Friday, October 20, 2017

Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 RA-82047 Returns to Rockhampton Airport To Take Two RSAF Boeing CH-47SD Chinook Helicopters Home

Early in the morning on Thursday 19 October, Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82047 returned to Rockhampton Airport, touching down from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport (Malaysia) as VDA4053.






A few local plane spotters, along with other members of the public, were on hand again as the giant Russian aircraft touched down on Rocky’s Runway 15 before it taxied onto its parking spot on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron.



As we mentioned in last post about its first visit, it's interesting to note that the aircraft still wears a sticker on its port-side commemorating 25 years of the Volga Dnepr Group.

As the tech crew departed for their accommodation, the ground engineers were joined by local ground crew and the Antonov commenced loading with its front landing gear being raised and the aircraft placed into its unique 'kneeling' position to allow the loading of its cargo.






On this flight, the two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing CH-47SD Chinook helicopters which had been deployed to Rockhampton during the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017, along with their rotor blades and other equipment, were all loaded in preparation for their return to Singapore.



















Loading was completed over the course of Thursday 19 October and as the sun set for the night, the Antonov remained parked.

Then early on Friday 20 October, RA-82047 made a spectacular departure from Rockhampton Airport flying direct to Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore as VDA4054.

video

That’s it!  All airborne movements in association with the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017 are finished!

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H, Trevor H and 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Antonov's final visit to Rocky for 2017!

Photos and video taken by Kayanne Hardsman, Trevor Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

Aircraft and Helicopters Involved in Search for Missing Trawler and Fishermen off the Fraser Coast This Week

With the hopes fading of a positive outcome from the search for a missing fishing trawler and five missing fishermen this week, here is a quick summary of some of the local and visiting helicopters and fixed wing aircraft that have been involved with the search


Over the course of Tuesday 17 October and Wednesday 18 October Aerorescue (AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority) (Cobham Aviation) Bombardier Challenger CL-600-2B16 bizjet VH-XNE "Rescue 330" was believed to be coordinating the search off the Fraser Coast.


On Wednesday 18 October it landed at Rockhampton Airport for fuel and was photographed by local plane spotter ‘IAD’.




VH-XNE is based at Cairns and on each occasion it flew south from there before completing its search and rescue tasking.  It landed at Brisbane for fuel on Tuesday 17 October.

Of the helicopters that were involved, the locally based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Bell 412 VH-XCO "Rescue 522" was often sighted involved with the search out of Bundaberg Airport.  It was also noted at Gladstone Airport on occasion also being refuelled.

On Tuesday 17 October, RACQ-Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) (Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia) Bell 412EP VH-EPR “Rescue 300” was involved with the search out of its Rockhampton Airport base.  It was also noted at Bundaberg Airport calling in for fuel.

Late on Tuesday 17 October, it appears that both McDermott Aviation / Machjet Aerospatiale AS.365N2 Dauphin helicopters VH-NAR. and N365JL flew north from their Sunshine Coast Airport Base to join the search and spent the night at Bundaberg Airport. They were both noted parked at Bundy early on Wednesday 18 October.

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Also on Wednesday 18 October Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-ESH "Rescue 500" was noted in the search area after flying up from Archerfield.  It was noted at both Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) and Gladstone Airports at various times taking on fuel.

Durf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) Eurocopter (Bolkow) BO105 CBS-5 helicopter VH-NVH “Lifesaver 46” was also heard on Wednesday 18 October and is also believed to have flown up from the Sunshine Coast.

Finally, on Thursday 19 October, RACQ LifeFlight Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters VH-XIJ "Rescue 511" and VH-XIH "Rescue 533" were noted completing med-evac flights from Bundaberg and Hervey Bay back to Brisbane respectively.

Photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Light Jets Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 Bizjet VH-TFW Pops into Biloela / Thangool and Rockhampton Airports Once Again

On Tuesday 17 October, Light Jets Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-TFW was back in CQ once again and was noted arriving into Biloela / Thangool Airport.  It touched down from its Archerfield base.

File photo

After spending the night, VH-TFW then continued to Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 18 October.

After staying for the night, VH-TFW departed Rocky and returned to Archerfield early on Thursday 19 October.

Meanwhile, Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH was also back in CQ this week and was spotted departing Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 18 October for Emerald. 


After departing its Toowoomba base on Sunday 15 October, during this busy week of flying, VH-WPH has also made multiple visits to Emerald, Roma, Saint George and Chinchilla Airports.

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

RACQ Central Queensland (CQ) Rescue Helicopter Rescue Service Remembers Crash Victims


The RACQ-CQ Rescue Helicopter Service (CQ Rescue) has flown over 7400 missions in the Mackay, Isaac, and Whitsunday regions since it was established in 1996. The service is credited with having saved countless lives, and improved the outcomes for many of its patients. Some of the tasks the service attends can be intense, with the crews dealing with the trauma of road accidents and search and rescues.


However, tragedy unfortunately struck the service in 2003 when on Friday 17 October, the CQ Rescue chopper, which was on a routine medical retrieval to Hamilton Island, failed to arrive at its destination.

The wreckage of the Bell 407 chopper VH-HTD (pictured below in 2002) was discovered six metres under water, about 15 kilometres north of Mackay.


The crew, all aged 31, were very experienced at their jobs, but sadly all perished in the tragedy. A memorial stone (pictured below) was unveiled at Mackay Airport, near the RACQ-CQ Rescue building and hangar on the Western side of the Airport.



The RACQ-CQ Rescue Helicopter service is a valuable service that serves a vast area of Central Queensland. Donations are welcomed all year round. Visit the CQ Rescue website (https://cqrescue.org.au/) for details.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 RA-82047 Comes and Gos at Rockhampton Airport Taking Four RSAF Boeing AH-64D Apache Helicopters Home

Under the cover of darkness on Sunday 15 October, Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82047 touched down at Rockhampton Airport, arriving from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport (Malaysia) via Darwin as ADB4096/4097.


A few local plane spotters, along with other members of the public, were on hand as the giant Russian aircraft touched down and taxied onto its parking spot on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron.









As the tech crew departed for their accommodation, the ground engineers were joined by local ground crew and the Antonov commenced loading with its front landing gear being raised and the aircraft placed into its unique 'kneeling' position to allow the loading of its cargo. 


On this flight, the four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters which had been deployed to Rockhampton during the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017, along with their rotor blades and other equipment, were all loaded in preparation for their return to Singapore.











Loading was completed in the wee small hours of Monday 16 October and then soon after the sun came up, RA-82047 made a spectacular departure from Rockhampton Airport flying direct to Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore as VDA4052.








It is interesting to note that the aircraft still wears a sticker on its port-side commemorating 25 years of the Volga Dnepr Group.








The AN-124 is expected to return to Rocky later this week - some reports suggest RA-82047 will touch down once again at Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 19 October - when it will load and transport the remaining two RSAF Boeing CH-47SD Chinook helicopters home to Singapore.

Please note that this flight mentioned above are very much subject to change.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Antonov's visit to Rocky overnight!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©