03 June 2015

Postcards from LAX

Following on from the last post, these captures come from the LAX layover.

Classic livery American B737NG
SkyWest / American Eagle CRJ-200
Delta Connection Embraer 170
SkyWest / United Express CRJ-700
New livery American Airlines A321
Lufthansa longhaul A340
A private 1966 B727
'The June M Morris' of Southwest Airlines
Split winglet design on the Alaskan B737NG
China Airlines B777 arriving at the gate
Fiji Airways A330 a long way from home
A Saudi Arabian B777 even further from base
Black Beauty ready for the Pacific stretch

Postcards from Europe

My parents have just come back from holidaying on the Greek island of Skiathos, sometimes referred to as the St Maarten of the Med. Being the good sort that my old man is, he got the camera out whilst waiting at the airport for the flight back to England and took some shots to snaps me what I was missing out on:

Selfies in front of the Thomas Cook Airlines A321
Captain only landings on the 1628m runway
Another Thomas Cook A321 in the heat haze
Enter Air 737, wearing Polish flags
Thomas Cook B757, the biggest type to land at the island
Thomson Airways 757 with winglets, on charter from the UK
Germaina A321
And again, from the port side
Germaina B737, the ride home
I also pinched a few other snaps from the SD card from his travels that I thought may be of interest to the browsers of the blog, mostly from Heathrow before the outbound flight back home.

Airborne over Gatwick
Royal Brunei have seemingly had a fleet upgrade since I last travelled with them
TAP Portugal baby-bus deploying reverse thrust
Germanwings A320
Tidy looking livery on the Etihad 380
Aer Lingus A319
An Air Astana 757 rolling out, from the Kazakhstan flag carrier
Virgin Atlantic Queen of the Skies
Turkish Airlines A330 in the flare

15 May 2015


Whilst browsing an American site recently, I stumped across the great new flying app named Cloud Ahoy. It works with both Apple and Android mobile devices and utilises GPS signal recording to build a 3D dimensional flight log that can be viewed inside Google Earth after landing.

For flight instructors, a paid version is available that allows thorough debriefing through an online interface. Groundspeed, heading, vertical speed and interpolated wind data is all available as you replay the flight in real time (or fast forward)- free for the first 35 days then $45US a year for a subscription.

The free version works just as well, although with limited sharing and exporting options when compared to the premium package. This screen capture below shows what users can see whilst logged into their accounts, with this zoomed out example covering a training flight I conducted with our new pilot out of Ardmore this afternoon:

I found the app's ability to record takeoff and landing times in UTC format particularly useful, and very handy for confirming the accuracy of the scibbles on my kneepad when filling in my flight logs and logbook totals at the end of a busy day. This example below showing a sector between Ardmore and Te Kuiti the other week, with the three dimensional altitude path on the right of the time data:

The US version allows pilots to overlay the plots onto IFR charts with instrument approach paths also showing up in 2D and 3D modes. Perhaps we'll see this functionally for NZ in the future if it proves popular with kiwi aviators!

27 April 2015

Whakatane Photos

Following on from my last blog post, I flew down to Whakatane with a friend on Sunday to attend the open day on behalf of the Aviation News, check out the Air Chats fleet and meet some of the faces behind the operation.

The turnout from the locals was spectacular despite the showery weather- I estimate a crowd of several thousand with the huge line of cars stretching along Aerodrome Road being one of the first things I noticed as we popped out the clouds on approach.

Brett Emeny bought his Vampire over from New Plymouth which he threw around fast and low in the overhead to the delight of the spectators, followed by a three ship Yak 52 formation. Cirrus SR 22 demonstrator ZK-CNZ was also in attendance, as were Sun Air with Aztec ZK-PIX promoting the inclusion of NZWK in their provincial route structure.  

Metroliner ZK-CIC on the apron
ZK-CIC's flight deck
ZK-AWP, one of the two remaining airworthy DC3's in the country
AWP's flight deck
Up front in Convair 580 ZK-CIE
East Bay Aviation's C182R was busy on scenic flights all day
Brett's Vamp outside the funky looking terminal
Up the tailpipe of the de Havilland Goblin powerplant
The Yak 52's making the most of a lapse in the weather
Snapped a few minutes later, taxing in after the display
Seneca ZK-DCP's panel on our return journey
Cheesy selfies at 9000'
Textbook Easterly weather conditions, with the Kaimai's sheltering the Hauraki Plains
In between cloud layers, nearing Auckland

24 April 2015

Whakatane Open Day

Whakatane Airport is hosting an open day this Sunday to celebrate the launch of Air Chathams new air service to Auckland. Their Metroliner and Convair will be open to explore on the ramp, whilst their DC3 and other local operators will be offering scenic flights around the region.

Gates open at 10am with a gold coin donation on entry. More details here.