Saturday, August 1, 2015

Luft Aviation Charter (Melbourne) Challenger 604 Bizjet N360PL at Hamilton Island Airport

Luft Aviation Charter (at Essendon) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet N360PL was spotted on the ground at Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 1 August shortly after arriving in the Whitsundays from its base at Melbourne (Essendon) Airport.

It appears that the Challenger 604 could be a replacement aircraft for Challenger 601 N360SL which had previously been operated by Luft Aviation Charter and spotted calling into some Central Queensland Airports.

It appears that N360PL may be staying in Hamo.

Photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NH90 Helicopter NZ3304 at Gladstone Airport

Late on Friday 31 July, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NH90 helicopter NZ3304 landed at Gladstone Airport after flying directly from Townsville.  It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Warrior 04" as it overflew Rockhampton while heading South.

On Saturday 1 August, NZ3304 remained parked until the early afternoon when it departed and made the short hop across to the Gladstone Port where it landed on board the HMNZS Canterbury multi-role vessel which docked at Gladstone during the week.

It was expected that fellow RNZAF NH90 NZ3303 would join NZ3304 at Gladstone, however it appears that NZ3303 departed Townsville and landed at Rockhampton before heading directly to the HMNZS Canterbury.

This see the final aircraft/helicopter depart Central Queensland following the end of Exercise Hamel and joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015.  It's been a good month or so!

Photos taken by Col  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air A32-350 "Hudson 8" Also at Rockhampton Airport

Also noted calling into Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 1 August was Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air A32-350.

It touched down from Cairns, and after a short time on the ground, it departed to Newcastle and further ports South.  A32-350 was heard to use the radio callsign of "Hudson 8".  It is operated by the RAAF's 32 Squadron based at East Sale in Victoria.

Re-Branded Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQG Calls into Rockhampton Airport

Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQG was captured on the ground at Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 1 August after earlier arriving from Cairns as SKP200.

VH-QQG is one of the four re-branded Dash-8-100 aircraft that the 'new' Skytrans is operating on scheduled services around the Gulf-country out of Cairns - VH-QQA, VH-QQB and VH-QQI are the others.

On Tuesday 31 March, Skytrans returned to the skies under the ownership of Collings Holdings Airlines which owned by Peter Collings, who also runs owner of West Wing Aviation, and Rugby League player Johnathan Thurston.

The original Skytrans suspended operations with effect from Friday 2 January when it was placed in voluntary administration. Managing Director Simon Wild blamed the worsening Australian dollar currency exchange rate, coupled with a tough operating environment - worsened by the loss of three Queensland Government regulated regional air routes in late-2014.

The end of operations came a day after the carrier marked its 25th anniversary of Queensland services - outback and regional Queensland, the Gulf country and Cape York services in particular.

Thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for venturing to Rockhampton Airport and capturing these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

CQ Plane Spotting Historic Spot - Retired Qantas B747-400 VH-OJI at Rockhampton Airport in 2013

The retirement of Qantas Airways Boeing B747-400 aircraft from their fleet continued recently with another one of Central Queensland's favourite jumbos heading to the Mojave Desert in the United States of America.

B747-400 VH-OJI "City of Longreach" departed Sydney for Honolulu and Mojave on Thursday 25 June after a flying career with Qantas of over 20 years.

VH-OJI was a very welcome to CQ calling into Rockhampton Airport on a couple of occasions in November 2013 in support of the Singapore Defence Force's Exercise Wallaby.  It carried personnel in and out of Rocky from Singapore's Changi Airport.

VH-OJI was one of four Qantas B747-400s that have called into Rocky over the life of the CQ Plane Spotting Blog - VH-OJC, VH-OJD and VH-OEB are the others.  VH-OEB is currently still in the Qantas fleet while VH-OJD and VH-OJC were retired to Victorville (USA) in March 2013 and March 2014 respectively.

Thanks to Sydney-based plane spotter Bernie P for allowing us to use his great photos as VH-OJI departed Austalia!

Photos taken by Bernie Proctor and 'IAD'  ©

Friday, July 31, 2015

Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign Bizjet VH-PYN Calls into Hamilton Island Airport

Noted calling into Hamilton Island Airport on Friday 31 July was Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-PYN.

Unfortunately the exact movements of VH-PYN are not known however I believe it called in during the afternoon and could be staying for the night.

Meanwhile, a couple of departures from the Whitsundays on Friday 31 July with Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000LX bizjet VH-WIO departing Hamo for Bankstown, while Edwards Coaches Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-KXL departed Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport for Armidale.

File photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Beech A36 Bonanza VH-ILG Crash Landing at Mackay Airport Thursday - Landing Gear Failure - Pilot and Passenger Ok!

On Thursday 30 July, Beech A36 Bonanza VH-ILG suffered a landing gear failure while landing at Mackay Airport.  It came to rest on the main Runway 14/32, sustaining damage to its propeller and underneath section.  The pilot and his passenger (a dog) escaped unharmed.

Mackay Airport was closed for a period of time on Thursday afternoon while VH-ILG remained on the Runway.  The afternoon Virgin Australia VOZ613 flight from Brisbane to Mackay was forced to hold South of Mackay for around 30 minutes before it was able to land once the Bonanza was cleared and the Airport re-opened.

At Mackay Airport, VH-ILG was re-positioned from the Runway to the General Aviation (GA) Apron and into position outside the resident Chrisair Maintenance hangar where no doubt repair work will be carried out.

I spotted VH-ILG parked on the GA Apron at Mackay Airport last Friday 24 July.  It seems to have become a regular sight at Mackay Airport despite being registered in West Australia.

VH-ILG has also been spotted at various Central Queensland Airports over recent months.

It's another unfortunate aviation incident to take place over the last couple of weeks in the Mackay-Whitsunday region.

Photos taken by Kevin Patroni  ©

A Few Bizjets Around CQ Airports on Thursday

A few bizjets were spotted around various Central Queensland Airports on Thursday 30 July.

At my local 'drome - Clermont Aerodrome - I spotted Light Jets Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 VH-TFW resting quietly in the early morning sunshine after arriving the previous evening from Archerfield, Gayndah and Roma.

It departed later on Thursday to Charters Towers and Cloncurry.

Meanwhile, down at Emerald Airport, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra VH-MMC paid another visit from and back to its Sunshine Coast base this week arriving on Tuesday 28 July and departing on Wednesday 29 July.

The Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP VH-SGY was captured visiting Mackay Airport from Brisbane on Thursday 30 July.

After some time on the ground, VH-SGY departed North to Cairns.

Up the road at Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport, Edwards Coaches Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-KXL initially called in from its Armidale base in New South Wales.  After a short time on the ground, it departed to Rockhampton.  After a couple of hours there, it returned to Prosie and looked to be overnighting with a departure back to Armidale scheduled for Friday 31 July.

Meanwhile, over on Hamilton Island, a nice pairs of bizjets called in on Thursday 30 July including Marcplan Charter Gulfstream G-IV VH-MBP.

The exact flight tracking of VH-MBP is not known, and after a couple of hours on the ground, VH-MBP departed Hamilton Island again for parts unknown.

Also calling into Hamo on Thursday was Balmoral Air's brand new Dassault Falcon 2000LX VH-WIO.  It touched down from Bankstown and looks to be staying for (at least) the night.

Finally, while not a bizjet, Henty Aviation (Avcair) Cessna 425 VH-BSM was spotted on the ground at Maryborough Airport also on Thursday 30 July.

It looks to have called in from, and later returned to, Archerfield Airport.

Photos taken by 'AC' and David Geck  ©

Record-Breaking Round-the-World Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage N997MA Arrives at Mackay Airport

San Diego-based business owner, author, and pilot Robert DeLaurentis has touched down at Mackay Airport late on Wednesday 29 July in his Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage N997MA while on a three-month 26-country record-breaking around-the-world adventure.

He departed Lindbergh Field (San Diego) on Sunday 17 May in his state-of-the-art aircraft named "Spirit of San Diego".

DeLaurentisis is flying his 1997 Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage N997MA around the globe in about 90 days, giving presentations about general aviation in several countries. He has amassed 33 sponsors for his 'not-for-profit' ambassadorial mission on behalf of general aviation.

"The Zen Pilot," as DeLaurentisis calls himself has a website titled "Flying Thru Life" ( where you can read more about him and his speaking engagements as well as and follow his adventures and sign up for updates!

Certainly a remarkable and inspirational man on an equally remarkable and inspirational journey!  We wish him all the best!

Photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Zealand Registered Cirrus SR20 ZK-LDV Passes Through Bundaberg Airport

Interesting to note that New Zealand registered Cirrus SR20 possibly passed through Bundaberg Airport on Tuesday 28 July.

After arriving in Townsville the previous day from Port Moresby and Cairns (where it was captured by the FNQ Skies Blog), ZK-LDV was believed to have departed Townsville for Bundaberg and Archerfield on Tuesday - there is conflicting information as to whether this actually occurred - ZK-LDV could have returned to Townsville.

UPDATE!  ZK-LDV was cancelled from the New Zealand register on Thursday 30 July and marked as 'exported', with it presumed that the owners are returning to Australia.

Photo taken by the FNQ Skies Blog  ©