Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pacific Sky Aviation Inc (Canada) Viking Aircraft (De Havilland) DHC-6-400 Twin Otter C-GVKI Calls into Rockhampton Airport

A nice surprise arrival into Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 25 February with Canadian registered Pacific Sky Aviation Inc Viking Aircraft (De Havilland) DHC-6-400 Twin Otter C-GVKI touching down from Cairns.







The distinctly coloured special mission Viking 'Guardian 400' demonstration aircraft is presently on a world tour and stopped in at Cairns around a fortnight ago before it ultimately heads to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth during the Australian leg of the world tour.  Indeed after refuelling at Rocky, it departed to Tamworth in New South Wales.










C-GVKI has reportedly undergone a six month modification program to develop the aircraft and is full of special mission equipment from the companies noted to the right of the cabin door.


Viking has developed the Guardian 400 in response to worldwide military and government agency demand for a medium-range maritime patrol, search-and-rescue and critical infrastructure platform based on the new Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft.  It is also the only special mission aircraft capable of operating on five different types of landing gear.

Read more at:  https://www.guardian400worldtour.com/

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  ©

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Stewart Aviation Services LLC (USA) Gulfstream G-IV-SP Bizjet N554SL Departs Mackay Airport - Plus More!

After arriving at the end of last week, on Sunday 23 February, the visiting Stewart Aviation Services LLC (USA) Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV-SP bizjet N554SL was noted departing Mackay Airport and returning to Brisbane.

N554SL at Mackay Airport on Friday  (File photo)

The sleek Gulfstream had arrived into Mackay Airport from Brisbane on Friday 21 February.

At the time of writing, it appears that N554SL will continue to Karratha in Western Australia on Monday 24 February.

Meanwhile, a gaggle of other locally-based corporate bizjets came and went from various Central Queensland Airports also on Sunday 23 February.

The locally-based Greensill Aviation Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-CCJ was yet again noted flying out and about from Bundaberg Airport this time to Townsville and back.

While Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS bizjet VH-XCU was noted departing Hamilton Island Airport for Melbourne (Essendon) and then Melbourne (Moorabbin).  It arrived from there on Friday 21 February.

And for me locally, the familiar sight of Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY called into my local Clermont Aerodrome from Dubbo in New South Wales.  It later departed to Essendon.

Finally, the familiar sight of Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC flew up from its Sunshine Coast base to complete airwork at Gladstone Airport before eventually landing there for a short time.  VH-MMC then returned to the Sunny Coast.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Rainy Weather Sees Diversions from Hamilton Island Airport - Qantas B737-800 VH-VXD Spotted at Rockhampton Airport

Rainy and windy weather rolling through parts of Central Queensland on Sunday 23 February, saw a pair of scheduled flights bound for Hamilton Island Airport unable to land and forced to divert to other Central Queensland Airports.

Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VXD was operating as QFA866 from Sydney to Hamilton Island Airport and was forced to divert to Rockhampton Airport after being unable to land at Hamo following some holding and at least one attempt at landing.  It was spotted below taxiing in and then departing.



After being refuelled, VH-VXD continued up to Hamilton Island Airport where it landed safely.

Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YVC was operating as VOZ1281 from Sydney to Hamilton Island Airport and was forced to divert to Mackay Airport after also being unable to land at Hamo also following some holding and at least one attempt at landing.

VH-YVC was also refuelled and continued up to Hamilton Island Airport where it landed safely.

Finally, later on Sunday 23 February, bad weather at the Sunshine Coast forced McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Beech B200 King Air P2-LNJ to divert and land at Rockhampton Airport.

The King Air was flying from Cairns to the Sunny Coast but turned around just South of Rocky before heading to Rockhampton Airport where it landed and was parked for the night.

UPDATE!  P2-LNJ didn't hang around long, departing Rockhampton Airport for the Sunshine Coast before dawn on Monday 24 February.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Friday, February 21, 2020

Stewart Aviation Services LLC (USA) Gulfstream G-IV-SP Bizjet N554SL Arrives into Mackay Airport - Plus More!

Spotted parked on the Mackay Airport apron late on Friday 21 February was Stewart Aviation Services LLC (USA) Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV-SP bizjet N554SL.  The sleek Gulfstream had earlier arrived into the Sugar City from Brisbane.




N554SL had earlier touched down in the Queensland capital from Birmingham, Alabama via Los Cabos, Mexico and Papeete, Tahiti.

At the time of writing, it appears that N554SL is staying at Mackay Airport for at least the night.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 21 February, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XNF "Rescue 550" was noted flying over the top and off the coast of Mackay in support of the locally-based Central Queensland Rescue (CQ Rescue) (Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia) Bell 412 VH-CQJ "Rescue 412" as it completed a sortie.

While out at Emerald Airport, after arriving earlier in the week, the visiting American registered Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global 6000 bizjet N60XC departed there also on Friday 21 February.  It returned to Brisbane, having arrived into Emerald Airport from the capital on Wednesday 19 February.

Finally, also on Friday 21 February, Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS bizjet VH-XCU which was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon).  It appears to have remained parked.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'JM' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet A56-003 Pops into Gladstone Airport

On Friday 21 February, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet A56-003 was noted visiting Gladstone Airport.  It looked to arrive from Brisbane as "Envoy 05" having earlier arrived from Canberra but as "Envoy 11".

File photo

After a short time on the ground, A56-003 departed Gladstone Airport and returned to Brisbane, again as "Envoy 05".

Meanwhile, down the road at Bundaberg Airport, also on Friday 21 February, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-006 was noted completing a missed approach.  It was heard to be flying as "Wedgetail 07".

A30-006 looked to fly up from RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle and later depart to RAAF Base Amberley.  The Wedgetail looked to later return to Williamtown.

Photo taken by Dan B  ©

Three Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters Pop into Rockhampton Airport Heading Home from Bushfire Zone

After being part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) support during the recent bushfire crisis in Southern Australia, on Friday 21 February, three Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters were spotted passing through Rockhampton Airport heading home to Townsville.










The three MRH-90s arrived separately all from the Oakey Army Aviation Centre and were identified as A40-003 which was flying as "Angel 21", A40-035 as "Angel 22" and A40-013 as "Angel 23".

After taking on fuel, each then continued separately to Townsville.

Of interest, both A40-003 and A40-013 deployed South at the start of January while A40-035 deployed South towards the end of January - see Blog posts below.

Meanwhile, last Wednesday 12 February, three Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters were also noted returning home to Townsville after their deployment in support of the bushfire crisis.  It is unclear where they exactly transited while heading North.

Photo taken by Scott Harris  ©

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

American Registered Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global 6000 Bizjet N60XC Back at Emerald Airport

Spotted at Emerald Airport late on Wednesday 19 February was the familiar sight of American registered Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global 6000 bizjet N60XC.  The semi-regular visitor to Emerald Airport (and the CQ region) is making its first visit for 2020 and this time looked to arrive from Brisbane.


It appears that N60XC arrived into the Queensland capital from overseas via Perth in Western Australia on Sunday 16 February.

At the time of writing, N60XC remains parked at Emerald Airport.

UPDATE!  On Friday 21 February, N60XC departed Emerald Airport for Brisbane.

Meanwhile, also noted visiting Emerald Airport but on Monday 17 February was Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air A32-675.  It arrived from RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria and later departed to Townsville.  A32-675 was heard to be flying as "Hudson 02".

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

AirServices Australia / Aero Pearl (Pearl Aviation) Beech B300 Super King Air VH-FIX Airwork at Gladstone Airport

On Tuesday 18 February, AirServices Australia / Aero Pearl (Pearl Aviation) Beech B300 Super King Air VH-FIX was noted completing a pair of navigational aid (navaid) calibration flights from Brisbane to Gladstone Airport and back.

File photo

Both flights lasted over two hours and on both occasions, VH-FIX - which was flying as 'ADA2' / "Auscal 2" - completed several missed approaches and low overshoots at Gladstone Airport.

It's worth noting that after operating overseas for some time, VH-FIX returned to Australia at Brisbane via Darwin and Mount Isa in December last year.

Photo taken by Sid Mitchell  ©

Brisbane-based Cessna 525 Citation CJ2 Bizjet VH-TEY at Biloela / Thangool and Rockhampton Airports Again

Early on Tuesday 18 February, Brisbane-based Teys Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ2 bizjet VH-TEY was noted back in Central Queensland for the second straight week, again arriving into Biloela / Thangool Airport from its Archerfield base.  After spending the morning parked, VH-TEY then flew up to Rockhampton Airport where it arrived during the early part of the afternoon.

File photo

At the time of writing, it appears that VH-TEY is staying at Rocky for at least the night.

UPDATE!  During the early part of the afternoon on Wednesday 19 February, VH-TEY departed Rockhampton Airport and returned to Archerfield.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 18 February, another bizjet in the form of Australian Country Choice Properties (Brisbane) Cessna 560 Citation V Encore VH-ACC was noted visiting Roma Airport, touching down from Archerfield.

UPDATE!  After spending the night, on Wednesday 19 February, VH-ACC departed Roma Airport for Augathella and Archerfield.

Also on Tuesday 18 February, Redjet Aviation Piper PA-31 Navajo VH-PJU landed at Clermont Aerodrome from its Toowoomba base.  It later returned to Toowoomba.  It also appears that VH-PJU completed the same flight into Clermont Aerodrome the previous week too.

While also on Tuesday 18 February, Austrek Aviation Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-ZMW visited Bundaberg Airport from its Toowoomba base.  The King Air previously operated Australasian Jet and flew quite a number of closed charter flights into Central Queensland!

Finally, on Monday 17 February, Wagga Air Centre (Mabena) Cessna 310R VH-LGK was noted departing Blackall Airport for Bourke, Orange and Wagga Wagga.  It was heard to be flying as 'WA658'  "Wagga Air 658".

Photo taken by Greg Weir  ©

Hevilift Aviation (PNG) Mil Mi-8MTV-1 Helicopter P2-MHM Back at Central Queensland Airports

On Monday 17 February, Hevilift Aviation (Papua New Guinea) Mil Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter P2-MHM was spotted back Central Queensland, heading home to Papua New Guinea following a deployment to assist with the recent bushfire fighting efforts in Southern Australia.


P2-MHM was noted arriving into Bundaberg Airport from Coffs Harbour and Redcliffe on Monday and remained parked for the night.  It was photographed above and below early on Tuesday 18 February as it prepared to depart for Mackay Airport and then Cairns.






P2-MHM was then photographed below as it visited Mackay Airport.



It is expected that P2-MHM will continue to PNG in the coming days.

P2-MHM was reportedly brought to Australia by Redcliffe-based AeroPower for operations in Southern Australia during the recent bushfire crisis.  P2-MHM looked to operate mostly out of
Merimbula in Southern New South Wales.

Of interest, the Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine helicopter, originally designed by the Soviet Union, and now produced by Russia.  In addition to its most common role as a transport helicopter, the Mi-8 is also used as an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform. Along with the related, more powerful Mil Mi-17, the Mi-8 is among the world's most prolific utility helicopters ever built with over 7 300 examples manufactured since 1961, bring used by over 50 countries.  As of 2015, it was the third most common operational military aircraft in the world.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a great visitor to CQ!

Photos taken by Isaac S and 'AC'  ©