Sunday, November 17, 2019

RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-003 "Wedgetail 14" Completes Missed Approach at Hamilton Island Airport

On Sunday 17 November, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-003 was believed to have completed a missed approach at Hamilton Island Airport.  It appears that the Wedgetail flew down from Townsville.


After completing the airwork at Hamo, it appears that A30-003 then continued South and completed more airwork at the Sunshine Coast (as pictured) before it continued home to RAAF Base Williamtown.

A30-003 was noted to be using the radio callsign of "Wedgetail 14".

Photo taken by David Geck  ©

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-SYJ "Choppa 42" Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Sunday 17 November, CHC Helicopters Australia / Lloyd Helicopters Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-SYJ was noted passing through Rockhampton Airport while heading to Townsville - where it is pictured below.



VH-SYJ arrived into Rocky from RAAF Base Amberley and was heard to use the radio callsign of "Choppa 42".

The Agusta operates for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in a Search and Rescue (SAR) role by CHC Helicopters / Lloyd Helicopters.

It appears that VH-SYJ is ferrying to Townsville where it will participate in the RAAF's Exercise High Sierra - the final training exercise for pilots graduating from Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit.  No. 2OCU Squadron operates out of RAAF Base Williamtown.



As many as 14 RAAF McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet and British Aerospace (BAe) Hawk 127 jet aircraft will be based at Townsville Airport and complete exercises around Townsville over the next couple of weeks from Monday 18 November.

All photos taken by Leroy  ©

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Cairns-Based Cessna 510 Citation Mustang Bizjet VH-FNI Pops into Hamilton Island Airport - Plus Cessna 550 Citation Bravo Bizjet VH-CCJ Returns to Bundaberg Airport

On Saturday 16 November, Graham Aviation Cairns Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-FNI was back in Central Queensland for the second time this week, this time noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

The smart little bizjet originally departed its Mareeba base for the MacArthur River Mine and Cairns before it flew down to Hamilton Island Airport.  After some time on the ground, VH-FNI departed Hamo and returning to Cairns.

Meanwhile, after being on the ground at Adelaide Airport for almost a fortnight, Greensill Aviation Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-CCJ has returned 'home' to Bundaberg Airport from the South Australian capital on Thursday 14 November.

VH-CCJ then flew from Bundy to Brisbane and Sydney on Friday 15 November and remains parked there.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 17 November, VH-CCJ returned to Bundaberg Airport from Sydney, again flying via Brisbane.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

A Couple More Large Bushfire Fighting Helicopters Pass Through CQ Airports Heading South

With the bushfire crisis moving further South in Queensland, and particularly in parts of the Darling Downs area, some of the bushfire fighting helicopters have moved South from Central Queensland and are seemingly now basing out of Toowoomba Airport.  A pair of larger bushfire fighting helicopter were noted passing through Central Queensland Airports heading South over the course of Friday 15 November and Saturday 16 November.

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Noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour late on Friday 15 November was Helibiz operated Bell UH-1H Iroquois 'Huey' helicopter VH-UHE - dubbed 'Eagle One' - which was flying as "Helitack 423".  On Saturday 16 November, VH-UHE departed Rockhampton Airport and continued to the South.

Also early on Saturday 16 November, Nautilus Aviation Bell Helicopter Textron Canada 412EP helicopter VH-ZVP "Helitack 421" also called into Rockhampton Airport, also arriving from the Whitsunday Coast Airport at Shute Harbour.  It later departed to Bundaberg Airport.

Also heard at Bundaberg Airport also on Friday 15 November and again on Saturday 16 November was Becker Helicopter Services Bell Helicopter Textron Canada 427 VH-TOR "Firebird 524".

pcrehab1 / https://flightaware.com/

Finally, also on Saturday 16 November, the Air Affairs Australia / Gojet Gates LearJet 35A bizjet VH-LJJ "Firescan 123" was back in the air and was noted visiting Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport for a short time while flying out of and back to Brisbane on an aerial reconnaissance flight.

We offer our thoughts and prayers to those who are affected by this bushfire emergency and sincerely thank those volunteers and other firefighters who are battling these fierce blazes up and down the Eastern Australia coast.

Friday, November 15, 2019

RAAF VIP 34 Squadron Aircraft at CQ Airports - Dassault Falcon 7X A56-003 at Maryborough and Rockhampton Airports - Boeing B737-700BBJ A36-002 at Bundaberg Airport

Early on Friday 15 November, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet A56-003 was noted arriving into Maryborough Airport as "Envoy 46" from Canberra.  After a couple of hours on the ground, it continued to Rockhampton Airport where local plane spotter 'IAD' was on hand to capture a couple of photos soon after its arrival.




During the middle part of the afternoon, A56-003 departed Rockhampton Airport for Wagga Wagga in New South Wales before it then returned to Canberra.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 15 November, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 was noted touching down at Bundaberg Airport from Canberra and the Ballina / Byron Bay Gateway Airport  as "Envoy 93".

After an hour on the ground, A36-002 departed Bundaberg Airport and returned to Canberra.

Finally, it's worth noting that also on Friday 15 November, one final RAAF visitor to CQ in the form of Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft A97-465 was noted completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.  It appeared to come up from RAAF Base Richmond and continued to Townsville after completing the airwork at Rocky.

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

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Graham Aviation Cairns Cessna 510 Citation Mustang Bizjet VH-FNI Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 14 November, Graham Aviation Cairns Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-FNI was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.

File photo

The smart little bizjet originally departed Mareeba for Horn Island before it flew down to Rockhampton Airport.  VH-FNI then departed Rocky and returned to Mareeba.

Meanwhile, also noted visiting Rockhampton Airport, also on Thursday 14 November was the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ.  It appears to have brought the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to town to inspect the bushfire damage on the nearby Capricorn Coast.

And Pekal Aviation of Boggabilla (NSW) Piper PA-31-325 VH-TRA was noted arriving into Rockahmpton Airport from Archerfield and Chinchilla also on Thursday 14 November.

UPDATE!  On Friday 15 November, VH-TRA departed Rockhampton Airport for Warwick and Goondiwindi.

Also on Thursday 14 November, the smart Corporate Aviation Bell 429 Global Ranger helicopter VH-EQP was noted returning South to Biloela / Thangool Airport possibly from Nebo Aerodrome.  It then departed to Caboolture.  VH-EQP has flown North to Nebo Aerodrome via Bilo on Tuesday 12 November - see Blog post below.

Finally, noted arriving into Barcaldine Airport from Toowoomba, on Wednesday 13 November was Toowoomba-based Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-PID.  It then continued to Longreach Airport where it looked to be spending the night.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Bushfire Fighting Helicopters and Aircraft Move Down to Bundaberg Airport to Battle Massive Blaze at Nearby Woodgate

Over the course of Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November, most of the bushfire fighting helicopters and aircraft that have been spread about parts of Central Queensland and other parts have now moved to the Fraser Coast region and basing out of Bundaberg Airport to fight a massive bushfire around the Woodgate area South of Bundy.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/QldFireandEmergencyServices/

After gaining control of fires around Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast, on Wednesday 13 November, both Kestrel Aviation-operated Firehawk Helicopter (Brainerd Helicopters) Sikorsky UH-60A Blackhawk helicopter N9FH "Helitak 470" and Elite Helicopters (Brisbane) Aerospatiale AS.350BA Squirrel VH-WMW "Firebird 410" were noted departing Rockhampton Airport for Bundaberg Airport where they have taken up operations.


It also appears that Roma-based M.I. Helicopters Eurocopter AS.355F2 VH-JZX "Helitack 431" is also currently operating in the area out of Bundaberg Airport.

On Thursday 14 November, the helicopters were joined at Bundaberg Airport by the two Emerald-based Central Highlands Aerial Services (CHAS) water bombers Thrush S2R-T660 aircraft VH-PMD "Bomber 434" and VH-KCS "Bomber 435".

Also spotted at Bundaberg Airport, also on Thursday 14 November, were three Kennedy Aviation / Kennedy Air-Ag Air Tractor AT-802A 'Fire Boss' water bombing aircraft.  They are believed to be VH-XAJ "Boss 455", VH-XAT "Bomber 288" and VH-XAY "Bomber 289".





While Aircair Avaition (Moree) Air Tractor AT-802 VH-WXH "Bomber 253" was also heard in the area.  VH-WXH was photographed below at Bundaberg Airport at the end of October alongside fellow Air Tractor AT-802s VH-WXF "Bomber 252" also on Aircair Aviation, as well as Mungindi Aerial Spraying Air Tractor AT-802s VH-ZRO "Bomber 425" and VH-NFD "Bomber 429".




Possibly supporting these water-bombing aircraft was Toowoomba-based Bontrail (Strahman Farms) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-SJJ which flew into Bundaberg Airport from Moree and Biniguy Airports also on Thursday 14 November.

Finally, also on Thursday 14 November, the Air Affairs Australia / Gojet Gates LearJet 35A bizjet VH-LJJ "Firescan 123" was back in the air and was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport for a short time while flying out of and back to Brisbane on an aerial reconnaissance flight.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for their help in compiling the information and for allowing us to share these great photos contained in this post.

We offer our thoughts and prayers to those who are affected by this bushfire emergency and sincerely thank those volunteers and other firefighters who are battling these fierce blazes up and down the Eastern Australia coast.

Photos taken by Isaac S  ©

Central Aviation Services (PNG) Pacific Aerospace PAC 750XL P2-BWC Pops into Mackay Airport

On Thursday 14 November, Central Aviation Services of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Pacific Aerospace (PAC) 750XL P2-BWC was spotted at Mackay Airport.  It looked to arrive from the Gold Coast having arrived there from New Zealand earlier in the week.




After taking on fuel, P2-BWC continued further North from Mackay Airport to Cairns.

UPDATE!  On Saturday 15 November, P2-BWC continued to Horn Island and Mount Hagen in PNG.

Sincere thanks once again to local plane spotter 'JM' for again taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of some great visitors to Mackay Airport this week!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©

More Photos as a Pair of Australian Army Tiger ARH Helicopters and a Single MRH-90 Helicopter All Arrive into Rockhampton Airport

As we posted below, late on Wednesday 13 November, a pair of Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters arrived into Rockhampton Airport.  The two Tigers - flown by the 1st Aviation Regiment based at Darwin - were identified as A38-012, A38-022, and looked to fly up from the Oakey Army Aviation Centre.  They were heard to be using the radio callsign of "Knights Black".





Joining the Tigers and possibly bringing up ground and other support crew also late on Wednesday 13 November was a single NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-018 which also flew up from Oakey but as "Saxon 60".











A40-018 later returned to Oakey.

The two Tigers were later heard to depart Rockhampton Airport and fly towards Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast region where it is believed that they are doing some nighttime mapping of the bushfire zone in the area.  They later returned to Rockhampton Airport where they spent the night parked.













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  ©