Monday, May 20, 2019

Multiple Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air Turboprops Pass Through Roma Airport Heading to Far North Queensland

On Monday 20 May, no less than six Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air turboprop aircraft were noted passing through Roma Airport for fuel while all on flights from their home at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria to Townsville and Cairns in Far North Queensland.

A32-439 flying as "Beaufort 01" passed through Roma Airport and headed to Townsville.

While A32-003 "Husdon 21", A32-021 "Hudson 33", A32-670 "Hudson 06", A32-671 "Husdon 29" and A32-651 "Hudson 42" all passed through Roma Airport and headed to Cairns - as shown above.

It is unclear why there was this mass movement of Super King Airs - the five that arrived into Cairns were noted parked outside the local Hawker Pacific hangar so perhaps they are in town there for some maintenance?

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 21 May, it appears that at least two of the five Super King Airs at Cairns took the air while the others remained parked.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 20 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-009 flying as "Wallaby 43" flew up from RAAF Base Amberley to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport where it was noted completing a missed approach.  It then flew across to Maryborough Airport for another missed approach before heading back to Amberley via more airwork in the Kingaroy area.

Sincere thanks to Cairns-based plane spotter Jonathan W for allowing us to share his great photos!

All photos taken by Jonathan Williams  ©

Sunday, May 19, 2019

QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQD Spotted at CQ Airports Now in New 'Silver-Roo' Colours

The fourth of 10 QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen turboprops has emerged from the paint-shop this week looking resplendent after being re-painted into the new Qantas 'Silver-Roo' colour scheme.

On Monday 13 May, VH-LQD emerged from the Flying Colours paint-shop in Townsville, and after flying to Cairns, made its first visit into Central Queensland.  It was noted calling into Hamilton Island Airport on the QLK2503/2504 scheduled service from and back to Cairns.

Over the course of the week, VH-LQD then operated from both Cairns and Townsville before it ventured South to Brisbane out of via Mackay Airport on Friday 17 May.  VH-LQD was then spotted on Sunday 19 May visiting Rockhampton Airport as it completed the QLK2358/2359 scheduled service from and back to Brisbane.

As shown above, VH-LQD has now been named 'Sunbury' having been previously name 'City of Great Geraldton' since delivery to QantasLink in 2011.  VH-LQD was only just photographed in March still wearing the 2007-style 'new roo' colour scheme - as shown below.

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As mentioned, VH-LQD is the fourth Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen, joining VH-LQL, VH-LQH and VH-LQF as the current aircraft to be re-painted in the new and updated Qantas livery and kangaroo logo.  The 'Silver-Roo' livery was introduced to coincide with the introduction the Boeing B787 Dreamliner into service with the airline in 2017.

All of the 'classic' Dash-8-Q400 aircraft have already been re-painted so the new livery is becoming quite a common sight at most Central Queensland Airports.

It now appears that fellow Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQB is now in the paint-shop at Townsville and is expected to emerge next week in the new Qantas/QantasLink livery.

Photos taken by Jaxson White and Russell Prothero  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP Helicopter VH-VAB "Rescue 82" Arrives into Rockhampton Airport

Presumably arriving into Rockhampton to provide support for the joint Military Exercise Southern Jackaroo which is due to start in the nearby Shaolwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) this week, on Sunday 19 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP helicopter VH-VAB was spotted on the ground at Rockhampton Airport after completing a three-day flight from Darwin in the Northern Territory.

VH-VAB arrived from Darwin via stops at RAAF Base Tindal (Katherine), Borroloola, Mount Isa and Clermont Aerodrome (where I sadly missed it!).  It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Rescue 82" during its ferry flight.

Elements of the Australian Army, United States Marine Corps (USMC) and British Army Gurkhas are reportedly kicking off war-games in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) this week as a part of Exercise Southern Jackaroo.

Of interest, the Bell 412EP VH-VAB is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia and spent many years operating as Victorian Air Ambulance Helimed 1 HEMS 2 based at the Latrobe Valley Airport in Traralgon, Victoria.  In Early 2016, it was retired as an air ambulance and its titles were replaced RAAF Rescue titles.  VH-VAB then moved to RAAF Base East Sale and has previously been noted travelling with The Roulettes when they display around Australia, replacing Sikorsky S-76A VH-LHN at East Sale.

Photo taken by Jaxson White  ©

Toll Freight Metro 23 VH-HPE Completes Federal Election Ballot Paper Run to Remote CQ Airports

A series interesting freight flights was completed over the weekend by Toll Freight Metro 23 VH-HPE.  Reports suggest that the flights delivered and collected ballot papers for the Federal election which was held over the weekend.

After positioning from Brisbane to Winton late the previous evening, on Saturday 18 May, VH-HPE was noted departing Winton and calling into Longreach, Blackall, Charleville (as shown) and Cunnamulla before finishing the day at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.

Then on Sunday 19 May, VH-HPE departed Wellcamp and visited Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine, Charleville, Cunnamulla and Saint George before returning to Wellcamp.  VH-HPE then positioned back to Brisbane.

Finally, it's also worth nothing that also in Saturday 18 May, FlightTech Air Logistics / Townsville Airlines AeroCommander 500-S VH-WZQ also popped into Longreach Airport.  It was noted arriving from its Cairns base and later departed to Swan Hill and Ballarat in Victoria.


Photo taken by Zac Fitzgerald  ©️

Friday, May 17, 2019

Great Photos as Jetworks Display Team ex RSAF SIAI Marchetti S.211 Jet Trainers VH-DZJ & VH-SGB Pop into Gayndah Aerodrome

Certainly a great surprise on Friday 17 May for David G of Maryborough Aviation Services who sends us some fantastic photos he captured at Gaydnah Aerodrome as the Jetworks Display Team were visiting in their ex RSAF SIAI Marchetti S.211 jet training aircraft VH-DZJ and VH-SGB.

The Jetworks Display Team comprises of 2 x SIAI-Marchetti S.211 jet trainers flying as a Syncro Pair and are flown by ex-RAAF Engineer Steve Gale and ex-RAAF Pilot and Roulettes Leader Steve Baker.  An engineer for the team reportedly comes from Gayndah hence the reason for the visit and for the overnight stay!

Both Marchettis were due to depart Gayndah Aerodrome on Saturday 18 May for Toowoomba where they are attending the annual David Hack Classic Meet at Toowoomba Airport which will be held on Sunday 19 May.

Both VH-DZJ and VH-SGB were part of 20 former Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) jet training aircraft that were operated out of RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia.  VH-DZJ wore the serial number '381' while VH-SGB was '396' and they were both retired from service with the RSAF in mid-to-late 2009.

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I captured '381' amongst the other Marchettis in early 2010 after it was placed in storage at Jandakot Airport near Perth in early 2010.

Of interest, pilot trainees from the RSAF now complete basic flying training on Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft still out of RAAF Base Pearce.

Sincere thanks to both David G and to Dael G for capturing and sending through these great photos of a great pair of little jets!

Photos taken by David Geck and Dael Giddens  ©

Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS Bizjet VH-XCU at Hamilton Island Airport Once Again

On Friday 17 May, Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS bizjet VH-XCU was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon).

VH-XCU at Cairns Airport  (File photo)

As with its previous visits, VH-XCU remains parked Hamo.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 19 May, VH-XCU was noted departing Hamo for Essendon and then Moorabbin.

Meanwhile, after both arrived into Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 15 May, Isle of Man registered Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 bizjet M-CVGL and Henadeck Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-YNE both remain parked.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 19 May, VH-YNE departed Hamo for Bankstown.

Finally, also on Friday 17 May, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC made its second visit to Biloela / Thangool Airport for the week.  As it did on Tuesday 14 May, VH-MMC arrived from and later departed back to its Sunshine Coast base.

Photo taken by the FNQ Skies Blog  ©

Airmed Australia Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-SQY Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 17 May, AirMed Australia Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-SQY was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Archerfield. It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Airmed 272".

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After being on the ground for around an hour, VH-SQY departed to Bankstown in New South Wales again as "Airmed 272".

The sleek little bizjet has recently has its operator details updated to AirMed Australia - a New South Wales (NSW) based organisation that has been providing patient transport services by air and by ground for over a decade.  They promote themselves as one of the few providers that have extensive air and ground assets positioned around NSW, thus enabling them to provide our customers with a true "bed-to-bed" service.

To find out more about AirMed, visit their website at:

Photo taken by Greg Weir  ©