Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another big trip 11/6/10

Next trip was also arranged by the good people of Eagle Air.
I had also been looking at getting to MRO (Masterton).  The itinery that was sent to me covered Whangerei and KeriKeri on a saturday in June.  The flight up from WLG was the redeye and so I had an idea that I could fly up the night before from MRO and tick that one off and jump onto the WRE and KKE flights starting in AKL.
I figured that the easiest way to MRO was by train and caught the 5.35pm on the friday upto Masterton.  The train journey was quite pleasant, spent the time watching a movie on my netbook and we got to Masterton in around 2hours.  I had an hour to get myself to the airport and tried walking it, but didn't get too far so caught a taxi to make sure i didn't miss the flight.
The plane arrived on time, but the fog was coming in and we were delayed for it to lift.  Only problem was it didn't...In the end the flight was cancelled and I ended up having to stay at the copthorn in town.  It meant i lost my money for the Auckland hotel i had booked and had to shell out for the masterton hotel.  There was no way round it as the trains had stopped running if i were to go back to WLG.  I then had to phone AirNZ and warn them that i will not make the early departure upto WRE as I was stuck in MRO!
I got up at 6 and headed to the airport where they had put on a bus over to Palmy to get us up to AKL.  This meant for all intents and purposes i had visited MRO but had physically flown from there!
We had a 30min wait in palmy and i had managed to contact Eagle so they could push my flights for the day forwards (thankfully there was a number of flights to choose from and they could be moved forward during the day).
Whangerei was the first stop and very nice too.  Reasonable sized airport (by regional standards and a really good approach on a fine day...
Turn around was swift 25mins and we were back to AKL.  A short stop over in the lounge for refuelling and a bite and it was back upto to KeriKeri, a smaller airport.  The temperatrure difference when landing in KKE was noticeable and the sun was shining (compared to WLG!).
KKE is also known as Bay of Islands airport as it is nestled in this wonderful part of NZ.  I took some air outside the little terminal and gave an update to my wife on my travels so far.  It was again the quick turnaround and we were heading back to AKL.
The pilots were a little curious, so an explanation of my escapades was required and met with shrugs...
As I had managed to move my flights forwards I ended up getting home quite late, but it was a great day all the same and to cap it all, I was given a boarding pass with seat assignment 24A....which as the seats don't go that far, meant another jumpseat flight!
I took my seat (right behind the cockpit door) and strapped myself after a safety briefing by the two pilots.  We had a good chat about what i was doing and discussed a recent accident involving the 733 aircraft and the fact that it can be flown by almost anyone with some control tower assistance for landing it.  Landing was good with only light winds (light for welly anyway).  We arrived on time and it was a privilege to fly in the jumpseat of a jet.  The electronics in the cockpit are another league compared to the little B1900's, but very similar in what does what etc...


  1. Sure will. Will add WAG to that list too. Only two airports left to complete my mission...


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