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West Auckland Airport, 76 Green Rd, Parakai, West Auckland. Road Map..  Airport Ph 09 420.8010
 

 

 

West Auckland Airport Parakai is available for General Aviation, drop-in visitors welcome. Radio 123.5 in MBZ.  Due to frequent skydiving, please join downwind, base or final (not overhead).  Visitor parking on the concrete driveway to the West of the Leading Edge Engineering hangar, or on the grass in summer.

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Current Airport projects: 

A fast charging point for Electric Vehicles is being installed in the carpark.

A Whole-aircraft parachute is on its way for ZK-ECL (both ZK-CDL and ZK-WIK already have them).  Covid shipping problems having delayed this until now.

Installation of a set of high resolution recording cameras security cameras has been completed, and complements the automatic lights.  We haven't had a security problem, and want to keep it that way.

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Tecnam ZK-ECL at Whanganui NZWU:  Instructor Kevin sends this photo of ZK-ECL on a visit to NZWU, which took five hours for the round trip from and to West Auckland.  

Off this photo to the right is the Aero Club which is always welcoming to visiting aviators with plenty of local knowledge if required.   NZWU is a good place to stop for fuel when transitting south as it has BP Avgas and an excellent cafe that always seems to be open, to refuel the humans.

It does need a good look at the maps before before visting, as the airspace is busy with heavy flight training and you don't want to be 'head down' looking at maps as you arrive.   On a departure to the South it is even more important to read it up before leaving as the airspace is complex with many changes of radio frequency when going down the coast under the Ohakea airspace.  No problem if you've got your head around it before departing, and its an easy airport to find, being right on the coast alongside the river and city.

ZK-ECL at Whanganui NZWU.

 

West Auckland Airport Parakai: Facilities & Services. Visitor facilities with tea / coffee / cold drinks / toilets in Pilot Lounge.   Icecreams and more cold drinks are often available at the skydiving base across the road.  

Aircraft Engineering, Skydiving, Introductory flights and Flight Training for PPL/CPL, Microlights and Gyrocopters. Aircraft parking, Hangarage, Hangar building sites.

Phone first 09 420 8010 if you will need fuel, as sometimes we're all off flying.

Commercial opportunities exist for new operators at West Auckland.

 

First Soloes:  Congratulations to John and Mitch, and their respective instructors David Horner and Kevin Healey, on the occasion of their student's first solo flights :)

 

John Stokes after his first solo, which was done in the high wing Tecnam ZK-CDL

The first solo is always a great milestone, marking the transition from 'just learning' to be a pilot.   There are three main categories of student pilots learning to fly on recreational aircraft: 

1.  Young people wanting to take up an adventurous and useful hobby. 

2. Those returning to flying after having had a licence in the past before the 'mortgage and kids' intervened.   And

3. Retired people taking it up now that they have plenty of time to follow what interests them.   

These different groups have different strengths and weaknesses (lightning reflexes of youth v. persistence of age), and require the instructors to use different instructing techniques.    The traditional flight training courses are based on those taught by the Air Force during WW2...  which were designed to get the pilots into the air as fast as possible, so there was great emphasis on circuit training and little else until solo-ed.   The situation for recreational student pilots is different and the airport encourages the instructors to put in a cross country flight every few sessions to gradually grow 'situational awareness' and navigation skills...    and make learning to fly enjoyable rather than stressful.   People want to learn to fly so they can go places and see interesting sights, not so they can beat up the circuit.   And, often a short break from one task to learn something else, lets it settle on the brain and results in a good improvement in the earlier task.

 

Mitch after his First Solo, which was done in the low wing Tecnam ZK-ECL

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Tecnam ZK-CDL at work:   Iain Anderson took this photo of ZK-CDL in its element with Francois Buys at the controls.   We sure do get to fly in some beautiful scenery.   Both ZK-CDL and the low wing Tecnam, ZK-ECL, are flown by many pilots as they are 'on-line' for hire by approved pilots.

 

Tecnam P92 Echo, ZK-CDL  

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Oskar's Electric Helicopter: A recent issue of 'Kiwi Flyer' magazine has a cover picture of Oskar and many photos of his electric helicopter in the air at West Auckland Airport Parakai as it works through its initial flight testing hours.     Its a major achievement to have converted a two-stroke Mosquito Helo to Electric, really the building and certification of a new aircraft using some of the components of the original.   This is not a project to attempt in your own hangar unless, like Oskar, you are an Electrical Engineer with design experience on Hybrid battery bus development...   to know what problems needed solving, where the solutions might be found, and to be able to demonstrate to 'The Authorities' that its been properly done to aviation industry standards.

ZK-IAB's first very careful lift off, at Tauranga NZTG.

If you're interested in Helicopters, get a copy of 'Kiwi Flyer' Issue 75, #1 of 2021... not only are the building project and engineering considerations covered in detail, but there is also a lot of information on the characteristics of electric flight and the substantial changes it brings to helicopter ops, and modes of failure.   

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Future Airport Possibilities:   The Airport Company is interested in working with an equity partner to develop West Auckland Airport Parakai into a Regional Airport to serve the 400,000 people for whom it would be the nearest Domestic Airport.   It would have a larger population catchment than any other Regional, e.g. larger than the successful Regionals at Tauranga, Nelson or Hawkes Bay.   For more information and a detailed discussion paper, click on Strategic Intentions .   To show the possibilities, a photo of Nelson Airport is superimposed on the area at the same scale...  note that the Airport could be developed without disturbing the existing light aircraft runway or any houses.

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Looking after the Airport's Environment:

Weed Control:   The Airport has been researching and experimenting with non-chemical control of the Alligator weed that has long invaded the ditches on the Kaipara and choked the drains.   Letting in controlled amounts of seawater has proven effective, and is much kinder to the Inanga and juveniles of other fish species that breed in the harbour, compared to spraying weedkiller or using diggers to clear the ditches.    Further work is being done in conjunction with the Council waterways biologists and the method developed is likely to be rolled out by the Council to other properties on the Kaipara Harbour and its rivers.

Bird Control:  Work on this has also been quite effective, and by studying the habits of the birds and making the airport less attractive to them, its been possible to make the birds spend more time elsewhere.   Skydive Auckland runs a bird scaring device on their swooping pond for the same reason... that's what causes the loud 'shotgun' type booms at regular intervals.   The birds are not keen to settle if they think there are shooters in the area.  With our 'Aimm' Movement Monitoring service now used by nearly half the active NZ airports, we use our client newsletters to spread the suggestions for non-lethal bird control to many other airports in NZ and Australia.

Low-emission Aircraft: The Airport's flight training aircraft have been low-emission for a long time, and produce less than half the emissions of a Cessna or Piper training aircraft.    This is due to the lighter weight of the Tecnam aircraft used at West Auckland, and because their 1990s designed Rotax engines are considerably more fuel efficient than the 1950s designed Lycoming and Continental engines traditionally used for training.  The Rotaxes also use unleaded road vehicle fuel ('MoGas') getting a similar Km/Litre to an efficient car,  rather than leaded aviation fuel ('Avgas') so there is a worthwhile benefit there too.  There is already an Electric Helicopter based at the airport, ZK-IAB, suitable airport maintenance tasks are carried out using an electric ground vehicle, and the Airport is actively investigating moving to electric training aircraft as soon as practical.

 

West Auckland Airport NZPI from the SW, non traffic side.

 

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Coming Events:    Landings by Airport owned aircraft at non-AIP airfields require approval of an instructor, and insurance may not be valid.

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2nd May, Sunday Midday:  Kaipara Flats NZKF.   Northland Aviation Club BBQ Lunch and AGM at Kaipara Flats, 2 May 2021 at 12 noon BBQ for AGM 13:30.    Fly or drive in to the Rodney Aero Club hangar.

Kaipara Flats NZKF looking North

Click here for Kaipara Flat NZKF  details and check notams for current situation.

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RECURRING EVENTS
:   

DARGAVILLE NZDA: Every Saturday. Fly in for lunch. Famous throught the north for it's lamb on a spit, and usually draws a good crowd of hungry aviators. Clubhouse Ph 09 439 8024. Click here for airfield details.

COROMANDEL NZCX:  Second Sunday of each month from 12:30. Clubhouse Ph 07 866 2055. Click here for airfield details.

WHANGAREI NZWR: Last Saturday of each month at hangar 10, the Western end of the row of hangars.  Whangarei Flying Club meeting at 10:30 with lunch to follow.  Clubhouse phone 09 436 4053.  Click here for airfield details.

 

Tower and Engineering

 West Auckland Airport Parakai, from the NE on mid right base for 25. Click for larger photo

 

 West Auckland Airport Parakai, from the SW (non traffic side).  Click for larger photo

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