Sunday, April 23, 2017

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPI Departs Australia For Good - That's 10 Gone Now!

On Tuesday 18 April, Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPI looked to have departed Australia for good, flying out of Brisbane for Apia (Tonga) as VOZ9901.  It has since continued to Honolulu (Hawaii), Van Nuys (California) and Nashville (Tennessee) for post-lease maintenance.

VH-ZPI is now the tenth Virgin Australia E-190 that has been withdrawn from the fleet (for now) and be transferred to other operators or storage.  It follows VH-ZPD, VH-ZPF, VH-ZPE, VH-ZPG, VH-ZPJ, VH-ZPL, VH-ZPB, VH-ZPA and VH-ZPM whch have all departed Australia since February 2016.

VH-ZPI was the ninth of eleven new aircraft ordered by Virgin Blue in 2006 and it was delivered to Brisbane in September 2008.  It was noted to be wearing the name 'Allie Albury'.

VH-ZPI in Virgin Blue livery lands at Rockhampton Airport in 2013

VH-ZPI in Virgin Australia livery departs Brisbane in late 2014

With the airline renamed in 2011, VH-ZPI was first noted wearing the new titles and livery of Virgin Australia in June 2014.  Of interest, it returned to service following its repaint by flying into Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane as VOZ1235.  VH-ZPI was also renamed 'Seven Mile Beach'.

VH-ZPI's final flight into Central Queensland was back on Wednesday 29 March when it operated the VOZ1707/1710 early morning rotation from Brisbane to Gladstone Airport and back.

VH-ZPI at Gladstone Airport earlier this year

In the meantime, VH-ZPI seemed to operate several Brisbane to Townsville flights before mostly operating out of Sydney for most of this month.

File photos taken by Phil M and Col  ©

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Couple of Bizjets at Rockhampton Airport - Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 N142GZ - Cessna 525 CitationJet1 VH-DAA

On Saturday 22 April, Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It touched down from its Mackay Airport base.

N142GZ at Mackay a little while ago  (File photo)

After several hours on the ground, N142GZ returned to Mackay.

About the same time as the Embraer bizjet departed, Vanguard Aviation Cessna 525 CitationJet1 bizjet VH-DAA was also noted arriving at Rockhampton Airport, possibly from Archerfield.

VH-DAA looks to be staying for the night.

UPDATE!  VH-DAA departed Rockhampton Airport, possibly for Archerfield, on Sunday 23 April.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Three Royal Australian Navy (RAN) MRH-90 Helicopters Depart Gladstone Airport Following Their Deployment for Rockhampton Flood

On Saturday 22 April, the final two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters that had been based at Gladstone Airport for the last few weeks departed to the Gold Coast on the first leg home to HMAS Albatross at Nowra in New South Wales.

A40-016 is pictured departing on Runway 10 as "Poseidon 16".

A short time later, A40-026 also departed Gladstone Airport for the Gold Coast.

The third MRH-90 that was deployed to Gladstone Airport - A40-006 - is believed to have departed during this last week.

All three MRH-90s are flown by the Navy's 808 Squadron based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra and their departure from Gladstone Airport sees the end of a significant deployment which started in Townsville to provide relief to coastal regions down to Airlie Beach as Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit.  They then moved south to Gladstone to help out in the region, particularly Rockhampton, during the recent flood event.  During their deployment, the three MRH-90s were involved with transporting VIPs, delivering water and other supplies and evacuating people from the Whitsunday Islands.

A great job!

All photos taken by Col  ©

New Heli-Aust Whitsundays (of Mackay) Airbus Helicopters EC135 P3 (CPDS) VH-ZGH & VH-ZGP at Mackay and Gladstone Airports

During the early part of this week, a pair of brand new 2017-build Airbus Helicopters EC135 P3 (CPDS) helicopters were unveiled at Mackay Airport for marine pilot operations with the locally-based Heli-Aust Whitsundays (Mackay Helicopters).  It appears that they have taken up the registration markings of VH-ZGH and VH-ZGP.

Then on Wednesday 19 April, VH-ZGH flew direct to Gladstone Airport from Mackay to provide marine pilot transfer flights and training.  It is shown above soon after arriving in the port city.

Then on Friday 21 April, VH-ZGH returned to Mackay Airport from Gladstone and in its place, Whitsunday Helicopters' Agusta A109E Power VH-KZD flew South from Mackay into Gladstone Airport.

It was spotted (above) on Saturday 22 April preparing to depart on a local marine pilot transfer flight.

Of interest and as posted below, a pair of Heli-Aust Whitsundays Eurocopter EC135 P2 helicopters VH-ZGA and VH-ZGZ departed Mackay Airport just under a month ago for operations in Western Australia.

They have since been noted operating out of Port Hedland with the locally-based Port Hedland Helicopters.

Photos taken by Col and 'AC'  ©

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cessna 525A CitationJet2 Bizjet VH-MOR Pops into Biloela / Thangool and Hamilton Island Airports

On Friday 21 April, Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR made yet another visit to Central Queensland, initially touching down at Biloela / Thangool Airport from its Archerfield base.  After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-MOR then headed to Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

VH-MOR has just completed a flight from Hamo back to its Archerfield base.

Meanwhile, on Thursday 20 April, Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000LX VH-WIO visited Hamilton Island Airport once again, touching down from and later returning back to its Bankstown base.

Photo taken by Col  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 Calls into Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 21 April, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 touched down at Rockhampton Airport for a period of time.  The massive transport aircraft operated by the RAAF's 36 Squadron flew North from its RAAF Base Amberley home as "Stallion 50".

After around a couple of hours on the ground where a special guest appeared to be shown through the Globemaster, A41-209 returned to Amberley.

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

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 Bizjet N142GZ Flys to Sydney and Back From Mackay Airport

On Thursday 20 April, Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ had a busy day of flying departing its Mackay Airport base for Sydney.  After a few hours on the ground, it returned home from the New South Wales capital touching down at Mackay Airport after dark.

File photo

Meanwhile, as mentioned below, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC departed Emerald Airport for its Sunshine Coast home also on Thursday 20 April.

File photo

It had a busy week of flying calling into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport as well before heading to Emerald - see Blog post below.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Tamworth-Based Eclipse EA500 Bizjet N465DG Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 20 April, Eclipse EA500 bizjet N465DG touched down at Rockhampton Airport from its Tamworth base via Armidale.

At the time of writing, it remains parked on the General Aviation (GA) Apron at Rocky.

I'm not exactly sure who the operator is here in Australia, however it is interesting to note that another Eclipse EA500 bizjet registered N227G was also once operated out of Tamworth.

Thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for capturing these great photos of another great visitor to CQ!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-351 Makes Two Visits to Rockhampton Airport This Week

A couple of interesting visits at Rockhampton Airport by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air A32-351.

On Wednesday 19 April, A32-351 - flying as "Hudson 03" - touched down at Rocky from RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria.  It later departed to Canberra.

Then on Thursday 20 April, A32-351 - now flying as "Wisdom 04" - touched down at Rocky (as pictured) from Townsville after it had earlier flown there from Canberra via Parkes.

A32-351 departed Rocky again for Canberra.

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

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Brand New Pilatus Australia (Adelaide) Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-PIL Visits Mackay Airport

During the afternoon on Tuesday 18 April, brand new Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-PIL touched down at Mackay Airport from Adelaide.  It stayed for the night and was spotted on the Western General Aviation (WGA) Apron early on Wednesday 19 April.

VH-PIL (C/N 1693) was only delivered to Pilatus Australia at Adelaide Airport last Monday 10 April after it arrived from Bali (Denpasar) and Broome.  It appears to wear a colour scheme promoting the aircraft so it possibly visited Mackay on a demonstration trip.

On Wednesday 19 April, VH-PIL departed to parts unknown before returning to Mackay Airport later in the day.  It then departed back to Adelaide.

This registration marking is quite popular (understandably) for Pilatus PC-12 turboprops - the fantastic 'AustAirData' website ( suggests that this particular PC-12 is the fourth to wear this marking.

The previous PC-12 to be registered VH-PIL - also a PC-12/47E (C/N 1389) - was re-registered as VH-KWZ in January this year and has only recently visited CQ at Hamilton Island Airport last month - see Blog Post HERE.

And speaking of Hamilton Island Airport, a couple of recent interesting turboprop visitors have included Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron VH-EZD which arrived into Hamo from its Monto base via Gladstone Airport last Thursday 13 April.  It returned to Monto but via Rockhampton Airport on Monday 17 April.  While Hinterland Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-HLJ completed a return flight from and back to Cairns as HND780 last Friday 14 April.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Amateur Built AMD-Zodiac CH640 VH-UPS Spotted at Rockhampton Airport - Plus More!

An interesting light aircraft spotted parked on the Rockhampton Airport General Aviation (GA) apron was New South Wales-based Amateur Built AMD-Zodiac CH640 VH-UPS.

It was noted flying into Rocky from Biloela / Thangool Airport on Monday 17 April having earlier flown North from RAAF Base Richmond and Moree (New South Wales).  On Tuesday 18 April, it looked to fly from Rockhampton Airport from Emerald and back.

Meanwhile, also noted visiting Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 18 April was the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ which had a busy day of flying from Brisbane to Rocky and then Townsville and Cairns.  It later returned to Brisbane over the same route.

While visiting Rockhampton Airport from its Sunshine Coast base was Becker Helicopter Services Beech 76 VH-BTO.  And Basair Australia Cessna 206 VH-NCR completed a missed approach at Maryborough and Rockhampton Airports while flying North from Archerfield to Mackay.  After refuelling at Mackay Airport, it returned South to Archerfield over the same route and again completed missed approaches at Rocky and Maryborough also on Tuesday 18 April.

Finally, on Monday 17 April, Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron VH-EZD arrived at Rockhampton Airport from Hamilton Island.  It later departed to its Monto base.  While Brisbane-based Amateur built Lancair ES VH-DFH departed Rocky for Archerfield also on Monday 17 April.

Photo taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) B737 Wedgetail A30-001 Missed Approaches at Rockhampton and Hervey Bay Airport

On Tuesday 18 April, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-001 "Wedgetail 01" was noted completing airwork in two different parts of CQ.

A30-001 completes a missed approach at Rockhampton  (File photo)

It initially flew up from the South and completed a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport before continuing to Townsville.  After departing Townsville, A30-001 then completed a missed approach at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport before continuing back to the South.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 18 April, it was believed that as many as three RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets flying as "Colt", accompanied by RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-005 "Dragon 17", flew up from RAAF Base Amberley into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) North of Rockhampton for airwork.  They were later heard to all return to Amberley.

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Avcair (Earth Commodities) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo Bizjet VH-CCJ at Mackay and Gladstone Airports

Back in CQ once again on Tuesday 18 April was the Avcair (Earth Commodities) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-CCJ.

It flew North from Brisbane and touched down at Gladstone Airport briefly before continuing North to Mackay Airport.

After a few hours on the ground, VH-CCJ departed Mackay and returned to Gladstone Airport where, as per usual, it looked to be staying for at least the night.

UPDATE!  As per its previous visits to CQ, VH-CCJ departed Gladstone Airport for Bundaberg Airport early on Wednesday 19 April.  It then returned to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, another bizjet to visit CQ on Tuesday 18 April was the familiar sight of Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra VH-MMC.  It touched down at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport from its Sunshine Coast base.  It too looks to be staying at Prosie for at least the night.

UPDATE!  VH-MMC departed Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport for Emerald Airport on Wednesday 19 April.  It is also due to depart to the Sunshine Coast from Emerald on Thursday 20 April.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show at Raglan 2017 - Full RAAF Roulettes Display Team AND Matt Hall AND Paul Bennet are Back!!

It's on again!! The Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show - hosted by the Creed Family at "The Old Station" farm at Raglan, about 50km South of Rockhampton - will be held from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 May 2017 - celebrating 26 years since The Old Station first staged this very unique and popular fly-in event.

And Leonie Creed of The Old Station has announced that again, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have graciously decided to send not one, but the entire Roulettes elite formation aerobatic display team to participate and cap off celebrations on the Saturday Airshow!

Yet again, Australia's own Top Gun pilot Matt Hall will be in attendance for the weekend shortly before he will jet off to compete in the Japanese leg of the Red Bull Air Race 2017 World Championship.

And Paul Bennet will again be bringing a selection of his aircraft including the mighty Grumman TBM-3E Avenger Warbird and the smart little Wolf Pitts Pro aerobatic bi-plane.

As usual, the entire weekend is again being hosted by the Old Station Flying Club, and the action is scheduled to kick off on the Friday afternoon, when the RAAF Roulettes and most other aviators intending to participate during the weekend will arrive.  This will be followed by a Friday evening informal meet-and-greet at The Feed Barn where 'Old Station Beef Stew & Damper' will be available for sale along with other hot foods. A licenced bar will be operating.

The Saturday sees most other aircraft arrive, followed by numerous flying displays and joyflights. The spectacular Air Show will commence at 3.00pm sharp - featuring numerous warbirds and of course, Matt Hall and Paul Bennet!!

Saturday Evening sees sawing competitions, presentation of trophies, bonfires, fireworks and a live band playing all night!  There are also various food stalls and licenced bar operating again!!

More flying displays and joyflights will operate on the Sunday morning with most aircraft expected to be heading home by the early afternoon.

Both days at the Old Station Farm also feature heritage machinery on display and a huge car and truck show, as well as tractor pulling!!

It's a great weekend at the Old Station Farm with camping available on site, and for plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts, there is a great mix of antique and new aircraft and helicopters on display. And we will be there again this year!!

As mentioned, there is also plenty of food, a licenced bar, drinks, stalls, joyflights, a fashion parade, children's entertainment, and a live band on the Saturday night.  There are also lots of prizes to win!!

Admission is $20 per day by donation (with children under 12 free!), and camping charges start at $60 per site.  All proceeds will aid the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS).

For further information and enquiries contact Leonie Creed by phone on (07) 4934 6562 or 0438 346 563, or by email by clicking HERE.

Alternatively, the Old Station Flying Club website can be found at:

The Old Station has played host to similar events over the last few years, and as the photos above show, it is a picturesque rural setting and a great day full of action!!  It's a fun day for the whole family!!  We'll see you there!!