Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog Hits 500000 Page Views!! Thanks For Your Support!!

WOW!!  Not even a year ago, we celebrated that the Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog had surpassed 250000 page views.  Well now we celebrate a phenomenal milestone as we pass 500000 page views!!

As I mentioned, the CQ Plane Spotting Blog started off very small in May 2010.  But since then, we've blogged about so many varied and different aviation movements and news in Central Queensland - some happy and some sad.  We now average about 60 posts per month, with various spotting reports, special movements, and other news.  It has been an especially busy year with Military Exercises Talisman Saber 2013 and now Wallaby 2013 in full swing at Rockhampton Airport.

We also have a lot more contributors without whom, we wouldn't be able to post so much interesting and varied content on the Blog.  To those many contributors past and present, I say thanks, and I hope I can count on your continued support!!

To all the followers and readers of the CQ Plane Spotting Blog, your support has been phenomenal!   We currently average around 700 page views a day - to that I say a massive thank you!!

To our followers on Facebook and Twitter - where we post so much more 'current' information on what might inbound to a nearby airport - a big thanks to you all as well!!

The adventure isn't over though - stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog as we continue our coverage of Exercise Wallaby 2013, and then continue bringing you all the latest aviation news and plane spotting movements from all over Central Queensland - and maybe beyond - in 2014!!

Damian F

Vincent Aviation BAe 146 ZK-ECO Continues Weekly Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Charter Flights to Middlemount Aerodrome

Resource worker ‘AC’ has sent through some great photos from Middlemount Aerodrome showing the typical scene each Wednesday, as the little country town plays host to Vincent Aviation BAe 146-200 ZK-ECO, which operates a weekly Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flight into the town from Brisbane – of which ‘AC’ is a regular passenger!

ZK-ECO operates this charter flight as VIN810 “Vincent 810”, and in fact, the aircraft also operates flights to and from Roma in the Surat Basin.

Meanwhile, at least once each week, the Nitro Drilling (Nitro Aviation) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-NDT also pays a visit to Middlemount Aerodrome.  It usually operates to Middlemount either to or from the Sunshine Coast and/or Maryborough.

I’d like to thank ‘AC’ for sending through his photos via email.

Readers of the Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog are more than welcome to send through any plane spotting photos they may have taken , not only from Central Queensland, but from anywhere, and we will be more than happy to consider posting them onto the Blog!

All photos taken by ‘AC’  ©

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Queensland Government Aircraft – And More – Pop Into Bundaberg Airport Tuesday

Making another visit to Central Queensland on Tuesday 29 October were Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY and Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ.

File photo taken by Micah S  ©

VH-SGY touched down from Townsville, and later departed to Brisbane, while VH-SGQ flew Brisbane-Bundaberg-Brisbane.

Meanwhile, another nice Super King Air has been noted at Bundaberg Airport over Monday 28 October and Tuesday 29 October in the form of Wagners Development Company Hawker Beechcraft B300 Super King Air VH-WJW, which operated two return flights from Toowoomba to Bundaberg over the two days.

Wagners B300 Super King Air VH-WJW at Avalon Airport  (File photo)

Also – and on a personal note – Hervey Bay-based Aero Commute Australia (ACA) Cessna 402A VH-RDZ is one of two aircraft that has been operating weekly flights between Bundaberg and Clermont – my local airport!  Over the last few weeks either VH-RDZ or Piper PA-34-220T VH-MRY – also of Aero Commute – have operated from Bundaberg to Clermont and back on what is believed to be Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights.

File photo taken by Micah S  ©

Lastly, local plane spotter Micah S has alerted us to a slight change in Virgin Australia – Virgin Australia Regional Airlines – operations into the Rum City.  It appears that Virgin has changed to flight number on their Bundaberg to Brisbane flights with the flight number changing to VOZ1704.  The VOZ1701 continues to be in the inbound flight to Bundy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-200 9V-SVH – And ZK-OKC Again – At Rockhampton Airport Saturday Night

File Photo

Rockhampton plane spotters must’ve spent their Saturday night at home, as we don’t have any photos to share of the Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-200 9V-SVH which popped in to Rockhampton Airport for the first time late on Saturday 26 October.

9V-SVH arrived at Rockhampton direct from Singapore as SIA8931, and later departed back there as SIA8932.

And then later on Saturday 26 October, Air New Zealand Boeing B777-200 ZK-OKC made yet another appearance – it’s fourth to the Beef capital in as many days – this time positioning from Singapore as ANZ6038.  ZK-OKC departed in the early hours of Sunday 27 October, flying direct to Singapore as ANZ1939.

Initial reports suggested that ZK-OKC would be back later on Sunday 27 October, however this flight was cancelled, and on Monday 28 October, ZK-OKC was 'scheduled' to fly directly back to Auckland from Singapore as ANZ6040.

This round of heavy jet charters to Rockhampton Airport in support of the Singapore Armed Force’s Exercise Wallaby 2013 is now complete!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

And now Australian Army Boeing CH-47D Chinook Helicopters A15-152 and A15-202 at Rockhampton Airport

A few days after its first visit to Rockhampton Airport (see Blog Post below), Australian Army Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter A15-152 has again popped in - and this this time it brought a mate in the form of fellow Army Chinook A15-202.

Local plane spotter 'IAD' was on hand on Sunday 27 October, as the two massive choppers were on the ground at Rockhampton only briefly to refuel, before departing for the North.  A15-202 - spotted wearing the name "Good as Gold" - was first to depart as "Brahman 202".

While A15-152 - carrying the name "Silky Smooth" - was captured departing off Rockhampton's Runway 33 as "Brahman 154".

A couple of great choppers! Thanks to 'IAD' for venturing to Rockhampton Airport and capturing such awesome photos!

All photos taken by ‘IAD’  ©

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-200 9V-SVK at Rockhampton Airport Friday Night

The series of heavy jet charters into Rockhampton Airport continued late on Friday 25 October with Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-200 9V-SVK touching down direct from Singapore's Changi Airport as SIA8931.

Local plane spotter 'IAD' was on hand - along with a couple of other interested locals - and captured some lovely images of the B777 which was making its first visit to the beef capital.

After a couple of hours on the ground, 9V-SVK departed back to Singapore as SIA8932.

Soon after the departure of the Singapore Airlines aircraft, Air New Zealand B777-200 ZK-OKC again touched down at Rockhampton Airport - this time as ANZ6036 from Singapore.  This was presumably a 'positioning' flight, as it later departed with a full load of passengers and cargo in the early hours of Saturday 26 October as ANZ1937 direct to Singapore.

File photo

At the time of writing, ZK-OKC is again scheduled to visit to Rockhampton late on Saturday 26 October, along with Singapore Airlines B777-200 9V-SVH, which will touch down about 8.30pm local, making its first visit to Rocky.

Thanks to 'IAD' for capturing these great images of some great movements into Rockhampton!

All photos taken by ‘IAD’  ©

Photos of New QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQM - And Much More - At Gladstone Airport

As mentioned in a Blog post below, QantasLink's latest Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQM has recently entered service - and it has visited various Central Queensland Airports over the last few days.  Jamie C has sent through some photos of VH-LQM as it made its first visit to Gladstone Airport on Monday 21 October.

For information, the Bombardier Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen version is essentially a Q400 but with updated cabins, lighting, windows, overhead bins, landing gear, as well as reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

Other recent interesting visitors to Gladstone Airport that have been caught by Jamie C and Tash C have included Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-300 VH-QQP which was photographed departing the industrial city on Saturday 19 October operating presumably a Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flight as SKP1031.  It had arrived the previous evening as SKP1030.

Also captured departing Gladstone early on Saturday 19 October was Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWR which was also operating a FIFO charter flight as UTY656.  It too had arrived the previous evening but as UTY655.  Alliance Airlines Fokkers are becoming a semi-regular sight at Gladstone Airport operating these FIFO charter flights.

The Surveillance Australia / Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Dash-8-200 VH-ZZJ has continued to operate this week out of Gladstone Airport, with it also spotted early on Friday 18 October departing for parts unknown.

Finally, a nice pair of Mooneys have been spotted passing through Gladstone Airport.  Cairns-based Mooney M20J VH-CVB was spotted arriving into Gladstone from Cairns on Tuesday 22 October.

While Mackay-based Mooney M20J VH-TWV was spotted departing Gladstone for Mackay on Wednesday 23 October.

A few great recent movements at Gladstone Airport captured by Jamie and Tash - and we sincerely thank them for taking the time to send these great images through during such a busy period of the month!

Photos taken by Jamie C and Tash C  ©

Hervey Bay Airport Fraser Coast - Some Information and Plane Spotting Photos

Brisbane-based plane spotter - and fan and contributor to the Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog - Brendan B has sent through some plane spotting photos he captured during a recent visit to Hervey Bay Airport.

Hervey Bay Airport (HVB, YHBA) is the main airport for Hervey Bay, as well as the Fraser Coast region of Queensland which also incorporates the nearby cities of Maryborough and Bundaberg.  The airport has one main runway designated 11/29 measuring 2000m × 30m.

The airport, which is located around 9km or 15 minutes from the Hervey Bay town centre, re-opened in mid-2005, after the existing airport underwent an $11.5 million upgrade, which included the construction of a new terminal building, and the extension of the existing 1500m runway to 2000m to accommodate jet services from Jetstar and Virgin Australia.

Up until September 2006, Sunshine Express Airlines provided daily services to Hervey Bay Airport from Brisbane. The airline ceased all scheduled operations in October 2006 after a proposed acquisition by Regional Express Airlines was terminated, and an intention by QantasLink for the introduction of Brisbane services was announced.

Currently, QantasLink operates between 2-4 daily return services to Hervey Bay from Brisbane each week with Dash-8-Q300 and Dash-8-Q400 aircraft.

QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQF

Virgin Australia also currently flys return daily jet services from Sydney with a mix of Embraer E-190 and Boeing B737 aircraft.

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPH

In 2006, the airport was the fastest growing in Queensland with passenger numbers almost doubling. Currently, plans are underway to further upgrade the airport to handle more commercial and fly-in fly-out (FIFO) flights from Brisbane, Sydney, and possibly Melbourne. These plans involve the extension of the terminal to twice its current size, as well as a new cross runway (smaller than the main runway) to be used for general aviation purposes.

Seair Pacific Cessna 208 Caravan VH-VCW operates transfers to Lady Elliot Island and FIFO charters from Hervey Bay (File photo)

Seabird Aviation Australia Pty Ltd is a light aircraft manufacturer based at Hervey Bay Airport and is best known for designing, developing and certifying the SB7L-360 Seeker-2 multi-role utility aircraft manufactured for commercial or private use.

Seabird Aviation SB7L-360A VH-SZF at Hervey Bay Airport

Seabird Aviation SB7L-360A VH-SZF at Hervey Bay Airport

The official Seabird Aviation Australia Pty Ltd website can be located at: .

Also operating out of the Airport is Cessna 182 VH-DBP which is noted regularly flying and dropping thrill-seeking parachutists out over Hervey Bay.

Other aircraft spotted by Brendan during his visit to Hervey Bay Airport included Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-FDA along with Toowoomba-based Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron N581SR.

Some great photos from what looks like a lovely little regional airport in the far South of the Central Queensland region (ha ha!).  My sincere thanks to Brendan for sending through these great photos, and for his continuing support of the CQ Plane Spotting Blog!

Photos taken by Brendan Berry  ©