Sunday, April 5, 2020

Great photos as New Air Kiribati Embraer E-190-E2 VH-IKJ Pops into Rockhampton Airport While on Training Flight

After finally taking to the skies last week after spending several weeks parked following its delivery into Australia in January, the new Air Kiribati Embraer E190-E2 (ERJ-190-300 STD) VH-IKJ was photographed as it visited Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 5 April on what appeared to be another training flight.



It flew up from Brisbane and parked on the main taxiway Juliette at Rockhampton Airport where it completed a crew change. 











VH-IKJ then taxied back out to the Runway and departed back to Brisbane.










This was the latest in a series of test flights that VH-IKJ has completed following its first flight last Tuesday 31 March where it actually overflew Rockhampton Airport while flying from Toowoomba-Wellcamp to Brisbane.

The brand new Embraer was delivered to Air Kiribati at Wellcamp in January wearing its Brazilian delivery registration marking of PR-EHT.

https://twitter.com/CesarSoPereira/

It was added to the Australian Aircraft Register in February as VH-IKJ is owned by and registered to the Government of Kiribati, with Sydney-based passenger and cargo airline Pionair Australia as the registered operator.  It remained parked at Wellcamp until departing on the test flight described above.

Air Kiribati is the flag carrier of the Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) and operates scheduled passenger services to 20 atolls spread over an area of 3.5m sq km.


It is headquartered at Bonriki International Airport on the island of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.  The airline operates an international service from Tarawa to Tuvalu.  Regional charter flights, medical evacuation and search and rescue services are also undertaken by the airline.

Their fleet currently includes a single Harbin Y-12E and Dash-8-100, along with two DHC-6-400 Twin Otters.

http://www.airkiribati.com.ki/

Kiribati is a small nation that covers an immense geographical area - which is mostly water.  The E190-E2 was chosen for its ability to economically connect two important islands, Tarawa in the west and Kiritimati or Christmas Island in the east. Even with the E2 this is more than a 4 hour flight.

Services will commence by mid-2020 eventually connecting Brisbane with Honiara, Nauru, Tarawa, Fiji, Kiritimati, Honolulu and Majuro.

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

Photos taken by Michael Malick, Trevor Hardsman and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR Pops into Emerald Airport - Plus More!

On Saturday 4 April, Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR was noted visiting Emerald Airport.  It looked to arrive from and later depart back its Archerfield base.

File photo

Meanwhile, also on Saturday 4 April, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY was noted back in Central Queensland, visiting Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport twice during a busy day of flying.  On both times, it arrived into Prosie from its Melbourne (Moorabbin) base via Melbourne (Essendon) before then flying directly back to Moorabbin.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-ESH Flys South via Mackay and Gladstone Airports

As predicted, on Friday 3 April, Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue (State of Queensland) Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-ESH was noted ferrying South from Townsville to Archerfield, calling into both Mackay and Gladstone Airports along the way.

VH-ESH at Mackay Base Hospital recently  (File photo)

VH-ESH is believed to have flown to Archerfield for planned maintenance after operating in Far North Queensland for a period of time, mostly out of Townsville Airport as "Rescue 521".

This is part of the 'rotational system' the service utilises to ensure the even distribution of flying hours on each of the QGAir Rescue helicopters.  This system avoids the need to have multiple helicopters offline for simultaneous scheduled maintenance.

As posted below, fellow QGAir Rescue Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopter (Agusta) AW139 helicopter VH-EGF flew North from Archerfield to Townsville also via Gladstone and Mackay Airports on Thursday 2 April.

Photo taken by 'TM'  ©

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 Bizjet VH-WMY Pops into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport - Plus More!

After a week or so out of the air, on Thursday 2 April, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY was noted back in Central Queensland, arriving into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport from its Melbourne (Moorabbin) base via Melbourne (Essendon).

File photo

After around an hour on the ground, VH-WMY returned direct to Moorabbin.

UPDATE!  On Friday 3 April, VH-WMY popped into Miles Airport, arriving from Moorabbin, Horsham, Swan Hill and Bendigo all in Victoria.  It later returned to Moorabbin via Moree in New South Wales.

UPDATE!  On Saturday 4 April, VH-WMY returned to Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport twice, both times arriving from Moorabbin via Essendon and later returning direct to Moorabbin.

Meanwhile, also on Thursday 2 April, up the road at Bowen Airport, FKG Air (Redjet Aviation) Hawker Beechcraft B200GT VH-FKB visited from its Toowoomba base.

And also on Thursday 2 April, LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-CXJ was noted completing airwork at Bundaberg Airport while on a flight out of and back to Brisbane.  It did something similar on Sunday 29 March, after seemingly receiving planned maintenance since the start of February.

Finally, as mentioned below, on Wednesday 1 April,  American-registered Eclipse EA500 bizjet N257AK was noted departing the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour for Archerfield.  It arrived from Archerfield via Redcliffe on Monday 30 March.

QGAir Rescue (State of Queensland) Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-EGF Ferries North via Gladstone and Mackay Airports

Early on Thursday 2 April, Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue (State of Queensland) Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopter (Agusta) AW139 helicopter VH-EGF was noted ferrying North from Archerfield to Townsville via Gladstone and Mackay Airports.

VH-EGF at Mackay Airport  (File photo)

As we posted below, VH-EGF ferried South to Archerfield in late February where it underwent planned maintenance.  In more recent days, it has been operating out of Archerfield in the South-East corner of the state as "Rescue 500".

It is believed that VH-EGF was ferrying North to replace fellow QGAir Rescue AW139 helicopter VH-ESH which has been operating out of Townsville Airport for some time as "Rescue 521".  It has even completed visits to both Mackay and Proserpine Hospitals in recent times..

As we have mentioned previously, this is all part of the 'rotational system' the service utilises to ensure the even distribution of flying hours on each of the QGAir Rescue helicopters.  This system avoids the need to have multiple helicopters offline for simultaneous scheduled maintenance.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Thrice-Weekly Alliance Airlines Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Charter Flights Kick off at Mackay Airport This Week

Interesting to note that on Thursday 2 April, a pair of Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 jets called into Mackay Airport on what looked to be Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights which operated from and back to Brisbane.

File photo

VH-UQC visited first as UTY8440/1 with VH-XWN (pictured) also visiting but as UTY8842/3.

It is understood that these two FIFO charter flights are the first of many over the coming weeks which are on behalf of BHP.  Scheduling of these flights suggests that 2-3 Alliance Airlines Fokkers will fly into Mackay Airport each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the foreseeable future.

Alliance Airlines is Australia's leading FIFO and general charter flight operator and as we posted below, the airline appears to be picking up extra contracts in the region in response to mass cancellation of scheduled regular passenger transport (RPT) flights as a result of the Coronavirus crisis hitting aviation.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Alliance Airlines Additional Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Charter Flights to Emerald and Moranbah Airports This Week

With the effects of the Coronavirus crisis hitting aviation hard causing Australian airlines to dramatically cut scheduled regular passenger transport (RPT) services, Central Queensland mining and resource sites are appear to be moving towards dedicated Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights as an alternative.  And it appears that Australia's largest FIFO and general charter airline, Alliance Airlines, has benefited with several extra flights noted touching down in the region over the last couple of days.

File photo

Late on Monday 30 March, three Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jets were noted arriving into Emerald Airport all on FIFO charter flights.  VH-NKQ operated the 'usual' UTY4078/9 flight from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.  VH-QQW completed an additional flight from and back to Brisbane as UTY4076/7.  And VH-NUU (pictured above) completed another additional flight from Brisbane and back but as UTY580/1.

Early on Tuesday 31 March, VH-NKQ was back at Emerald Airport again, operating the 'usual' UTY4072/3 FIFO charter flight from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.  Then later in the day, F-70 VH-QQV was noted arriving into Moranbah Airport and then Emerald Airport from Brisbane as UTY6602, while F-70 VH-NUU flew into Emerald Airport direct from Brisbane but as UTY6640.

After overnighting, both F-70s departed Emerald Airport early on Wednesday 1 April, with VH-QQV returning to Moranbah Airport and then Brisbane but as UTY6603, while VH-NUU returned to Brisbane but as UTY6441.

Certainly interesting to keep track of these!

Photo taken by Sunshine Coast Plane Spotting  ©

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

New Air Kiribati Embraer E-190-E2 VH-IKJ Overfly of Rockhampton Airport While on Training Flight

Merely a dot in the sky when it was spotted flying overhead Rockhampton Airport during the afternoon on Tuesday 31 March was the new Air Kiribati Embraer E190-E2 (ERJ-190-300 STD) VH-IKJ which looked to complete a training flight from the Toowoomba-Wellcamp Airport to Brisbane - where it is pictured landing below.


The brand new Embraer was delivered to Air Kiribati at Wellcamp in January wearing its Brazilian delivery registration marking of PR-EHT.

It was added to the Australian Aircraft Register in February as VH-IKJ is owned by and registered to the Government of Kiribati, with Sydney-based passenger and cargo airline Pionair Australia as the registered operator.  It remained parked at Wellcamp until departing on the test flight described above.




Air Kiribati is the flag carrier of the Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) and operates scheduled passenger services to 20 atolls spread over an area of 3.5m sq km.


It is headquartered at Bonriki International Airport on the island of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.  The airline operates an international service from Tarawa to Tuvalu.  Regional charter flights, medical evacuation and search and rescue services are also undertaken by the airline.

Their fleet currently includes a single Harbin Y-12E and Dash-8-100, along with two DHC-6-400 Twin Otters.

http://www.airkiribati.com.ki/

Kiribati is a small nation that covers an immense geographical area - which is mostly water.  The E190-E2 was chosen for its ability to economically connect two important islands, Tarawa in the west and Kiritimati or Christmas Island in the east. Even with the E2 this is more than a 4 hour flight.

Services will commence by mid-2020 eventually connecting Brisbane with Honiara, Nauru, Tarawa, Fiji, Kiritimati, Honolulu and Majuro.

Photos taken by Lloyd Fox and Matt Cotter Photography  ©

RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 Does Airwork at Charleville and Rockhampton Airports

On Tuesday 31 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 was noted completing airwork, including missed approaches, at both Charleville and Rockhampton Airports.



It was noted flying North from RAAF Base Amberley and initially completed airwork and a  low overshoot at Charleville Airport before venturing North and completing a missed approach at Rocky.  After completing its airwork, A41-206 departed Rockhampton on returned to Amberley.

A41-206 was heard to be flying as "Stallion 77".

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H who popped outside her house for these couple of quick photos as the Globemaster climbed out of Rockhampton Airport.

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Monday, March 30, 2020

Jetstream Aviation (Emprja P/L) Cessna 550 Citation II Bizjet VH-VDF Pops into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport - Plus More!

On Monday 30 March, Jetstream Aviation (Emprja P/L) Cessna 550 Citation II VH-VDF was noted arriving into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport from its Sunshine Coast base.

VH-VDF at Adelaide Airport recently  (File photo)

After a short time on the ground, VH-VDF then returned to the Sunny Coast.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 30 March,  American-registered Eclipse EA500 bizjet N257AK was noted arriving into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour from Archerfield and Redcliffe. 

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 1 April, N257AK departed Shute Harbour for Archerfield.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 2 April N257AK completed a return flight from Archerfield to Tamworth in New South Wales and back.

Finally, a couple of other King Air aircraft to call into CQ Airports, also on Monday 30 March, included Austrek Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-ZMW which visited Rockhampton Airport from Toowoomba and Archerfield.

While FKG Air (Redjet Aviation) Hawker Beechcraft B200GT VH-FKB popped into the Williamson Airfield within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) also from its Toowoomba base.

VH-FKB also called into Williamson from Toowoomba and Mackay Airport on Friday 27 March before it then returned to Toowoomba.

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©