Last night I was watching The Politically Incorrect Guide to Grown-ups with Nigel Latta on TVNZ One whilst I was footling around doing other things at the same time - principally eating dinner and attempting a crossword. Suddenly my brain processed the fact that he was up in a jet plane which was very familiar to me. In fact ever since Art Deco Weekend I had been trying to work out what the plane which I'd seen at the airport display was. It was the only one I hadn't identified. And there was Nigel flying around in it. It is absolutely unmistakable but it had no call-sign on it which is the easiest way to identify an aircraft. What was he saying? Well the bit I recall best was that when he got in there was a notice in front of him stating something like "This plane does not meet current New Zealand aviation safety standards". He then went on to describe the procedure for getting out in the event that the pilot lost control or the plane went on fire (the ejector seats had been removed). Basically it seemed to amount to forget it: perish. Anyway he did obligingly mention that it was a Czechoslovakian (remember that country?) Aero L-39 Albatros. Whoopee. So here it is parked a few yards away from me at Napier/Hastings Airport. Isn't she a beauty?
Just for the record she consumes about 400 gals/US of fuel an hour at take-off.