previously featured any Air Nelson Saabs, but this photo was from the last day I captured one operating before they were completely phased out in favour of the Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s.


A far less common type is this Jetstream J41 – the longer version of the more common J32 which you can still see flitting around today. From my research, this airframe was only ever registered to Origin Pacific in its time here, but in this shot the titles have been removed, if a little roughly.


The final shot is of the now retired DC-3, ZK-AMY. Owned by Pionair, it was due to be retired around 2000, but the Southern DC-3 Trust stepped in and kept it flying until early 2014. You can read about this era here.


And so concludes my digging into the digital shoebox of Wellington Airport photos. Be sure to watch out for the next post celebrating the milestone of 1,000 images in the album.

One down

I took a week off work this week and didn’t have anything planned for my last day, Friday, because the early weather forecast was for a rainy day. Well, who believes weather forecasters, anyway? At least more than 12 hours out.

So with the sun shining, I decided to head out to Wellington Airport to see what would show up, with specific hopes to catch two types I’ve not photographed in action before. I succeeded with one of them.

Here is a taste of the 16 photos published today. You can see them all over on Flickr.

Air Chathams’ Convair 580, ZK-CIF, roars down the runway in an effort to get airborne. Yes, it looks like a real effort every time – not much climb rate with these things!


Having spent so long capturing aircraft from the same spots around Wellington over the years, I’ve lately been trying for different compositions and a current favourite is this ‘over the shoulder’ angle. Here, Mount Cook Airline (Air New Zealand Link) ATR-72, ZK-MVJ, makes a dash for the air.


Over the shoulder again, but this time arriving, Jetstar Airbus A320, VH-VGQ, touches down starboard main gear first – a bit of a theme with today’s conditions.


I love the background and colouring in this shot of the Life Flight Trust’s Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, as it floats in for a landing. It landed a little longer than usual due to a late touchdown and had to backtrack on the runway to make the western apron.


Finally! I did photo this example on the ground on a recent visit, but this is the first time I’ve captured a Sounds Air Pilatus PC-12, in this case ZK-PLS, in action. My next challenge is to capture one in proper Sounds Air colours – I think there are two now.


Also missing from my portfolio is a Jetstar DHC-8 Q300 – one of which flew over my house right after I got home. Sigh!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the shots over on Flickr.

Welly, Welly, Welly, Oi, Oi, Oi

Apologies for the title. It’s late and it has been a heck of a day.

And it was a heck of a weekend just gone, too, with no less than three visits to Wellington Airport for the purposes of picking up and dropping off family members. As the appointed chauffeur, I took my opportunities to train my camera on activities as time allowed.

I did this both from some of my usual spots around the airport and also from inside the terminal. There is a fair bit of construction work underway and other changes are being made to the apron operations I presume in concert. Amongst other things, there’s now a great opportunity to observe DHC-8 Q300 operations with Air Nelson’s examples lining up to three at a time in front of near-ground level windows.

Below are a handful of shots to whet your appetite. There are 55 shots in total over at Flickr.

First up, here’s an active scene around the Life Flight Trust’s hangar. Pictured are the “tug”, Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW, the patient transfer vehicle and, unrelated to the activity at the time, what I believe was Helicopters Otago’s BK117, ZK-IME.


Next up is a close-up study of Jetstar Airbus A320, VH-VGF – the airline’s all-over bright orange liveried aircraft. We can see the pilots at work preparing for an early pushback. Yes!


Here’s another action scene with the just arrived DHC-8 Q300, ZK-NFI. We can see the flight attendant, ground handler and pilots going about their business. Not to mention the A320 pushing back in the background. ‘NFI was one of the aircraft carrying a family member.


Over on the other side of the airport, I was checking out the RAAF C-17 (see below) when I was surprised by the arrival of Lowe Corporation’s BK-117, ZK-IBK. It’s been a while since I’ve been caught in rotor wash!


Here’s an aircraft type relatively new to the region, and this is the first occasion I’ve got any decent photos! One of Sounds Air’s Pilatus PC-12s, ZK-PLZ sits at the gate awaiting passengers, doors wide open no doubt to keep the heat at bay.


I’ve definitely got decent shots of Life Flight Trust’s Jetstream J32, ZK-LFW in flight before but I particularly like the angles and clarity I got this time around.


Last up, as mentioned earlier, here is RAAF C-17, A41-211 departing in the golden light. I’ve got several shots of this with things in the foreground which (in the other two cases at least) I think give it a distinctly Wellington flavour.


That’s all for this post, but be sure to check out the rest over on Flickr.