Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Six Australian Army Blackhawk Helicopters Pass Through Rockhampton and Mackay Airports

Late on Tuesday 14 August, six Australian Army Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters were spotted passing through Rockhampton and Mackay Airports while heading North to Townsville.

The Blackhawks flew up from the South with five of the six landing at Rockhampton Airport for fuel, while it is believed they all landed at Mackay Airport for additional fuel, before they all eventually continued to Townsville after the sun had gone down.

Three Blackhawks – believed to be A25-211, A25-203 and A25-104 – arrived first into Rocky then Mackay under the radio callsign "Phalanx", while the other three arrived singularly with A25-111 as "Kopis 75" and A25-101 as "Copis 74" popping into both Rocky and Mackay while A25-109 as "Kopis 76" headed straight for Mackay.

It is believed the Blackhawks are in Townsville for an Exercise around the city.  Two of the six were photographed on Wednesday 15 August at a media event at Victoria Park in suburban Townsville.

All of the Blackhawks are all flown by the Australian Army's 171st Aviation Squadron (forming part of the 6th Aviation Regiment) based at Holsworthy Barracks near Sydney.

Sincere thanks to the local Rockhampton and Townsville plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photo taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'Shinpow16'  ©

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-KXM Pops into CQ Airports - Plus LifeFlight LearJet 45 VH-VVI "Ambulance 451" Back at Mackay Airport Twice More!

On Monday 13 August and Tuesday 14 August, Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-KXM was back at various CQ Airports.  It has regularly been flying between Cairns and Vanrook Station on recent days after flying North from Bankstown during the latter part of July.

VH-KXM at Rockhampton Airport on a previous visit  (File photo)

On Monday, VH-KXM was noted arriving into Emerald Airport from Cairns before it soon departed to Vanrook Station.  Then on Tuesday, VH-KXM flew into Gayndah Airport from Vanrook Station.  After spending the day on the ground, it departed to Rockhampton Airport before later departing Rocky for the Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, after completing a couple of training flights to Proserpine Airport on Friday 10 August, the LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451" was back in CQ, completing what appeared to be a pair of medical evacuation flights out of Mackay Airport on both Monday 13 August and Tuesday 14 August.  On both flights, VH-VVI arrived into Mackay Airport from Townsville and departed to Brisbane.

Photo taken by ‘IAD’  ©

Monday, August 13, 2018

McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Helicopters Bell (Textron) 214B-1 Big Lifter Helicopter VH-SEK Spotted at Mackay and Rockhampton Airports

Either side of the weekend, the unique and distinctive sound of McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Helicopters Bell Textron Helicopter 214B-1 Big Lifter helicopter VH-SEK was heard in the skies over Central Queensland.

On Friday 10 August, VH-SEK was spotted at Mackay Airport (below) after earlier arriving from Rockhampton Airport and points further South.

Then on Monday 13 August, VH-SEK was spotted at Rockhampton Airport after arriving from Mackay Airport.

After taking on fuel, VH-SEK was photographed departing towards the South.

Photos taken by 'JM' and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Nine New South Wales-based Light GA Aircraft Fly into Rockhampton Airport

What appears to be a 'fly-away' of sorts with as many as nine light general aviation (GA) aircraft noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  During the afternoon on Sunday 12 August, the following aircraft were all noted arriving from Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.  They had arrived there from New South Wales the previous day.

Local plane spotter Kayanne H popped out to Rockhampton Airport early on Monday 13 August and was able to capture some photos of the visiting aircraft with a couple of them noted departing North to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour.

Cessna 182T VH-WRW.

Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee VH-PZF was photographed departing.

Piper PA-32-300 Saratoga VH-CDK was also spotted departing.

Grumman American AA-5B Tiger VH-WPV.


Cessna 172F VH-PQK.

Cessna 172M VH-JZJ.

Not photographed as it had already departed was Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee VH-DXF.

Finally, amongst the arrivals on Sunday afternoon was Raytheon A36 Bonanza VH-YGM which arrived into Rocky direct from Orange and also reportedly part of this group.

Of interest, Air Traffic Control (ATC) radio chatter suggested that as well as this group, there were a couple of other groups of light GA aircraft flying up inland possibly also from New South Wales along with Victoria.

UPDATE!  It appears that this particular group has continued further North from the Whitsundays with some noted calling into Ingham - but all appear to have now flown into Cooktown in Far North Queensland.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and Trevor H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos, as well as providing the great information provided in this post!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 Bizjet VH-WMY Pops into Hamilton Island Airport

On Monday 13 August, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.  It arrived from Melbourne (Essendon) via Bendigo and later departed directly back to Essendon.

VH-WMY at Hamilton Island Airport on a previous visit  (File photo)

Meanwhile, on Saturday 11 August, the visiting Revesco Aviation (of Western Australia) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-ZLT departed Hamilton Island Airport for the Gold Coast.  It had arrived on Wednesday 8 August.

Of interest, it appears that VH-ZLT returned 'home' to Western Australia on Sunday 12 August, departing the Gold Coast for Sydney and Ceduna before it eventually continued to Perth.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Inaugural Fraser Coast Wings and Wheels Takes Off at Maryborough Airport Also on Saturday

Also on Saturday 11 August, the Fraser Coast region turned on equally brilliant weather as a big crowd turned out to enjoy the sights and sounds at the inaugural Fraser Coast Wings and Wheels at the Maryborough Airport.

The event was hosted by the Maryborough Aero Club, in conjunction with the Maryborough Ford Car Club, and combined a car and motor bike show with an aircraft fly-in featuring, warbirds and model aircraft.

Aerotec Queensland flew two of their star attraction aircraft from their Toowoomba base in the form of North American T-28B Trojan VH-ZUK and Pacific Aerospace (PAC) CT-4E VH-CTZ.

Entertainment for all ages included warbird adventure flights, market stalls, music as well as plenty of entertainment for the kids!

It certainly looked like a lovely day at Maryborough and we sincerely thank local plane spotter Dave D along with and the team at Maryborough Aviation Services for allow us to share these great photos!

Maryborough Aviation Services provide regular updates on their great Facebook page:

Photos taken by Dave Deem and Maryborough Aviation Services  ©

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Photos and Report from the Mechanos Wings and Wheels at Mackay Airport on Saturday

With sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'JM', we can bring you some excellent photos of some of the action at the very successful Mechanos Wings and Wheels which was held at Mackay Airport on Saturday 11 August.

As the photos show, 1000s of people from all over Mackay and surrounding areas ventured to Mackay Airport to check out a wide variety of locally-based General Aviation (GA) and ultralight aircraft and helicopters, as well as Graham Aviation (Cairns) Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-FNI which visited for the day.

Also on display were numerous classic and antique cars, motorbikes, trucks, trains and general machinery.  Local model clubs and local drone operators also had displays.

Other activities during the day included joyflights, a demonstration by the local aviation rescue fire-fighting service, live entertainment and rides for the kids!

There was also a stunning airshow flying program highlighted by displays by no less than five of Paul Bennet Airshows' aircraft including Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB, Grumman TBM-3E Avenger VH-MML, CAC CA-3 Wirraway VH-WWY, Aerostar YAK-52 VH-MHH and North American T-28B Trojan VH-FNO.

Of interest, it appeared that both at least VH-MML and VH-FNO possibly returned home to Maitland Airport in New South Wales via Roma Airport on Sunday 12 August.

Another warbird to highlight the airshow program was the late Col Pay's Curtiss Wright Corp P-40E Kittyhawk VH-KTY (41-25109 / RAF serial ET433).

A little later, VH-KTY was joined by Paul Bennet's Avenger VH-MML and Trojan VH-FNO in a three-ship warbird formation display.  Spectacular!

And finally, perhaps the highlight of the day on Saturday 11 August was the visit from RAAF Base Richmond in New South Wales by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-447 which made at least one low over the top, plus a landing and 'power-back' display at the Wings and Wheels before it departed and flew back to Richmond as "Trojan 27".

It certainly looked like a lovely day at Mackay and we sincerely thank 'JM' for taking the time to capture and allow us to share his fantastic photos!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©