Monday, July 30, 2012

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-FWH a Surprise Visitor at Gladstone Airport Sunday Afternoon

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-FWH operated two return flights into Gladstone Airport from Brisbane during the afternoon of Sunday 29 July.  Jamie C caught VH-FWH on its first visit arriving from Brisbne as UTY8950.

It later departed back to Brisbane as UTY8951.

VH-FWH then operated another return flight to Gladstone Airport from Brisbane as UTY8952/8953.  I believe these flights were operated to supplement QantasLink's services to Gladstone, as one of their Cobham Aviation-operated Boeing B717-200 aircraft - VH-NXO - went unserviceable during the day.

Earlier on Sunday 29 July, we also popped out to Gladstone Airport to catch up with the Gladstone Aero Club members and noted a nice pair visiting Mooney aircraft - Mooney M20E VH-ADJ  and Mooney M20F VH-WBH.

On the commercial front we noted QantasLink Dash-8-Q300 aircraft VH-TQE and VH-SCE passing through on their flights up and down the Queensland coast.

Great shots mate - thanks heaps!

A Profile of the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) at Rockhampton Airport

Recently, we travelled to Rockhampton Airport and manage to catch up with the crew at the resident RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS), which operates out of their hangar and building facilities on Canoona Road at Rockhampton Airport.

The Service was incorporated in December 1995 and started operations on 26 January 1996. The Service is free to all people within Central Queensland at any time.

We made contact with one of the flight crew members by the name of Rob. The interesting position Rob holds with the company is very diverse - he is classified as Flight Crew, however Rob is not a registered pilot as such. He does though, sit up front with the lone pilot, and assists with navigation among other flying duties. During rescues, he operates the winch in general recovering tasks, and he also lends-a-hand to the on board medical staff when they require assistance.

An example of how Rob helps the pilot is when navigating in restricted terrain like bushland, Rob will open the door, pop his out and direct the pilot. While the pilot remains flying the helicopter, Rob is the one who actually has control (in a verbal sense) giving directions. When the restricted airspace has been successfully navigated - the pilot then resumes full command.

The helicopter operated by the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service is VH-JRD which is a 1981-build Sikorsky S-76A helicopter. The helicopter is owned by Jayrow Helicopters in Victoria, and despite its age, the Sikorsky is a immaculately maintained piece of machinery as with the facilities that it calls home.

This helicopter is an American built twin engine Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) machine, which has an overall aircraft size (rotors turning) of 13.46m, seating up to five passengers, and accommodating a maximum of two stretchers. As shown below, the helicopter has a maximum range (without refuel) of up to 300nm, with a normal cruising speed of up to 130kts.

Rob commented the VH-JRD has been configured to satisfy multiple roles and not just the job as an aerial ambulance.

The onboard medical facilities can readily be removed to allow sufficient space for search and rescue duties, which can also include the requirement to uplift a decent size life-raft. The Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service chopper is also often called upon to assist law enforcement agencies to assist in such tasks as searching for illegal crops from the air; or dispatching officers onto the ground. There is also the limited capacity to assist fire-fighters.

To operate the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service, 50% of the required funding comes from the Government, and 50% is funded through donations and proceeds from the public. The service deeply appreciates all fundraising efforts, and were extremely appreciative of the recent donation from the Creed family after the Old Station Fly-in at Raglan in May this year.

We would like to thank all the staff at the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service for their help. They were all extremely helpful, inviting and willing to show him around. Their website can be found HERE.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Classic Gulfstream G-II N10123 at Rockhampton Airport Saturday

Don W was on the scene at Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 28 July when Grumman G-1159 Gulfstream G-II bizjet N10123 touched down after a four-and-a-half hour flight from Cairns.

What makes the fight that long is that it appears this aircraft is used for aerial survey purposes, and information suggests it spent some time making several passes and orbits in an area West of Rockhampton to Gladstone.

The hush-kitted G-II certainly made a noisy and smoky departure back to Cairns after refuelling at Rockhampton Airport.

Thanks Don!

A Few From Hamilton Island Airport

Jimi L has sent through some photos of some recent commercial and interesting corporate aircraft to visit Hamilton Island Airport.  You may note that after the recent poor weather - the action from the last week or so has been played out under cloudless skies!

QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) Dash-8-Q300 VH-TQD operating QLK2504 from Hamilton Island to Cairns on Friday 20 July.

Barrier Aviation Cessna 310 VH-HGO was caught after operating a charter from Cairns to Hamilton Island and return also on Friday 20 July.

Jetstar Airways Airbus A320-200 VH-VQP pictured arriving as JQ852 from Brisbane on Friday 20 July.

Jetstar's A320 VH-VQO also shown departing as JQ849 to Sydney on Friday 20 July.

A couple of bizjets, with Dassault Falcon 2000EX VH-CRW, pictured on Friday 20 July, eventually departed on Sunday 22 July for Brisbane.  

Marcplan Charter Embraer E-135BJ Legacy bizjet VH-VLT arrived into Hamilton Island from Essendon on Friday 27 July.  It departed late on Sunday 29 July.  It was noted at Mackay Airport last weekend.

Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 N604AK arrived late on Saturday 28th July.

It's also worth mentioning (as in a previous Blog post below), that Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-300 VH-QQM operated a charter flight to Hamilton Island on Wednesday 25 July as well.

Another Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 at Gladstone Airport Saturday - Plus a Few Others!

As expected, Virgin Australia sent Embraer E-190 VH-ZPQ to Gladstone Airport a scheduled service from and back to Brisbane on Saturday 28 July.

Jamie C was on hand to catch the E-190 as it arrived from Brisbane as DJ1711.

After being turned around, VH-ZPQ is shown departing back to Brisbane as DJ1712.

That makes two E-190's that have landed at Gladstone Airport this week, with VH-ZPT touching down last Tuesday 24 July.  I believe another is 'scheduled' to operate to Gladstone in mid-August.

Jamie C also spotted a few QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) Dash-8 arrivals and depatures at Gladstone Airport on Saturday 28 July. Shown below are Dash-8-Q300 VH-SBT and Dash-8-Q400's VH-QOJ and VH-LQF.

VH-LQF is a new 'next gen' Dash-8-Q400, and was recently adorned with additional titles highlighting the fact that QantasLink was the 'Regional Airline of the Year for 2012'.

Lastly, a late arrival into Gladstone Airport on Friday 27 July was Mineralogy Agusta A119 'Koala' VH-KOL, which touched down, and was believed to be carrying Mineralogy Owner Clive Palmer.

What a great Saturday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Skytrans Fly-in Fly-Out (FIFO) Arrival at Gladstone Airport Friday

Another surprise arrival into Gladstone Airport, this time early on Friday 27 July with Skytrans Dash-8-300 VH-QQM touching down from Brisbane early in the morning as SKP860.

The Dash-8 then continued to my home Airport, touching down at Clermont Aerodrome, along with the usual other fly-in fly-out (FIFO) charter flights that arrive and depart from Clermont each Friday.

We thank Jamie C, who was on the scene, and sent through some lovely images of the early morning arrival!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Airline / Air Nauru Boeing B737-300 VH-INU at Gladstone Airport Thursday

A very pleasant surprise at Gladstone Airport on Thursday 26 July when Our Airline / Air Nauru Boeing B737-300 VH-INU touched down from Brisbane as RON900.

After spending most of the day parked on the upper apron of Gladstone Airport, VH-INU departed back to Brisbane as RON901.

It's unclear why VH-INU visited Gladstone Airport - obviously visiting on some sort of charter - although recent reports suggest that this aircraft was being utilized by the Australian Government.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition (QME) Brings Interesting Corporate Aircraft to Mackay Airport

A few interesting bizjets have popped into Mackay Airport over the last few days - most likely in conjunction with the running of the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition (QME) that is being held at the Mackay Showgrounds this week.

First to arrive on Friday 20 July was Marcplan Charter Embraer E-135BJ Legacy bizjet VH-VLT.  The Legacy arrived after dark from Sydney, and remained overnight, before departing back to Sydney late on Saturday 21 July.

Late on Sunday 22 July, Bechtel Corporation Dassault Falcon 900EX N970SF touched down. As shown below, N970SF then departed to Gladstone, where is was photographed the next day.

On Monday 23 July, Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-PWX arrived into Mackay from Bankstown Airport in Sydney.  The little bizjet is owned and operated by Flight Options / Special Mining Services and, at this stage, is still parked on the Western Apron at Mackay Airport.

Alongside VH-PWX is SOCATA TBM700 VH-ICA which - although technically not a bizjet - arrived from Tamworth also on Monday 23 July.

On Tuesday 24 July, Menzies Aviation Cessna 525A CitationJet 3 N91GT arrived at Mackay Airport from Essendon Airport in Melbourne.  After spending the day on the ground, N91GT was noted departing to Brisbane.

Lastly, despite not being a bizjet, Skytrans operated an interesting charter that passed through Mackay Airport on Wednesday 25 July.  Dash-8-300 VH-QQM was noted operating the SKP1890/1891 charter which was a return flight from Brisbane to Hamilton Island, via Hervey Bay and Mackay.

QME wraps up later this week - here's hoping for another couple of interesting corporate visitors!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bechtel Dassault Falcon 900EX N970SF at Mackay and Gladstone Airports

Arriving into Mackay Airport just after dark on Sunday 22 July was Bechtel Corporation Dassault Falcon 900EX bizjet N970SF.

Details of the aircraft's movements are limited, however Jamie C woke on Monday 23 July to find N970SF parked on the lower apron at Gladstone Airport.

It is believed that N970SF later departed to Brisbane and then Perth.

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 Jet VH-ZPT at Gladstone Airport Monday

It was a spectacular morning at Gladstone Airport on Monday 23 July, as Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 jet VH-ZPT flew in from Brisbane mid-morning operating the DJ1711 service.

This was the first visit of this aircraft to Gladstone, and was certainly a real surprise to see it operating on Monday.  VH-ZPT departed back to Brisbane as DJ1712.

Then, much to everyone's surprise, for those that missed it the first time, VH-ZPT then returned to Gladstone Airport, again from Brisbane, this time as DJ1713.  It later departed as DJ1714.

As mentioned, the visit of VH-ZPT was a surprise, with the next 'scheduled' arrival of a Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 jet not planned until this weekend on Saturday 28 July.

While Jamie enjoyed catching multiple images of the Embraer, he also caught a couple of light General Aviation and helicopter movements at Gladstone Airport on Monday 23 July.

South Australian-based Piper PA-32-300 VH-DWL was photogrpahed departing.  The Cherokee - which seems to be a long way from home - is actually registered to a J.M. Dental services at Mount Osmond in South Australia.

Hughes Helicopters 369FF VH-PLF is operated by AeroPower, and is a sistership to VH-SUV which Jamie spotted performing low level airwork around Gladstone Airport late last week - see Blog Post HERE.

Aerospatiale AS.350BA Squirrel VH-PHU was noted parked on the Helicopter parking area.  This chopper is operated by Professional Helicotper Services out of Moorabbin Airport in Victoria.

Lastly, a quick snap of Mooney M20F VH-WBH which was spotted by Shane T at Gladstone Airport during his weekly trip to the Airport on Sunday 22 July.

Thanks guys!