Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Pair of Chooks at Rockhampton Airport - The Australian Army Variety Though!

Spotted at Rockhampton Airport in the early afternoon of Thursday 31 May were a pair of Australian Army Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters.  The 'chooks' arrived and departed, flying together using the callsign "Brahman".

A15-106 is pictured below.

A15-202 is a newer Chinook and is pictured below.

What a great spot on a quiet day!

A Couple of King Air Aircraft Arrive at Gladstone Airport on Wednesday

A couple of nice King Air's popped into Gladstone Airport almost together late on Wednesday 30 May.

First to arrive was Coastwings / Sutherland Aviation Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-WXC.

The aircraft is still looking lovely in its Titan Airways (UK) colour scheme!

Also arriving was Australasian Jet Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-ZMY.

I believe both aircraft arrived from Miles, and later departed to the South.

Also spotted was Eurocopter EC135 P2 helicopter VH-ZGZ.  The chopper operates on contract to the Queensland Government - Department of Marine Safety - and flys marine pilots in and out of Gladstone Airport to ships that enter and exit the nearby Gladstone Port.

Thanks to Jamie C for his photos!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gladstone Airport on Monday and Tuesday

With thanks to Jamie C comes a few pictures from an even busier Gladstone Airport this week.

Firstly, additional Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services to Gladstone have commenced this week. As mentioned in some recent Blog posts, Virgin Australia commenced an additional ATR 72-500 service which arrived mid-morning. In fact, on Monday 28 May, four of the five current Skywest Airlines-operated ATR 72s passed through Gladstone - VH-FVL is pictured below.

It was also noted on Monday 28 May that QantasLink now have two Cobham Aviation-operated Boeing B717-200 aircraft based in Brisbane to operate their recently launched jet services to Gladstone, as well as Rockhampton and Mackay. Unfortunately for spotters, VH-NXN rejoined VH-NXQ - these are presently the only two B717-200s that have graced the skies in Central Queensland - as shown in these file photos below.

Photographed by Jamie at Gladstone Airport on Monday 28 May was Seair Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LYT. This Caravan seemed to fly in close quarters with sister-ship VH-LMZ on Monday, and both Caravans were also noted at Moranbah Airport on Monday 28 May.

Later, another Cessna 208 Caravan popped into Gladstone Airport in the form of the Queesland Police Service Airwing's VH-PSQ.  It is due to also visit Rockhampton and Mackay later in the week.

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-FDI also arrived from Bundaberg and met a waiting ambulance.

Robinson R-44 VH-DQA of Forster Helicopters in Charters Towers was also spotted by Jamie.

Lastly, a surprise visitor to Gladstone Airport on Tuesday 29 May in the form of Walker Air Services Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express VH-LAW.

Thanks for the great photos!

A Quick Report from Prosperpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport

A couple of interesting aircraft have graced the apron at the Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport in recent days.

On Sunday 27 May, Business Aviation Solutions' Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-LYM arrived from and departed back to Sydney.

On Monday 28 May, AirLink Beech 1900D VH-RUE arrived from Brisbane on its weekly fly-in fly-out (FIFO) charter.  As it did the previous week, VH-RUE then departed on Tuesday 29 May for Emerald and then Brisbane.

Lastly, it is also worth mentioning that the Queensland Government Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY made a brieft stop-over at Proserpine midway through last week.  It departed to Ayr.

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) B737 Wedgetail and Airbus KC-30A MRTT at Rockhampton Airport Tuesday

It was turning out to be a quiet day at Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 29 May, with not many interesting aircraft visiting, and the usual scheduled regular passenger transport (RPT) services operating. But that changed when a lovely pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft popped into the Airport.

Firstly, Boeing 737-7ES Wedgetail A30-001 conducted a missed approach at Rochampton Airport's Runway 15.  Ben O managed to catch the Wedgetail as it climbed out of the Airport as "Wedgetail 04".

A little later, Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-004 also conducted a misssed approach on Runway 15.

It then returned to Rockhampton Airport and made a spectacular landing in front of some very lucky Rockhampton spotters.

After a quick turnaround on the ground at the Airport, the MRTT departed off Runway 15 to the South as "Dragon 11".

The action at Rockhampton Airport is expected to ramp up a little in the coming weeks as three Australian Defence Force (ADF) exercises are due to take place in the nearby Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA). Documents suggest that there may be frequent visits to Rockhampton Airport from RAAF fast jets, as well as support from RAAF transport aircraft. Australian Army helicopter operations are expected to be carried out from Rockhampton Airport as well.

Gladstone Airport - From the Other Side of the Fence!

Shane T was fortunate enough to recently be given an airside 'tour' of Gladstone Airport. Of course he took his camera and took some photos that provide a different perspective of what is becoming CQ's busiest and possibly more important airports.

Shane was able to have a closer look at Gladstone's main Runway 10/28 which has recently undergone an extensive makeover designed to allow bigger jet aircraft such as Boeing B737 and Airbus A320 aircraft to land at Gladstone.

The upgrade included removing a noticeable 'hump' from the centre of the runway and improving water and storm drainage. The runway was also lengthened, widened, and strengthened, and is now capable of handling jet aircraft with it 1960m length and 45m width.

There still remains a smaller 'hump' in the centre of the runway as there are boulders the size of small houses underneath. The cost to remove these would have been to great.

In parts of the runway that was overhauled, grooves were added. While they don't cover the entire length of the runway, the grooves that were added were designed to improve drainage of water off the runway, but they also improve aircraft braking performance as well.

Off the runway, Gladstone Airports taxiways were also overhauled and redesigned as well.

The 'hump' in the runway also extended to the parallel taxiway however it obscured vision particularly of small light aircraft at each end of the taxiway.

The taxiway also used to run the full length of the runway, however with the runway lengthened, the decision was made not to lengthen the taxiway and so it now runs about two-thirds of the length of the runway.

A recent change in operating practices has now seen QantasLink shift it's operations to the lower apron of the Gladstone Airport terminal. Consequently, Virgin Australia operate their Skywest Airlines-operated ATR 72-500 aircraft now from the upper level apron.

The decision was made due to concerns over safety of the ATR passengers and the fact they use the rear of the aircraft to board and deplane.

Inside the actual terminal building, as mentioned on the Blog previously, QantasLink has recently opened a Regional Qantas Club Lounge. Other planned improvements include the addition of a second food and drink kiosk, as well the possibility of the opening of a newsagent.

We thank the powers that be for giving Shane this tour and thank Shane for the great photos and report!

A Couple of Classic Cessna Aircraft at Gladstone Airport

A special Blog post featuring some photos of some lovely old Cessna aircraft that have recently passed through Gladstone Airport.

1955-build Cessna 180 VH-VGW passed through a few weeks ago, however the fantastically restored aircraft is certainly worth mentioning and posting on the Blog!

1962-build Cessna 150B VH-RWM is owned and operated from the Old Station farm at Raglan - where the Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show was held last weekend.  Numerous photos were taken of this old beauty on the day, but it is still worth noting in this blog post passing through Gladstone Airport earlier in the month.

Meanwhile, on Sunday 27 May, 1980-build Cessna 180 VH-IHG passed through Gladstone.  It is registered to a farming property in Rolleston.

Thanks to local plane spotter Jamie C for sharing these great photos!

All photos taken by Jamie C  ©