Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas greetings

I would like to wish all the readers of NZ Aviation Notes & NZOM Pilot's Musings a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Thanks to everyone who has viewed and/or commented on my posts this year, I look forward to seeing you all here again next year.

Eat, drink & be merry, don't drink & drive, for everyone in Australia & New Zealand be sun smart, and remember the reason for the season.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hyundai A-League R12 preview

This is my preview of round 12 action int he Hyundai A-League which can also be seen on

The Hyundai A-League nears the halfway point and heads into Christmas with a short sharp round, all five round 12 games will happen over 2 nights, Friday and Saturday.

Friday night kicks off in Sydney as the Wanderers host Adelaide United.  The locals are jubilant after their win last weekend in the local derby, while the visitors travel up to Sydney on the back of the 3-1 win over the Nix.  The Wanderers have to be satisfied with their current 4th position on the table, which from memory is one of the best 1st season efforts of all expansion clubs, but they will be looking for another 3 points to take them outright third behind Adelaide.  The visitors will also be looking to take the 3 points which would give them top place on the ladder.  I’m looking for this to be a draw.

Friday nights second game sees the introduction of the Mulvey era to Suncorp Stadium, with the Roar hosting arch nemesis Perth Glory for the first time since the grand final.  Look for fireworks in this one, and expect near riots if Berisha gets fouled anywhere near the area.  This is of course all subject to proving his fitness after a shoulder injury sustained last week in Melbourne.  If he does play it will be a great night, but even if he doesn’t there are still a lot of tensions between the two teams, so I’m expecting it to be a feisty affair.  Of course Brisbane’s fortunes this season have been well documented and with new head coach Mike Mulvey only having been in the job three days it will be interesting to see how the players react to the changes.  I would like to think that against the arch whingers at home on the ‘eve’ of Christmas the Roar will  be able to score a decisive victory and deliver the home fans some much needed Christmas cheer.

There are three games on Saturday, but there is no point previewing them here as the Mayans have already informed us there wont be a Saturday.  
Which is interestingly enough how the Roar have been marketing their Friday match against Perth
Brisbane Roar FC advertising for the BRFC v PGFC R12 Hyundai A-League match
But on the off chance that the Mayan’s were actually wrong or the more likely scenario that modern idiots have misinterpreted the meaning of the end of the Mayan calendar, here is a look at those three games.

Saturday kicks off in Wellington with the Phoenix hosting table topping Central Coast Mariners.  The Phoenix have been having a few dramas of their own in recent weeks with big talent on the field and talking the talk, but failing to walk the walk and to actually get results and points.  The Phoenix currently sit in seventh but could find themselves stone cold motherless last if they loose and other results go the way of the teams below them.  Ricki Herbert will be looking to his side to put their talents into action and has already put the team on notice that failure could result in the loss of positions for underperforming players.  The Mariners travel over the ditch looking to cement their spot at the top of the table and will be a strong challenge for the locals with several players looking dangerous at the moment.  I suspect this match will end in a draw as the locals just don’t have that killer punch at the moment, and the Ring of Fire will level out the Mariners.

The second game of the day sees us heading to Newcastle as the Jets host Sydney FC.  The locals are coming out of a period of turmoil where the ATO have applied to the courts to have owners Hunter Sports Group wound up over unpaid taxes, which also stems from the financial trouble Nathan Tinkler who owns the Hunter groups is experiencing.  Sydney FC are still rooted to the bottom of the table but new coach Frank Farina has stated that he wants results fast, so I am in no doubt that this will be a match he is targeting for a large Sydney win.  The jets have failed to capitalise on their depth and marquee man, and are stagnating in mid table.  I’m looking for the Farina factor to give the visitors the edge in this one.

The final game of the round and Saturday, is the second instalment of the Melbourne Derby.  A lot has changed since the first instalment in round one when the Heart took a decisive win casting a shadow over the new Postecoglou era at the Victory.  Since that night the Heart have fallen off the pace while the Postecoglou factor has started to take effect at the Victory, with the Heart now sitting third from last while the Victory are sitting third.  The result on Saturday should be more reflective of how the two sides are performing this season.  Im looking for the Victory to share in the Christmas spoils as Santa Postecoglou gives the Victory fans the gifts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Management changes at the Roar

Once again the Hyundai A-League has had a change in the coaching ranks this time at my club the Brisbane Roar, where head coach Rado Vidosic has taken a promotion to Technical Director while Mike Mulvey has been appointed head coach.
Screen shot of the members email we received last night
Rado’s new role as Technical Director is for the wider Bakrie Group and will see him working not only with the Roar, but also in Indonesia, Belgium and Argentina, those who can remember back to the turmoil when Ange Postecoglou was considering leaving the Roar will know he was offered this same position in an attempt to keep him with the Roar/Bakrie Group.

This really isn’t all that much of a surprise for die hard Roar fans as we are all well aware of Rado’s technical brilliance, and his weaknesses in man management as has been shown so far this season by the Roar’s on field form and Rado’s seemingly inability to make substitutions at the right times/for the right players/positions or sometimes at all.

Rado will focus on developing the Roar’s youth programme which has already come a long way this season with his input, as well as providing technical consultancy to the first team.  The change was apparently jumped on by Rado and was effective immediately which means we will not get the opportunity to farewell him properly as he won’t be in charge for this Fridays match against Perth Glory.

The biggest surprise out of this whole deal really has to be the fact the Bakrie Group have appointed Mike Mulvey to the role as interim coach which will be reviewed at the end of the season to see if it can be continued on permanently or not.

At the event I was at last night I spoke with 3 fellow Roar fans, and we all had the same reaction - a WTF? moment.

A-League fans will know Mulvey from his time at Gold Coast United where he guided the youth league squad to back to back titles before taking the role as head coach after the falling out between owner and fat man Clive Palmer and head coach Miron Bleiberg.  This was a short lived position with the FFA revoking the clubs licence at the end of the season only a few weeks after Mulvey’s appointment.

Mulvey also has titles in women’s football having guided the QAS women’s team to four titles, interestingly enough after Mulvey left Gold Coast he joined Melbourne Victory as women’s coach by this too has only lasted a few months as he is now “coming home” as it were to Queensland to look after the Roar.

Although all this looks great on paper his performances with Gold Coast weren’t anything to write home about, and out of all the available coaches floating around in Australian football I’m not sure he is the best available option, when you look at the likes of Branco Cullina & even Miron Bleiberg.

Time will tell if this is a good choice by the Bakrie Group or whether it has doomed the Roar to a bottom placed finish this season, and the potential of not making it into the ACL at all.  Lets just say the next few weeks and especially this Fridays game against Perth will be slightly different for those of us die hards in the stands wearing orange.

There is only one thing left to say – Is my “In Rado we trust” t-shirt now going to be worth a lot of money? & will we see hundreds of them in the stands on friday night?

This article will also feature on

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twitter launch rival to Instagram

So as mentioned in a blog post last week (When social media networks fight) Instrgram and Twitter have had a falling out which has resulted in Instagram photos shared on twitter now occuring as web links that direct users to Instagram's own websites.

Well Twitter have countered this with the launch of their own photo filtering software which was released in an update now available in the App Store. Below is a screen shot of this new software powered by Aviary.

So the battle has begun between the rival networks for the all important market share that is the "hipster' generation.

In writing this piece I have looked at the offering from Twitter which seems to be a solid market entry, there are 9 choices of filter (including no filter) and the auto enhance wizard is as easy as a touch of a button, the grid view layout of the filters is great, but to really get the full impression of what your pic would look like with the filter in place the easiest way is to swipe through the full screen view.

I will be interested to see how this new offering from twitter is taken up by users however I still see Instagram having a large share of the market, as their offering is established and they currently offer a larger number of filter offerings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winning on twitter AvGeek/Hobbit style

So as a lot of you will know I am heavily into social media, and so are Air New Zealand, so anyway Air New Zealand ran a competition last friday on twitter to win a model of their #AirNZHobbit liveried Boeing 777-319ER ZK-OKP.

So seizing the opportunity I shot back the following tweet, and actually won one of the models.

The model arrived here this morning and my picture of it prompted a lot of comment on both twitter and Facebook
As seen on twitter & Facebook
The model is 1/200 scale and made by PacMin who from what I can see on their website do display models for corporations (such as Air New Zealand)
Interestingly enough on a side note on their desktop model page PacMin use a Kuban 733 which could be ZK-TLB as seen on MRC Aviation HERE

Air New Zealand have got their own livery on the box and all
Top & side view of the box
End view of the box
The following 3 pics are up close details of the Hobbit livery as seen on the model & the real thing including the first showing of the Black tail and white koru soon to be rolled out fleet wide.
The model is solid resin, and sits on a molded base and is true to life with correct graphics including the registration under the wing.

 Here is a view of the completed model

ZK-OKP in Hobbit livery fits in quite nicely with my collection of Air New Zealand aircraft in Lord of the Rings livery B744ZK-NBV & ZK-SUJB763 ZK-NCG, sadly A320 ZK-OJA is missing
Air New Zealand Hobbit/LoTR fleet

And finally ZK-OKP in its final position next to a couple of Qantas B744s

I cant thank Air New Zealand enough for running this competition and sending this amazing model to me - I am one very happy AvGeek.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When social media networks fight

We the users seem to be the losers in the latest 'social media war' between three of the heavy weights of the social media revolution.\

Instagram who was recently purchased by Facebook have announced that they no longer support twitter cards which allowed Twitter users to view Instagram photos in the tweet.  Users are now required to click the link and view the photo on an Instagram website.

The move escalates a rivalry in the fast-growing social networking sector, where the biggest players have sought to wall off access to content from rival services and to their ranks of users.
"They're both competing for slices of the same pie, the pie being users' attention," said Ray Valdes, an analyst with research firm Gartner.   
I for one think this is a petty squabble, but I really dont expect much better from these companies who are more interested in their market share and profits than the experience of their users.

Read more about the blocking of Instagram content and the growing rift between the big social media companies in this Reuters article via

A-League Round 10

As always my latest SportsfanAttic Hyundai A-League article is out today
Another round of the Hyundai A-League dawns as the first third of the completion is over; we’re ten rounds into the 27 round regular season.As with other recent rounds there has been a lot of off-field drama in the past two weeks as well as some big on-field drama.  Sydney FC have a new coach with former Brisbane Roar mentor Frank Farina landing the key role. Frank is infamous for a little ‘glug glug vroom vroom’ indiscretion that ended his time with the Roar. 
Meanwhile Socceroo’s manager Holger Osieck named a largely A-League based squad for the East Asian Cup qualifier tournament.  These players are currently away at the tournament and missing 3 rounds for their clubs.
The A-League was rocked by the news that in a unified front the ACL governing body had met and made changes to the ACL tournament stripping Australia’s entry rights from 2.5 to just 1.5 positions, thus meaning Perth Glory misses out completely while Champions Brisbane will need to qualify against a Thai side if they want to join Premiers Central Coast in the competition.
Head on over to sportsfanAttic to read the rest of it

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A win for the nerd generation?

I read an interesting article this afternoon from IT Newswire about Auckland school, Stonefields School using pupil power coupled with minecraft to help design new classrooms.

Having researched Stonefields a little it appears to have evolved from the basis of the former Mt Wellington School which the Ministry of Education closed, with private school Stoneflieds opening in February 2011 in its place.
Photo from Stonefields School principal Chris Bradbeer via IT newswire
Anyway Stonefields are projecting the possibility of expansion so asked their kids to help design five "learning hubs" (open-plan classrooms) and the kids asked to use minecraft instead of traditional media.

One of the organisational principles of our schools is 'listening to voices' and we wanted to consult the students on the learning hub design," Bradbeer said.
"At first, we spent an afternoon with a group of year 5 to 8 students, and having Lego, paper, cardboard, marker pens and other traditional materials, but the first thing they said was 'could we do this on Minecraft?'"
I'm impressed that the school has been so open to the ideas of the kids using minecraft, and impressed that the kids find designing classrooms easier using minecraft.  The story also highlights the other uses for minecraft and its partnership with the UN to develop public spaces around the world, getting local young people involved in urban planning.

Read the full story from itnewswire HERE

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

the King George Square conumdrum

One of the biggest debates in the Brisbane City Council is did they make the right choice when they upgraded King George Square in the central city.

Opponents and council opposition parties led by Cr Milton Dick have repeatedly called for grassed and shaded areas to be returned to the square, that is currently covered in concrete and paving stones after being redeveloped in 2009.

Prior to the 2009 upgrade there was a garden bed in the center of the square which before 2005 had been a fountain.

Today in the middle of the "heat wave" that is gripping South East Queensland the mercury topped out at a whopping 61˚C, this reading was taken shortly before midday at surface level.
Photo from Quest City News via
Council & Lord Mayor Graham Quirk have firmly stated that there is nothing they can do to change the layout of the square, due to the busway under the square, which cannot handle the additional weight that would be added by the grass and soil.

Are you a Brisbaneite? does King George Square turn you off?  What solutions do you think should be implemented to make King George Square more user friendly in summer?

Read more about the issues via City News HERE & HERE

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More hobbit mania

In the last post I showcased the "aviation" response to the hobbit with Air New Zealand and Wellington Airport, but yesterday's world premiere of the hobbit hit wellington in more ways than just aviation.

The below photo's are from The Dominion Post and show some of the hobbit mania that hit Wellington
The Embassy Theatre adorned with a Weta workshops sculpture of Bag End

Some giant trolls designed by Weta found their way onto the red carpet on Courtney Pl
Another Weta creation, a group of  hobbit shillouetes on the New Zealand Post building
The full 500m red carpet up Courtney Pl to the Embassy Theatre

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hobbits on a plane

Once again reprising their role as "Airline to middle earth" Air New Zealand have gone full tilt into "Hobbit fever" as has Wellington Airport "the middle of middle earth" and Wellington in general.

I've already shown you the Unexpected Journey inflight safety video but now its time to check out Boeing 777-319ER ZK-OKP in its hobbit decal as well as other hobbit things from Air New Zealand and Wellington International Airport.

The below photo and videos are from Air New Zealand via , Air New Zealand's facebook page & their youtube page.

The above photo's show OKP being revealed in Auckland then her in Los Angeles and London.  Air New Zealand, the below video is a time lapse of the application of the decals to the aircraft.  Also not the black tail with white koru and new font for the Air New Zealand titles - the first time this new livery has been applied to an aircraft

Air New Zealand have also added video's of J.R.R. Tolkein's Great Grandson Royd to their line up
See their interview with Royd HERE & staged footage of him checking in for his flight to Wellington HERE

Wellington Airport have also gone all out on their hobbit promotion the below photos are from their facebook page
 Inside the terminal above & the outside airside view below

They have also decked out their luggage collection area in the hobbit theme as seen below (source Air New Zealand's facebook)

And finally ZK-OKP landing in Wellington today with Hobbit cast & VIP's on board (source Air New Zealand facebook)

Friday, November 23, 2012

My HAL round 8 preview

Another big news week for the Hyundai A-League and football in Australia, in what is shaping up to be the “coming of age” season for the competition.  This week we saw the announcement of the new broadcast deal for football, and the possibility of one of world football’s biggest names calling Australia home.
The FFA has announced its new broadcast deal with Fox Sports & SBS for the Hyundai A-League and Qantas Socceroo’s.  Fox Sports will continue as the primary broadcaster with full live coverage of every A-League & Socceroo’s match until 2017, as well as the Australian rights holder for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.  SBS will have free-to-air coverage of all Socceroo’s matches and Hyundai A-League finals matches on a 1 hour delay, while they will also show live Friday night A-League matches.

Read the rest of it over at sportsfanAttic HERE

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Check out my sports thoughts

My thoughts are not just confined to my two blogs I also dabble in a little sports writing for a NZ based fan sports website Sports fanAttic

I tend to write mostly about Football, but do also write about cricket and occasionally a few other sports.

Check out my two most recent articles one looking at this weeks round of the Hyundai A-League
Turning now to the on-field stuff as Round 7 kicks off here in wonderful Brisbane, with the Roar hosting Sydney FC.  The Roar are currently sitting in their worst ever position having never previously occupied bottom place on the ladder, on the back of just the 1 win and 1 draw in the first 6 rounds.  

While the other reflects on the recent international friendlies
In Shanghai Ricki Herbert experimented with a new 4-1-4-1 formation which worked seemingly well for the All Whites, who despite going 1-0 down in the 32nd minute,  came back to equalise through Chris Wood in the 44th minute. 

Complient BT buses

As some of you may be aware from my other online presences I am a bit of a transport geek, and one of the things that interests me slightly (but nowhere near as much as aviation) is public transport here in Brisbane, both buses and trains.  So here's an article on some musings related to a story on the Brisbane Times website today (HERE).

It appears that a storm in a tea cup has broken out between Brisbane Transport the department who run the Brisbane City Council buses, and Queensland Advocacy Incorporated Chairman Ken Wade, & of course council opposition leader Cr Milton Dick has weighed in with his opinion.

Brisbane Transport has apparently written to the Australian Human Rights Commission seeking a five-year exemption from disability compliance for non compliant buses, due to their imminent retirement (before 2019) and the unfair financial penalty it would be for BT to repair them before retirement.

According to Brisbane Transport's application, hand rails and grab rails on 361 of Brisbane Transport's 1225 buses do not comply with sections of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002; the hand rails are either too thick or too thin, or inappropriately placed.
Cr Matic said 50 of those buses were due to be retired by mid-2013. A schedule in Brisbane Transport's exemption application shows the rest of the non-compliant buses are to be removed from the roads by 2019.
“All council's buses currently comply with the DDA and council is well ahead of the game when it comes to disability access," he said.
"At present, 86 per cent of the Brisbane Transport fleet is wheelchair friendly – significantly ahead of the 55 per cent end of year target specified under DDA legislation.”
Now this interests me as to which buses the report relates to it suggests that 361 will be retired by 2019 now below is a copy of the current fleet lists (thanks to for the information)

Now I assume the MAN 18.310 both Diesel & CNG are safe, as are the MAN NG313 Artic's, and the Scania L94UBs, and with the B12BLE & B7RLE fleets being brand new they too will be safe.

Obviously the B10M mk3 & B10M mk4 fleets being high floor are scheduled to go as they are non-compliant, but that only equates to 155 buses, so the question is which of the other fleets will go to make up the 361 needed?

There are another 206 buses that dont meet the compliancy, if you withdraw the B10L fleets that's only another 59 buses, even knocking out the other 'orphan' fleets the Mercedes O500LE's, MAN NG313 Artic's Scania K310UB6x2 tag's it still doesnt add up.

So if there are any Bus enthusiasts or gunzel's reading this I would be interested to here your opinions on this article and what effect it will have on the BT fleet in the coming years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seal pup video at Ohau stream

I was back in New Zealand for about 9 days last month with a group of Brisbane Roar fans to see the game against the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington.  After a few days in Welly we headed south for a whistle stop tour of the northern half of the south island, one place you have to visit when driving from Blenheim to Kaikoura (especially when travelling with a bunch of aussies) is the New Zealand Fur Seal colony at Ohau point.

Just before the point itself is one of the best kept secrets, although it is now becoming a well known attraction, its a short walk up the side of the Ohau stream to the waterfall and pool where the baby fur seals play, grow & learn to swim.

Here is a short video I took showing the last of the baby seals for this season.

Today must be the day for signal failures

Both Brisbane & Auckland have experienced troubles today with signal failures effecting their rail networks.

In Brisbane Queensland Rail/Translink services on the Caboolture & Sunshine Coast lines have been plagued by signal faults near Bald Hills, with trains disrupted for quite sometime this morning, while they were again running 15 minutes late this evening due to the same fault.

In Auckland Kiwi Rail/Auckland Transport trains were delayed due to the loss of signalling stemming from a power failure at the Kiwi Rail headquarters in Wellington.

Both delays cause frustration amongst commuters who had their travel plans disrupted.

Read more about the QR delays courtesy of the Courier Mail HERE & the Auckland delays HERE