Saturday, June 15, 2019

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-022 Pops into Rockhampton Airport as "Midnight"

A nice surprise visitor into Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 15 June with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-022 touching down from the South-East (presumably off an RAN ship) as "Midnight".







After taking on fuel, A40-022 departed to Townsville.

This is the first time we've heard the radio callsign "Midnight" and research reveals it to be of the Navy's 808 Squadron which is based at HMAS Albatross at\ Nowra in New South Wales.

Nice!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Friday, June 14, 2019

Remembering the Crash of a USAF B-17C Flying Fortress at Bakers Creek near Mackay on 14 June 1943

During the Second World War, the United States Army Air Corps established rest and recreation facilities in Mackay. From the end of January 1943 until early 1944, thousands of United States servicemen were ferried almost daily from New Guinea to Mackay by air transport to spend around 10 days R&R. They were usually carried by two B-17 Flying Fortresses converted for transport duties and an LB-30 (civil transport version of the B-24 Liberator bomber), stationed in Mackay with the 46th Troop Carrier Squadron, whose parent Unit was stationed in Townsville, Queensland.

On Monday 14 June 1943, just before dawn, at about 6 a.m., Boeing B-17C, Serial/Tail Number 40-2072, known as "Miss Every Morning Fixin", took off from Mackay headed for Port Moresby. There were six crew and 35 passengers aboard. A few minutes after take-off, it crashed, at Bakers Creek, 8km South of Mackay, killing all but one of those on board.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery. The aircraft took off into fog and, soon after, made a turn at low altitude. The crash remains Australia's worst air disaster.

The sole survivor was Foye Kenneth Roberts who died at Wichita Falls, Texas on 4 February 2004.

Local residents gathered at the Bakers Creek Memorial site to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the crash in 2013, and to mark the occasion, a booklet titled Biosketches of the Fallen, has been published.

The memorial was constructed in Bakers Creek in 1981 consisting of two brick columns aligned northwards on which are mounted flag poles and two brass plaques facing eastwards. Between the columns is a large aircraft propeller of a type fitted to Douglas C-47/DC-3/Dakota airplanes that was supplied by the Royal Australian Air Force. The plaques describe the crash and list the men known to have perished as well as the sole survivor. Fixed above the propeller is a bronze model of a Flying Fortress aircraft that was added on 13 June 2003.

Another memorial located behind the Australian embassy in Washington D.C. commemorates the accident. Because embassies are considered foreign soil, the Bakers Creek Memorial Association petitioned American lawmakers to relocate the memorial. After several years of negotiation, a dedication ceremony took place 11 June 2009 at the memorial's new home just north-west of the Selfridge Gate in Fort Myer, Virginia.


More information can be found at Peter Dunn's Australia At War website (www.ozatwar.com).

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules Transport Aircraft A97-440 Pops into Williamson Airfield in Shoalwater Bay

During the early part of the afternoon on Thursday 13 June, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft A97-440 was noted overflying Rockhampton Airport and arriving into the Williamson Airfield within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

A97-440 at Rockhampton Airport  (File photo)

It looked to arrive from the South and later it departed to its home at RAAF Base Richmond, again overflying Rockhampton.

A97-440 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Trojan 21".

Photo taken by Daniel Bishop  ©

Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-020 "Destrier 129" Calls into Rockhampton Airport to Rescue Fellow MRH-90 A40-026 from Wednesday

On Thursday 13 June, Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-020 was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville as "Destrier 129".
















It looked to bring spare parts and personnel to 'fix' the broken down Australian Army / Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-026 which called into Rockhampton Airport from the South as "Destrier 113" on Wednesday 12 June.




With the repairs successfully complete, both MRH-90s departed Rockhampton Airport for Townsville - A40-026 again as "Destrier 113" and A40-020 again as "Destrier 129".

Sincere thanks to local photographer Russell P for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Russell Prothero  ©

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Couple of Super King Airs Around Central Queensland Airports Yesterday and Today

On Wednesday 12 June, Sundown Pastoral Company (of Bonogin in the Gold Coast Hinterland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-NSI was noted arriving into Rolleston Aerodrome direct from the Gold Coast.

File photo

It later departed to Ayr.

Meanwhile, SFC Farming (of Goondiwindi) Raytheon B200 King Air VH-TXT was noted visiting Clermont Aerodrome, arriving from and then later departed back to Mundine Airport in New South Wales.

Finally, early on Tuesday 11 June, Australian Country Choice Properties (Brisbane) Beech B300 Super King Air VH-SQR was reportedly heading to Moranbah Airport from Archerfield but was forced to divert to Emerald Airport due to thick fog and low cloud around Moranbah.  It was later able to depart Emerald Airport for Moranbah Airport.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Another Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft A34-009 "Kaos 36" Completes Airwork and Pops into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport

Late on Wednesday 12 June, and for the second day in-a-row, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft was noted completing airwork in different parts around the Wide Bay and Fraser Coast regions of Central Queensland.

File photo

On this occassion, the Spartan was identified as A34-009 which was flying as "Kaos 36" and looked to once again fly up from it home at RAAF Base Amberley.

It again completed airwork at various parts before landing at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport for a short period of time.  A34-009 then returned to Amberley.

Photo taken by David Geck  ©️

Australian Army / Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-026 "Destrier 113" Arrives into Rockhampton Airport - And Breaks Down!

On Wednesday 12 June, Australian Army / Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-026 was noted calling into Rockhampton Airport from the South as "Destrier 113".

File photo

It was then presumably due to depart to Townsville, however the MRH-90 appeared to encounter a technical problem and remains parked at Rockhampton Airport.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 13 June, A40-026 was repaired and departed Rockhampton Airport for Townsville once again as "Destrier 113" - see Blog post above for more.

Photo taken by 'Mick'  ©

RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-002 Missed Approach at Hamilton Island Airport

On Wednesday 12 June, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-002 was noted completing a missed approach at Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

A30-002 was flying as "Wedgetail 04" and looked to fly up to Hamo from RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle in New South Wales.  It was later noted returning South, presumably heading back to Williamtown.

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft A34-008 "Kaos 32" Completes Airwork and Pops into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport

Late on Tuesday 11 June, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-008 was noted completing airwork in different parts around the Wide Bay and Fraser Coast regions of Central Queensland.

File photo

A34-008 was flying as "Kaos 32" and looked to come up from RAAF Base Amberley. The Spartan then appeared to eventually land at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.

After a short time on the ground, A34-008 departed Hervey Bay Airport and returned to Amberley.

Photo taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-005 Missed Approach at Gladstone Airport

On Tuesday 11 June, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-005 was noted completing a missed approach at Gladstone Airport.

File photo

A30-005 was flying as "Wedgetail 03" and reportedly flew up to Gladstone from RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle in New South Wales.  After completing its airwork at Gladstone Airport, A30-005 was noted returning to Williamtown via airwork at HMAS Albatross at Nowra.

Photo taken by Daniel Bishop  ©