Saturday, December 3, 2016

Qantas Airways Airbus A330-200 VH-EBB Diverts to Rockhampton Airport from Perth due More Storms in Brisbane

For the second time in a week, severe storms have passed through Brisbane seeing several aircraft being unable to land and being forced to divert to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast - and again to Rockhampton Airport!


This time, late on Saturday 3 December, Qantas Airways Airbus A330-200 VH-EBB diverted to Rockhampton Airport.  It was operating as QFA598 which is the airline's scheduled service from Perth to Brisbane.








VH-EBB landed at Rockhampton Airport after being unable to land at and diverting from Brisbane due to two lines of serious storms passing through around the time it was due to touch down.  It parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rocky Airport apron.






After being topped up with some 18000 pounds of fuel, VH-EBB departed to Brisbane, continuing as QFA598.  It reportedly landed with around 4000 pounds of fuel in its tanks.

As posted below, Air New Zealand Airbus A320 ZK-OJA diverted to Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 30 November operating as ANZ805 from Christchurch and being unable to land at Brisbane also due to storms.

Finally, also on Saturday 3 December, Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-JQG operating as JST889 from Mackay Airport to Brisbane was forced to divert to Gold Coast Airport after also being unable to land at Brisbane.

It is possible that the affected passengers were bussed to Brisbane from the Gold Coast while VH-JQG re-positioned back to Brisbane from the Gold Coast as JST7992.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotter Kayanne Hardsman who ventured to Rockhampton Airport to capture some great photos of another surprise visitor!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

A Unique Looking Aircraft in the Form of PZL-Okecie PZL-104 Wilga 35A VH-PZZ Spotted at Rockhampton Airport

On Saturday 3 December, a rather unique looking aircraft in the form of PZL-Okecie PZL-104 Wilga 35A VH-PZZ was spotted parked on the General Aviation (GA) Apron at Rockhampton Airport.  It was believed to have arrived the previous day.


VH-PZZ is currently registered to an address at Yeppoon.




The PZL-104 Wilga (or "Golden Oriole") is a Polish designed and built short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) civil utility aircraft manufactured by PZL "Warszawa-Okęcie".

Of interest, former Hervey Bay-based Paradise Seaplanes operates fellow PZL-104 Wilga (name 'Willy') VH-PSZ.  Paradise Seaplanes now operates on the Maroochy River, Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast.

Thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter A38-001 Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Saturday 3 December, Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter A38-001 was spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It had earlier arrived from the North - flying at low level.


After taking on fuel, the Tiger departed South to the Oakey Army Aviation Centre.




A38-001 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Checker 01".

Thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H who was at the right place at the right time to capture these great photos!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Friday, December 2, 2016

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 at Bundaberg Airport Friday

Noted arriving into Bundaberg Airport from Coffs Harbour (New South Wales) on Friday 2 November was Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001.

A36-001 at Bundaberg Airport on a previous visit  (File photo)

It appears that the BBJ may have been operating a training flight.

After taking on fuel, A36-001 departed to Tamworth.  It was noted using the radio callsign of "Envoy 80".

Meanwhile, also on Friday 2 December, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-439 flying as "Dingo 11" was noted departing Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport for Townsville.

Photo taken by Micah S  ©

Skytraders Pty Ltd Airbus A319-115(LR) VH-VHD "Snowbird 1" Visits Gladstone Airport

A nice arrival into Gladstone Airport on Friday 2 November was Skytraders Pty Ltd Airbus A319-115(LR) VH-VHD "Snowbird 1". It arrived from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport.


It is assumed that the smart little Airbus was in town to process and transport the detained crew members of a Vietnamese fishing boat that were brought into Gladstone after being spotted fishing illegally in waters about 450km north east of the port city this week during an Australian Border Force (ABF) surveillance flight.

After remaining parked on the ground at Gladstone Airport for most of the day, VH-VHD was loaded and later departed to Sydney.

Of interest, Skytraders is the provider of specialist air services to the Australian Federal Government. They operate charters to Antarctica and provide transport for refugees / illegal immigrants around Australia and parts of the Pacific.

The Skytraders website can be found at:  http://skytraders.com.au/

Photo taken by Michael Fleetwood  ©

ATSB Also Investigating Runway Undershoot by Metro II VH-SSV at Theodore Airport and a Separation Issue for QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 at Bundaberg Airport

I've also been reading that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a runway undershoot at Theodore Airport on Wednesday 23 November involving Altitude Flight Operations (New South Wales) Brisbane-based Metro II VH-SSV.

VH-SSV at Bundaberg Airport recently  (File photo)

The ATSB states that "During the approach, the aircraft encountered windshear, which resulted in a runway undershoot and collision with a runway light. Debris from the runway light punctured one of the aircraft fuel tanks. There were no injuries and the aircraft received minor damage."

Meanwhile, the ATSB is also investigating a 'separation issue' between a QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOV and an unknown helicopter near Bundaberg Airport on Saturday 26 November.

The ATSB reports that "During the approach, the crew of the Dash-8-Q400 received a TCAS Traffic Alert and subsequently detected a helicopter pass abeam their aircraft. No radio broadcasts had been received from the crew of the helicopter. There were no injuries and the aircraft were not damaged."

Reports on both incidents will be released in several months.

Photo taken by Micah S  ©

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Releases Final Report into Whitsunday Tiger Moth VH-ARU Forced Landing - Birdstrike Ruled Out

The Whitsunday Tiger Moth Adventures distinctive red 1942-built De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth VH-ARU was forced to make an emergency landing at Funnel Bay near Airlie Beach on Saturday 2 July when the plane's propeller started making a strange noise while on one of its popular aerobatic joyflights.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/

The Australia Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has recently released its final report in the forced landing, and it has ruled out a bird strike, which was suspected to be the cause of the propeller failure as on-board video footage had shown the camera being "knocked by something flying back".

The report said there was no evidence of bird strike when the footage was reviewed frame by frame.  Small parts of the propeller that were retrieved held no bird remains.  However, the report was unable to definitively determine why the propeller failed.

The propeller manufacturer did say though that a failure was indicative of an "overspeed" event. This could not be confirmed however, as the propeller broke off over the water and most of it couldn't be retrieved.  The report stated that "the factors contributing to the propeller failure could not be determined by the timber fragments".

The report also praised the pilot, Nick Rorison, who had done well to scope out an alternative landing area once he realised the plane would not make it back to the runway at Shute Harbour.  "The pilot had a secondary plan to land on the beach at Funnel Bay" it stated.

"This incident highlights the value of always having a consideration of landing areas available in case a forced landing is required. Alerting air traffic control as emergencies arise enables them to provide the necessary and appropriate assistance."

The full report can be found on the ATSB website by clicking HERE.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Helifix Operations (PNG) Cessna 208 Caravan P2-HFD Arrives at Maryborough Airport

On Thursday 1 December, Helifix Operations of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Cessna 208B Supervan 900 was a nice arrival into Maryborough Airport.  It flew in from Cairns.





P2-HFD had flown into the Far North on Wednesday 30 November from Port Moresby and Horn Island.  It appears to be staying at Maryborough for the foreseeable future.

Sincere thanks to David G from Maryborough Aviation Services for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by David Geck  ©

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Air New Zealand Airbus A320 ZK-OJA ANZ805 Diverts to Rockhampton Airport from Christchurch due Storms in Brisbane

Certainly a surprise arrival into Rockhampton Airport late on Wednesday 30 November was Air New Zealand Airbus A320-200 ZK-OJA.  It was operating as ANZ805 which is the airline's scheduled service from Christchurch (New Zealand) to Brisbane.


ZK-OJA landed at Rockhampton Airport after being unable to land at and diverting from Brisbane due to a line of serious storms passing through around the time it was due to touch down.  It parked on Gate 1 on the Northern end of the Rocky Airport apron due to a Toll Freight Express Metro III VH-UZP parked on the Southern end.






What is strange is that ZK-OJA flew all the way North to Rockhampton Airport, rather than diverting to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, two airports where Air New Zealand actually operate scheduled services into.



Reports suggest though that Rockhampton might actually be the 'usual' diversion airport for Air New Zealand - as well as some other airlines including Qantas, Singapore Airlines and even Emirates Airline.

After being refuelled, ZK-OJA departed to Brisbane, continuing as ANZ805.





Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters that ventured to Rockhampton Airport to capture some great photos of this great surprise visitor!

Photos taken by Ash Burggraaff and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Jetstar A320 VH-VQP Delayed at Hamilton Island Airport as Report Shows 35% of Jetstar Flights Depart Mackay Airport Late!

On Wednesday 30 November, Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-VQP was noted departing Hamilton Island Airport some five-hours late as JST849 to Sydney.  It had earlier arrived on-time from the Harbour-city as JST846.

What seems to be Jetstar policy is that an engineering issue needs to be 'signed-off' by an engineer and it seems that GSL Aviation Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain was chartered to fly one from Cairns to Hamo and back during the evening  before VH-VQP could depart.

A Jetstar A320 arrives at Mackay Airport  (File photo)

The delay is rather timely as the local Daily Mercury newspaper reported this week that during October this year, the BITRE airline on-time report performance monthly report showed only 65% of Jetstar flights departed Mackay Airport on time.  This figure is some 15% worse than competitors Virgin Australia and Qantas/QantasLink.

Also, 22.4% of Jetstar flights into Mackay Airport failed to arrive on time.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©