Thought I'd plonk something new up. Will try Flickr. Was doing a job at a local orchard recently, they have this old forklift, local rumour states that it had a previous life in a bomb loading role. Do we have any experts on the matter who can confirm this is likey?
The Tiger Moth Club's Safari Rally event dropped into the Cromwell airstrip this afternoon with several Tigers and similar flying machines. Shot down for a look. Appeared to be a great day for flying! A few random pics, there is more on flickr
With not much else to do, forums... Due to the lack of air traffic around, i could almost comment on every aircraft i see now for something to do. Had a bizjet fly over today, gave me an excuse to figure out Flightradar24. Tells me it was a Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign, appeared to have been on the ground at Luggate for an hour or so. Someone heading off to their bolthole?
We had a large slip open up above the Cromwell Bridge on SH8, and so the various road works and civil construction types got busy dealing with it. Part of the intial response was a heli slucing loose material off it, dunking a monsoon bucket type apparatus in the Clutha immediately below, then dumping it on the sliop. As this is right above the traffic, they were stopping traffic completely for several minutes to do so. As luck would have it, i happened to get caught in it, but at least it was interesting to watch.
The slip is left of the top of the pine tree.
Between slucing cycles, heli parked on the adjacent roadside.
And entirely unrelated, this has been parked at the Cromwell Airfield for several days now, no idea who or why, would be the biggest flying machine i've seen here.
Pulled out of the workshop in Cromwell today, and something caught my eye as it flashed past at the Cromwell Racecourse Airport ZK-OAL of Otago Airspread.
As good a place as any to eat a sandwich while watching things (beats working!)
He must have been spoilt with the relatively huge, and flat, strip to fly off compared with some of the more common hilltop strips. He was dropping the goods on the top of the ridge on the right of pic, a fairly short and steep return flight and then a nice steep turn onto finals.
About time i added something. about 3 weeks ago i was working outside on a Sunday evening, and heard a plane. Looked up as you do, and spotted this:
He's a long way from home I thought to myself. Next day's local rag headline was all about the first Wanaka-Christchurch scheduled flights started that day. So now see this overhead most evenings. Headed up to my model plane club today and had a quick drive into Wanaka airport, and found it parked right by the fence:
Ugly plane, but i love the big aggressive prop! I hope they do well and it's stays on, and that bigger mob don't push in and undercut and then pull out!
A couple of weekends ago, there was a jetboat Cromwell-Wanaka & back on the Clutha. Since the same river is across the road from me, thought i'd go have a nose. The big grunty V8 boats are outstanding, plenty of noise and spray and of course speed.
But if they sound great, the turbine powered machines are next level. (note the plume of heat haze) The noise from these things is awesome.
It takes about 20 min to drive from the race start to where i was, assuming a clear open road. The first boat did that distance in about 10 min...
So one thing that's common around Central at this time of year, which might not be widely known:
Blow drying of cherries.
While cherries are ripening, any rain on them can cause the fruit to swell and split or otherwise deform the fruit, making it worthless from a sales point of view. So rain at this time of year is a serious issue. In most cases, the fruit is grown open to the elements (i.e. not in greenhouses or similar), so the rain can't be kept off. So the next best thing is employed, which are helicopters. Similar to the perhaps more well known frost fighting, as soon as the rain has cleared up, the helicopters are called out, and begin slowly traversing immediately above the trees, giving them a damn good "blow dry" to shake off the worst of the moisture. This was the case this morning, so i shot out of the office, there's half a dozen cherry orchards within a couple of km, and i wasn't disappointed, seeing 5 machines at work in 5 mins.
And when you're buying cherries at $20 or $30 per kilo in Auckland, this is part of the reason:
Warning: This post will contain the very definition of terrible cellphone photos.
Been a bit of RNZAF activity in the region lately, some exercise on, including a contingent at Wanaka airport. I happened to be there on Monday night, and saw a Herc landing at dusk, but no pics.
Was in Cromwell today, just happened to glance up and catch this.
I'm sure it's a pointless smudge on your screen, but is a RNZAF 757 heading northwards. Not unusual to see A320's at least in this bit of sky, as one of the Queenstown approaches is about the same place, but heading the other direction. Just before it went behind the house roof, I realised it was a lot closer than it seemed at first glance. The brief view i got from the other side was this:
You won't see it in this pic, but this one you should:
Appreciate this is a pretty tight crop! Then realise that is mountains behind, not sky. Specifically the Pisa Range, which in this area tops out at about 3800ft. A quick look at FR24 said the aircraft was at 2100ft, and about 250 kts. Must have been a hell of a view from there heading up Lake Dunstan.