Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Exercise Wallaby 2018 - Four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing CH-47D Chinook Helicopters Arrive into Rockhampton Airport

With the Singapore Armed Force's Military Exercise Wallaby 2018 expected to officially kick off later this week, on Tuesday 18 September, four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters were photographed arriving into Rockhampton Airport, flying direct from their new base at Oakey.

The CH-47D Chinook helicopters were identified wearing the serial numbers 88181, 88182, 88183 and 88188 which are four of five which deployed to the Oakey Army Aviation Centre in June this year following a deployment in the United States of America (USA).

The four Chinook helicopters flew into Rockhampton Airport in formation as "Cyclops".

It is also believed that this is the first time these or any of the RSAF CH-47D model Chinook helicopters have visited Rockhampton and CQ to participate in Exercise Wallaby with CH-47SD ('Super D') model Chinook helicopters usually being transported down to Rocky for the exercise on board an Antonov AN-124.

Of interest, the Chinook helicopters are flown by the RSAF's 127 Helicopter Squadron which is based at the Sembawang Air Base (SBAB) in Singapore, however as mentioned, with a detachment at Oakey.

The squadron goes by the motto of "Strength, Courage, Swiftness", the motto is supported by the squadron motif, a white horse in full battle armour.

Meanwhile, it appears that four RSAF Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters are ready to fly after they arrived on board the Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 late last week.  The four Apaches have been noted flying out and back from Rockhampton Airport in pairs at different times on Monday 17 September and were heard using the familiar radio callsigns of "Atom" and "Astro".

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

Photos taken by Trevor Hardsman and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Six Australian Army Blackhawk Helicopters Spotted Passing Back Through Rockhampton and Bundaberg Airports

During Sunday 16 September, the six Australian Army Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters that ventured North to Townsville for an exercise during August, were spotted passing back South through Rockhampton and Bundaberg Airports while heading home from Townsville.

Blackhawks A25-111 as "Kopis 111", A25-104 as "Kopis 104"and A25-109 as "Kopis 109" all flew IFR into Rocky from Townsville.

While A25-203 as "Phalanx 73" and A25-101 and A25-211 flying together as "Phalanx", all flew VFR into Rocky also from Townsville.

After taking on fuel, A25-111 departed South followed by A25-101, A25-211 and A25-203 which all departed together as "Phalanx" with these three then landing at Bundaberg Airport where they had another fuel stop.

A25-104 suffered a maintenance issue and remained parked at Rockhampton Airport and looked to be staying for the night.  While after trying to assist the stranded Blackhawk, A25-109 later departed direct to Oakey as "Kopis 109".

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 18 September, A25-104 was heard finally departing Rockhampton Airport also for Oakey as "Kopis 104".

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 plane spotters Trevor H and Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Trevor Hardsman  ©

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Thai-Registered Diamond DA-42 NG Twin Star HS-MAR Arrives into Rockhampton Airport

A nice arrival into Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 15 September with Asian Spirit Thailand-registered Diamond DA-42 NG Twin Star HS-MAR touching down in the beef capital from Bankstown via Coffs Harbour in New South Wales.

The smart little DA-42 looks to be on an 'around-Australia' flight with it initially arriving into the country via Broome in Western Australia last weekend.  It has since flown down the Western Australian coast before flying across to Bankstown during the latter part of last week via stops at Ceduna in South Australia and Mildura in Victoria.

At the time of writing, HS-MAR has been tied down and looked to spending at least the night parked at Rockhampton Airport.

Of interest, the Diamond DA-42 Twin Star is a four seat, twin engine, propeller-driven airplane developed and manufactured by Austrian company Diamond Aircraft Industries.

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

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Trevor Hardsman  ©

Friday, September 14, 2018

Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 RA-82046 Departs Rockhampton Airport for Cairns

After making a spectacular arrival the previous day and spending the night parked on the Rockhampton Airport parking apron, on Friday 14 September, the visiting Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82046 departed Rocky for Cairns as VDA3195.

With crew preparations completed ahead of 'schedule', the massive aircraft taxied away from Gate 6 at the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron, and then quick entered, back-tracked and then lined up on Runway 15 where it sat for four-minutes to 'warm up the engines'!

Eventually, the Antonov lifted off gracefully and turned towards Cairns where it seems to be still parked as this post is being written.

As mentioned below, RA-82046 delivered four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters into Rockhampton Airport direct from Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore.  They are now in the process of being re-assembled and will be then test flown ahead of their participation in the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2018 which is expected to kick-off in the next week.

This will be the only inbound flight by the Antonov AN-124 with the RSAF now basing their Boeing CH-47SD Chinook helicopters with their Aerospatiale / Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopters at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre.  The Antonov will be back in mid-November to transport the Apache helicopters back to Singapore once Exercise Wallaby 2018 is over.

The heavy jet action is expected to resume at Rocky late next week or over that following weekend, with passenger charter flights from Singapore expected to commence with reports suggesting that once again Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and Air New Zealand will be operating the charters this year.

Be sure to stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for all the latest news and updates via our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/cqplanespotting/

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos and video of the Antonov AN-124 at Rockhampton Airport!

Photos and video taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©