Sunday, September 30, 2012

Virgin Australia Increases Flights to Emerald and Rockhampton Airports

Virgin Australia has announced late last week that in response to strong demand from corporate customers and the resource sector, they are increasing the number flights between Brisbane, and Emerald and Rockhampton Airports.

The additional services between Brisbane and Emerald will commence on Monday 29 October, with week day services between increasing from three to four per day, and Sunday services increasing from two to three.  There is also the introduction of a Saturday flight to Emerald for the first time. 

In summary:
-Brisbane to Emerald: depart 10:00am; arrive 11:55am Monday-Friday and Sunday
-Emerald to Brisbane: depart 12:25pm; arrive 2:10pm Monday-Friday and Sunday
-Brisbane to Emerald: depart 8:55am; arrive 10:50am Saturday only
-Emerald to Brisbane: depart 11.20am; arrive 1.05pm Saturday only 

These services will be flown by a Skywest Airlines-operated ATR-72 turboprop aircraft, and will add 950 seats per week to the route.

Meanwhile the new flights between Brisbane and Rockhampton will commence from from Monday 12 November, with an increase from seven to eight flights every weekday, with the addition of a new peak afternoon service.

In summary: 
-Brisbane to Rockhampton: depart 4:45pm; arrive 6:20pm Monday-Friday and Sunday
-Rockhampton to Brisbane: depart 6:50pm; arrive 8:20pm Monday-Friday and Sunday 

These services will also be flown by a Skywest Airlines-operated ATR-72 turboprop aircraft, and will add 500 seats per week to the route.

Great news!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Few Spottings from Gladstone Airport on Saturday

Visiting Gladstone Airport on Saturday 29 September was Corporate Aviation Bell 429 VH-EQP.

The big corporate Bell chopper arrived from Southport on the Gold Coast, and later departed to Hamilton Island.  

VH-EQP flew a similar route through Gladstone about a month ago, and Jamie C managed to capture a spectacular photo of the chopper when it passed through last time.

Jamie also sent through a couple of photos of some other helicopters and light aircraft movements from Saturday 29 September, including locally-based Bell 206 VH-CKP which is operated by Aviation Tourism Australia - Heli-Reef.

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-FDI, arrived from Rockhampton and later departed to Mundubberra as "FlyDoc 467".

Bayswater Road Pilatus Britten-Norman BN2A-26 VH-RQW was photographed arriving after completing an aerial survey flight.

Meanwhile, on Friday 28 September, this brightly coloured Cessna 150 VH-ZPY arrived.

Also locally based Robinson R-44 VH-JWN was spotted by Jamie on Thursday 27 September.

Lastly, another recent corporate movement through Gladstone Airport was Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation Metro 23 VH-VEK.

Lovely photos as always Jamie - many thanks!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Landing Gear Incident at Emerald Airport Tuesday Night

On Tuesday 25 September, Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Raytheon B200 VH-FDW was operating a flight from Rockhampton to Emerald when it encountered a problem with its landing gear.  An indicator light reportedly failed to illuminate.

The pilot elected to return to Rockhampton where the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service was notified. The aircraft land without incident, and VH-FDW returned to the air the next day.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bizjets at Hamilton Island Airport Over The Last Week

There have been a few bizjets noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport over the last week.

Sundyne Cessna 650 Citation VII VH-SSZ arrived into Hamo from Sydney, and later departed to Brisbane, last Thursday 20 September.

Also touching down on Thursday 20 September was GC Air Gulfstream G-V N1BN. Jimi L was able to capture a couple of photos of the Gulfstream on the ground at Hamo this week.

Another Gulfstream bizjet in the form of Execujet Australia's G-IV VH-DBT was noted arriving into Hamilton Island on Monday 24 September. Jimi L also managed to capture VH-DBT on the ground at Hamo. It departed for Essendon on Thursday 27 September.

Also noted visiting Hamilton Island on Wednesday 26 September were Cessna 550 Citation Bravo VH-CCJ and Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000EX VH-WIO (pictured below during a previous visit).

Incidentally, Edwards Coaches Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-KXL arrived into Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport on Saturday 15 September and departed to Armidale on Monday 17 September.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Air-to-Air Photography Flight With Mooney M20F VH-WBH

On Sunday 23 September, Shane T was lucky enough to be invited on board Rutan Long-Ez VH-LEX for another local flight over Gladstone with local pilot, Hugh.

While they were in the air, local Mooney M20F VH-WBH joined VH-LEX for some scenic flying over the Gladstone area and Shane had his camera firing off some fantastic photos!

Soon after, VH-LEX returned to Gladstone, and concluded what Shane described as a truly "magical morning".

Incidentally, we posted recent trip report that Shane wrote after a previous morning's flying with Hugh in his Rutan Long-Ez VH-LEX - you can read that HERE.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interesting Longreach Visitors Over the Weekend - Including BAe Jetstream 32EP VH-OTP

An interesting aircraft arrived into Longreach Airport rather unexpectedly over the weekend, with former Aeropelican Air Services British Aerospace (BAe) Jetstream 32EP VH-OTP calling in on Sunday 23 September while enroute Darwin to Bankstown.

I believe that until most recently, VH-OTP was operating in the Philippines as RP-C863 with Mid Sea Express, to whom it was delivered in late 2011.

****UPDATE!  VH-OTP appeared to fly on to the Gold Coast, Norfolk Island, and the New Zealand.  A photo from the Gold Coast appears on the GA Long Haul Blog showing VH-OTP still wearing the colours of Mid Sea Express - Blog Post HERE.

Meanwhile, there were some other interesting aircraft to pop into Longreach Airport over the weekend - mostly on Saturday 22 September.  Great Western Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-SGV was noted flying in from Toowoomba and out to Winton.  Another King Air in the form of Beech B200 VH-MVY arrived from and departed to Bankstown - VH-MVY is a Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) South-East Section aircraft.  Also calling was Just Country Australia Piper PA-46-350P VH-ZMM which arrived from and departed to Archerfield.  And lastly, Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZXS operated a flight from Brisbane to Longreach, and was noted returning South later in the day.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 9M-MKA Returns to Rockhampton Airport as an Antonov 124 Might Visit This Week!

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300s 9M-MKA and 9M-MKJ were back at Rockhampton Airport late on Sunday 23 September, again both arriving from Singapore.  9M-MKJ was noted departing in the wee small hours of Monday 24 September for Kuala Lumpur.

Late on Monday 24 September, only A330-300 9M-MKA touched down at Rockhampton Airport, arriving from Singapore as MAS8747.  

It departed later for Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, information suggests that an Antonov 124 freighter may visit Rockhampton later this week (possibly Thursday 27 September) to bring in Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopters for Exercise Wallaby 2012.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWQ Breaks Down at Emerald Airport

QantasLink passengers experienced a four-hour delay on Saturday 22 September, after an Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 broke down after arriving at Emerald Airport from Brisbane.

The affected Alliance F-100 - believed to be VH-XWQ (pictured below at Emerald earlier this month) - arrived into Emerald on Saturday morning as QLK2404.

A replacement F-100 - believed to be VH-FKD - was sent to Emerald from Brisbane as UTY990, and then operated the scheduled QLK2405 from Emerald to Brisbane, some four hours late on Saturday.

After receiving maintenance on the ground at Emerald, VH-XWQ positioned back to Brisbane late on Sunday 23 September as UTY991.

Ultralight Aircraft Hits Powerlines and Crashes at Marian near Mackay

From:  The Mackay Daily Mercury Newspaper on Monday 24 September

Two men were rushed to hospital late on Sunday 23 September after their ultra-light aircraft crashed near Marian west of Mackay.

What was meant to be an evening joy flight with a mate ended in misfortune when the motorised hang glider crashed about 4.9kms from Marian, after coming into contact with high voltage overhead powerlines.  

The male pilot and his male passenger were both taken to Mackay Base Hospital with suspected spinal injuries after bringing down the 11,000 volt powerlines with the gyroplane on Marian-Eton Rd at 6.30pm.

REMINDER!! NORRA-Aus Fly-In Monto This Saturday 29 September to Monday 1 October 2012

Plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts alike should mark in their diaries the second biennial NORRA-Aus Fly-In which is to be held at Monto Aerodrome from this Saturday 29 September to Monday 1 October this year.

Monto Aerodrome (MNQ/YMTO) is an unlicensed airport situated approximately 5 minutes' drive from the Monto township. It, among other minor aerodromes/airstrips in the Southern part of Central Queensland - like Biggenden, Mundubbera, and Gayndah - is maintained by the North Burnett Regional Council.

Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) in conjunction with the surrounding community, North Burnett Regional Council, and local Clubs, will combine Recreational Aviation-Leisure-Agriculture-Historical into a spectacular three-day event over the new Queens Birthday long weekend during the school holidays.

The outstanding success of NORRA-Aus in 2010 attracted approximately 10,000 visitors to the area plus 400 to 500 aircraft. As the region is surrounded by cattle, agriculture, citrus fruit, mining, and tourism industries, this pleasing result has offered an opportunity to complement the Fly-In with a leisure-agriculture-historical attachment. Visitors mostly travelled by road to the event making it a popular camping weekend as town accommodation is very limited.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this fabulous weekend. Organisers are working very hard to make this event a little different to what may have been seen in the past.  There will be many sites with some new and exciting inclusions, as well as plenty of space for everyone!

See you there!

Other Visitors to Gladstone Airport Over The Last Few Days

As well as all the fantastic jet action at Gladstone Airport over the last week or so, there have also been a couple of interesting light aircraft visitors that have been caught by our resident Gladstone Airport Plane Spotter Jamie C.

On Wednesday 19 September, Sydney-based Beech Beech 35 VH-DDC was spotted departing North to Bowen.  Later in the week, it returned South via Mackay Airport on Thursday 20 September.

Beautifully presented Cessna 441 VH-OPM, which is registered in Warrnambool in Victoria, arrived into Gladstone from there on Monday 17 September.  Jamie C caught VH-OPM departing for home on Wednesday 19 September.

Also on Wednesday 19 September, as we mentioned in Blog posts below, four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Eurocopter AS335M Super Puma helicopters arrived into Rockhampton Airport from their base at Oakey in South Queensland.  Their flight track to Rockhampton actually saw them pass right over the top of Gladstone Airport.  Jamie C captured a few photos, however this is about the best of one of the Super Pumas as it passed overhead Gladstone.

Meanwhile on Sunday 23 September, several light General Aviation (GA) aircraft were noted visiting Gladstone Airport including Victorian-based Cessna 182s VH-IEY and VH-MXL, along with Beech 95 VH-GKB which departed to Redcliffe and then Monto.  Forster Helicopters Robinson R-44 VH-DQA was also noted along with locally-based Mooney M20F VH-WBH.

A Nice Pair of Jets at Gladstone Airport Sunday - Including QantasLink Boeing B717-200 VH-NXD with Additional Titles!

Jamie C has sent through a couple of photos of a couple of jets that operated scheduled services into Gladstone Airport late on Sunday 23 September.

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPO operated from and back to Brisbane  as VOZ1715/1718.

Also visiting from Brisbane was QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXD, which wears the additional titles promoting QantasLink's Award as Air Transport World magazine Regional Airline of the Year 2012.

Thanks Jamie!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Malaysia Airlines A330-300s 9M-MKA and 9M-MKJ Touch Down at Rockhampton Airport

Making for a spectacular sight at Rockhampton late on Saturday 22 September were Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 aircraft 9M-MKA and 9M-MKJ.

Both aircraft arrived from Singapore, ferrying troops to Rockhampton to participate in the Singapore Armed Forces Exercise Wallaby 2012.  Sources indicate that both aircraft will again be at Rockhampton Airport later tonight on Sunday 23 September, again arriving from Singapore.

Meanwhile, there are now six Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopters on the ground at Rockhampton Airport.  Some of the serials I have had confirmed are '272', '276', '220', and '293'.

Also pictured is the RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules '730' that arrived into Rockhampton during last week.

Sincere thanks to the Rocky Airport Plane Spotters for their contributions!