A great week of plane spotting at Rockhampton Airport this week, and local spotters Don W and 'IAD' have been amongst the action!
No doubt the highlight of the week was the emergency landing at Rockhampton Airport of Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VXE while Brisbane to Townsville as QF974. VH-VXE eventually departed Rockhampton for Brisbane as QF6112 late on Wednesday 30 January. It was believed to have suffered cabin pressure problems, and VH-VXE was noted flying to Brisbane at a cruising altitude of only 9000 feet.
Another Qantas B737-800 in the form of VH-VZZ positioned to Rockhampton late on Tuesday 29 January to collect the stranded passengers off VH-VXE and eventually departed on the continuation of QF974 to Townsville.
Other commercial movements noted this week at Rockhampton Airport have included Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWT which 'IAD' spotted departing on Tuesday 29 January for Brisbane operating on behalf of QantasLink.
QantasLink also had a pair of their own Dash-8-Q400 aircraft at Rockhampton Airport that 'IAD' spotted, in form of VH-QOR and VH-QOW - which still in Taronga Western Plains Dubbo Zoo Colours.
QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXI was spotted departing for Brisbane on Wednesday 30 January.
Special movements into Rockhampton Airport were highlighted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-003 which was caught by 'IAD' on Wednesday 30 January.
Most of the other interesting movements have been in association with the devastating floods that hit part of Central Queensland over last weekend and this week. Rockhampton played host to a number of helicopters in the early part of the week, including rescue helicopters from Mackay and Townsville, as well as a number private choppers.
Avalon Aviation Eurocopter EC130B4 VH-EHY was photographed by Don W resting on the General Aviation apron.
Nearby, Theodore-based Bell 206B (II) VH-JAQ was photographed again by Don W.
Mackay Helicopters Bell 430 VH-HIA was caught by Don W as it was returning from completing one of its many flights out of Rockhampton Airport earlier in the week. Mackay Helicopters Bell 222 VH-TOR was also spotted at Rockhampton during the week.
Of the more interesting fixed-wing visitors, Don W caught Skytrans Dash-8-100 VH-QQE, which passed through on Sunday 27 January wearing the full colours of Maroomba Airlines - a Perth-based charter company.
'IAD' also caught Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSY on Tuesday 29 January. VH-PSY, and the Police Airwing's Raytheon 1900D VH-PSK have been noted at Rockhampton most days this week.
Meanwhile, the Rockhampton Regional Council is making preparations for the weekend flood-peak in the Fitzroy River. At the current predicted flood peak on Saturday 2 February, the Rockhampton Airport will be affected in some way.
Predictions are that the flood peak will be around the 8.5m mark. At this level, Council has stated that the main Runway 15/33 will remain open, but at a reduced length. This will enable airlines to continue to operate flights in and out of Rockhampton Airport. The airlines have been advised accordingly and passengers should contact their airlines for updates on flight details.
Also in preparation, Council has closed the Premium Long Term Car Park and the parking options are the Long Term Car Park at $10 a day or the Short Term Car Park at $15 a day. Those who have vehicles currently on, or intend to park on Hunter Street, should refrain from doing so as this area may be impacted by floodwaters over the coming days.
Council has assured that they will continue to monitor the situation as more accurate predictions are received.