29 May 2012

My 787 Photos

I missed seeing the Boeing 787 actually flying the first time it visited our shores in late 2011, so was looking forward to watching N787BX pass over my house on approach to Auckland International this afternoon as it arrived for a short demo tour on behalf of Air New Zealand. 

I was following it's progress live on flightaware.com as it left Sydney, listening to the callsign 'Boeing 787 Experimental' on liveatc.net as it was cleared to takeoff and climb to FL290 at the hands of an American accented female pilot. Two hours later, I noticed the crosswind at NZAA had picked up to a good 20knots + and thought I may as well take the opportunity to pop down to the 23L threshold lookout carpark to witness the landing.

The following images obviously don't need captioning- although I have to comment that the wing flex was pretty incredible to see first hand. Tomorrow morning, this machine will fly down to NZCH, returning back to Auckland in the evening. Thursday morning will see it depart again for the Northern Territory. Continental Airlines are hoping to begin operating their 787s (once delivered) on a 7400 mile non stop route from Auckland to Houston, Texas later this year, so this shape should soon become a common sight in kiwi skies!

27 May 2012

Vincent Flight Deck Vids

The Vincent Aviation BAe 146 has to be one of the most popular aircraft talked about in social media over the last few months. I've posted a few updates about it myself on this blog (search ZK-ECO), and now have two new recent flight deck videos to share.

These clips that have been sped up to music feature a take off from Ayres Rock (YAYE), and approaches into Cairns (YBCS), Sydney (YSSY) and a scenic figure eight missed approach at Queenstown (NZQN). Vid #2 has the takeoffs from Queenstown and Cairns, plus landings at Kununurra (YPKU) and Melbourne (YMML)- all from a recent charter stint over the Tasman. Credit goes to Tom Vincent and his cockpit mounted GoPro camera for the footage.

24 May 2012

2nd Dreamliner Visit

"A fully fitted out Boeing 787 is scheduled to visit Auckland next week on the final leg of a global tour to show off the plane.

The Dreamliner is due in Auckland next Tuesday afternoon after a flight from Sydney."

Full story here

Mike from MRC Aviation says the demonstrator's estimated time of arrival on Tuesday 29th May is 1500 local. Estimated time of departure from Auckland is 0830 Wednesday morning to Christchurch, returning back to AKL that night. It then departs New Zealand on Thursday 31st at 1500. 

The rego of this visiting airframe is N787BX (ZA003). The 787 demonstrator that visited Auckland last November N787BA (ZA001), has now had it's engines removed and been placed in long term storage at Palmdale, California.

12 May 2012

New Personal Record

Another quick update from me- after landing from another IFR cross country flight down to Rotorua yesterday, I realised the winds I'd encountered enroute were the strongest I've ever flown in. Off the arc into RO, I remember glancing down at the G1000 and seeing 44 knots on the screen! My instructor snapped this pic on his phone a few moment later by which time it had dropped 2 knots:

Pretty rough in the little C172, our ground speed was extremely low and trying to hold a simulated MDA was rather challenging, but we made it back in once piece all the same :)

11 May 2012

Upcoming Open Days


I'm not too sure of the finer details on this one, but I'm sure the local warbirds will put on a good show as usual. My brother's mini club will also be parked out on the apron as a static display near the aircraft, and the DC-3 will be dropping parachutists so I'm told. If the weathers fine, it will definitly be a good excuse to head out to the aeroclub to enjoy some wedges and beers to the sound of radial engines overhead!

23/05/12 EDIT: Air d
isplays include: MX2, Beaver, Tiger Moth, T28 Trojan, Strikemaster, L39, Model Aircraft, DC3, Harvards, P40, Spitfire and Mustang. + more Ardmore based Warbirds also on static display.  ***Special guest aircraft on display: Graeme Frew's Blenheim based Yak 3***

Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Boot Camp, Jeep Club, Car Clubs, Ardmore based flight training schools will be in attendance as well as on site support from The Rock & The Sound Radio Stations

My flying school is also holding an open day after a bit of rebranding on Sunday 20th May between 11am and 4pm, with the simulators I've been training on recently open to the public. This is as well as $80 20 minute intro flights which seems like a good deal. If all else fails, there's also a free sausage sizzle to draw the punters in.

04 May 2012

IFR Flight Track

Today I flew an 'actual' IFR cross country flight, AR - SY3D - LAKES1A - HN (RNAV 18, app) - BUDEN 1 - TO (RNAV 13, app, missed app) - HN - (VOR 18 arc, holds, app) - BUDEN 1 - AR (RNAV 21 app) and recorded a GPS track of my path with MotionX through my iPhone. If you know what to look for, you can see flight track where I was on the arc, and holding at TAYLA.

This is the third IFR cross country flight I've done this week, and I'm beginning to feel quite comfortable with the different navigation aids, procedures and approaches. My SEIR flight test is booked for early June, so with a few more practices around the upper North Island, I should be all ready.

I've also been doing some night flying whilst the weather been clear and calm to bump up my hours to the necessary 10 needed for the instrument rating, as I didn't have commercial night privileges when I sat my CPL. This again involved a dual cross country to Hamilton, although in the dark. My instructor failed the PFD and MFD avionics on the way back to Ardmore and made me fly using dead reckoning to get us home. He pushed the circuit breakers back in close to NZAR but then failed them all again during the downwind leg of the circuit and made me land- just so I had some experience of the one of the worst case scenario electrical failures. Next week I might do some night time city scenic, weather permitting, and have some photos to share on the blog.