Around and about

It’s been a while! My last post was in November and it’s now well into March. I’ve not had a lot to share since then but thought it worth an update now.

First up, my posts are back on the original domain after my foray into SquareSpace. SquareSpace is pretty good for hassle-free posting but I was forever cramming more and more into the one domain to avoid multiplying the cost. Now I’ve got one hosting account with lots of domains again. Anyway…

An early January visit to Wellington Airport netted a series of (almost) head on shots.

Mount Cook Airline ATR-GIE ATR72, ZK-MVB, is up first.


Next is Sounds Air Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, ZK-SAA.


Next, we switch location into the terminal, where we first see another ATR72, ZK-MVN, taxiing in to the gate on one engine.


Then Air New Zealand Airbus A320, ZK-OXA is pushed back from the gate prior to departure.


No longer head on, but still concentrating on noses, we see Air Nelson’s Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s, ZK-NES in white, and ZK-NEM in black. This was the first time I had seen ZK-NEM in this scheme.


Here’s a better shot of ZK-NEM when departing later.


Next, we have a pair of business jets. Learjet 36A N82GG sits outside while Cessna 650 Citation III N163JM sits inside.


Getting back to noses, we see Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200, 9V-SRM, at the moment of touchdown, and through a lot of heat haze.


All of those photos were taken in a single visit. Below are two that I took today on a brief stop while out around the town on a stunning day.

Resident Nanchang CJ6, ZK-MAO, was awaiting its turn at the fuel pump.


Anf finally, trying to hide from me, is Agusta-Bell AB206A Jetranger, ZK-HMU. It’s hiding behind Air2There’s Beechcraft B200C Super King Air, ZK-MYM.


A little bit of Welly

I had a day off work, the sun was out, and I was encouraged to leave the house. You know what happened next.

There wasn’t a whole lot of traffic, but what was there was somewhat interesting, and I took photos from a bunch of different spots.

Speaking of spotting spots – I was up on the seawall at the south end of the runway when someone yelled “Restricted area!” from a moving vehicle. I didn’t see them so don’t know if it was AvSec or any other airport authority. I did move on not long afterwards but had AvSec decided to come and have a chat, they would certainly have had time before I left. I know there are “Restricted Area” signs, including one I passed by the windsock, but I’ve been going up there for YEARS as have all manner of people including groups of kids, walkers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, and I’ve even been up there when AvSec staff were around and they said nothing. Heck, I have a photo of an AvSec officer in the area with some other people. What’s the deal there? I note they are making it incredibly difficult to park anywhere nearby now.

Anyway, first up from the handful I’ll include here, I was rather pleased with this angle on Air New Zealand’s second youngest Airbus A320, ZK-OXL, which is now just a little over a year old.


With the recent retirement of (almost) all of the freight Convairs, Air Chathams’ examples become more of a rarity. Here, ZK-CIF departs RWY34 at a fairly sprightly rate of climb for the type. Must have been lightly loaded as there wasn’t a whole lot of wind.


I think this is the first time I’ve seen Sounds Air’s corporate-configured PC-12, ZK-PLZ. It’s certainly the first photo I’ve taken. I was intrigued by the three different types of chocks in use.


And finally, a new airframe for me, I think, is Singapore Airlines’ 777-200ER, 9V-SQK. I was astonished at how quickly it slowed on the runway after touchdown. I believe it is required to take the full length before exiting, but from what I saw it would have had no trouble exiting RWY34 at A4, possibly earlier.


Interestingly, this was the second 777-200ER I had personally sighted on the day. From home, I watched 9V-SVI operating SQ297 pass by at around 16,000ft over Cook Strait on its way to Ohakea, where it was diverted due to fog at Christchurch.

It flew on to Christchurch in the early afternoon, arriving four hours behind schedule.

I published a total of 24 photos from this visit, which you can find over on Flickr.

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.

Don’t get used to this

Already I have more pics from another visit to Wellington Airport. I used to only include a selection of photos in these blog posts, but I think so long as there are 10 or less I’ll save you the bother of going over to Flickr and include them all here. Of course you can click on any one of them to head to the relevant Flickr page for a bigger version and a browse around, if you want.

First up, on arriving at the airport I missed a Sounds Air PC-12 again. One day I will capture one! I saw it taking off right beside me as I headed in to the Airport Fire Station, where I met Scott. Thanks for the quick tour, Scott! Those trucks are impressive beasts.

After a quick detour I arrived back at the airport and saw the tell-tale smoke trail of the Allison turboprops on this Air Chathams Convair 580, ZK-CIB. I’ve seen this many times before but in line with my recent efforts, I’ve gone for a closeup.


Next up, the Execujet hangar was wide open and sitting outside was the familiar Cessna 650 Citation III, N163JM.


And inside, tucked in a corner, was Bob Jones’s Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, ZK-RJZ.


Meanwhile, out on the western apron, there were no air ambulances today, but quite a collection of types as shown here. From the left, RNZAF Boeing 757, NZ7571, Air Chathams Convair 580, ZK-CIE, and two Wellington Aero Club Cessna 172s. One was ZK-CEO (see later) and the other I expect will be ZK-FLT though I did not confirm this.


Sounds Air’s ever present Cessna 208 Caravans were buzzing around as usual. Here, ZK-SAA gets airborne.


And shortly afterward, the Aero Club’s Cessna 172, ZK-CEO headed off to the Hutt Valley.


Finally, here are two studies of the RNZAF Boeing 757, NZ7571 departing. I had watched this loading and saw (with the aid of binoculars) that it was carrying a large load of civilians, mostly young adults from what I could see. Apart from crew, I observed only a single person in military dress. I would be interested to find out where a plane load of civvies are off to on a January Saturday.