Saturday, August 8, 2020

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" Calls into Emerald and Mackay Airports

On Saturday 8 August, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted arriving into Emerald Airport from Brisbane.  After a quick turnaround, it then continued up to Mackay Airport where it was photographed touching down on Runway 14.


After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" departed Mackay Airport and returned to Brisbane Airport.

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

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Airnorth Embraer E-170 Regional Jet VH-SWO Pops into Mackay Airport

A couple of nice visitors to Mackay Airport on Saturday 8 August, but by far the nicest of the two was the first visit (to my knowledge) of Airnorth Embraer E-170-100LR regional jet VH-SWO.  It was photographed arriving from Toowoomba-Wellcamp Airport as 'ANO661' / "TopEnd 661".




After some time on ground, VH-SWO is pictured then departing Mackay Airport for Gove (Nhulunbuy) in the Northern Territory again as ANO661.





VH-SWO then returned direct to Wellcamp but as ANO660.

The reason for the visit remains a mystery - presumably a closed charter flight.

Airnorth is the major aviation operator in Northern Australia. The company operates over 300 scheduled RPT and charter departures weekly, servicing over 20 destinations across four countries.  They carry in excess of 300,000 passengers annually.


In addition to scheduled departures, Airnorth operates contract and ad-hoc charter services for a wide variety of companies undertaking mining, defence and government activity.

To learn more about Airnorth or to book a flight, visit their website:  http://www.airnorth.com.au/

Of interest, VH-SWO is no stranger to Central Queensland.  It was the first aircraft for the short-lived SkyAirWorld which was delivered in early March 2007.  VH-SWO flew in Solomon Airlines colours for a short time before it was used on Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights between Brisbane and Emerald.  VH-SWO was spotted on the ground at Emerald on 16 June 2008 shortly after arriving from Brisbane as “SkyAir 201”.

File photo

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for sending through these great photos of a great rare visitor to Central Queensland!

Photos taken by 'AC' and 'JM'  ©

Friday, August 7, 2020

Qantas Airways Special Painted Boeing B737-800s at Mackay Airport This Week - VH-XZJ Spotted Late Friday in 'Mendoowoorrji' Livery

It was noted this week that two of the three Qantas Airways specially painted Boeing B737-800 aircraft called into Mackay Airport on some of the scheduled twice-daily flights from and back to Brisbane.


After only re-entering service in mid-July after being stored at Brisbane Airport since April, Qantas Boeing B737-800 VH-XZJ 'Mendoowoorrji' was noted visiting Mackay Airport for the first time on Monday 3 August before it visited twice on Friday 7 August.  Local plane spotter 'JM' braved the rain to capture its departure from Mackay Airport back to Brisbane as QFA988 late on Friday.



Of interest, VH-XZJ, 'Mendoowoorrji' is the fourth aircraft in Qantas' flying art series, inspired by the work of late West Australian Aboriginal painter, Paddy Bedford.  The artwork on this aircraft is an interpretation of the 2005 painting 'Medicine Pocket' which captures the essence of Mendoowoorrji, Paddy Bedford's mother's country in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Paddy Bedford was born on Bedford Downs Station in West Australia and worked as a stockman for much of his life before taking up painting in his 70s. He was a founder of the Warmun art movement and was credited for inspiring a generation of Indigenous artists.

For this project, Qantas and Balarinji collaborated with the Bedford Trust and the National Gallery of Australia to ensure design of the fuselage stayed true to the original painting.

Mendoowoorrji was painted at Boeing's headquarters in Seattle, USA and delivered into the Qantas fleet in November 2013. The design took over 950 man hours to complete over a five days period and used 500 litres and 125kg of paint.

The designers worked with 140 nylon stencils to re-created the more intricate design. The techniques used to achieve the paint strokes and detailed shading on the fuselage were a Boeing first.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday 5 August, Qantas’ first retro jet, the original 'Retro Roo' B737-800 VH-XZP was noted at Mackay Airport operating the late afternoon QFA987/988 flight also from and back to Brisbane.

VH-XZP is painted in a special 'retro' colour scheme featuring the iconic ochre colour scheme first introduced by Qantas in 1967.

Sincere thanks again to local plane spotter 'JM' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos taken under very trying weather conditions!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©

Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQF Spotted at Mackay Airport on a Dreary Day!

On Friday 7 August, Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQF was photographed arriving into a wet and misty Mackay Airport.  It had flown up from Brisbane as SKP502.




After a short time on the ground - perhaps for just a refuel - VH-QQF continued from Mackay Airport to Cairns.

Of interest, VH-QQF looks to have spent the middle of this week operating closed Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights from Brisbane to both Miles and Chinchilla Airports.

Of further interest, this is the first time the VH-QQF has been noted in Central Queensland wearing the new Skytrans Airlines livery!

Meanwhile, also on Friday 7 August, Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH was noted visiting Mackay Airport after flying up from Toowoomba and Archerfield.  It then flew back to Toowoomba flying via Emerald Airport.  It completed the reverse of this flight at the beginning of the week - see Blog post below.

While spotted parked on the Western General Aviation (WGA) Apron was The Redcliffe Aero Club's Cessna 310R VH-JTV.  It looked to arrive from Emerald Airport on Thursday 6 August.


Finally, with the rainy weather and low cloud at Mackay Airport on Friday 7 August, some of the inbound Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) flights were forced to divert to Townsville before returning to Mackay Airport later in the morning.

UPDATE!  Of interest, also on Friday 7 August, one flight into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport and one flight into Hamilton Island Airport were also forced to divert to Townsville and Brisbane respectively.


Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YFK is shown below departing a rain-soaked Mackay Airport for Brisbane as VOZ610.


Also, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK looked to have (possibly) two unsuccessful visits to Mackay Airport during the morning and again in the afternoon with flight tracking websites suggesting it flew direct between Townsville and Brisbane and Brisbane and Townsville without being able to make the 'scheduled' stop at Mackay Airport.  VH-PSK is pictured below after carrying out a missed approach after being unable to break visual through the clouds with the Runway at Mackay Airport.


Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'JM' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos taken under very trying weather conditions!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©

Thursday, August 6, 2020

RACQ-LifeFlight Kawasaki BK117 B-2 Helicopter VH-EHQ "Rescue 400" Pops into CQ Airports Heading to Bundaberg Airport

On Thursday 6 August, it appears that RACQ-LifeFlight flew their Kawasaki BK117 B-2 helicopter VH-EHQ all the way from its Mount Isa base to Bundaberg Airport.

https://www.facebook.com/RACQLifeFlightRescue/

The chopper was heard to use its 'usual' radio callsign of "Rescue 400" and was noted making stops at at least Longreach and Emerald Airports before heading into Bundy.

It is unclear if another LifeFlight operated helicopter has replaced VH-EHQ in Mount Isa.

Of interest, VH-EHQ was transferred to LifeFlight's Mount Isa base in 2017 after it operated for some time alongside another BK117 VH-BKV between LifeFlight's Bundaberg and Sunshine Coast Airport bases.

Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-021 "Destrier 115" at Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 6 August, Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-021 was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport.  It looked to fly down from Townsville and was heard to use the radio callsign of "Destrier 115".


After taking on fuel, A40-021 departed to Brisbane.

Sincere thanks to local photographer Steve V for allowing us to share his great photo!

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 Pops into Bundaberg Airport

On Thursday 6 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 was spotted on the ground at Bundaberg Airport.  It looked to arrive from Canberra as "Envoy 15".




After around at hour on the ground, A36-001 departed Bundaberg Airport and returned South to RAAF Base Richmond before returning to Canberra.

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

All photos taken by Peter Sajko  ©

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

And Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 Completes Airwork at Bundaberg Airport

Also on Wednesday 5 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 was spotted completing airwork at Bundaberg Airport.

File photo

A41-208 looked to depart RAAF Base Amberley and fly up to Bundy where it was videoed and noted to complete four missed approaches with low overshoots over the city.




A41-208 then headed back South and completed further airwork off the coast of Brisbane before it then returned to Amberley.

A41-208 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Stallion 25".

Photo and videos taken by Scott Harris and Phil Pryor  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 Completes a Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Wednesday 5 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 made its second visit to the beef capital this week and was spotted as it completed a missed approach and low overshoot at Rockhampton Airport.  It was heard to be flying as "Stallion 24".


It appears that the Globemaster earlier departed from RAAF Base Amberley and took an inland route up to Rocky.  After completing the missed approach at Rockhampton Airport, A41-209 then again headed inland before turning back towards the coast and returning to Amberley.

Sincere thanks to local photographer Steve V for allowing us to share this great photo!

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©️

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" Pops into Rockhampton Airport

During the afternoon on Wednesday 5 August, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It looked to arrive from Brisbane.

Mark Davies / https://www.flickr.com/

After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" departed Rockhampton Airport and returned to the capital.