Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Few Plane Spotting Photos from Longreach Airport

During our recent stay at Longreach, I was able to spend a little bit of time capturing some of the visiting aircraft at Longreach Airport, including a nice pair of the regular passenger transport (RPT) movements that touch down in the Central Western town.

On Tuesday 8 April, I captured Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLW as it touched down at Longreach as RXA5203.

REX operates twice-weekly into Longreach from Townsville via Winton each Tuesday and Thursday.

QantasLink operates into Longreach from Brisbane on a daily basis using a mix of Dash-8-Q300 and Dash-8-Q400 aircraft.  Flights to Longreach route via Blackall and Barcaldine.  On Tuesday 8 April, I captured Dash-8-Q300 VH-TQL touching down as QLK2532 from Barcaldine and Brisbane.

Incidentally, I discovered that Longreach Airport has undergone some major redevelopment with a completely new terminal building opened in 2012.  The older and smaller building remains under the control of the local Council and will most likely be utilised by the Qantas Founders Museum (QFOM) as a function room.

Meanwhile, parked nearby on the General Aviation (GA) apron, was Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Raytheon B200 VH-FDZ which arrived on Monday 7 April from Barcaldine and Roma as "FlyDoc458".

The Rockhampton Aero Club's Cessna 172 VH-ZDX was parked on the GA Apron.

Locally-based Beech A36 Bonanza VH-PRI and Piper PA-32-300 VH-HGR were also spotted.

VH-HGR is one of several aircraft that are registered to local company Bowden Industries.

Queensland Helicopters is also a locally-based company with hangar and office facilities at Longreach Airport.  I was able to spot most of their helicopters including Robinson R44 VH-OCL and Bell 206B VH-YEC, along with their Cessna 172 VH-CEV.

Finally, one of the more interesting arrivals on Tuesday 8 April was Victorian-registered Amateur-built Thorp T-18 VH-WSJ.

As shown below on Wednesday 9 April, the Thorp also wears the American registration of N98BJ.

A source indicates that VH-WSJ / N98BJ was manufactured in the United States in 1979 and first registered as N98BJ in San Bernardino.

Certainly a great couple of days at Longreach - and such a lovely scenic drive from Clermont to get there heading West along the Capricorn Highway.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Some Great Photos of Qantas Boeing B737-800 VH-VZM at Rockhampton Airport Friday

Local plane spotter 'IAD' was on hand to capture the second of two arrivals by Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VZM into Rockhampton Airport on Friday 18 April.

As reported below, VH-VZM first called in early as QFA1328 and depared back to Brisbane as QFA1329.  It was captured by 'IAD' on its return to the beef capital later in the day as QFA1336.  It later returned back to Brisbane again but as QFA1337.

While he was there, 'IAD' took the opportunity to capture a couple of images of Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPC as it also called into Rockhampton Airport on Friday 18 April.  VH-ZPC is one of the E-190s that have now been re-painted into the new Virgin Australia livery.

Some great photos of a great day at Rockhampton Airport - such a great sight to see Qantas back in the beef capital!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  © 

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Nice Easter Surprise! Qantas Boeing B737-800 VH-VZM Calls into Rockhampton Airport TWICE!

It wasn't a Good Friday at Rockhampton Airport but a great Friday 18 April as Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VZM called in twice, operating additional passenger services from and back to Brisbane.

VH-VZM first caught everyone by surprise by calling in early as QFA1328 and departing back to Brisbane as QFA1329.  Local plane spotters were then able to catch VH-VZM as it returned to the beef capital as QFA1336.  It later returned back to Brisbane again but as QFA1337.

It is believed that the B737-800 was substituted on scheduled services to Rockhampton due to the possible unserviceablity of a Boeing B717-200 in Brisbane.

Thanks to 'IAD' for capturing some photos of VH-VZM at Rocky - stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for more of his great images in the coming days!

In the meantime, we at the CQ Plane Spotting hope you and your families have a peaceful and safe Easter break!

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Queensland Government and Queensland Police Aircraft Movements Over the Last Week or so

Over the course of this week, the various Queensland Government (State of Queensland) and Queensland Police Service (Airwing) aircraft have had a fairly busy week, ferrying Premier Campbell Newman and other Government and Police officials in and out of North and Central Queensland as Tropical Cyclone Ita passed through.

File photo

As we mentioned below, the Government's Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY passed through Rockhampton last Wednesday 9 April.  The next day, it flew Premier Newman North to Cairns and later Cooktown, which was preparing for Cyclone Ita to hit.  VH-SGY then ferried back and forth between North Queensland and Brisbane, and on Wednesday 16 April, I noted VH-SGY depart Brisbane for Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport.

The Government's Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ has also been noted flying in and out of North Queensland over the last week or so.  It was noted flying into Mackay Airport from Brisbane on Saturday 12 April.  It later departed to Cairns where it spent the next couple of days flying between several North Queensland cities, including Bowen on Monday 14 April.  Incidentally, I spotted VH-SGQ earlier last week passing through Longreach Airport.  It arrived early from Brisbane and later departed to Emerald - as shown below.

Finally, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU was also noted flying in and out of various North and Central Queensland towns, including Maryborough and Hervey Bay on Tuesday 15 April and Thursday 17 April.

Most of the Queensland Police turbo-prop aircraft spent most of the week locked away in hangars away from the weather, but by Thursday 17 April, they were all noted flying over Queensland again.  For instance, Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK had a busy day on Thursday starting and finishing its flying day in Cairns, and flying to Townsville, Mackay, Brisbane, Rockhampton and Maryborough.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-XSJ Pops into Mackay Airport

Jetstar Airways new Airbus A320 VH-XSJ popped into Mackay Airport on Thursday 17 April.  It was the aircraft's first visit into Central Queensland, and was operating the scheduled JST888/889 service from and back to Brisbane.

VH-XSJ was delivered to Jetstar in early April, and was formally 9V-JST with Singapore-based Jetstar Asia Airways - an Asian off-shoot of Jetstar Airways.  It is an older A320 and does not feature sharklets (winglets) that the newer A320s that Jetstar have received in recent months.

UPDATE!  VH-XSJ popped into Mackay Airport again twice on Friday 18 April operating the JST882/883 and JST888/889 services from and back to Brisbane.

RFDS and CQ Rescue Medical Evacuation Aircraft Call into Clermont This Week

Over the course of this week, Clermont has seen an unusually large amount to medical evacuation aircraft to call into the local airport and hospital.

On Thursday 17 April, both Central Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service (CQ Rescue) Bell 412s VH-LSY ("Rescue 422") and VH-CQJ ("Rescue 412") - pictured above and below - called into town landing at Clermont Hospital on patient transfer duties.

VH-LSY also called into town on Wednesday 16 April.

On a side note, with both CQ Rescue choppers tasked on missions, I noted that Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) (State of Queensland) Bell 412EP VH-ESB flew into Moranbah from Townsville Thursday 17 April.  It departed direct to Townsville Hospital.

Clermont Aerodrome has also seen visits by Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) King Air aircraft, with Raytheon B200 VH-FDW calling in on Wednesday 16 April and again on Saturday 12 April, while Hawker Beechcraft B200C King Air VH-FDS called in on Tuesday 15 April and last Thursday 10 April.

Finally, its always good to remind followers that both the RACQ-CQ Rescue Helicopter Service and the RFDS are both valuable community services that serves a vast area of not only Central Queensland, but Australia-wide for the RFDS. Donations to both organisations are welcomed all year round.  To make a donation visit...

The CQ Rescue website (

The RFDS website (

Fog on Thursday Morning Causes Diversions from Rockhampton and Moranbah Airports

Early on Thursday 17 April, fog rolled into parts of Central Queensland causing some minor disruptions to operations, inlcuding a couple of diversions.  Toll Freight Aviation Metro III Expeditor VH-UZI was operating as TFX162 operating from Brisbane to Rockhampton, but was forced to land at Gladstone Airport.

It later continued to Rockhampton, and further to Mackay.

Meanwhile, the early morning QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 service from Brisbane to Moranbah - QLK2448 - made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to land at the mining town, and eventually diverted to Mackay Airport.  It later returned to Moranbah and departed as per normal back to Brisbane.

Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 Bizjet N50XC Calls into Emerald Airport Wednesday

Making a surprise but welcome visit into Emerald Airport on Wednesday 16 April was Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 bizjet N50XC.  I captured the lovely bizjet as it departed Brisbane for Emerald on Wednesday morning.

N50XC departed Emerald for Sydney.

Meanwhile, a couple of other notable movements I captured at Brisbane that called into Emerald Airport on Wednesday 16 April included Pel-Air / Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-REX, which was captured about to depart on it regular Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) run to Emerald on behalf of Pel-Air as PFY9282.

VH-REX later returned as PFY9283.  It also called into Emerald on Tuesday night.  Interestingly, it also operated a FIFO flight to Emerald on Sunday 13 April as well - perhaps a new flight?

Another FIFO flight to Emerald each week was operated by Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-JFE on Wednesday 16 April.

It departed as UTY1070 and is pictured returning to Brisbane later as UTY1071.