Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Couple of Photos From Biloela / Thangool Airport - Fly Corporate (Corporate Air) SAAB 340B+ (WT) VH-VEP - Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) Brekkie Fly-in and AGM

On Thursday 17 August, Fly Corporate (Corporate Air) SAAB 340B+ (WT) VH-VEP was spotted arriving and departing at Biloela / Thangool Airport on their scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services from and back to Brisbane.

VH-VEP touched down at Bilo from Brisbane as flight FC443 and later returned there as FC444.

Since February this year, Fly Corporate (Corporate Air) has operated RPT services into Biloela / Thangool Airport from and back to Brisbane following the withdrawal of services by Qantas.

File photo

File photo

Fly Corporate (usually) operate 34-seat SAAB 340B Plus turbo-prop aircraft on afternoon return flights from Brisbane on Mondays and Fridays, as well as morning return services every weekday. They will also offer a Sunday afternoon return service.

Meanwhile, a little earlier on Thursday 17 August, the early morning freight run into Biloela / Thangool Airport from Brisbane, which was operated by General Aviation Maintenance (GAM) Dornier DO 228-202 VH-VJE, was forced to divert to Gladstone Airport after fog and low visibility presented it from landing at Bilo.  It later continued from Gladstone Airport to Emerald Airport.

Finally, last Saturday 12 August, the locally-based Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) held their monthly breakfast fly-in at Biloela / Thangool Airport with a nice variety of aircraft and aviators touching down to enjoy a great morning of catching up, along with the yummy omelettes!

CDFG President, Chris Watson, has also given notice that Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Callide Dawson Flying Game will be held on Saturday 9 September which will be the same day as the September monthly breakfast fly-in.

Nominations for committee positions will be accepted from two weeks prior, from Saturday 26 August.

Make sure these dates are in your calendar - it is important for the club.

Sincere thanks to Rolleston-based pilot Hayden Jones for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos from Biloela / Thangool Airport!

Photos taken by Hayden Jones and Brandon Giacomin  ©

Friday, August 18, 2017

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 Pops into Rockhampton Airport

Soon after the sun set on Friday 18 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-001 was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport as "Dragon 13".

It looked to arrive from the North and later departed to RAAF Base Amberley.

Sincere thanks to local aviation photographer Ash B who was at the right place at the right time and sent through this nice photo from his phone!

Photo taken by Ash Burggraaff  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C A30-006 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 18 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-006 was noted completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

RAAF Wedgetail A30-006 Completes a Missed Approach at Rocky  (File photo)

A30-006 was flying as "Wedgetail 07" and flew up to Rockhampton from the South.  After completing the airwork, the Wedgetail departed back to the South.

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPN Departs Australia For Good

On Monday 14 August, Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPN 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.  Its departure from Australia comes just 10 days after fellow E-190 VH-ZPR also departed for Nashville - see Blog Post HERE.

VH-ZPN arrives into Rockhampton Airport  (File photo)

VH-ZPN is the latest in a long line of Virgin Australia E-190 jets that have 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, VH-ZPM, VH-ZPI ,VH-ZPC, VH-ZPQ, VH-ZPK and VH-ZPR which have all departed Australia since February 2016.

It's probably now easier to post that four E-190s remain in the Virgin fleet - VH-ZPH, VH-ZPO and VH-ZPT.

VH-ZPN was the last of three additional aircraft ordered new by Virgin Blue in February 2007.  It entered the Australian register and was delivered to the airline in Brisbane in August 2009.

VH-ZPN in Pacific Blue colours at Gladstone Airport in 2012  (File photo)

Despite being registered to and operating for Virgin Blue, VH-ZPN wore the full titles and colours of Pacific Blue Airlines - Virgin Blue's New Zealand-based subsidiary.  VH-ZPN also wore the name 'Kanga Blue'.

With Virgin Blue being renamed and rebranded as Virgin Australia Airlines in May 2011, VH-ZPN was rolled out in 2013 in full Virgin Australia livery and looked to take up the name 'Arrawarra Beach'.

VH-ZPN at Brisbane in 2013 soon after repainting  (File photo)

Of interest, VH-ZPN was only withdrawn from service two days prior to its departure overseas.  It appears that its final flight into Central Queensland was back on Sunday 30 July when it operated in to Mackay Airport and back from Brisbane as VOZ605/608.

VH-ZPN arrives into Mackay Airport last year  (File photo)

The decision to reduce Virgin’s Embraer E190 regional jet fleet, as well as its ATR fleet, was first announced in June 2016.

Sad to see them go!

Photo taken by 'IAD' and Brendan Berry  ©

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Brand New Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 Bizjet VH-ZIY Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 17 August, recently delivered Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 bizjet VH-ZIY was spotted on final approach to Rockhampton Airport's Runway 33 after flying North from Archerfield.  It had earlier flown into Archerfield from its Sunshine Coast base.

This was the first flight completed by Machjet's newest Citation bizjet after it was delivered to the Sunny Coast via Townsville Airport on Friday 4 August.

They also fly fellow Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-SIY which is a frequent visitor to CQ and interestingly flew into Darwin presumably from the Sunshine Coast also on Thursday 17 August.

VH-ZIY later returned to Archerfield from Rocky before finishing the day back at the Sunshine Coast.

Also on Thursday 17 August, Professional Jet Aviation Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-CDG was noted also visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It initially flew into Brisbane from its Gold Coast base before it headed for Rocky.  It appears that VH-CDG is staying at Rockhampton Airport for the night.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday 16 August, a nice corporate General Aviation (GA) visitor was alos spotted on short final onto Runway 33 at Rockhampton Airport in the form of New South Wales-based SOCATA TBM-850 VH-KOF.

It flew North from and later departed back to Archerfield.

Finally, Monto-based Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron VH-EZD has been noted visiting Rockhampton Airport on no-less than three occasions over the last week.  It was spotted below departing for Hamilton Island Airport last Friday 11 August.

On Tuesday 15 August, VH-EZD was also noted touching down at Bundaberg Airport, arriving from Rockhampton and Monto.

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

JetGo Australia Embraer ERJ-135LR VH-JGB Involved with Collision with Runway Lighting at Middlemount Aerodrome

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a collision with runway lighting involving JetGo Australia Embraer ERJ-135LR VH-JGB at Middlemount Aerodrome last Tuesday 8 August.

File photo

The aircraft landed close to the beginning of the runway. After landing, a runway inspection was carried out which found two runway threshold lights damaged. The Captain was notified and an aircraft inspection carried out prior to a subsequent departure. There were no injuries and the aircraft was not damaged.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the flight crew and gather additional information.  A report will be released within several months.

As reported below, JetGo commenced a new Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) contract in mid-July on behalf of Middlemount Coal.  The flights call into Middlemount Aerodrome from and back to Brisbane on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings and will initially be flown by the E-135 and E-140 aircraft before the airline takes delivery of their first 50-seat Embraer E-145.

Air Link (Dubbo) Beech 1900D VH-RUE Visits Longreach Airport

Here's one aircraft that CQ Plane Spotting hasn't seen for a little while!

On Tuesday 15 August, Air Link Beech 1900D VH-RUE arrived into Longreach Airport from Sydney.

The previous day, it was noted operating scheduled services from Cobar via its Dubbo base in New South Wales to Sydney.

After staying for the night, on Wednesday 16 August, VH-RUE departed Longreach Airport Mount Isa and the RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.

As mentioned, Air Link is a Dubbo based subsidiary of Regional Express Airlines (REX).  It provides both charter and scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services within New South Wales, most notably connecting Sydney with Dubbo and Cobar.

Meanwhile, last Friday 11 August, Brisbane-based Pesca Aviation  AeroCommander 690-A Turbo Commander VH-ATF was noted passing through Longreach Airport while flying from the Sweers Island Resort Airstrip to Archerfield.

And  Alizzi Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-ZOS also called into Longreach Airport on Friday 11 August, arriving from its Ballarat base in Victoria and later departing to Cairns.

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

All photos taken by Calen Harvey  ©

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Preparations at Rockhampton Airport for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017 - 2x Antonov AN-124s - Heavy Jet Passenger Charters

Preparations are beginning around Rockhampton Airport for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017, which is scheduled to take place around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) from Thursday 31 August to Saturday 14 October.

As usual, there will be a significant deployment and redeployment of personnel and equipment taking place before, during and after the Exercise through Rockhampton Airport.  This will be highlighted by multiple visits by the giant Antonov AN-124 cargo jet with two inbound flights already being rumoured to be touching down as early as next week!

There will also be several heavy jet passenger charter flights with information suggesting that these will be operated by as many as three commercial airlines bringing twin-engine and four-engine aircraft to Rockhampton Airport as various times during the Exercise period.

Recently released AirServices Australia and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) documents indicate that Exercise Wallaby 2017 will see the participation of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and military helicopters including Boeing CH-47SD Chinooks, Boeing AH-64D Apache and Aerospatiale / Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopters which will operate from both Rockhampton Airport and from within the Exercise area.

Stay tuned to the Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog Facebook Page or Twitter Feed for the latest news and movements associated with Exercise Wallaby 2017.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-447 Completes Airwork at Gladstone and Mackay Airports

On Monday 14 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-447 was noted conducting airwork up the Queensland coast after appearing to earlier depart RAAF Base Amberley as "Ausy 615".

File photo

It appears to have earlier departed RAAF Base Richmond before landing at Amberley for a short period of time.

A97-447 "Ausy 615" was heard completing an overshoot onto Runway 28 at Gladstone Airport before continuing further North where it was then noted overflying Rockhampton.  It is believed that A97-447 then completed a missed approach at Mackay Airport.

Photo taken by Simon Coates  ©

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 Jet VH-JFE Spotted in New (Standard) Livery - While Alliance Also Takes Delivery of F-70 PH-KBX Formerly of Dutch Royal Family

Over the last week or so, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jet VH-JFE has made multiple visits into CQ Airports - Gladstone, Bundaberg, Emerald and even Rockhampton - as it completed both scheduled services for Virgin Australia and Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights.  What has been interesting to note is that VH-JFE now wears the standard Alliance Airlines livery (presumably) following a period of scheduled maintenance with Austrian Technik Bratislava (ATB), a Lufthansa group company specialising in servicing Fokker aircraft in Slovakia.

VH-JFE was acquired by Alliance Airlines in 2013 after the Fokker spent a short time stored following two years operating for Air Panama as HP-1732PST.

Previous to that it has been one of two corporate Fokker F-70 jets operated by the Ford Motor Company (Ford Holdings Financing Inc) as N324K.  The other Ford corporate Fokker F-70 jet was N322K which has since become VH-JFB also with Alliance!

Meanwhile, on Sunday 6 August, Alliance Airlines took delivery of Fokker F-70 jet PH-KBX with it arriving into Townsville Airport from Kupang (Indonesia).  On Monday 7 August, PH-KBX continued to Brisbane where it has remained parked prior to entering pre-service maintenance with Alliance.

Until February this year, PH-KBX was operated by the Royal Netherlands Air Force / Government of the Netherlands as a VIP transport aircraft.  It has been noted visiting Australia bring members of the Dutch Royal Family to the country on more than one occasion.

It is due to take up the Australian registration marking of VH-KBX and has reportedly maintained its VIP interior to possibly become Alliance Airlines' new 'corporate charter aircraft'.

Photos taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C Bizjet VH-OAA Back at Hamilton Island Airport Yet Again!

Days after departing back to its Melbourne (Essendon) base, Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C bizjet VH-OAA was noted arriving back into Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 9 August VH-OAA.  It touched down once again from its Melbourne (Essendon) base.

It later departed Hamo for Brisbane - where it is pictured arriving - above.

Then early on Friday 11 August, VH-OAA departed Brisbane and was noted visiting Moranbah Airport.  After a few hours on the ground, it departed to the Gold Coast before flying back North and touching down at Hamilton Island Airport once again.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Friday, August 11, 2017

United States Navy (USN) Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk 168538 / RB-07 of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) 'Island Knights' Pops into Rockhampton Airport as "Knightrider 07"

On Friday 11 August, United States Navy (USN) Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk (Knighthawk) helicopter 168538 / RB-07 was photographed by local plane spotter ‘IAD’ as it arrived into Rockhampton Airport as "Knightrider 07".

It looked to arrive from the USS Bonhomme Richard and after dropping off passenger, it was noted returning to the Ship.

The Knighthawk is flown by the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) "Island Knights" and is presently deployed and assigned with CVW-5 on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6).  It is also reported that the "Island Knights" squadron is based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Sincere thanks to to ‘IAD’ for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by ‘IAD’  ©