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Aborted Landing! AKL-NPE(not)-AKL  
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6301 times:

Judging by the farts I was doing on Sunday night I reckoned I was in with a 75% chance of being crook the next morning, as I fell asleep I remember thinking…”probably miss the flight, won’t matter, plane might not make it.”


Such random and unbidden thoughts are a trifle disturbing but I woke at 05:30 next morning with no recollection of the thought but concern instead for the weather forecast, it was looking shite for the Hawkes Bay area.

But go I must so after the usual bout of standing in my office looking at nothing in particular hoping to spot some item I might have otherwise forgotten I patted Mrs Jafa, kissed the cats and stumbled out of the door into a still, clear morning.

Usual smooth run through to AKL where I selected the long-term car park as I was in plenty of time for NZ8405, which would be boarding at 08:25.

To get from long-term to AKL domestic, one has to follow the blue and white lines past AKL International but I am an ardent people watcher and so usually choose to walk through the International terminal and see who is flying where.

At this early hour you are guaranteed a sizeable gaggle of pale-looking Poms, bewildered and smelling none to good, staggering off of NZ1, thinking “WTF?” and “TSA morons”, some will be in tears after being fined $200 for being in possession of a foreign apple…apples are the axis of evil and the nearest thing we get to terrorists in NZ, the Painted Apple Moth carries with it the seeds of destruction for a large portion of the NZ economy….or the part of it that isn’t knee-deep in sheep poo that is.

There will be Kiwis, returning from their OE (Gap year travels), kissing the ground with a heartfelt “Yis” and declaring that it is “choice” to be home, away from Tony B Liar, warm beer, Pork Scratchings and ruddy-faced northerners with ferrets down their trousers, not to mention being back in a land where it is almost impossible to buy a Burberry cap.

Today we had all that and more, as I passed the check-in desks I came upon a group of fa'afafine, not sure if they have conferences for these people but to explain what one is……

“Samoa's social acceptance of fa'afafine has evolved from the tradition of raising some boys as girls. These boys, were not necessarily homosexual, or noticeably effeminate, and they may never have felt like dressing as women. They became transvestites because they were born into families that had plenty of boys and not enough girls.
In families of all male children (or where the only daughter was too young to assist with the 'women's' work), parents would often choose one or more of their sons to help the mother. Because these boys would perform tasks that were strictly the work of women they were raised as if they were female. Although their true gender was widely known, they would usually be dressed as girls.
As they grew older, their duties would not change. They would continue performing 'women's' work, even if they eventually married (which would be to a woman).

Modern fa'afafine differ in two fundamental ways from their traditional counterparts. First, they are more likely to have chosen to live as women, and, secondly, they are more likely to be homosexual. These days, young Samoan boys who appear effeminate, or enjoy dressing as girls, may be recognised as fa'afafine by their parents. If they are, they will usually be neither encouraged nor discouraged to dress and behave as women. They will simply be allowed to follow the path they choose. “

So if you see a gaggle of what appear to be drag queens (and these might have been) well, you learnt about it here.

There were a couple of women in the group and that is what made the fa'afafine stand out so much…like balls on a dog.
Further down the row of desks a Pakeha (white) woman was ferreting around in the cleaners sack, which was hanging off the bright yellow cart they use, she looked at me looking at her, whipped her hands away, looked sheepish and left abruptly through the doors…I wondered if she might be a “Freegan”, searching for sanitary towels or chewing gum to recycle.

Back in the outdoors I wandered past the serried ranks of aircraft, a cargo 747 having its belly emptied, plus the usual QF and ANZ suspects, loitering with intent.

Over by the fuel tanks I caught a morning whiff of Jet A1 and subtle undertones of diesel (Air Chathams got some Junkers 88’s from somewhere??), this set me up for the day and I started to think about breakfast….

The express kiosks didn’t refer me to anywhere else so I took this as a sign that all was well in the Hawkes Bay, dumped my bags with the charming bag kiosk girl, who predictable asked if I had a laptop in the laptop bag I gave her and was happy to note that I didn’t, it was just “wires and shit”.

“People’s whole lives are in their laptops and they don’t take kindly to being whacked with an iron bar as they go through the conveyors”

I pondered this approach to baggage handling and wondered if there might be a gentler way of making it all fit in the hold.

I won’t talk about breakfast as I always do that, except that I took my bacon back as it was dry and scuzzy tasting, like the ear from too-old road-kill, but without the tyre tread marks.

I was rewarded with a nice pink new piece that was juicy and fresh.

I had a leisurely read of the paper and drank my hot vegemite until the time came to lurk up by the “40 gates”, I wasn’t there long before the call came but I just had time to catch a call to “all Wellington pax requiring land transport to Hamilton”….this meant that yet again Hamilton was weather-bound, we have a Board Member in Hamilton and he only makes 1 out of 3 board meetings due to flight delays and cancellations.

I was first through the entrance and strode out under the tin roofed walkway into the bright sunshine to ZK-NEA, the longest- serving of all the new Q300’s at Air New Zealand.

As usual the fatigue hit me like a hammer-blow and I was barely conscious throughout the taxi and take off, we took off to the east and I just caught sight of the ubiquitous farms and rivers before I fell fast asleep.

I did some fairly active dreaming until the wheels came down and the Captain spoke:

“Good morning, we’re on our descent into Napier now, its quite low cloud down there but depending on which approach they give us, we should have you outside the gate a couple of minutes early”

Outside all was white, no up, no down, no sideways, just white but by the way the G forces were working I could tell we were heading down in a big wide spiral…this meant we were approaching from the landward side, this has a few hills and stuff to worry about.

We were doing this for ages it seemed, nothing like a white-out to confuse one’s perspective regarding time.
I peered out of the windows and eventually caught sight of some houses, the cloud was quite low and the weather was utterly grim and foreboding….

With a roar and a whine the pilot cracked open the throttles and cranked up the landing gear, below I could see the control tower but we had emerged way too high and too far down the runway, clearly visibility was not up to a low approach from the land.

“Sorry about that, we are going to make another approach, just need to get in position to approach from the sea.”

I have done this one before in a SAAB 340 and it takes ages to get into position on the glide slope, so we sat there, wrapped in the white cocoon of nowhere, the cabin was silent and a tense air filled the plane.

“We’ll go to Palmerston North if we can’t get in this time” said an old lady behind me who was clearly an old hand at this. Some other pax opposite me called the FA down as the were a bit concerned, they had been on the go for ages, their journey having started in Perth.

After the FA departed I got talking to the 3 pax nearest me and I was able to reassure the Perth couple that a firey death on a damp runway was not really on the cards, the crew would play it safe.

Looking back out of the window I noticed a Jade tint to the swirling murk just below us, the sea! And as we descended to seagull height I saw a gash of darkness...land!.. a ribbon of solidity, swinging in and out of focus with the shifting veils of cloud.

Things were considerable worse than our previous attempt and much thicker than a couple of years ago when the pilot pulled off a similar stunt to the rapture of all pax.

No, this was looking very dodgy to say the least, we came in low and the waves looked eager to pluck us from the skies and suck us down into the suffocating embrace of the restless green seas.

I imagined the conversation up front:

“F*%$# this for a laugh, let’s bugger off out of here”

Seconds later, as the first line of bedraggled and huddling beach-front houses hove into partial view through the dimness, the familiar surge of the engines and the rapid retraction of the landing gear signalled that the pilots and I were of the same mind.

We pulled our way up through the whiteness, turbo props bellowing with rage and indignation at such an ignominious end to the mornings work.

The cabin was deathly silent, people braved the sloping floor to use the lavs, me included, whilst I perched in the tiny cubicle the Captain spoke over the PA:

“As you can see ladies and gentlemen, things have become much worse than predicted, we’ll be back to you soon, we’re just working out what to do next”.

I fervently hoped that “what to do next” would include a nice, safe landing somewhere sunny.

Lurching out of the lavs and back down the still sloping floor (we were climbing hard) I stopped to ask the FA what she thought:

“Not sure as I haven’t had an abort at NPE before…but I do know that Palmy has been shut since 06:00 so it won’t be there….”

I smiled through the insecurity as I don’t like not knowing, and judging by the “D-Day Dawn” looks on my fellow pax faces…neither did any of them.

Presently, as I was falling asleep again, we burst out of the cloud, due to altitude rather than an improvement in the weather and the Captain, back from looking at maps and scratching his head, came back on:

“Ok ladies and gentlemen, thank you for you patience, we’re on our way back to AKL, sorry for that, when we land go to counters 3 or 4 and you will be told what your alternatives are, thanks, we’ll update you on our descent.”

With that there was a collective exhaling of breath, people came alive again and started chattering excitedly, as if a comet had just missed the Earth and the future was no longer an abstract concept.

I did some sums, my 12:30 appointment was a no-go as it would be 11:00 by the time I got to AKL my 15:30 would have to be scrubbed but if I left on arrival (my car was at the airport) I would still be there in time to run the training event, which started at 18:30…it is 5-6 hrs to NPE from AKL.

To attempt another flight and not make it would be folly, I believe that in such situations one must take the first guaranteed way to your destination….maybe a later flight would make it, maybe not but if it didn’t and I didn’t have time to cancel..well, that would not be a good look.

I mentioned this to the people from Perth, who asked if they could come with me, I agreed and we all sat happily munching the complimentary biccies and swilling the free tea and coffee until, on the descent, we saw a line in the sky, east of this line was a living hell of angry clouds and rain (where we had just come from) west of this line was open skies, blazing sun and the green fields of the farms south of AKL.

Swooping in to this wonderful sight was like merging from the Bermuda Triangle, the mood became positively festive.

Arcing over AKL in the sunlight I felt restless, ready to grab my refund, load my pax and hit the road but on the ground thing weren’t quite so simple, phoning 0800-Jessica went well enough, Jess advised me that my 15:30 was cancelled anyway and my 12:30 had heard on the radio that a flight couldn’t land (not a lot happening in NPE today then) and assumed it was mine but we had 7+ for the training.

I got a voucher for my cancelled flight and looked for my pax….they were in a corner looking very hacked off.
“Problems?”

“Yes our luggage went back to Perth”

“They’ll courier it”

“His medication is in it and we need it as soon as we can get it”

“Bugger”

“Absolutely…you better go, don’t wait for us, we’ll cope”

And with that I turned on my heel for the car park.

In the end I got to NPE in 5 hrs 15 mins, arriving at 17:00 on the dot, just time to lay down and go “uuuuurrrrrrrggghhhhhh” before heading 5 mins up the road to the training venue.

As it happened the 12:50 flight didn't land either, the next flight to land was at 15:00 and by that time there would have been 3 plane-loads of people vying for seats...I was glad I chose to drive.

Ho hum, another day, another adventure!!!!

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3346 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6264 times:

LOL. Adventure is right... Wow. Awesome detail! Hey, you got to go to Napier twice in one day! Something can be said for that...just not sure what.  Silly

Really fun report!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5988 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
Hey, you got to go to Napier twice in one day!

It was a strange feeling actually, see it through the clouds, bugger off and then drive back...fair messed with my head that did  Smile


User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5807 times:

This sounds like an adventure and a half  Smile


Lee



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5376 times:

Another excellent trip report.

Poor bastards getting their stuff sent back to Perth! wouldnt get it untill the next day at the earliest.


Look forward to your next adventure.  Smile



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineCastleIsland From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5314 times:

Quoting Jafa39 (Thread starter):
So if you see a gaggle of what appear to be drag queens (and these might have been) well, you learnt about it here.

Just another Tuesday night on A.net.  Wink

Great read, mate. When's the book deal coming through?


User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5149 times:

Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 5):
When's the book deal coming through?

When I finish editing it...hopefully by christmas...trouble is I spend too much time flying to write the book up!  Smile


User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4898 times:

Wow, what a report Big grin



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17126 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4893 times:

Enjoyed it very much . What an adventure.

Good TR



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3188 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4755 times:

If its only 6 hours away seems like you probably should have driven there in the first place.

Thanks for the report.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4704 times:

Quoting BNE (Reply 9):
If its only 6 hours away seems like you probably should have driven there in the first place.

True, but I need the airmiles  Wink


User currently offlineEmirates029 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4488 times:

Quoting Jafa39 (Thread starter):
There will be Kiwis, returning from their OE (Gap year travels), kissing the ground with a heartfelt “Yis” and declaring that it is “choice” to be home,

 rotfl  You should be a writer. Great report!


User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4480 times:

Hee...any TR that has the word "farts" in the first sentence has to be a good one! And the educational bit about Samoan culture was fascinating, I've never heard anything like that.

Another great report!

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 10):
Quoting BNE (Reply 9):
If its only 6 hours away seems like you probably should have driven there in the first place.

True, but I need the airmiles

True, that! And if God had meant for us to drive long distances, we wouldn't have airplanes.  Silly My driving limit is around 4 - 5 hours, beyond that I'm off to Kayak to look for flights.


User currently offlineBimmerkid19 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4144 times:

Quoting Jafa39 (Thread starter):
Over by the fuel tanks I caught a morning whiff of Jet A1 and subtle undertones of diesel (Air Chathams got some Junkers 88’s from somewhere??),

let me get this straight.. theres Ju 88s flying down there ?


User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4089 times:

Quoting Bimmerkid19 (Reply 13):
let me get this straight.. theres Ju 88s flying down there ?

Nah mate, I was pondering the reasons for the smell of diesel from the a/c fuel storage area and the Ju88 is the only diesel aircraft I know of  Smile


User currently offlineBimmerkid19 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

Well, i have heard, that if all else fails.as in no more Jet A at the airport. you can use diesel in jets because diesel and Jet are similar.

User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3881 times:

Quoting Bimmerkid19 (Reply 15):
Well, i have heard, that if all else fails.as in no more Jet A at the airport. you can use diesel in jets because diesel and Jet are similar.

Probably work with cooking oil too as you can run a diesel on the stuff...imagine that, downwind of AKL you'd get the yummy smell of food!


User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3810 times:

Great report - something different to the usual.

Although this has me worried!
and drank my hot vegemite
I scrap a bit over my toast for breakfast, grease my bike and lanwmower with it and water proof my roof with it, but *drink* it!!! Ugh!!  vomit 

Perth poeple are really nice aren't they?  Smile
But how would their luggage end up going straight back home? Did that happen before they left for Napier or on their return?

PGF


User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3731 times:

Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 17):
Although this has me worried!
and drank my hot vegemite

Its not that bad really, I can't drink tea or coffee and Milo makes me fat, so had to have something hot to drink....years of mountaineering gave me a taste for hot bovril....vegemite is no different just doesn't give you mad cow disease  Smile

Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 17):
Perth poeple are really nice aren't they?
But how would their luggage end up going straight back home? Did that happen before they left for Napier or on their return?

They were Kiwi's so can't comment on real Perth People (if people from Sydney are "Sydneysiders"..what do they call Perth-Dwellers...."Perthlings"???)  Wink

Their luggage either didn't leave Perth or stayed on board at AKL, I left before it got resolved but they were told it most likely did the turnaround at AKL.


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8603 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3663 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting BNE (Reply 9):
If its only 6 hours away seems like you probably should have driven there in the first place.

are you serious ...if it takes more than 2 hours to drive then you really ought to fly ... long distance driving promotes DVT  Wink


( though strangely no-one ever seems to tell you as you buckle in for your road trip to hell that you should be sure to exercise frequently and drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids )



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineFCA767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 1786 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

I dont normally read much of anything, but your reports just pull me in from the first sentence  Smile

User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 3515 times:

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 19):
long distance driving promotes DVT

You'd be right....Drivers ...Vegetative ...Trance  Wink

Quoting FCA767 (Reply 20):
I dont normally read much of anything, but your reports just pull me in from the first sentence

Gosh...blush...praise indeed! you made my day!  Smile


User currently offlineStevePER From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3371 times:

Great report, I really enjoyed reading it!

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 18):
They were Kiwi's so can't comment on real Perth People (if people from Sydney are "Sydneysiders"..what do they call Perth-Dwellers...."Perthlings"???) Wink

Officially Perthites, but I've also been called a Perthvert.



"You're like Icarus - always wanting to fly."
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

[quote=StevePERvert From Australia, joined May 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0[/quote]

That would account for the username then  Wink


User currently offline3201 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3362 times:

Quoting StevePER (Reply 22):
Officially Perthites, but I've also been called a Perthvert.

Could be worse, could be from Tampa.


25 Jafa39 : Is that where you get Tam-pax from?????? ;- )
26 3201 : With no strings attached!
27 StevePER : I'm sorry I mentioned it... this is getting out of hand!
28 ExFATboy : Natives are called "full-blooded..."
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