Sunday, March 26, 2017

United States Army (US Army) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra (UC-35A) Bizjet 97-0103 "Ninja 73" Pops into Rockhampton Airport

Certainly a surprise but most welcome visitor to Rockhampton Airport during the late afternoon on Sunday 26 March was United States Army (US Army) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra (UC-35A) bizjet 97-0103.

The smart little bizjet touched down at Rocky from Darwin via Mount Isa.

After dropping off some passengers, it departed to Alice Springs where it looked to be spending at the least the night - most likely escaping the heavy weather along the Central Queensland coast!

The UC-35A was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Ninja 73".

No doubt the visit of the smart little bizjet is a precursor to the Joint Military Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 which is due to be held yet again the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) during the middle part of this year.

Local enthusiasts are hoping that Rockhampton Airport will play a significant role in hosting several interesting visiting heavy jet and military aircraft arrivals.

Stay tuned!

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a great visitor to CQ!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-EZJ Passes Through Rockhampton Airport Also Heading North

A day after a pair of McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia AS365N2 Dauphin helicopters headed North, on Sunday 26 March, Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-EZJ was spotting passing through Rockhampton Airport while ferrying North to Townsville Cairns.

VH-EZJ originally departed its Archerfield base and called into Rocky for fuel. It was later noted departing to Townsville, however it has since 'diverted' directly to Cairns and looks to be now operating in the area as "Rescue 510".

It is expected that VH-EZJ will join fellow Cairns-based QGAir Rescue Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-ESH along with Townsville-based QGAir Rescue Bell 412 helicopters VH-ESB and VH-ESD in the emergency relief response in the wake of the impending land-fall of severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie around the Townsville area in the coming days.

McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia AS365N2 Dauphin Helicopters N38MD & N365JL at Gladstone and Mackay Airports

On Saturday 25 March, a pair McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia AS365N2 Dauphin helicopters were spotted passing through Gladstone and Mackay Airports while heading North to Townsville and Cairns to assist with the expected emergency response to the looming severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The two Dauphin helicopters were identified as Aerospatiale SA365N1 Dauphin 2 N38MD "Helitack 429' & Aerospatiale AS-365N-2 Dauphin 2 N365JL 'Helitack 475'.

The pair flew together from their Sunshine Coast base into Gladstone Airport where they took on fuel before departing North to Mackay Airport.  From Mackay, they both landed at Townsville Airport with N38MD 'Helitack 429' then believed to have continued to Cairns AIrport.

Both helicopters will be on standby at these Airports should they be required to assist in the emergency relief efforts following the expected impact of severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Thanks to the local plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Michael Fleetwood and 'Mick'  ©

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

RAAF Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 Pops into Proserpine and Rockhampton Airports

It's been a reasonably quiet week for RAAF movements through CQ but on Wednesday 22 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 of the RAAF's VIP 34 Squadron, was noted touching down at both Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport and then Rockhampton Airport.

A36-002 touches down at Rocky on a previous visit  (File photo)

The BBJ had earlier flown South from Townsville and looked to be possibly operating a training flight as "Envoy 84".  After landing at Rocky for a short time, A36-002 was heard to depart to the Gold Coast.

Meanwhile also on Wednesday 22 March, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air was heard to complete two missed approaches at Rockhampton Airport.  Flying as "Dingo 26", the Super King Air initially flew from Townsville to RAAF Base Amberley via the approach at Rocky before returning to Townsville later in the day via the second approach.

Finally, during Wednesday 22 March, a pair of RAAF Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjets also of the RAAF's VIP 34 Squadron were heard 'on the airbands' to fly from and to Townsville through Central Queensland airspace.  A37-002 was heard to be flying from Townsville to the South as "Consort 05", while A37-003 was heard to be flying to Townsville from the South as "Regent 72".

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Edwards Coaches Cessna 650 Citation VII Bizjet VH-LYM Pops into Gladstone Airport

The run of interesting aircraft to call into Gladstone Airport continued on Wednesday 22 March as Edwards Coaches Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-LYM came to town for a short while.

The sleek Citation touched down from its Armidale base and the Gold Coast.  After a few hours on the ground, it departed back to Gold Coast before returning home to Armidale.

Also on Wednesday 22 March, a nice corporate turbo-prop in the form of Wagga Wagga-based SOCATA TBM-850 VH-PVM was spotted also visiting Gladstone Airport.  It arrived from Bundaberg Airport.

It appears that VH-PVM is conducting a tour of CQ with it initially arriving into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport from Wagga Wagga via Roma on Sunday 19 March.  It then flew to Bundaberg Airport on Tuesday 21 March.

Of interest, another SOCATA in the form of Bishopp Aviation SOCATA TBM-700 VH-VSV was noted visiting Bundaberg Airport on Wednesday 22 March from Archerfield.

Meanwhile, locally-based Cessna 210 VH-KTE has been busy flying from Gladstone Airport with the Centurion noted visiting Roma, Maryborough and Hamilton Island (twice) over the last week or so.

A more couple of nice visitors to Gladstone Airport this week - and we thank the local plane spotters for sending through their great photos despite the inclement weather that is currently passing through the region.  Although one thing I do like about the rain is that creates some nice reflections of the aircraft in the apron surface!

All photos taken by 'Mick'  ©

Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter A38-010 Also Spotted at Longreach Airport

On Wednesday 22 March, Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter A38-010 was also spotted at Longreach Airport.

Its exact movements are not known, however it appears that the Tiger took on fuel before departing.

All photos taken by ‘AC’  ©

Kefford Corporation Gulfstream G-IV-SP Bizjet N810LP Calls into Longreach Airport - Plus More!

On Wednesday 22 March, Kefford Corporation (of Victoria) Gulfstream G-IV-SP bizjet N810LP was spotted calling into Longreach Airport from its Melbourne (Essendon) base via Canberra.

After parking on the old Longreach Airport parking apron, adjacent to the Qantas Founders Museum, N810LP returned to Canberra and then Essendon.

Meanwhile, a couple of other interesting visitors into Longreach Airport over the last few days have included a nice pair of Pilatus PC-12 turboprops.  

Cloncurry-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-MDH also visited on Wednesday 22 March.  Of interest, it also called into Longreach Airport on Sunday 19 March.  While Brisbane-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-AAD was noted visiting on Sunday 19 March and again on Monday 20 March.

UPDATE!  VH-AAD also visited Longreach Airport on Thursday 23 March.

Finally, as shown in a photo above, Dubbo (New South Wales) based Cirrus SR20 VH-ZCD visited Longreach Airport on Wednesday 22 March.  It arrived from Dubbo and is pictured departing to Normanton.