Sunday, January 22, 2017

JetGo Australia's Second Embraer ERJ-140LR Regional Jet N295SK (to be VH-ZJE) Touches Down in Australia

Amid a few departures of various airliners from Australian skies, the second Embraer ERJ-140LR (ERJ-135KL) regional jet for JetGo Australia arrived in Australia last week on completion of a week-long delivery flight from the United States of America (USA) via Canada, Alaska, Russia, Japan and The Philippines.  The ERJ-140LR still wears its American registration marking of N295SK which it operated for Republic Airways Holdings, which provides regional services to the major network carriers in the USA.  It has been repainted into JetGo Australia livery and will ultimately wear Australian registration VH-ZJE when it enters service.

N295SK was noted arriving in Australia at Horn Island in Far North Queensland from Francisco Bangoy International Airport / Davao International Airport in the Philippines on Wednesday 18 January.  It continued to Brisbane Airport where it arrived after dark.  It was spotted resting on General Aviation (GA) Apron at Brisbane Airport early on Thursday 19 January, alongside now sistership and fellow ERJ-140LR (ERJ-135KL) VH-ZJE (ex N297SK) which was delivered JetGo in October - see Blog post HERE.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 22 January, VH-ZJE was spotted again at Brisbane Airport now wearing its Australian registration marking.

During the delivery flight N295SK was noted using the flight number and callsign of JG99 ("JetGo 99").

VH-ZJE / N295SK (cn 145513) is the second of two 44-seat ERJ-140LRs that were due for delivery to JetGo.

JetGo is also due to take delivery of a larger ERJ-145 during the middle part of this year.

Presently, JetGo flys the 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140 VH-ZJG alongside two 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135LRs - VH-JGB and VH-JZG - on its regular public transport (RPT) and Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) networks across three states along Australia’s east coast - including to Rockhampton Airport.

The original ERJ-135LR aircraft that JetGo commenced operations with in 2012 - VH-JTG - departed Australia for good in early December 2016 - see Blog post HERE.

All photos taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Friday, January 20, 2017

RAAF Airbus A330/KC-30A (MRTT) A39-002 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport Friday - Plus More!

On Friday 20 January, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-002 was spotted completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport as "Dragon 12".

Local plane spotter Kayanne H was at the right place at the right time (her backyard) as the KC-30A approached Rocky from the North before completing the overshoot and pulling up out of the approach right over the top of her place!

Following the missed approach, A39-002 continued South to RAAF Base Amberley.

It has been interesting to note that most examples of RAAF aircraft have taken to the air again this week following the Christmas / New Year period stand-down.

Late on Thursday 19 January, RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-212 was heard using the radio callsign "Stallion 20" completing low-level operations between Emerald and Clermont before continuing to Mackay.  It seems to have flown up from Amberley.

RAAF Boeing B737-7DT( BBJ) A36-001 was noted completing airwork at CQ Airports twice this week.  On Wednesday 18 January,  it was noted flying up from Canberra and completing a missed approach at Longreach Airport.  It then continued onward to Mt Isa for more airwork before returning South to Canberra.  A36-001 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Envoy 23".

While on Monday 16 January, A36-001 was noted flying up from Canberra and completing a missed approach at Hamilton Island Airport.  It looked to return to the nation's capital and was noted using the radio callsign of "Envoy 12".

Finally, on Tuesday 17 January, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-426 was noted completing airwork around Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays as "Dingo 3" while on a flight from and back to its Townsville base.

Sincere thanks to Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSV at Mackay and Rockhampton Airports Friday

Making a rare trip South from its (normally) Cairns base on Friday 20 January was the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSV.  It flew South from Cairns to Townsville and then Mackay Airport before continuing to Rockhampton Airport.  It then returned to Townsville and Cairns.

Police Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSY at Mackay Airport  (File photo)

VH-PSV could have possibly been operating one of the three-times-per-week prisoner transfer flights up and down the Queensland coast.

Of interest, VH-PSV is one of three Cessna 208 Caravans - along with VH-PSQ and VH-PSY - that the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) operated from bases in Brisbane, Cairns and Mount Isa.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Brand New Sunshine Coast-based Cirrus SR22 VH-XRR Spotted at Rockhampton Airport

Local plane spotters Kayanne H and Trevor H popped out to Rockhampton Airport briefly on Thursday 19 January and spotted a nice little arrival in the form of Cirrus SR22 VH-XRR.  It flew in from Townsville and departed to the Sunshine Coast.

It has been reported that the smart little Cirrus is brand new and only delivered to its new owner on the Sunshine Coast in the last week or so.  It looked to have flown from there directly to Townsville on Wednesday 18 January.

Also spotted sitting quietly at Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 19 January was Alpha-based Cessna 182 VH-PDH.

It had earlier flown into Rocky from the West.

Thanks guys!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Trevor Hardsman  ©

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Queensland Government Hawker 850XP Bizjet VH-SGY at Gladstone and Rockhampton Airports

It's been a busy week so far for the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Airwing Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY.  Earlier in the week, it visited Longreach and Roma Airports - see Blog post below - and on Wednesday 18 January, it again took to the air and looked to complete training at both Gladstone and Rockhampton Airports.

File photo

VH-SGY flew North from Brisbane and landed and parked for a short time on a taxiway at Gladstone Airport before departing a short time later for Rockhampton Airport.  At Rocky, VH-SGY landed, back-tracked  and took off from Runway 15 before completing two missed approaches and then landing again on Runway 15.  After parking for a short while, VH-SGY again took off and completed a circuit and landed once again.  It immediately back-tracked and took off for yet another two circuits including a missed approach followed by landing. After again parking for a short time, VH-SGY then departed back to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 18 January, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU was back in the air on prisoner transfer flights calling into Mackay, Rockhampton (twice) and Bundaberg Airports while on a busy day of flying that started and finished in Cairns.

Photo taken by Don Williams  ©

Australian Border Force (ABF) Cobham Aviation-operated Dash-8-202 VH-ZZA Spotted at Bundaberg Airport

Surveillance Australia / Australian Border Force (ABF) Cobham Aviation-operated Dash-8 turbo-props continue to operate Customs and immigration surveillance flights out of various CQ Airports and on Tuesday 17 January, Dash-8-202 VH-ZZA was spotted resting quietly on the Bundaberg Airport apron by local plane spotter Micah S.  It had earlier arrived from a sortie using it 'usual' radio callsign of "Borderforce 11".

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is the Australian Government agency that is tasked with border protection and national security duties. It was established on in July 2015 after the merger of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (of which VH-ZZA and the other Cobham Aviation operated Dash-8s and other aircraft and helicopters operated on behalf of) and some parts of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Meanwhile, not quite aviation related, but all eyes have been on Bundaberg Port lately with the ex-Royal Australian Navy (RAN) amphibious heavy lift ship HMAS Tobruk (L 50) which arrived in the rum city in mid-December last year.  Thousands of locals turned out to see the ex-RAN ship enter the Burnett River on her final journey.  HMAS Tobruk docked for the last time in preparation for two years of work that will allow her to be sunk off the coast of Elliott Heads and turned into a dive site.

Micah S recently took a flight over Bundy which included the Port area where the HMAS Tobruk is currently docked.

Sincere thanks to Micah S for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Micah S  ©

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Machjet Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 Bizjet VH-SIY Pops into Biloela / Thangool Airport

On Tuesday 17 January, Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-SIY was noted visiting Biloela /Thangool Airport.  It looked to call in from the Sunshine Coast via Brisbane.

VH-SIY at Mackay Airport last year  (File photo)

It returned South to Brisbane a little later in the afternoon before flying back to its Sunshine Coast base.

Also on Tuesday 17 January, the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Airwing Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY departed Roma Airport for Brisbane. It had arrived at Roma from Longreach Airport on Monday 16 January as mentioned in the Blog post below.

While Henadeck Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-YNE departed Hamilton Island Airport for Bankstown also on Tuesday 17 January.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Monday, January 16, 2017

Queensland Government Hawker 850XP Bizjet VH-SGY Spotted at Longreach Airport - Plus More!

On Monday 16 January, the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Airwing Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY was spotted on the ground at Longreach Airport.  It had earlier arrived from Brisbane.

Later in the afternoon, VH-SGY departed to Roma Airport where it stayed for the night.

At the time of writing, VH-SGY was due to depart Roma and return to Brisbane on Tuesday 17 January.

Meanwhile, noted calling into Longreach Airport over the weekend - in the very wee small hours of Sunday 15 January to be precise - was  LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451".  It arrived from and later departed back to Brisbane.

Also on Monday 16 January, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU was back in the air on prisoner transfer flights calling into Mackay and Rockhampton Airports while on a busy day of flying that started and finished in Cairns.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that on Saturday 14 January, Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ operated a return flight to the Gold Coast from and back to its Mackay Airport base.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

AMSA (Aerorescue) Dornier 328-100 VH-PPJ "Rescue 471" Around Rockhampton and Hervey Bay Airport

Some interesting movements over the last few days by Aerorescue (AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority) / Aero Pearl Dornier 328-100 VH-PPJ "Rescue 471" which has been noted flying between Melbourne (Essendon) Airport and Cairns Airports via a couple of visits to Central Queensland.

VH-PPJ on a training flight at Hervey Bay Airport in 2016  (File photo)

VH-PPJ flew up to Cairns via Townsville on Friday 13 January before flying back South via a search for a missing boat off Rockhampton early on Saturday 14 January.  The Dornier didn't land at Rockhampton Airport following the search and instead continued to Brisbane.  VH-PPJ then departed Brisbane for Essendon.

Then on Sunday 15 January, VH-PPJ returned North from Essendon and landed at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.  After being 'scheduled' to complete a local flight around the region, this was changed and instead, VH-PPJ continued North to Cairns.

Finally, on Monday 16 January, VH-PPJ flew into Brisbane from Cairns.

Of interest, as we've mentioned a few times on the Blog of late, Aerorescue (AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority) also utilises Cobham Aviation-operated Bombardier Challenger CL-600-2B16 bizjet VH-XND "Rescue 660" out of Cairns Airport on a full-time basis.

Photo taken by Ben May  ©

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Virgin Australia and Qantas Diversions From Proserpine and Hamilton Island Airports Due Weather

On Saturday 14 January, Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YFH was noted to have diverted into Mackay Airport while operating the late morning VOZ1115 scheduled service from Brisbane to Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport because of the rather inclement weather passing through the Whitsundays region.

VH-YFH at Mackay Airport on a previous scheduled visit  (File photo)

It later departed Mackay Airport and landed successfully at Prosie before operating back to Brisbane as the now delayed VOZ1116.

Meanwhile, there was also a diversion at Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 14 January due to weather with Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VXB diverting to Cairns Airport after being unable to land at Hamo - and Townsville too it seems - while operating as QFA1172 from Sydney.

This flight was one of the 'extra' services that Qantas has operated into Hamilton Island from Sydney during the busy Christmas and New Year's school holiday period.

Eventually, VH-VXB flew down to Hamo and operating the now delayed return flight back to Sydney as QFA1173.

Photo taken by Dave  ©