Friday, November 30, 2012

Mackay Airport Safety Officer Found to Almost Cause a Major Plane Crash - Thanks to a Mobile Phone

The Australian Safety Transport Bureau (ATSB) has released a report into an incident where a Mackay Airport safety officer came within a whisker of causing a major plane crash - all because he decided to answer his mobile phone while driving.

The report found the officer had mistakenly driven his car 30 feet under a charter flight to Emerald after it had just taken off.  The flight was being operated by Advance Aviation Piper PA-31-300 VH-LWW.

The officer was "conducting an airfield runway and lighting inspection in an airfield safety vehicle" when he was "distracted by a telephone call and continued", crossing the path of the oncoming plane.

The incident happened in late June this year.

The report said airport air traffic controllers had instructed the safety officer to hold short of the runway just moments before he received the telephone call.  "The (airport safety officer) became aware of VH-LWW as the aircraft passed overhead the vehicle," the report said.

"He immediately realised what had occurred, terminated the telephone call and exited the runway."

Mackay Airport has announced that appropriate safety measures have been taken following the incident.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Great Couple of Days at Rockhampton Airport - More Photos of Polet Antonov AN-124 RA-82068 And More!

One more Blog post about the fantastic couple of days this week at Rockhampton Airport when, Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82068 visited - arriving Monday 26 November and departing Tuesday 27 November.

Jamie and Tash C travelled from Gladstone for the Antonov's arrival on Monday, and sent through some fantastic photos of the giant Russian freighter as it touched down on Rockhampton's Runway 15.

On their way back to the terminal, Tash stopped for a quick photo of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters, as they sat in the Rockhampton sunshine prior to being loaded on the Antonov for transport back home to Singapore.

RA-82068 was parked on Gate 6 at Rockhampton Airport, and after clearing customs, its nose was raised, and the five RSAF Apache helicopters were towed over and then all carefully loaded.

The Antonov departed Rockhampton on Tuesday 27 November.  We are already looking forward to the Singapore Armed Forces Military Exercise Wallaby 2013!

Incidentally, while they were at Rockhampton Airport on Monday 26 November, Jamie and Tash also took a few photos of some of the other visiting aircraft.

Virgin Australia (Skywest Airlines) ATR 72-600 VH-FVN and QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXJ were spotted on the Rockhampton Airport apron soon after the Antonov arrived.

Later, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWT was spotted on the Rockhampton Airport apron, operating a flight for QantasLink.

Much earlier, while Jamie waited for the Antonov to land, he photographed a couple of other aircraft touching down on Rockhampton Airport's Runway 15.  QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QON is pictured arriving from Mackay as QLK2301.

Singapore Flying College Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-SQY was also caught by Jamie performing one of its many touch-and-go landings as it conducted its flight training in the Rockhampton Airport circuit area.

On the General Aviation apron, Jamie captured a couple of lovely images of Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Raytheon B200 King Air VH-FDW.

Lastly, the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (Jayrow Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-JRD was caught by Tash as it returned to Rockhampton Airport from the a sortie.

Absolutely fantastic photos Jamie and Tash - great memories of a great days - many thanks!

More From Gladstone Airport - A Nice Pair of Bizjets and More!

A couple of great corporate bizjets have called into Gladstone Airport over the last couple of days, and Jamie C has been on hand to capture some spectacular images.

Former Inghams Enterprises Cessna 650 Citation VII VH-ING arrived from Gove (Nhulunbuy) on Wednesday 28 November.  After a quick turnaround, VH-ING departed for Brisbane.

As the VH-ING was departing, Jamie also caught a nice pair of visiting light aircraft at Gladstone Airport.

Piper PA-28-180 VH-KHN is pictured arriving on the General Aviation ramp.

While Beech 58 Baron VH-KGK of Burke Equipment is pictured departing for its home base of Roma.

Then early on Thursday 29 November, Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 900XP VH-EVF of Sundown Pastoral touched down at Gladstone Airport.

It departed for the South in the early afternoon.

Also spotted at Gladstone Airport on Thursday 29 November was Piper PA-46-310P VH-JVX.

Looks like a great week at Gladstone Airport!  Thanks Jamie!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meanwhile ... Down the Road at Gladstone Airport This Week

A little less exciting than the action at Rockhampton Airport, but a couple of interesting light General Aviation (GA) aircraft and helicopters have been noted at Gladstone Airport this week.

On Monday 26 November, Amateur-built Kappa Sabre RVX-100 24-4311 was noted.  Word is this interesting ultralight is soon to take up residence in Tasmania!

Eurocopter EC135-T1 VH-ZGI is visiting Gladstone Airport this week.  The chopper seems to travel all over the Central Queensland coast being noted at Mackay and Rockhampton at other various times.  VH-ZGI wears Marine Safety Queensland titles and predominantly used for pilot transfers to and from ships in  various harbours and ports.

File photo

Cessna 172 VH-XUI is operated by the Rockhampton Aero Club and was noted on Tuesday 27 November performing a touch and go at Gladstone Airport.  It then departed to Biloela / Thangool.

Along with the usual commercial movements, it has been a busy week so far!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Also Spotted at Rockhampton Airport This Week

Obviously, the highlight of the week so far at Rockhampton Airport has been the visit of Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82068 which arrived on Monday 26 November and departed on Tuesday 27 November.

But, Rockhampton Airport Plane Spotters 'IAD' and Trevor H have sent through a couple more photos of some of the other movements to pop into Rockhampton Airport over the last couple of days.

Singapore Flying College Cessna 510 Citation Mustangs VH-SQY and VH-SQW were spotted at Rockhampton Airport on Monday 26 November.

Both Mustangs arrived from the Sunshine Coast and then conducted air-work in the Rockhampton Airport circuit area - including missed approaches and touch and gos.  After landing to take on fuel, they departed back to the Sunshine Coast.  VH-SQY was using the callsign "Raffles 52", while VH-SQW was flying as "Raffles 21".

On Tuesday 27 November, VH-SQW was again noted at Rockhampton Airport, this time as "Raffles 71".

Meanwhile,Virgin Australia (Skywest Airlines) ATR 72-600 VH-FVN was also spotted on Monday 26 November - it was parked right next door to the Antonov - passengers and crew certainly had a great view!

Thanks again to the Rockhampton Airport Plane Spotters for their valuable contributions over the last couple of days!

Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124 RA-82068 Early Morning Departure from Rockhampton Airport Tuesday

After arriving and then spending most of the previous day being carefully loaded and prepared for departure, Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82068 blasted off Rockhampton Airport's Runway 15 early on Tuesday 27 November.

The giant Antonov taxiied away from Gate 6 just after 6.00am.  It then back-tracked to the full length of Rockhampton's Runway 15, when after some time spooling the engines up, it rumbled down the Runway, lifting off just in front of a small crowd of dedicated enthusiasts (including 'IAD' who supplies these photos) that came to see it leave.

RA-82068 departed as "POT4788" flying to Darwin.  After a tech-stop in the top-end, it will continue to Singapore on completion of its mission to transport five Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters home from participating in the Singapore Armed Forces Exercise Wallaby 2012.

Reports suggest that pretty much all equipment and personnel associated with Wallaby 2012 has now been packed up and shipped out, so ending another successful Exercise for the Singapore Armed Forces.  We look forward to seeing you all in 2013!!

My personal thanks to all the Rockhampton Airport Plane Spotters who have supplied a great coverage of the Exercise - cheers guys!  Damian F

Monday, November 26, 2012

Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124 RA-82068 Touches Down at Rockhampton Airport Monday

Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82068 made a spectacular arrival at a sun-drenched Rockhampton Airport on Monday 26 November.  It arrived as "POT4789" direct from Chennai, India, and touched down on Runway 15 at around 10.40am.  There was a small crowd of spectators to watch the Antonov's arrival.

Parked on Gate 6 at Rockhampton, the Antonov was then opened, and the five Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters loaded in preparation for their delivery home to Singapore.  The Apaches have been in Rockhampton to take part in the Singapore Armed Forces Military Exercise Wallaby 2012 that has been held in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) over the last two months.

The word around the Airport during the day was that the Antonov was expected to depart during the early morning of Tuesday 27 November.

Thanks to the Rockhampton Airport Plane Spotters for the photos sent thus far!