Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rare Sight At Christchurch Airport

Auckland's loss was Christchurch's gain yesterday.
A380: first-time caller
The break-down of a Qantas 737-800 aircraft had blocked part of the Auckland International Airport runway. The plane was taxiing after arriving from Sydney, when it experienced a problem with its brakes. Because of the jet's position on the taxiway, part of the runaway was closed for safety reasons... which meant some flight diversions.
Six flights were diverted - one to Ohakea air base (Cathay Pacific), two to Wellington (Virgin and Fijian Airlines) and three Emirates flights to Christchurch, the only other airport in NZ with a runway long enough for Emirates A380 planes.
Ground Control to Major Tom...
Two A380s and a 777 touched down in Christchurch for quick refuelling. The A380 had not been seen before at Christchurch, so many airport staff were snatching furtive views and photos from airbridges, as the jets arrived in quick succession.
Add those newcomers to the spectacle of NASA's SOFIA airborne astronomy 747SP parked near the Antarctic hanger, and it became a very rare sight to warm the heart of any local planespotter.
The Emirates flights returned to Auckland soon after.

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