Monday, December 11, 2017

Avcair (Earth Commodities) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo Bizjet VH-CCJ Makes Midnight Dash to Longreach Airport

Very late on Sunday 10 December, Avcair (Earth Commodities) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-CCJ was noted flying into Longreach Airport from Brisbane.

File photo

After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-CCJ returned to Brisbane - now in the wee small hours of Monday 11 December.

It is speculated that this dash to Longreach Airport by VH-CCJ was in response to the break down of QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOM at Longreach Airport after it arrived from Brisbane earlier on Sunday 10 December as QLK2534.

UPDATE!  Later on Monday 11 December, VH-QOM repositioned empty back to Brisbane as QLK2673.

File photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pacific Aerospace (PAC) 750XL Aircraft ZK-KDJ Pops Back into Longreach Airport

On Sunday 10 December, New Zealand-registered Pacific Aerospace (PAC) 750XL ZK-KDJ arrived into Longreach Airport from the Gold Coast.  After taking on fuel, it continued to Darwin.  It had arrived into the Gold Coast direct from Hamilton in New Zealand on Saturday 9 December as it seemingly recommenced the delivery flight it initially started in December 2016.

ZK-KDJ had originally arrived into Darwin from New Zealand in late 2016 and then sat there untouched for almost a year.  However, as we posted below, on Tuesday 21 November, ZK-KDJ finally departed Darwin for Longreach, the Gold Coast, Lord Howe Island and Auckland before ultimately returning to Hamilton.

At the time of writing, ZK-KDJ is scheduled to depart Darwin for Manado (Sam Ratulangi International Airport) in Indonesia early on Monday 11 December.

Meanwhile, a couple of other strange sights in recent weeks that have come across my email have included this Robinson R-22 helicopter being transported for parts unknown in a typical country manner!

(PS - Does anyone recognise the company logo and possible registration marking of this helicopter?)

And this Kitfox MKII ultralight registered 19-5175 was spotted being transported via Longreach Airport in early November.

It's not the first time this aircraft has featured on the CQ Plane Spotting Blog - it has been spotted participating in some CQ fly-ins and airshows including at the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour.

All photos taken by Calen Harvey  ©

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Final Two Virgin Australia ATR 72-500s VH-FVX & VH-FVI Depart Australia For Good

Over the course of this last week, the final two Virgin Australia ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft departed Australia for good, both heading for Nelson Airport in New Zealand for storage.

VH-FVI departs Gladstone Airport  (File photo)

VH-FVX departed Canberra Airport as VOZ9948 on Tuesday 5 December, while VH-FVI also departed Canberra for Nelson but as VOZ9946 on Thursday 7 December.

VH-FVX at Gladstone Airport  (File photo)

They are the fifth and sixth (and final) Virgin Australia ATR 72-500 aircraft to leave Australia, and they join VH-FVH, VH-FVL, VH-FVM and VH-FVU at Nelson with all six aircraft stored and awaiting sale.

As previously mentioned, Virgin Australia plans to consolidate its turboprop operations to routes within the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria as it prepares to reduce the number of ATRs in the fleet from 14 to six.  As a result, the airline has ended all ATR 72 turboprop operations in Queensland.

VH-FVX was delivered to Virgin Australia in Brisbane in May 2012 and was noted wearing the Danish registration of OY-CJV.  It was soon re-registered as VH-FVX and was noted wearing the name 'Kirra Beach'.  Its first revenue flight was at the start of June 2012 and its final service into Central Queensland was on Friday 14 July when it operated into Bundaberg Airport on the VOZ1701/1702 service from and back to Brisbane.

VH-FVX at Gate at Gladstone Airport  (File photo)

Meanwhile, VH-FVI was the second of four aircraft ordered by Virgin Australia for delivery in 2011.  It was registered as VH-FVI and soon after, it touched down at Brisbane on delivery in late August 2011.  VH-FVI was noted wearing the name 'Mission Beach'.  After operating 'route proving' flights to Port Macquarie and Gladstone Airports, its first revenue flight was as DJ1715 from Brisbane to Gladstone Airport on Tuesday 18 October 2011.  Its final service into Central Queensland was also on Friday 14 July when it operated into Moranbah Airport on the VOZ1667/1668 service from and back to Brisbane.

VH-FVI taxis in at Gladstone Airport  (File photo)

In May 2013, Skywest Airlines was officially renamed Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) and now the ATR fleet are registered and operated by Virgin Australia.  The decision to reduce Virgin’s ATR fleet, as well as its Embraer E190 regional jet fleet, was first announced in June 2016. 

Virgin Australia still has eight ATR 72-600 turboprops in operation on services in New South Wales and Victoria - VH-FVP, VH-FVN, VH-FVQ, VH-FVR, VH-FVY, VH-FVZ, VH-VPI and VH-VPJ.

Sad to see the ATR 72-500s (and Embraer jets) go!

Photos taken by Michael Fleetwood and Anthony Schulz  ©

Friday, December 8, 2017

Storms Around Brisbane Airport Sees Diversions to CQ Airports - Photos of Qantas Boeing B737-800 VH-VXJ at Rockhampton Airport

During the afternoon on Friday 8 December, a nasty line of storms rolled through the South-East corner of the state and affected several inbound and outbound flights at Brisbane Airport.  Several inbound flights from various parts - including Central Queensland - were forced to divert to alternative Airports including four interstate flights which diverted to both Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) and Rockhampton Airports.

At Hervey Bay Airport, a pair of Virgin Australia services landed during the afternoon - VOZ1105 from Newcastle (Williamtown) operated by B737-800 VH-VOK and VOZ465 from Perth operated by B737-800 VH-VON.  While at Rockhampton Airport, Virgin Australia flight VOZ1217 from Canberra operated by B737-800 VH-YFE and Qantas Airways flight QFA528 from Sydney operated by B737-800 VH-VXJ both landed.

Local plane spotter Daniel B was on hand at Rockhampton Airport and captured some great photos as the Qantas B737-800 VH-VXJ was refuelled and finally received clearance to departed back to Brisbane again as QFA528.

Other flights during the afternoon diverted to the Sunshine Coast, including QJE1791 from Townsville, plus four flights from different parts of CQ - QJE1779 from Rockhampton Airport, QLK2513 from Mackay Airport, QLK2405 from Emerald Airport and QLK2531 from Longreach Airport.

Finally, just to cap off a bad day for travellers on Friday 8 December - particularly those flying in and out of Rockhampton Airport - both Qantas (QantasLink) and Virgin Australia (Alliance Airlines) services were affected due to aircraft serviceability issues with one of the QantasLink flights (operated by Cobham Aviation Boeing B717-200s) and one of the Virgin Australia flights (operated by Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100s) being either delayed or cancelled altogether.

UPDATE!  Indeed Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWR broke down at Rockhampton Airport on Friday 8 December - as shown above - after arriving earlier in the day operating the Virgin Australia VOZ1241 service from Brisbane.  On Saturday 9 December, VH-XWR was noted positioning back to Brisbane empty from Rocky as UTY990.  Also on Saturday 9 December, Alliance sent fellow Fokker F-100 VH-XWO to and from Rockhampton Airport as VOZ9531/9532 on a 'rescue mission' transporting the stranded Virgin Australia passengers from the previous day.

Sincere thanks to Daniel B for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos from Rockhampton Airport!

All photos taken by Daniel Bishop  ©

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Big Bristow Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A Helibus Helicopter VH-ZUJ Passes Through Emerald and Longreach Airports

A nice large helicopter to pass through Central Queensland on Thursday 7 December was Bristow Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A Helibus VH-ZUJ, which passed through both Emerald and Longreach Airports while on a ferry flight to the Helitek Helipad in Brisbane.

VH-ZUJ departed Longreach Airport for Mount Isa where it looked to be staying for the night.

UPDATE!  On Friday 8 December, VH-ZUJ continued to Broome in Western Australia via Tennant Creek and Halls Creek.

As pictured above, VH-ZUJ was originally delivered to Australia at Perth Airport in November 2016 along with another Bristow S-92A with American registration N392BG.  They were delivered from Bristow’s American base at Acadiana Regional Airport, New Iberia, Louisiana, on board Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82079 and were eventually trucked to Broome where they had been operating from.

Photo taken by Steve Axon  ©

Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-008 Passes Through Rockhampton Airport as "Pegasus 09"

Also on Thursday 7 December, Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-008 was also spotted by local plane spotter 'IAD' as it passed through Rockhampton Airport.

It was heard to be flying as "Pegasus 09" and arrived from its Townsville base.  After taking on fuel, A40-008 continued South to Oakey.

UPDATE!  On Friday 7 December, MRH-90 A40-008 - again flying as "Pegasus 9" - returned to Rockhampton Airport, flying back up from Oakey, initially to complete airwork in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) before landing at Rocky for fuel.  It then departed to Townsville.

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

UP Aviation Bombardier Global Express XRS Bizjet VH-UPH Pops into Rockhampton Airport

Another nice bizjet to visit Central Queensland touched down at Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 7 December in the form of UP Aviation (of Abbotsford, Victoria) Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express XRS bizjet VH-UPH.

The beautiful big bizjet which was only registered in Australia in October arrived into Rocky from Townsville.  It had flown into Townsville from Melbourne (Tullamarine) via Cairns over the early part of this week.

After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-UPH departed Rockhampton Airport for Tullamarine.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of another great bizjet visitor to Rockhampton Airport!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Air Alsie Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet OY-EJD Arrives into Hamilton Island Airport

An interesting arrival into Hamilton Island Airport in the very wee small hours of Thursday 7 December was Danish registered Air Alsie Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet OY-EJD.

It looked to touch down from Melbourne (Tullamarine) and was heard using the flight number and callsign of ‘MMD6430’ / “Mermaid 6430”.

At the time of writing, it appears that OY-EJD is still parked on Hamo.

Air Alsie ( is a Danish charter airline headquartered in S√łnderborg and based at S√łnderborg Airport, in Denmark.  They primarily which operates business jet services with a fleet of 19 aircraft (as at the start of 2017).

Meanwhile, also visiting Hamilton Island Airport but late on Wednesday 6 December was Vanguard Aviation Cessna 525 CitationJet1 bizjet VH-DAA. It looked to arrive from and then depart back to its Archerfield base.

Finally, also at the time of writing, a fairly recent addition to the Australian bizjet scene in the form of UP Aviation of Victoria Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express bizjet VH-UPH is expected to touch down at Rockhampton Airport around lunch time on Thursday 7 December from Townsville.  Nice!