Some of these aircraft called into Gladstone Airport on Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charters from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The first of these to touch down was QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-YQV which flew in direct from Sydney as QJE1960. It later re-positioned back there as QJE6201.
This is VH-YQV's first visit to Gladstone, and like sistership VH-YQT, which had visited previously, is one of five in a 2-class configuration with 110 seats, along with Q-Streaming - Qantas' wireless entertainment system.
Around the same time as the B717's arrival, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) ATR 72-500 VH-FVI was captured departing as VOZ1716 to Brisbane.
Then the mass of QantasLink Dash-8 aircraft started, with four of the seven aircraft calling in on FIFO charter flights from Brisbane. But first, Dash-8-Q300 VH-SBI called in operating the scheduled QLK2340/2341 service from and back to Brisbane.
Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQQ was the first aircraft on a FIFO charter, arriving from Brisbane as QLK2582 and later re-positioning back to Brisbane as QLK2671. Of interest, VH-LQQ wears the small 'Recognise' logo near the cockpit windows, and has recently been named "Darling Downs" during a ceremony at the newly opened Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.
Soon after, Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOP called in also on a FIFO charter but as QLK2584. It too arrived Brisbane, and also later re-positioned back there as QLK2675.
A little later, Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOE arrived, flying a FIFO charter from and then re-positioning back to Brisbane as QLK2588/2677.
Along with Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOR which was the final arrival from Brisbane on a FIFO charter as QLK2586.
Unfortunately, Gladstone Airport was now 'full' and VH-QOR remained parked on the main taxiway at the Airport for some time before a gate became available. VH-QOR eventually re-positioned back to Brisbane as QLK2679.
In the meantime, JetGo Australia Embraer E-135 VH-JGB called into Gladstone once again on the JG78/79 return service from and back to Sydney.
One of the star arrivals was next to touch down with Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-VUX calling in operating the scheduled VOZ1717/1720 service from and back to Brisbane. Of interest, VH-VUX is the most recent aircraft to be re-painted into the full Virgin Australia livery.
On final QantasLink FIFO charter flight from Brisbane then touched down with Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOJ touching down and later re-positioning as QLK2590/2673.
QantasLink (Cobham Avaition) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXG then touched down at Gladstone Airport operating the scheduled QJE1716/1717 service from and back to Brisbane.
While another QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQB then called in on the scheduled QLK2344/2345 service also from and back to Brisbane.
With the sun all but gone, the other star arrival into Gladstone Airport on Sunday 4 January touched down in the form of Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 VH-VZS which also visited Gladstone on a FIFO charter flight but from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport as QFA1374.
After dropping off its passengers and freight, VH-VZS then re-positioned back to Melbourne as QFA6103.
What a truly spectacular afternoon and evening of plane spotting action! We sincerely thank Anthony for capturing these great photos, and for allowing us to again share them with you! Thanks mate!
All photos taken by Anthony Schulz ©