Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Pair of RAAF Super King Airs at Rockhampton and Longreach Airports

Spotted performing missed approaches at Rockhampton Airport late on Wednesday 25 March were a pair Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air turboprops.

A32-343  (File photo taken by Jamie  ©)

The two Super King Airs - which were believed to be A32-372 and A32-343 - flew up from the South to Rockhampton before continuing to Townsville at the completion of their missed approaches.  The King Airs were heard to be using the radio callsigns of "Hudson 07" and "Hudson 08" respectively - the callsign of 32 Squadron based at East Sale in Victoria.

Then on Thursday 26 March, A32-372 and A32-343 were noted flying into Longreach Airport from Townsville.  They were noted to be using the same callsigns and departed South a short while later.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Seair (Istlecote) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LYT Also Spotted at Gladstone Airport

Local plane spotters Jamie and Tash have sent through a couple of photos of Seair (Istlecote) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LYT as it popped into Gladstone Airport early on Monday 23 March.

VH-LYT was operating a Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flight, calling in from Maryborough and departing a short time later to Middlemount.  From Middlemount, VH-LYT then headed to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.

Some more great photos, and we thank Jamie and Tash for sending them through!

Photos taken by Jamie and Tash  ©

Rare Visit to Gladstone Airport by Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-FDC

Caught visiting Gladstone Airport late on Sunday 22 March was Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-FDC ("FlyDoc 426").

This is the first time that a photo of an RFDS PC-12 at Gladstone Airport has featured on the CQ Plane Spotting Blog, and local plane spotters Jamie and Tash were on hand to capture a little piece of history.

VH-FDC arrived at Gladstone from Longreach, and later departed back to its Charleville base.  Of interest it had completed a flight from Charleville to Birdsville and back before it ventured to Longreach.

Sincere thanks to Jamie and Tash for capturing these stunning photos from late on Sunday!  They are awesome!

Photos taken by Jamie and Tash  ©

Sunday, March 22, 2015

RAAF Boeing B737-700(BBJ) A36-001 - And a Few Other Bizjets - At Hamilton Island Airport

Another busy week for bizjet movements in the Whitsundays was capped off on Saturday 21 March by the visit to Hamilton Island Airport by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001.

File photo taken by 'IAD' ©

A36-001 was noted flying in from Canberra as "Envoy 15" and brought Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the Whitsundays to make some important environmental policy announcements.

Meanwhile, a couple of other bizjet movements in and out of Hamilton Island Airport were noted over the course of this week including Balmoral Air (operated for Hamilton Island's owner, and well-known vineyard owner, Bob Oatley) Dassault Falcon 2000LX VH-WIO, which visited from Bankstown on both Sunday 22 March and Thursday 19 March.

On Friday 20 March, Shortstop Jet Charter British Aerospace BAe-125-1000B VH-LMP made yet another visit to Hamo from Melbourne (Essendon) Airport, while on Thursday 19 March, Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign VH-VPL departed Hamo for its Gold Coast base having arrived earlier in the week.

And, as mentioned below, Tower Holdings Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 VH-EVJ called into Hamilton Island from Rockhampton briefly on Wednesday 18 March.

Finally, on Friday 20 March, three Corporate Air SAAB 340Bs - VH-VEF, VH-VEO and VH-VEP - all arrived at Hamilton Island in quick succession from Brisbane.  They all departed back to the capital soon after.  There was a similar occurrence when the three SAABs all visited Hamo from Brisbane earlier in the week.  I wonder why??

A Few Movements in and out of Mackay Airport - Customs VH-ZZJ - Careflight VH-CXJ - E550 N142GZ

A couple of busy days at Mackay Airport with a couple of nice aircraft paying a visit to the sugar city.

On Saturday 21 March, Surveillance Australia / Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Cobham Aviation) Dash-8-200 VH-ZZJ departed Mackay to Cairns.  It had arrived on Friday 20 March after completing a sortie.  It is believed that VH-ZZJ was re-positioned to Cairns to have a small maintenance issue sorted.

Incidentally, the photos above from 'AC' show fellow Customs Dash-8-200 VH-ZZA resting peacefully during a recent evening.  Great photos!

In the wee small hours of Saturday 21 March, Careflight Queensland (Aeromed) LearJet 45 VH-CXJ also touched down at Mackay Airport.  It arrived from Brisbane and later departed to Townsville.

Of interest, VH-CXJ popped into Longreach Airport from Townsville, departing later to Brisbane before it flew North to Mackay.

Also, the photo above shows sistership VH-VVI which has reportedly returned from an overseas trip where it was repainted into the striking blue and yellow livery of Careflight.

Finally, CQ's newest resident bizjet Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 N142GZ flew to Moranbah and back during the morning on Saturday 21 March.  It also operated a flight to Brisbane and back last week over the course of Wednesday 18 March and Thursday 19 March.

UPDATE!  N142GZ departed to Brisbane on Saturday 22 March.

Photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Great Day Out as we Fly Away with the Mackay Aero Club to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour

Last Saturday 14 March I was invited to join the Mackay Aero Club in one of their many social events - on this occasion it was a fly-away North to the Whitsunday Airport (WAVE) as Shute Harbour for a hearty breakfast at the resident Beaver Bar'.

Most of the enthusiastic aviators of the Mackay Aero Club gathered at the nearby Palmyra Airstrip which is East of Mackay Airport.  Members have their aircraft in hangars at Palmyra due to the current landing and parking fees charged by Mackay Airport, with the nearby Palmyra Airstrip charging considerably less.

But back at Mackay Airport, I was welcomed aboard the Aero Clubs's Piper PA-28-161 Warrior VH-PCN to join other club members for the breakfast.

Preparations and start-up complete, our pilots Matt and David taxied to the 'Golf' holding point for departure off Mackay's Runway 14.

After a left turn after departure, we tracked coastal at 1500 feet, but climbed to 2500 feet due to turbulence associated with the strong winds buffering the region.

After passing Cape Hillsborough, we soon approached a position abeam Proserpine Airport - where a Tigerair Airbus A320 was approaching (but we didn't spot it!) - and then Proserpine town. From that position we remained inland and threaded our way through some hills where we experienced some terrible bumps!

Tracking over Cannonvale and Airlie Beach, we soon sighted Runway 14 at the Whitsunday Airport and were soon after on finals.

A little bit of a rough landing but we were down and taxied to our parking spot on the Northern end of the main Airport apron.  We joined the remaining aircraft of the Mackay Aero Club members who had all arrived earlier from Palmyra.

After waking past numerous Airvans of local operator GSL Aviation, we joined the Mackay Aero Club members for a great breakfast at the resident Beaver Bar.

I chose not to re-join VH-PCN on the return journey - I felt a bit dusty after the bumpy approach in the morning - and one of the passengers was also feeling a bit off-colour, never-the-less, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting another great group of enthusiastic CQ aviators!

I'd like to sincerely Gary and David from the Mackay Aero Club for inviting me to join them on their Fly-Away to the Whitsunday Airport!

The Mackay Aero Club members meet at the clubhouse on Casey Avenue at Mackay Airport every Tuesday and Friday night, with dinner served on Friday nights as well.  More social events are planned in the coming months.  For more information on the Mackay Aero Club, including memberships, take a look at the Club's wesbite - - or alternative contact the Club on Phone/Fax:  (07) 4957 2575, or send an email to:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Virgin Australia B737-800 VH-VOY - Plus A Few Lighties In and Out of Rockhampton Airport on Friday

Recently re-registered Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-VOY (ex ZK-PBD) operated its first flight into Rockhampton on Friday 20 March since it re-entered service in Australia, operating the scheduled VOZ1245/1248 service from and back to Brisbane.

VH-VOY at Adelaide recently  (Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©)

Meanwhile, there were also quite a bit of light General Aviation (GA) movements in and out of Rocky on Friday 20 March that included Brisbane-based Vanguard Aviation Cessna 340 VH-DRA calling in from Mackay.  It later departed to Caloundra.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee VH-RVB called in from Charters Towers, while Sunshine Coast-based Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-JEA flew up towards from Toowoomba and looked to conduct airwork nearby to Rocky before returning to Toowoomba.

File photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Locally-based Mooneys - M20K VH-MYV and M20TN VH-JEU - both departed Rocky for Moree and Dubbo.  Also locally-based Cessna 210 VH-EKW - which is utilised by the Rockhampton Aero Club - operated a flight from Rocky to Gladstone and back.  At Gladstone, it was noted performing a practice ILS approach on to Runway 10.

The Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ called into Rockhampton during a busy day of flying in which it also called into Bundaberg, Townsville (twice), Cairns and Maryborough.  I suspect that VH-SGQ may be being utilised to ferry prisoners around Queensland in place of the usual Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK.

Finally, Dubbo-based Beech 58 Baron VH-YXA was an interesting visitor to Rockhampton on Thursday 19 March,  After arriving around dawn, it departed after dark.  Its flight track for the day was Dubbo-Lake Cargelligo-Roma-Rockhampton-Roma-Lake Cargelligo-Dubbo.

Fugro LADS / Royal Australia Navy (RAN) Hydrography Dash-8-200 VH-LCL Also Departs Mackay Airport

After touched down the previous day, Fugro LADS Corporation / Surveillance Australia / Royal Australian Navy (RAN) LADS Hydrography Institute Dash-8-200 VH-LCL departed Mackay Airport on Friday 20 March.

File photo taken by 'AC'  ©

It had reportedly positioned South from its Cairns base to escape the predicted heavy weather associated with Tropical Cyclone Nathan.

On Friday, it returned back to Cairns.  It was heard to use its usual radio callsign of "Navy Survey".

To find out more about the RAN LADS Hydrography Institute and VH-LCL, see the referring post from yesterday -

Raytheon 390 Premier 1 Bizjet N7088S Says Farewell to Mackay Airport on Friday

Raytheon 390 Premier 1 bizjet N7088S has possibly said farewell to its (now former) Mackay Airport base, departing the sugar-city for Bankstown on Friday 20 March.

File photo

File photo

Reports suggest that the smart little bizjet is for sale and has ventured for planned maintenance - it may well be the final time that it may be sighted in Central Queensland.

The operator of the little Premier has recently taken delivery of the new Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ, which remains parked outside a construction zone where its new hangar is being built on the Western side of Mackay Airport.

File photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Great memories!

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 Jets Continue FIFO to Emerald Airport This Week - Incl a Turn Back due to Mechanical Issues!

The recent run of new Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights into Emerald Airport that have been operated by Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jets - operating for the Clermont Mine - has continued this week with arrivals on almost every day - and even a turn back due to a mechanical issue!

File photo

On Monday 16 March, VH-JFE and VH-QQY operated morning and evening flights into Emerald from and back to Brisbane as UTY4060/4061 and from and back to the Sunshine Coast as UTY4068/4069 respectively.

Early on Tuesday 17 March, VH-QQY was then operating as UTY4062 from the Sunshine Coast to Emerald but failed to land in Emerald due to a technical issue.  Flight radar websites show that VH-QQY circled Emerald Airport for a short while before returning to Brisbane.  A little later, fellow F-70 VH-JFB then flew into Emerald from Brisbane as UTY4062, later departing to the Sunshine Coast as UTY4063.

Finally, late on Thursday 19 March, VH-QQY flew to Emerald once again, from and back to Brisbane, this time as UTY4066/4067.

It's also worth noting that on Wednesday 18 March, the weekly UTY1070/1071 FIFO flight that Alliance also operates into Emerald for one the Middlemount mines was operated by VH-JFE.