Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alliance Airlines to Receive Fokker F-70 Aircraft

It has been reported that Alliance Airlines will soon receive 2 Fokker F-70 aircraft.

These two aircraft will add to their growing fleet of Fokker F-50 and Fokker F-100 types.

There is some speculation about whether these 70 seat jets will operate on Alliance Airlines growing fly-in fly-out charter work, or be placed on commercial services on behalf of QantasLink. Currently, Alliance operate 2 of their Fokker F-100 aircraft almost daily for QantasLink on their Brisbane-Rockhampton-Brisbane and Brisbane-Mackay-Brisbane flights with up to 4 services a day and 3 services a day respectively.

It is an interesting announcement considering that Virgin Australia will shortly start regional flights out of Brisbane with their recently ordered ATR-72 aircraft.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

QANTAS Makes a Brief Return to Rockhampton Airport Wednesday

A Qantas Boeing B737-838, registered VH-VXP, made a surprise visit to Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 29 June.

The flight was a charter, with the VH-VXP arriving from Darwin as QF1355, and later departing to Sydney as QF6155.

It's been many years since Qantas regularly flew into Rockhampton, and the sight of this visitor was most welcome!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Commercial, Military and General Aviation Pictures from Rockhampton Airport Monday

Rockhampton Airport played host to a wide variety of aircraft and operators on Monday 27 June.

Both Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) transports - Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 and Lockheed C-130H A97-009 - returned during the day. The following pictures show the Globemaster arriving and departing as "Stallion 74".

On the commercial scene, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWM - which still wears a plain white colour scheme - was operating flights on behalf of QantasLink.

Virgin Australia Embraer ERJ-190s VH-ZPH and VH-ZPE were also noted flying between Brisbane and Rockhampton.

During the morning, the Singapore Flying College Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-SQY, operated in the Rockhampton Airport cricuit area, flying touch-and-gos and missed approaches, as it completed its training flight from the Sunshine Coast. It used the callsign "Raffles 22".

Elsewhere at the Airport, Fugro Spatial Solutions' Cessna 206 VH-KPG, is pictured below parked on the General Aviation ramp. Local spotters report that this and other Fugro aircraft have been recently conducting several aerial survey flights out of Rockhampton.

Air New Zealand Boeing B747-400 Touches Down at Rockhampton Airport

Late on Sunday 26 June, Air New Zealand Boeing B747-400, ZK-NBW, touched down at Rockhampton Airport as ANZ1964 from Adelaide Airport.

The jumbo later departed to Brisbane and then Auckland as ANZ6064.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Transports at Rockhampton Airport Sunday

A couple of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) transports popped into Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 26 June as most of the Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa and Sikorsky S70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters headed back to their home bases.

First to arrive was RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207. It made a spectacular 'sideways' arrival onto Runway 15 as shown below.

The C-17A is also pictured departing later as "Stallion 74".

In the afternoon, RAAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules A97-009 returned to Rockhampton Airport as "Trojan 52". It is pictured departing in the early afternoon.

On the commercial scene, pictured below is Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWT, which made three flights on the Brisbane-Rockhampton-Brisbane run on behalf of QantasLink, while Virgin Australia Embraer ERJ-170 VH-ZHF is pictured departing in the early afternoon for Townsville.

Brindabella Airlines and Pel Air Charters to Alpha Aerodrome Sunday

Noted departing Brisbane Airport early on Sunday 26 June were Brindabella Airlines British Aerospace Jetstream 41 VH-TAI, and Pel Air (Regional Express - REX) SAAB 340A VH-EKD and an unidentified Metro, all destined for Alpha Aerodrome.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday's Highlights from a Quieter Day's Spotting at Rockhampton Airport

Compared to recent days, Saturday 25 June was a relatively quiet day for plane spotting at Rockhampton Airport with a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules visiting for about an hour, and only a couple of the Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa helicopters hitting the skies.

A97-009 is pictured below touching down on Runway 15 as "Trojan 52".

There is apparently the possibility of more transport aircraft visiting Rockhampton Airport over the coming days.

Meanwhile, the remaining Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger, and Sikorsky S70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters all remained parked either beside Runway 04/22, or on the military hardstand at the Airport - as shown below.

One other interesting movement of note was a Cessna 337 "Push/Pull" type plane with two propellers - one pushing and one pulling! This aircraft is based is registered VH-OTU and is based in Townsville. It wears a very attractive United States Air Force (USAF) colour scheme.

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17 Globemaster Highlights a Spectacular Day of Military Aircraft Spotting at Rockhampton Airport Friday

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209, using Callsign "Stallion 38", popped into Rockhampton Airport briefly on Friday 24 June.

It is pictured after landing on Runway 15, taxiing to the terminal apron along Juliette taxiway.

The Globemaster capped off a stunning day of plane spotting at Rockhampton Airport with examples of Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa, Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger, and Sikorsky S70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters, all landing at the Airport during the day.

The locals were out in force and provide the following photos - thanks guys!

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Australian Army Action at Rockhampton Airport

Rockhampton locals are still enjoying a fantastic military fixed-wing and helicopter presence at the airport with reports that as many as seven Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa helicopters noted on the ground late on early on Friday 24 June.

The Kiowas have been reportedly flying in groups of 3-4 with callsigns of "Redback Red" or "Redback Black".

One of the local spotters also provides the following images of some of the Kiowas that were flying around the airport earlier this week.





Meanwhile, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) British Aerospace (BAe) Hawk 127 aircraft continue to fly sorties out of Rockhampton Airport. Some of the locals were lucky enough to catch all four that have deployed to Rocky fly out on two sorties on the afternoon of Wednesday 22 June.

A27-14 and A27-29 are pictured departing together with callsign "Bobcat"

A27-22 and A17-32 are pictured departing together with callsign "Puma"

Also pictured departing Rockhampton Airport shortly after is RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-426 as "Dingo 82".

Thanks to the locals for these fantastic pictures!!

Fly-In Fly-Out Charters to Various CQ Airports This Week

Info courtesy of Lloyd F in Brisbane...

Wednesday 22 June:
Pel Air (Regional Express - REX) SAAB 340A VH-EKD flew Brisbane to Emerald to Brisbane, then Brisbane to Moranbah to Brisbane.

Pel Air (Regional Express - REX) Metros VH-KDO flew Brisbane to Alpha to Brisbane, while VH-KEX flew Brisbane to Gladstone to Brisbane.

Thursday 23 June:
Corporate Air (Vee H Aviation) Metro VH-VEK flew Brisbane to Alpha to Emerald to Brisbane.

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100s VH-FWH flew Brisbane to Emerald to Brisbane as UTY2242/2243, while VH-XWT flew Brisbane to Emerald to Newcastle (Williamtown) to Brisbane as UTY2244/2245/2246. These seem to be regular FIFO charter movements.

Lastly, Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign Bizjet of Executive Airlines at Essendon flew Brisbane to Emerald to Brisbane.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Recent Aerobatic Pitts Special Visitor to Whitsunday Airshow Crashes near Tamworth

Last weekend, Pitts Special S-2A VH-PDU, which wowwed the crowd at the recent Whitsunday Airshow at Airlie Beach, crashed while performing an aerobatics display at Barraba, near Tamworth in New South Wales.

Miraculously, the pilot, Phil Unicomb, suffered only abrasions, bruising and an injured back, after the bi-plane reportedly dropped out of the sky and hit the ground hard.

Phil has been flying for 30 years and runs Action Aerobatics. He had been the star attraction at the inaugural Barraba Action Aerobatics Display. Pictured below is Phil preparing to take VH-PDU for a fly at Airlie Beach last month.

An ambulance was on scene when the accident occurred, and Barraba police also attended. Phil was been taken to Barraba Hospital before being transferred to Tamworth Hospital in a stable condition.

The incident has also been reported to the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau and Civil Aviation Authority.