Monday, May 22, 2017

RAAF Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 Pops into Bundaberg and Hamilton Island Airports

On Monday 22 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 was noted touching down at Bundaberg Airport from Coffs Harbour as "Envoy 25".  It appears that the BBJ was operating one of its many training flights up and down the East coast of Australia.

A36-002 at Hamo on a similar training flight last year  (File photo)

After a short time on the ground at Bundy, the BBJ departed North and was noted landing at Hamilton Island Airport.  After a short time on the ground at Hamo, A36-002 continued further North to Cairns before finally landing at Townsville.

Given recent history, I assume that A36-002 will head South from Townsville on Tuesday 23 May perhaps via Proserpine or Mackay or Rockhampton Airports.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa Helicopters A17-015 & A17-039 Pop into Rockhampton Airport as "Breaker"

On Monday 22 May, a pair of Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa helicopters were spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from the South as "Breaker".



They were identified and photographed by local plane spotter Kayanne H as A17-015 and A17-039.



After the Kiowas were refuelled and the crews had lunch, they again both departed flying together towards the North again as "Breaker".

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

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra Bizjet VH-PSU Pops into Maryborough and Rockhampton Airports

Another bizjet doing the rounds on Monday 22 May was the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra Bizjet VH-PSU which was spotted at Maryborough Airport.


It arrived from Brisbane it departed a short time later to Rockhampton Airport.

After spending a short while on the ground in Rocky, VH-PSU returned to Brisbane.

Photo taken by David Geck  ©

MWP Racing Bombardier CL-600-2A12 Challenger 601 Bizjet VH-MXK Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Monday 22 May, the smart little MWP Racing Bombardier CL-600-2A12 Challenger 601 bizjet VH-MXK was spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It is pictured arriving from the Gold Coast.



After a short while on the ground, VH-MXK departed to Melbourne (Essendon) Airport.

Meanwhile, a couple of interesting light General Aviation (GA) aircraft were also spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport on Monday 22 May.  Cessna 208 Caravan VH-DJG popped in from Dalby.  It was also noted visiting Rocky on Saturday 20 May and twice more during last week.


Pekal Aviation of Boggabilla (NSW) Partenavia P.68B VH-JQM visited Rockhampton Airport from Goondiwindi.


And locally-based Atlass-Aerometrix (Atlass Aviation) Vulcanair (Partenavia) P.68C VH-KBO arrived from the Sunshine Coast.

Finally, over the course of Sunday 21 May and Monday 22 May, it appeared that Air Queensland Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain VH-XLB may have been completed a series of training flights, which included several landings and airwork at several Central Queensland Airports.

On Sunday, VH-XLB departed its Redcliffe base for Cairns, flying via Maryborough, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Hamilton Island and Townsville Airports.  After remaining parked overnight at Cairns, on Monday, VH-XLB departed Cairns and returned to Redcliffe flying via Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Maryborough Airports.

What an adventure!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLV Calls into Rockhampton Airport Twice!

Late on Saturday 20 May, Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLV was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville as RXA9915.  After staying parked for the night at Rocky, VH-ZLV departed back to Townsville early on Sunday 21 May as RXA9506.

File photo

It appears that the SAAB transported the local Central Queensland (CQ) Capras team North to take on the Townsville Blackhawks in the latest round of the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) Intrust Super Cup.

After the Capras and Blackhawks played out a draw, VH-ZLV was noted returning the Capras to Rockhampton late on Sunday 21 May from Townsville as RXA9507.  It then returned to Townsville from Rocky as RXA9918.

LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451" Pops into Rockhampton Airport Twice!

In the space of a few hours, the LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451" was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport on separate occasions late on Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May.

VH-VVI at Rockhampton Airport late last year  (File photo)

VH-VVI initially called into Emerald Airport from its Townsville base before it flew across to Rockhampton Airport.  It then departed to Brisbane.  Soon after midnight on Sunday 21 May it then returned to Rocky before flying back again to Brisbane.

VH-VVI then returned to Townsville.

A busy night!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cessna 560XL Citation XLS Bizjet VH-XCU arrives at Hamilton Island Airport - Plus Flight Disruptions Late Last Week Due to Weather

Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS bizjet VH-XCU was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 20 May from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon) Airports.

VH-XCU at Cairns Airport  (File photo)

At the time of writing, it remains parked at Hamo.

Meanwhile, on Thursday 18 May, there were several flight cancellations and disruptions due to low cloud and rain which passed through parts of Central Queensland and Whitsundays.  It appeared that all three Virgin Australia flights (from and back to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney) and the sole Jetstar Airways flight from and back to Sydney were all cancelled.  It appeared that the Qantas service from and back to Sydney - operated by a QantasLink Boeing B717-200 - was cancelled, but two QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 flights from Cairns and Brisbane respectively landed ok.

Also, a Jetstar Airways flight into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport couldn't land at Prosie and returned to Brisbane also on Thursday 18 May.

Photo taken by the FNQ Skies Blog  ©

Friday, May 19, 2017

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-004 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 19 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-004 was noted completing a missed approach at very cloudy Rockhampton Airport.

File photo

It was noted flying into Rocky from the South and then looked to head towards RAAF Base Amberley after completing the missed approach.  A39-004 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Dragon 32".

Meanwhile, after arriving on Thursday 18 May and bringing Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to town, the visiting RAAF Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 was heard to depart Rockhampton Airport early on Friday 19 May for Emerald flying again as "Wisdom 53".  The BBJ was later noted departing for Sydney and then Canberra.

Photo taken by ‘IAD’  ©

And Business Aviation Solutions Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-BLM Pops Into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport

Business Aviation Solutions Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-BLM was noted calling into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport early on Friday 19 May from its Gold Coast base via Brisbane.

File photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

After a few hours on the ground, it returned South to Brisbane before returning to the Gold Coast.

Vanguard Aviation Cessna 525 CitationJet1 VH-DAA Pops into Rockhampton Airport - Plus Cessna 560 Citation Ultra VH-MMC Airwork at Gladstone Airport

On Friday 19 May, Vanguard Aviation Cessna 525 CitationJet1 bizjet VH-DAA was noted arriving at Rockhampton Airport from Archerfield.  It spent most of the day parked on the General Aviation (GA) Apron and departed back to Archerfield during the late afternoon.

VH-DAA (now with Winglets!) at CQ recently  (File photo)

Meanwhile, also on Friday 19 May, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC was noted completing airwork around Gladstone Airport including a practice ILS approach and overshoot while on a near-two hour long flight out of and back to its Sunshine Coast base.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Thursday, May 18, 2017

General Aviation Maintenance (GAM) Dornier DO 228-202 VH-VJN Diverts Blackwater Airport Due Weather at Emerald

On Wednesday 17 May, General Aviation Maintenance (GAM) Dornier DO 228-202 VH-VJN was unable to land at Emerald Airport and was forced to divert to Blackwater Airport due to low cloud and rain which was passing through parts of Central Queensland.  It was completing its morning flight from Brisbane via Biloela / Thangool Airport.

File photo

After a couple of hours on the ground at Blackwater, VH-VJN flew to Emerald Airport and landed successfully.

UPDATE!  There were more disruptions to flights in and out of Emerald and also Moranbah Airports on Thursday 19 May.  Several flights operated by QantasLink and Virgin Australia (including Alliance Airlines into Emerald) were either cancelled or delayed due to the inclement weather affecting CQ.

Cessna 525A CitationJet2 VH-MOR Pops into Mackay Airport - Plus Two Visits by LifeFlight LearJet 45 VH-VVI "Ambulance 451"

In the late evening on Thursday 18 May, Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR popped into Mackay Airport from Archerfield.  After a short time on the ground, it returned to Archerfield.

VH-MOR at Mackay Airport recently  (File photo)

Meanwhile, also touching down at Mackay Airport a little later on Thursday 18 May was LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451".  It touched down from Brisbane and later departed to Townsville.

This was the LearJet's second visit to the sugar city during the week with VH-VVI also calling into Mackay Airport in the early evening on Tuesday 16 May.  On that occasion it touched down from Townsville and Cairns before departing to Brisbane after around an hour on the ground.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 at Rockhampton Airport Again This Week - This Time with PM on Board!

On Thursday 18 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 made its second visit to Rockhampton Airport for the week, this time touching down from Brisbane as "Wisdom 53".









The RAAF VIP 34 Squadron aircraft appears to have brought Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other Federal Government Ministers to Rocky for a series of engagements.


As this post is being written, A36-001 seems to be staying for at least the night.

Also calling back into Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 18 May, was the Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-042.


It arrived back into Rocky from Townsville and later departed to the Oakey Army Aviation Centre.  It was heard to be again using the radio callsign of "Saxon 46".

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters 'IAD' and Daniel B for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Daniel Bishop  ©

More Photos as Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ330 Comes and Gos at Rockhampton Airport

Certainly a popular arrival into Central Queensland was the Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ330 which touched down at Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 17 May as "Ascot 2136" direct from Hickam Field (Hickam Air Force Base) in Hawaii.


























After staying for the night, ZZ330 was loaded with personnel and their cargo before departing a rain-soaked Rockhampton Airport early on Thursday 18 May as "Ascot 2137" for Brunei.




The Voyager appears to have collected personnel which may have been involved with exercises with local troops in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).  It seems they arrived into Townsville in early April on board another RAF KC2 Voyager ZZ335.

Back in Rocky, the Voyager isn't the first RAF aircraft to visit Rockhampton Airport - although it has been a while!  One local plane spotter recalls RAF Armstrong Whitworth Argosy and Fairey Gannet aircraft visiting many years ago during a military exercise.

All the same, its visit was a very pleasant surprise and great warm-up for the coming months when Rockhampton Airport is expected to play a significant support role during the Australian and American joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Daniel B for taking the time over the last couple of days to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Daniel Bishop  ©