How To Choose A Flying Course

Many of us imagine becoming a pilot when we are little kids. But a very lucky group of us decide to follow that passion as we grow up. If you desire to become a pilot and fly commercial planes, then there are several things that you need to consider. First you need to recognize that you will have to take a flying course, and your will power to study the material will have a big impact on obtaining your license.

Whether you are becoming a commercial pilot or a private pilot, you will need to know that you are going to need to put in a lot of time into your flying course training and studying. That time is dedicated to your education before you take off into the sky or even see a flight simulator. One thing you will learn in your flying course is that you need a follow a solid plan at all times.

The experience you get from being a private pilot is very different than that of a commercial pilot. You will find that most private pilots do not travel all over the world, as they are generally flying charted aircraft that travel from one state to another. There are also those lucky souls that land a job with businesses that own their own aircraft. In this situation you'll be flying all over the world as your take your client from meeting to meeting.

In your private pilot flying course you will also need to decide what type of plane you'd like to fly - the large private jets or smaller recreational craft. There are a lot of business people out there who are in need of helicopter pilots - so this may be a route to look at when getting your wings. The one thing that you will need to keep in mind is that you do not want to speed up your training too fast because cutting corners just isn't safe.

Before you begin your training you will need to find a quality school with a flying course that teaches you everything you need to learn. There are schools all around the country, but you need to locate the one that you are going to want to attend. What could be worse than attending your flying course but you dislike the teacher and teaching style.

If you are going to take a home study flying course, you will need to make sure that you take your time and learn everything that is presented to you. You will have lives in your hands when you flying, so be extra careful to take flying of the plane seriously in your private pilot training.

Source :

Rockwell 114 ZK-ELL

Newly imported into New Zealand from the US is this Rockwell Commander 114 serial number 14229. Previously registered as N96ET this aircraft arrived at Hastings Aerodrome in a 40 foot shipping container on 27 Aug 2010. It has been reassembled by Hawkes Bay Aviation. The photo above, taken on 28 Oct 2010, shows ZK-ELL about to undergo a engine run. The aircraft is registered to Gwailo Investments of Hasting and it is believed that it will be operated by Air Hawkes Bay/Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club. This particular aircraft is fitted with Garmin GNS430 VHF/VOR/ILS/GPS. Watch this blog for more photos.

VH-AQM Visit

Des Sullivan photo

Melbourne based Piper Saratoga VH-AQM seen here at Hastings Aerodrome on 04 Oct 2010. After a local flight or 2 crew and passengers overnighted in Hastings before departing to places unknown on 05 Oct 2010

Winter season begins

2010/2011 winter season, October 31 – March 26
The 2010/2011 Northern Hemisphere winter season has begun. Most national EX-YU carriers will be decreasing their flight offering but foreign airlines are set to increase services. The low cost easyJet will commence new flights to both Zagreb and Ljubljana while Wizz Air will open its Belgrade base. The winter will mark the opening of Adria’s new base in Priština, with flights to Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt, while B&H Airlines commences new flights from Banja Luka.

The 2010 summer season was a period of recovery for most in the aviation industry. In the third quarter (July – September), Croatia Airlines saw a significant passenger decrease, Adria Airways saw a mild single digit increase as did Jat Airways. It should be noted that the Icelandic ash cloud drama affected all three airlines in April while Croatia Airlines was also hit by a cabin crew strike later on in the summer. B&H Airlines carried 55.177 passengers in the third quarter, an increase of 42.3% compared to the same period last year. So far this year the airline has processed 109.368 passengers, an increase of 66%. Montenegro Airlines has not made its passenger figures public, although it did report that it had a strong summer.

Care to predict what will happen this winter? Will Croatia Airlines’ negative trend change for the better? Will Adria beat Jat in the race for second largest EX-YU airline in term of passenger numbers and will Sarajevo’s notorious airport fog prove a headache for B&H and its passengers? Send your thoughts.

Question time # 116

Two Ladies of Flight.
Two aircraft types required.
Two registrations required.
One of the said Ladies carries her name : What is it ?

Guide to Your Flight Test Requirements For Your Private Pilot License

If you have made the decision to become a Private Pilot then you must have a thorough understanding of the training requirements. There are a number of hours you must spend flying as well as theory and then several tests to complete. The flight school must all follow the same regulations in order for the Pilots to graduate and become licensed.

To begin with there is the pre solo training segment that must be satisfactorily completed. This is where your instructor will remain with during your flying segments. Then you will move onto the Post solo requirements. This is where you go at it by yourself and finally you will have your final flight test. Everything you have done in regards to your flying must be logged in your flight book.
Rules and regulations put in place by any governing body change consistently. This means you must make yourself aware of the current regulations applicable to the time of your application for your private pilot license.

You will be required to have a minimum of 40 hours of flight time that consists of you being trained by an accredited instructor, plus 10 hours of flying on your own (solo flight training).The following is what would take place within your training segment.

Utilizing a single engine airplane...
Log 3 hour of cross-country instruction
There is a requirement of 3 hours night training that must consist of a total distance of in excess of 100 nautical miles as a cross-country flight, and involves 10 takeoffs and landings. The landings must be consistent with an airport traffic pattern.
3 hours must be utilized to cover all of the components of flying such as consistency in airspeed climbs and descents and all other maneuvers.

Within 60 days of your test, you must complete 3 hours of preparatory flying for you test including 10 hours solo and 5 hours solo cross-country. One of your cross-country solos has to be a minimum of 150 nautical miles with stopping at 3 points along the way. Also at this time there has to be a straight-line flying pattern for 50 miles within a takeoff and landing area.
Stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and three take off with three full stop landing consistent with a flight traffic pattern governed at an airport that has air traffic control via a tower.

There are further requirements of ...
Within a 24 month period prior to the practical test you must have had completed a test based on your practical knowledge
Completed the aeronautical segment.
Acquire a medical certificate at a 3rd class status
Be of the acceptable age per regulation.
You log book must be signed by an authorized instructor verifying that you have
(a) Within 60 days of date of application for practical test spend some training time in preparation.
(b)Is prepared and has displayed acceptable knowledge regarding the knowledge test
(C) The application form is signed and completed.
In addition to all of the above there is also the ground instruction requirements that have to be completed satisfactorily.

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Pilot Jobs and Training

Numerous pilot jobs are there in the aviation industry such as airline pilot, helicopter pilot, agriculture pilot, test pilot, flight instructor etc. Each job has its own level and rank and there are lots of benefits of becoming a pilot. The pilot gets the salary and other benefits as per the company norms. In order to get the pilot job, the person has to acquire some licenses and certificate of the related industry. Details of the some pilot occupations are as follows

Agriculture Pilot

Agriculture pilots have the responsibility to carry a variety of chemicals for spraying to farmlands, forests fields and crops. The chemical includes the fertilizers, insecticides and seeds as well. Agriculture pilot gets the salary between $20000 and $70000. For becoming agriculture pilot, the person must have at least high school diploma, and the license. Many pilot schools are providing the agriculture pilot training to the interested students.

Test Pilot

Test pilots are of several types such as engineering pilot, production pilot. The jobs of these test pilots is filled with full of danger and risk. These pilots basically test the new and renovated planes and they also check the design strength of the airplane. These pilots get the salary between $15000 and $200000. To become test pilot, the students must have completed their college studies. Test pilot training is given in various certified pilot schools and the experienced instructors give the training.

Airplane Pilot

Major airplane pilot is one of the best and the reputed job in aviation industry. These pilots fly passenger from one place to another and they also deliver the cargo or freight to international cities. The pilots operate lots of air crafts such as B-757, B-777 and A330. The salary which they get ranges from $23000 to $250000, which is very high as compare to other pilot jobs. Many pilot schools and institutes are offering the pilot training under FAA certified rules and regulations.

Regional Air Line Pilot

Regional airline pilots fly short range routes and they take the passengers from one city to another. Airplanes such as Jet stream 32 and 41, Saab 340 and Dash-8 fly by these pilots. These pilots are given lower par rates, they have to work more number of hours and they get the designation like caption and first officer. In this pilot job, the pilots can get $16500 to $60000. To become these regional pilots, he/she must have got the 4 year degree from the recognized college. Students, who are willing to become regional airline pilot, can get the training in many FAA certified pilot schools.

Helicopter Pilot

Helicopters are used for the short flights in duration and distance. Helicopters typically used as air ambulance, for rescuing stranded people in the hill areas, to control bush fire, and for personal use. The main benefit of helicopters is that these can land in the small area. Helicopter pilots can get jobs in private companies, air force, government agencies, and hospitals and in the large organizations, and helicopter operators. These pilots have different responsibilities at different associations so salary also differs. Typically salary ranges from twenty nine thousand dollar to fifty seven thousand dollars. To become the helicopter graduate candidates are preferred and they should be licensed as private pilot and some type rating certificates.

Air Taxi or Charter Pilots

Air taxi operators are located at airports where they get sufficient passenger traffic. The occupation as the air taxi driver is also the good job and operators are earning good kind of money. To fly air taxi pilots need to take private pilot license with some instrument rating certificates. These pilots have two fold responsibilities first they should be profitable to their employer and should also fulfill all requirements and demand of FAA. As the remuneration these pilots get eight dollar to eighteen dollar per hour.

Flight Instructor

Flight instructors work in flight schools and universities. Flight instructors teach students how to fly the air crafts and helicopters. Instructors give ground schools and flight training to the students. Instructors teach basics of flying, aerial navigation, communications procedures, weather factors, and give other tips of aviation. There are three kinds of instructor licenses these are; certified flight instructor license, certified instrument instructors license, multiple engine instructor licenses. Flight instructor salary ranges from thirteen thousand dollar to forty one thousand dollar.

Pilot flight training schools offer best training of flying commercial planes. Those who are certified as commercial pilot can take admission in the ATP flight schools to become pilot in command or captain in the airlines.

The verdict is in – Jat satisfaction survey

“I like it that I’m flying on an aircraft fit for a museum”, Jat Airways passenger
Several weeks ago Jat Airways announced that it would hand out questionnaires to its passengers onboard. The results are in and the verdict is not bad but there are certain areas, according to passengers, that Jat needs to pay much more attention to.

The survey was carried out by Ipsos Strategic Marketing. This is the fifth time Jat has conducted a survey in relation to its ground and onboard product. Other surveys were conducted in 1990, 1996, 2000 and 2001. A total of 2.260 valid questionnaires were submitted. The survey was handed out to passengers on 27 destinations in late September. All passengers over the age of 18 could participate in the survey.

The results show that most passengers chose Jat because it offered a nonstop service to their final destination and because the ticket price was cheap. Only a small percentage of passengers said they chose Jat because of its service quality. When it comes to service, passengers were most satisfied with the reservation and ticketing procedures as well as aircraft cleanliness. Passengers were least satisfied by the airline’s on-time performance, meal quality, comfort and the array of newspapers available. Passengers from Amsterdam, Istanbul, Tivat and Frankfurt were the most satisfied customers. When it comes to the cabin crew, the airline got extremely high marks for professionalism and friendliness. Passengers seem to have no idea that Jat has a frequent flyer program and offers free travel insurance to countries of the European Union.

Overall, Jat received an average mark of 3.9 out 5, with cabin crew triumphing with the highest mark (4.6). A total of 80% of those questioned said they would fly Jat again. Serbian citizens living outside of Serbia gave Jat the highest marks (4.0), while foreign citizens living in Serbia gave Jat the lowest marks (3.6). The survey featured numerous questions, one which even included whether passengers think Jat’s cabin crew is attractive.

Here is a selection of comments passengers left on their survey cards: “You ruined my evening because you were late, I purposely chose Jat to give you a chance but never again”, “I like it that I’m flying on an aircraft fit for a museum”, “Everything smells of nothingness and poorness”. On the other side of the spectrum: “My foreign partners say JAT – Joke About Time, they don’t know how much things have changed”, “The service has been clearly improved compared to several years ago”, “Great meal but a small serving”, “The best pilots in the world”. Recently, Jat announced an overhaul of its onboard product which will be rolled out in the following months.

Top glass panel maker Dynon just updated its SkyView panels to include air traffic alert and graphic display, just like the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) the big boys have...although for many more Grover Clevelands.
Typical Dynon SkyView screen...TCAS symbols not yet available
Traffic targets will show up on SkyView’s moving maps and synthetic vision displays as standard TCAS I symbols, identify the location, severity of the threat, distance, vertical separation and heading of any aircraft within the traffic system range.
Nothing like having your own radar-like warning system in flight.
SkyView can also receive traffic information from a Zaon XRX PCAS passive traffic receiver, a Navworx ADS-B receiver, a Trig ADS-B receiver, or any device that outputs the industry standard
GTX 330 TIS traffic format.
Essentially this means SkyView’s new traffic feature can be used worldwide.
The new traffic feature comes with all Version 2.6 software, available now on all new SkyView units and downloadable for free for current SkyView owners.

Croatia AirlinesWinter 2010/2011

Croatia winter changes
The following are modifications Croatia’s national carrier, Croatia Airlines, will be making to its 2010/2011 winter schedule. In the table below you can see the cities the airline will operate to, the number of weekly frequencies and the change in frequencies compared to the 2010 summer season. Croatia Airlines will be using 13 aircraft this winter – 6 Bombardier Dash8-Q400s, 4 Airbus A319s and 3 Airbus A320s.

As usual during the winter, Croatia Airlines will be suspending its seasonal summer flights from various seaside cities. From Zagreb, the airline suspends its seasonal services to Athens, Lyon and Tel Aviv. Domestic flights from Zagreb will be significantly decreased. Notable in the winter schedule is the absence of a considerable number of nonstop flights from Dubrovnik and Split.

The winter season begins on October 31, 2010 and ends on March 26, 2011. The airline is entitled to change, add or reduce its destinations and frequencies. The table will be updated in case changes do occur.
From Zagreb

DestinationFrequency Change Notes
Athens0▼ 3
Brač0▼ 1
Brussels6▼ 3
Copenhagen3▼ 1
Dubrovnik30▼ 8
London-Heathrow9▲ 1
London-Gatwick3▼ 1
Lyon0▼ 1
Priština5▼ 2
Pula7▼ 10Flights operated via Zadar
Rome10▼ 35 flights operated via Split, 2 via Dubrovnik
Skopje8▲ 1
Split21▼ 10
Tel Aviv0▼ 1
Zadar7▼ 7

From Dubrovnik, the airline will operate direct flights to Frankfurt (3X per week), Rome (2X) and Zagreb as noted in the table above.

From Osijek, Croatia Airlines has suspended all fights. From Pula, the airline will operate to Zadar (daily) and Zagreb as stated in the table above.

From Split, the airline will head to Frankfurt (daily), Rome (5X per week) and Zagreb as stated in the table above.

From Zadar, the airline will operate to Pula (daily) and to Zagreb as stated in the table above.

To view the winter changes EX-YU airlines have made to their timetables, click on the appropriate link:

Adria Airways · B&H Airlines · Jat Airways · Montenegro Airlines

Paddock Landing

Cessna 172N ZK-EKN was the unfortunate casualty of a misplaced landing on 26 October when the pilot touched down in a recently ploughed field instead of the airstrip at Ohakune.
In happier days at Hokitika March 2007, Mike Condon photo

WIRED Gets Air-Wired

Following up on my post two days ago, I'm happy to report Wired magazine just ran a story online about the Yuneec E-Spyder that Tom Peghiny of Flight Designs has been developing for them.  The story has several excellent photos and it's a good write-up, so click on over there to see how the mainstream media is helping push public awareness of electric aviation.
Here's the Wired video of the E-Spyder that ought to whet your appetite for electric flight...I can't wait to get back to the states and get over to Tom's to do my own story on it.

Good Vibrations

The vibrations that the Beach Boys were singing about were probably the kind felt emotionally for something or someone else.  Vibrations, however, exist in many forms.  Engineers are often concerned with the mechanical kind, which manifest in all kinds of structures, such as bridges and tall buildings.  These vibrations are caused by an external excitation, such as an earthquake or high winds.  Musicians are interested in transmitting sound waves, and causing vibrations in their listeners’ ear drums.  In the most general sense, a vibration can be thought of as something that moves back and forth repetitively, such as a buoy bopping up and down in a lake, a stock price during the course of a week, or a person’s mood during the course of a day.
Vibrations occur around a specific ‘average value’.  In science, this value is known as equilibrium.  If left untouched, all mechanical items find and stay in their equilibrium positions.  If a spectator at a Tennis match is twisting his head back and forth to follow the ball, his equilibrium position occurs when he is looking straight ahead.   The vibration from side to side can be thought of as the search for equilibrium. 

It is interesting that this search exists for living and non-living things alike.  When a guitar string is pulled on and then let go, it then vibrates back and forth hundreds of times per second (its frequency) until the vibration subsides, and the string returns to equilibrium.  A person can also be stretched out of his or her comfort zone.  When some external stress is applied to someone, the natural tendency for this person is to seek out the balance that existed before the stress occurred.  This search for balance is what most people struggle with throughout life – some succeed, others do not.  And the funny thing about succeeding in this balancing act we call life is that it is so fleeting; there is always a new challenge around the corner threatening our personal equilibrium.

If you hit a bump when driving along in your car, the car’s chassis will bounce due to this external excitation.  The job of the car’s shocks is to cause this bounce, or vibration, to dissipate, or dampen.  Nearly all vibrating systems have some kind of damping associated with them.  The more damped that a system is, the quicker the system will return to equilibrium.  I would argue that people too have a damping coefficient associated with them.  Some people bounce back quickly from an insult and resume their day, while others brood over it for a long time.
Another property that vibrating systems have is a specific natural frequency.  This value defines the rate of vibration.  The natural frequency of a simple pendulum is governed by its length and the surface gravity of the Earth, whereas that of a block of wood is governed by the wood’s elastic Modulus (material property), geometry, and how it is constrained.  If a system is purposely vibrated at its natural frequency, a special phenomenon known as resonance occurs.  Resonance can be devastating to a structure, as it causes the amplitude of its vibration to grow a great deal (the extent to which the amplitude increases depends on how damped the system is).  If a metallic structure is excited at its natural frequency, the input vibration can be amplified up to one hundred times, so that a slight input vibration can quickly output a disaster (YouTube the famous collapsing Tacoma Narrows Bridge for an illustration). 
Returning to our people analogy, I believe that they too have a natural frequency.  When a person is stimulated in just the wrong way, we often call it ‘pushing their buttons’.  This specific code that ticks off a person can be thought of as their natural frequency.  It is unwise to stimulate someone’s natural frequency... I’ve seen insufficiently damped individuals stuck in traffic – they are on the verge of snapping.    If you wish to see resonance manifest within a person, just attend a sporting event, and watch them lose it on a referee that makes a few wrong calls.
You can only stretch a spring so far and expect it to return to its equilibrium.  An airplane’s wing can only vibrate so many times before it cracks due to fatigue.  People are equally fragile.  We can be taken far out of our comfort zone due to some outside stimulus.  If we are stretched too far from our personal equilibrium, we risk never finding it again.  Sometimes these stimuli are simply bad choices we make that lead to an addiction like drugs or alcohol.  Sometimes we are being stretched by something internally, as in many cases of mental illness.  Such changes can cause our equilibrium position to shift.  In more unfortunate cases, such changes can cause exponentially increasing vibrations in our lives: the very definition of instability.
We must remember that vibrations are a very natural part of life.  Without some kind of stimulation from the outside, life would be boring.  A tree never wishes for a day without wind so that the incessant swaying will stop.  When confronted with a problem, we can accept it, roll with it, and we can return to equilibrium afterwards.  With enough damping in our system (patience), we can even learn to enjoy challenges, and take on more than one at a time.  We are more in control of our destiny than we may think.  A pendulum does not get to choose its natural frequency, but people do.  We can choose whether or not to be bothered by external excitations.  Our response is not predetermined.
When a structure remains static, without any external excitation, its motion (or lack thereof) is sometimes referred to as ‘the trivial solution’.  Such a designation is equally fitting for a person who coasts through life without any challenge at all.

Which Traveller?

On top of a building in a car sales yard located on the main road into the Auckland suburb of New Lynn sits this display item:

It has been there for quite a number if years, and has sported a few different colour schemes during that time (the current colours obviously date from around three years ago).
Now the proportions are such that I do not believe it is a replica or model, but that it is an actual aircraft. A Grumman American AA5 Traveller in fact.

Trawling through the possibilities, I suspect that it could be Traveller ZK-DLA.
This Grumman was registered to NZ Aerospace Industries Ltd. (the agents) in November 1973 and went to the Wellington Aero Club at Rongotai the following year.

ZK-DLA at Rongotai 5Aug1978

In early 1984 it was transferred to the Kapiti District AC at Paraparaumu but within a month was passed on to private owners in the Wellington district.
On the 26th January 1994 ZK-DLA ran off end of the strip on landing at Waiheke Island and was badly damaged. The registration was cancelled 4Mar1994.

The aircraft was certainly returned to the mainland after this adventure, this is how it arrived back at Ardmore:

So - can anyone confirm that the New Lynn 'item' is actually ZK-DLA?

Alone and forgotten

Maribor sale fails but Germanic ticket tax raises hopes
The Slovenian Transport Ministry has received no bids for the offered 30 year lease of the state owned Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, the Slovenian state agency reports. This is the second time the call for bids has failed. Under Slovenian law, the ministry is now permitted to enter direct negotiations with potential bidders. At the failed tender, the winning bidder was offered a 30 year lease of the airport’s infrastructure. The tenant would also have become the new manager of the airport which is currently not served by any airline (with exception to the odd charter flight). Maribor Airport is currently leased to the Aerodrom Maribor company, owned by the bankrupt car seat cover maker “Prevent”.

The national postal service “Pošta Slovenije” was most interested in the lease, although Adria Airways also expressed interest. However, both were unhappy with the terms of the lease. The “Daily Večer” newspaper reports that the two potential bidders realised there would be no competition and decided to wait for direct talks with the Government to take place, which could cut the price by up to 20%.

Maribor could have a chance to attract more airlines and passengers as neighbouring Austria and nearby Germany introduce a ticket tax. In Austria, airlines have vowed to pass extra costs on to customers after the Government’s announcement to set up a tax on tickets. The Government explained it hoped to rake in around 60 million Euros a year from 2011 with the new levy. Airlines are furious with the new tax and are threatening to terminate many services. The low cost Ryanair has announced that it will cut flights by 30% from Frankfurt by the 2011 summer season and reduce the number of aircraft based at the airport due to the new levy. Austrian media believe that the tax will benefit Slovenian airports.

Arrow ZK-RTE

Tauranga based Piper PA28R-200 ZK-RTE was noted at Ardmore today.  This aircraft was imported to NZ during 2008 from Canada where it wore the markings C-GRTE.  It was registered to Carters Aviation of Tauranga on 29Sep08 and in March the following year the ownership was transferred to Air Discovery with whom it is still with.
Mike Condon photo

Alpha R2160 ZK-VCF commits aviation.

Robin ZK-VCF outside the Canterbury Aero Club 26-10-2010.

ZK-VCF in another life time was ZK-CTV2 with CTC at Hamilton.
Photo taken 20-03-2008.
Robin ZK-VCF has now gone on line with the Canterbury Aero Club following maintenance and modifications in the Clubs Engineering workshop.  Eagle eyes will note the different exhaust layout.

ZK-VCD and ZK-VCE are still being worked on by the engineers.

Helicopters (NZ) Machines on the Move

Peter Campbell today reports the departure from Nelson of AS350 Squirrel's ZK-HDB and ZK-HNR for Christchurch where they are to be loaded onto a USAF C17 Globemaster and flown to Antarctica for the Italian's and be based out of Terra Nova Bay.  An additional two Squirrel's will embark south to Lyttelton to join an icebreaker over the weekend.

Our ever vigilant Bargeld01 caught up with the Squirrels on the afternoon of 27Oct.

Making an appearance at Auckland International 27Oct was New Plymouth based Bell 412EP

above and below Wayne Grant photo

Air traffic control centre opens

New headquarters for Serbian air traffic control
The multi million Euro state of the art air control centre in Belgrade has been completed. Its opening this evening will mark a landmark change in air traffic control in the region. The new building, located next to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, has 9.500 square metres and construction on the building began in March 2009. The building has been completed six months ahead of schedule. A total of 500 controllers will be able to work at the same time inside the building and 4.000 aircraft will be handled per day. Belgrade control takes care of Serbia’s and Montenegro’s airspace, as well as 55% of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s airspace and the airspace above international waters of the Adriatic Sea.

The new building will be opened today at 18.00 CET by the Serbian Prime Minister, Mirko Cvetković. Also attending the grand opening are Serbian President, Boris Tadić, 20 directors from various European air control centres and high ranking officials from the Montenegrin Government.

The construction cost of the new air traffic control centre in Belgrade amounts to 19 million Euros while, together with the new equipment, the entire project tops 90 million Euros. According to the project manager, Belgrade now has the most up to date air control centre in the world and the largest control centre in the Balkans.

Meanwhile, in another show of keeping up with the times Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport will, from January 1, 2011, begin using an ePassport gate. The gate will allow Serbian passport holders to scan their passports and leave their fingerprint. If the fingerprint sample matches the one in their passport, passengers can proceed without any further passport control checks. Citizens from other countries that are holders of a biometric passport will also be able to use the gate instead of proceeding to passport control.

E-Spyder Ready For Prime Time

     Everyone interested in electric flight will want to know that the E-Spyder electric-powered ultralight is poised to enter the marketplace.A few days ago Tom Peghiny invited me out to Woodstock, CT, about 3 hours drive from my house, to fly the latest prototype (v. 3) of the venerable FlightStar ultralight.
I had to pass since I was prepping for a family visit to Germany.
photo courtesy Yuneec Aircraft and Flying Pages
Checking in from Hamburg, I found a post on his website from my pal and LSA colleague Dan Johnson, who scooped me on the following info:
The E-Spyder will be marketed by Yuneec, which bought the rights to produce the design from Tom and continues development on several other projects: the graceful E430 S-LSA which has won several prizes already; E-PAC power backpack for paragliders; and electric motor systems for a variety of aviation applications.
Originally tabbed for around a $25,000 price tag, latest word is the E-Spyder will price out under $30,000.  It's a single-seater that qualified for Part 103 ultralight status.
Dan also reports the production prototype comes with longer wings (33 ft.) and a dresser drawer-like battery tray to completely enclose the power pack in the fuselage fairing.
Other battery notes: fewer cells but greater overall capacity, simplifying the balancing process during charging (2-2.5 hours) which is important with lithium polymer (lipo) batteries.
Weight-reducing modifications include thinner-wall 7075-T6 tubing, a carbon fiber sandwich fairing and a Mylar-laminate Dacron wing envelope.
Refinements to the motor include a lower max RPM which allows it to spin a longer prop at greater torque.
Tom wrote, "We have been flying a lot since finishing the plane in mid September."
So far Tom and team have taken 15 flights on the upgraded version. Flight testing so far has brought these numbers: a top speed of 52 mph; stall of 22 mph - you can almost run that fast!; 35mph cruise; flight duration of 20-35 minutes, less than the hour originally expected...but Dan quotes Tom as saying "We've been able to soar it in light thermals as it really wants to go up."
And since Tom's place of business (Flight Design USA) gets its power from a company that generates 80% of it from windmill and some hydroelectric sources, you could say the E-Spyder almost literally flies on air.

Stillwater Ecureuil ZK-HKA

Spied at Stillwater yesterday was the Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 Ecureuil ZK-HKA3 , c/n 2887 , of Anderson Helicopters of Hokitika. Imported and upgraded by Heliquip International Ltd out of Nelson and first registered here on 03-12-2002 following six years in the French Pacific colonies and the Philippines.
AS 350 B2 ZK-HKA3 photographed at Stillwater by Matt Hayes on 25-10-2010

New aircraft and routes for Montenegro

Sweet 16
Montenegro Airlines announced yesterday that its fourth Embraer E195 jet will arrive soon and will be welcomed into the existing fleet of 5 Fokker F100s and 3 E195s. Zoran Djurišić, the airline’s CEO, made the announcement at the airline’s 16th birthday party in Podgorica. The new aircraft will be accompanied by the launch of two new routes from Podgorica. The airline will inaugurate flights to Milan in Italy and the European capital, Brussels. Neither the launch date of the new flights nor the arrival date of the new aircraft has been specified, although they are not expected until next year.

As the airline turns 16, Djurišić noted that it had carried 4.5 million passengers so far. Montenegro Airlines was registered on October 24, 1994. The airline’s founder and CEO, Zoran Djurišić, presented the airline’s plans to the Government of Montenegro and Yugoslavia in 1993. However, it wouldn’t be until 1996 that the airline’s first aircraft would be purchased. Due to political and economic circumstances at the time, Montenegro Airlines took off to the sky on May 7, 1997 on route from Podgorica to Bari in Italy. The aircraft in question was a Fokker 28Mk 4000 and the second aircraft of this type was received the following year in 1998. In late 1999, Montenegro Airlines launched new flights, most notably to Frankfurt. The first Fokker F100, the airline’s signature aircraft, was purchased in 2000. In 2007, the airline purchased new Embraer jets in another wave of fleet modernisation. Earlier this month, the Montenegrin Government put 30% of the airline’s shares up for sale.

I remember when.

In fact you probably all remember when  - Cessna 172R ZK-OUI went Splat into those same oxidation ponds at Thames.

It was on 27-10-2008.

The aircraft was recovered and went to Aeromotive at Hamilton and was flushed out to become ZK-JZM on 13-05-2009 - returning to duty with CTC Aviation at Hamilton.
ZK-OUI at Hamilton on 23-02-2009.

VAT goes Splat!

Ardmore Flying School's Cessna 172R ZK-VAT unceremoniously ended up in a sewage pond off the end of the runway at Thames 25Oct while conducting a touch and go.
At Ardmore January 2007, Mike Condon photo

Beaver Quartet

The recent Lawson Field reunion at Gisborne presented the perfect opportunity for the entire NZ based airworthy De Havilland Beaver fleet to be on hand and carrying out a formation flypast.
For more on the recently returned ZK-AZB check out

Thanks to Wayne Grant for providing these images.

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