Friday, July 3, 2020

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-006 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 3 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-006 was photographed as it was on finals prior to completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.  It was flying as "Dragon 41".










The MRTT had earlier departed RAAF Base Amberley and flew up to Townsville where it also completed a missed approach.  A39-006 then returned South and returned to Amberley via the missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

Of interest, A39-006 was delivered to the RAAF's 33 Squadron at Amberley in September 2017 and wore the Spanish delivery registration marking of 'EC-339'.  This A330-200MRTT is an older airframe (MSN 892) and was originally manufactured in 2007 and delivered to Qantas Airways in early 2008 as VH-EBH.  It previously wore the name 'Hunter Valley'.

VH-EBH operated with Qantas on domestic and international flights until May 2015 when it was withdrawn from service and flown to Singapore (Changi) Airport for end of lease maintenance and storage.  VH-EBH/EC-339 was then flown to Getafe in Spain for conversion to A330-MRTT/KC-30A standard by Airbus Defence and Space.

A39-006 was joined by another ex-Qantas airframe and the seventh KC-30A which became A39-007/EC-334.



As we posted below with its visit to Rockhampton Airport in Thursday 2 July - and as pictured above - This airframe (MSN 898) also previously operated with Qantas Airways but as VH-EBI and wore the name 'Yarra Valley'.

A39-007 is also being utilised as a VIP transport jet for current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) who has named the aircraft 'Shark 1' after his beloved National Rugby League (NRL) team The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Scott H and Michael M for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Scott Harris and Michael Malick  ©

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-007 Calls into Rockhampton Airport as “Dragon 24”

On Thursday 2 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-007 was spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport.


The KC-30A flew North from RAAF Base Amberley touched down on Runway 33 at Rocky before back-taxiing and parking on for a short time on Taxiway Juliette.










After completing a re-program and possible crew change, A39-007 taxied out and departed Rockhampton Airport for Amberley via airwork off the coast of South-East Queensland.







A39-007 was noted flying as "Dragon 24".

Of interest, A39-007 is the most recently delivered of the seven KC-30A's of the RAAF's 33 Squadron based at Amberley.  A39-007 was delivered in May 2019 and previously operated with Qantas Airways as VH-EBI.


A39-007 is also being utilised as a VIP transport jet for current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) who has named the aircraft 'Shark 1' after his beloved National Rugby League (NRL) team The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

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

All photos taken by Jaxson White  ©

Nauru Airlines Boeing B737-319 VH-YNU at Mackay Airport on Yet Another Charter Flight

Early on Thursday 2 July, Nauru Airlines Boeing B737-319 VH-YNU was noted visiting Mackay Airport on the latest of a series of closed charter fights to the region from and back to Brisbane.

File photo

The colourful little Boeing touched down at Mackay Airport from Brisbane as RON938 and a short time later, returned to the capital as RON939.

Of interest, VH-YNU was delivered to Nauru Airlines in early 2015 after spending 14 years operating with Air New Zealand as ZK-NGH.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Toll Freight Aviation ATR 43-300F VH-TOX Spotted at Mackay Airport

Early on Thursday 2 July, Toll Freight Aviation ATR 43-300F VH-TOX was spotted arriving into Mackay Airport from Brisbane while operating as TFX6.  The flight usually now bypasses Mackay Airport and continues direct to Townsville.


After less than an hour on the ground, VH-TOX departed Mackay Airport and indeed continued to Townsville again as TFX6.

The Toll ATR freighters usually fly direct between Brisbane and Townsville in the early morning and then in the evening with the occasional diversion to Mackay Airport.  Research reveals there have been two visits also into Mackay Airport early on Wednesday 24 June and Wednesday 17 June.

There has also been a regular weekly stop at Rockhampton Airport on a Friday evening which started in April - except for the last two weeks with the TFX5 service from Townsville to Brisbane stopping in at Cairns and then Mackay Airport respectively.

UPDATE!  On Friday 3 July, Toll Freight Aviation ATR 43-300F VH-TOX called into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville before later departing to Brisbane as TFX5.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-VGT Spotted at Mackay Airport as RPT Services Resume into the Sugar City

On Thursday 2 July, Jetstar Airways resumed Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) scheduled flights into Mackay Airport with Airbus A320 VH-VGT spotted arriving as JST888 from Brisbane.  It later returned to the capital as JST889.



Jetstar hasn't operated into Mackay since late March at the height of the recent COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Current schedules show no fixed pattern of operations at this stage, although I do note that another flight will touch down at Mackay Airport on Friday 3 July.

As we reported below, Qantas Airways started mainline RPT flights into Mackay Airport on Monday 22 June.  Qantas Boeing B737-800 VH-VYI was spotted at Mackay Airport (and as posted below) operating the QFA987/8 service from and back to Brisbane.

File photo

The current week-daily Qantas flights are rumoured to be increasing to double-daily flights given the current high passenger numbers.

Finally, with the Nauru Airlines and the two Alliance Airlines closed Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights, as well as a QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 and the Pel-Air SAAB 340A Freighter all on the ground at once, Mackay Airport is starting to look like an airport once again!


Really great to see the region on the road to recovery!

Photos taken by 'AC' and 'JM'  ©

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Some Photos of Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VYI at Mackay Airport - Plus More!

Local plane spotter 'JM' popped into Mackay Airport late on Wednesday 1 July and was able to capture some photos of Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VYI operating the scheduled QFA987/8 service from and back to Brisbane.






As posted below, Qantas resumed mainline services into Mackay Airport in their own right on Monday 22 June.  The week-daily flights are rumoured to be soon increasing to double-week-daily with demand for the flights quite healthy.

It also appears that Qantas' low-cost subsidiary airline, Jetstar Airways is resuming flights into Mackay Airport on Thursday 2 July with (at the time of writing) Airbus A320 VH-VGT pencilled in to operate the JST888/9 service from and back to Brisbane.  It is due to arrive at Mackay Airport around 9.00am.

Meanwhile, also during the afternoon on Wednesday 1 July, 'JM' also photographed the two visiting Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 jets which were operating some of the eight Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) closed charter flights.


Both Fokker F-100 jets operated a pair of flights in and out of Mackay Airport with VH-FKD operating as UTY8440/12/3 and VH-UQA operating as UTY4090/1/8444/5.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that also on Wednesday 1 July, Great Western Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-XGV visited from Brisbane.  While Cloncurry-based Piper PA-34-200T VH-COP completed a pair of local flights and has been in the region for the last couple of weeks.

Thanks mate!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFB "Ambulance 624" Calls into Bundaberg Airport

During the late afternoon on Wednesday 1 July, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFB "Ambulance 624" was noted visiting Bundaberg Airport.  It arrived from Brisbane and Cairns.

File photo

After a over an hour time on the ground at Bundy, the Challenger 604 departed Bundaberg Airport and returned to Brisbane.

Photo taken by Michael Malick  ©️

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Aircraft A39-005 & A39-007 At and Around Rockhampton Airport

On Tuesday 30 June, a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft were photographed at and around Rockhampton Airport.


Initially, KC-30A / MRTT A39-005 "Dragon 20" touched down at Rockhampton Airport after flying up RAAF Base Amberley via airwork off the South-East Queensland coast.  It was parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the parking apron.










After a crew change, A39-005 departed Rockhampton Airport and flew back to Amberley.






But while A39-005 was still on the ground, fellow RAAF KC-30A / MRTT A39-007 "Dragon 34" was also photographed completing a missed approach also at Rockhampton Airport.








It had earlier flown up from Amberley via an inland route to Townsville where it landed for a short time.  A39-007 then flew down from there to complete the missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

The KC-30A / MRTT then returned to Amberley.

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

Photos taken by Steve Vit, Scott Harris and Michael Malick  ©