Thursday, June 14, 2012

Terrific Thursday at Rockhampton Airport - Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hawks Return and an Airbus KC-30A MRTT to Top it Off!

Following-on from our last post on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) British Aerospace (BAe) Hawk 127 jets visiting Rockhampton Airport, Ben O managed to photograph the 'other' Hawk that remained behind on Wednesday 13 June.  Hawk A27-19 is pictured early on Thursday 14 June, parked on the military hardstand area at Rockhampton Airport - at the Northern end of the apron.

As the day went on, movements at Rockhampton Airport were pretty much as per a normal Thursday, although after lunch, the action really hotted up with multiple arrivals of RAAF aircraft, as well as an Australian Army Blackhawk helicopter.

Three more BAe Hawk 127 jets arrived separately during the afternoon - each were noted using the callsign "Panther" with various flight numbers.

A27-20 arrived first.

A27-09 then arrived and joined -19 and -20

A27-02 arrived last.

Ben O managed to snap a few excellent photos from the General Aviation area of Rockhampton Airport as the Hawk taxiied to its parking spot along with its other three sister-hawks!

As far as we are aware, the four Hawks are still at Rockhampton Airport (at the time I've typed this), suggesting that they will be flying from Rockhampton Airport over the coming days!

Another RAAF visitor on Thursday 14 June was Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A MRTT A39-004.  After being noted flying overhead Rockhampton, the MRTT started descending, and eventually made an approach and landed on Runway 15.

A39-004 wasn't on the ground for long, and shortly after taxiied for departure and took off to Amberley.  The MRTT was noted using the callsign "Dragon 13".

One last RAAF aircraft spotted at Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 14 June was Beech B350 Super King Air A32-439.  This particular aircraft was previously operated by the Australian Army.

Speaking of the Australian Army, Sikorsky S70A-9 Blackhawk A25-110 was also noted flying around Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 14 June.  This blackhawk was flying using the callsign "Warhorse 110", which identifies it as being based in Townsville.  It was noted departing towards the North.

What a great day - and I would suggest that Australian Defence Force (ADF) related movements may only increase through Rockhampton Airport in the coming weeks.  ADF Exercises Predator's Strike 2012, Hamel 2012, and Precision Red 1/2012, are all currently underway, with the majority of action occurring in and around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

We thank the Rockhampton plane spotters for their continuing coverage from Rockhampton Airport!

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