28 June 2013

Excel Logbook Template

I was advised to keep an electronic copy of my logbook when I first started flight training, and made myself an Excel file which I've been continually updating ever since. It mirrors all the columns found in the official standard CAA 1373 New Zealand Pilot Logbook, with space for some additional customizable entries such as Part 135 time, cross country mileage and a passenger manifest. Each column has an automatically updating total formula, with a separate hour summary tab at the bottom of the sheet.

A friend recently asked if I could give him a blank copy, so I've uploaded an empty template version here for anyone else wanting the same thing. Click the download arrow below the screen grab if you wish to use it yourself. I also recommend syncing your own saved copy with a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or SkyDrive  so that you can update it on the go, and don't loose everything if your computer crashes!

Download Logbook Template

12 June 2013

Unusual Winter Arrivals

Whilst trawling through various aviation forums late last night, I stumbled upon the news that NZ is to receive visits from two rather unusual aircraft over the coming month.

Firstly N747NA, a Boeing 747SP, code named 'SOFIA' (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) will be relocating from NASA's Californian Flight Research Centre to Christchurch International for a period of three weeks beginning mid next month. The reasoning behind the shift to a Southern Hemisphere base according to spokesman Nick Veronico was due to 'often cloud-free night skies and lack of atmospheric haze, its long airport runway and the relatively empty airspace around the South Island'.

NASA/Carla Thomas, Wikimedia Common
The stubby looking aircraft that carries the worlds largest airborne telescope is expected to arrive into NZCH at 1830 local on July 12, and will no doubt be caught on camera by one of the dedicated local planespotters!

As an interesting aside, NASA previously operated a predecessor to SOFIA out of Christchurch from 1986 to 1995 in the form of a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. More information on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory can be discovered here.

Secondly, Air New Zealand's first Airbus A320 fitted with the Sharklet blended winglets is set to arrive into Auckland on the 21st of this month (ETA 1500 local). The new lift-induced drag reducing design features a 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) tall curved extension to the wing tip, weighing 200 kilograms (440 lb) per piece. The reduction in drag results in a decrease in fuel burn by 3.5% as well as an increases in payload of 500 kilograms (1100 lb), or range by 100 nautical miles (185 km) at the original payload.

The first airframe due to be delivered is ZK-OXA, and will be the first of three new Sharklet A320's to be used exclusively on domestic sectors. After being handed over from the manufacturer to the airline at the Paris Le Bourget Air Show, it will be ferried to New Zealand via the Middle East and Asia.

Apologies for the lack of any other recent updates, I'm currently working towards my MEIR and studying for my ATPL exams.