A string Northerly cleared the cobwebs yesterday.
Nothing really caught my imagination, but since I was near the airport, I went up Wexford Road and up the little hill that looks down the runway from the North and East. The wind was really howling and I had to hold the camera and tripod firmly to the earth. Just as I was nearing the crest of the hill I noticed the polished military grey of one of the RNZAF’s two Boeing 757 transport aircraft. The wind carried its noise away to the South but I could see its exhaust shimmering as it lined up for take-off. The Air Force tend to take their 757s much closer to the edge of the envelope than civilian operators of the type, and have made a feature of flying them like a fighter at air shows around the world. But this was at a civilian airport in normal operation. Nevertheless, the stiff wind gave the pilot in command the excuse to burst off the runway like a rocket and its wheels were up and closed long before it came level with me.
Whitecaps on the strait made a fetching background to aircraft coming and going, and my next shot is a Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 arriving on its daily trip from Brisbane.
As an Air New Zealand Bombardier Q300 began its take-off run, our old friend the Aratere photobombed the scene. Unlike yesterday’s image this shows how desperately she needs a paint job. Rust streaks really show up on a white hull.
Things got busy (by Wellington standards) for a moment or two as the Q300 departed, the Virgin 737 taxied to the terminal, and a Sounds Air Pilatus PC12 waited to cross the runway to prepare for a trip to Westport.
Excuse the self-indulgence of an aviation centred edition, normal service should resume tomorrow.