Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday at Rockhampton Airport - Cessna Citation Bizjet VH-KXL - Alliance F-100 VH-FWH - More Helicopters!

Edwards Coaches Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-KXL was photographed at Rockhampton Airport by local plane spotter Don W on Saturday 28 February.  It called in from Armidale and Tamworth and was believed to have brought Senator Barnaby Joyce to the region to inspect the damage caused by Cyclone Marcia.

VH-KXL later departed Rocky and made the short hop down to Biloela / Thangool Airport before eventually departing back to Tamworth and home to Armidale.

Privately owned Brisbane-based Aero Commander 500-U VH-LRI was also noted calling into Rockhampton on Saturday but from Biloela / Thangool Airport.  It then departed to the Sunshine Coast.

Later at Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 28 February, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-FWH was noted operating another charter flight from and back to Brisbane as UTY552/553.

Also on Saturday 28 February, Don also captured some more great photos of the visiting helicopters that continue to operate numerous flights out and back from Rockhampton Airport in support of the recovery from Cyclone Marcia.

Thanks to Don for sending through these great photos!

All photo taken by Don Williams  ©

A Few More Photos from Gladstone Airport This Week - Helicopters Galore!

It's been a big and busy week for residents and emergency services around Gladstone and out to the region around Biloela / Thangool in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Marcia.  As a result, several helicopters have been spotted operating out of both Rockhampton and Gladstone Airports during the week - in this post local plane spotters Jamie and Tash share some of their images from Gladstone Airport.

The locally-based Careflight Bell 412EP VH-XCY made several flights between Gladstone and Biloela / Thangool Airport, carrying police and emergency services workers out to the region.

Helicopters that were utilised by Ergon Energy that were involved with power line inspections over the week included Jayrow Helicopters Bell 206B VH-CLV and Theodore-based Stirling Helicopters (Stirling Consolidated) Bell 206B (II) VH-JAQ.

Also assisting with the clean-up was M.I. Helicopters Eurocopter AS.355F2 VH-JZX along with Mackay-based Whitsunday Helicopters' Agusta A109E Power VH-KZD.

Calibre Aviation (of Emerald) Aerospatiale AS.350BA VH-WEB was also captured.

And finally, a pair of media choppers were spotted by Jamie and Tash over the week, including Channel 9 (Queensland Television) Eurocopter AS.350B Squirrel helicopter VH-HTV and The Helicopter Service Australia (THS) Aerospatiale AS.350BA Squirrel helicopter VH-THJ which is flying for ABC Television.

Of interest, both VH-THJ (c/n 1759) and VH-WEB (c/n 1743) were both once a part of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a part of the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU).  They wore the military serial numbers of A22-006 and A22-012 respectively.

Aside from the helicopters, a couple of nice bizjets called into Gladstone Airport this week, including Marcplan Charter Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy VH-VLT on Wednesday 25 February.

Earth Commodities Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-CCJ was also noted at Gladstone Airport on Thursday 26 February.

Finally, light General Aviation (GA) visitors featured the visit by Avcair (Sutherland Aviation) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-WXC on Wednesday 25 February, while on Tuesday 24 February, Seair Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LMZ made a surprise visit for fuel before departing to the South.

A great week of plane spotting at Gladstone Airport - although this was brought about by a rather unfortunate circumstance.  We do hope that the recovery from Cyclone Marcia continues well for all those that have been affected.

Sincere thanks to Jamie and Tash for sending through these fantastic photos!

Photos taken by Jamie and Tash  ©

A Few More Great Photos from Rockhampton Airport Over This Last Week - Helicopters - Bizjets - And an Orion!

Over the last week, we've reported and posted (on our Facebook page) on several movements to pass through Rockhampton Airport that have been associated with the clean-up in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Marcia which passed through the region only a week ago.

Last Saturday 21 February, an unknown Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed AP-3C Orion was spotted in the skies above Rocky conducting an aerial survey of the damage.  The Orion was heard to use the radio callsign of "Sealion 44" and reportedly flew up from RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia and eventually landed at Townsville.

During this last week, the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY and Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ have been noted at Rocky pretty much every day - including last Saturday 21 February when local plane spotter Ben O captured these images.

Another bizjet in the form Jet City (Melbourne) Learjet 45 VH-LJX was also spotted on Sunday 21 February, while, as posted below, Execujet Australia (Careflight Queensland) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-URR was joined by RAAF Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 and Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 A37-001 all touched down on Thursday 26 February.  It's also worth noting that the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU has also been a frequent visitor this week.

There have also been a wide range of helicopters to be noted and spotted at Rockhampton Airport, flying sorties all over the region, and down to Gladstone and out to Biloela / Thangool Airport and nearby towns.  The following choppers were spotted at Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 21 February, Monday 22 February, Thursday 26 February and Friday 27 February.

Now despite most of the Rockhampton plane spotters not having power for most of this week, we sincerely thank them for all their efforts in taking these great photos and for taking the time to send them through to share with you.

Thanks guys!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman, Ben O'Dowd, Trevor Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

Friday, February 27, 2015

Army MRH-90 Helicopters and RAAF Bizjets Highlight the Spotting Action at Rockhampton Airport Thursday and Friday

During the afternoon on Thursday 26 February, three Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters were noted arriving at Rockhampton Airport.  Reports suggest that these helicopters have been deployed to Rocky to assist the Army personnel on the ground with the clean-up and re-build following Tropical Cyclone Marcia.  On Friday 27 February, local plane spotter 'IAD' captured the three choppers - identified as A40-014, A40-028 and A40-032.

On Thursday, they were heard to be using the callsign "Destria" as they all arrived individually, while on Friday, A40-014 and A40-028 departed to Yeppoon as "Destria Black".  During the afternoon on Friday 27 February, all three MRH-90s were heard to depart to Townsville.

Meanwhile, as the sun was setting on Thursday 26 February, a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bizjets operated by the RAAF VIP 34 Squadron called in for the night.  Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 was first to touch down, arriving from Canberra as "Ausy 310".

The BBJ carried what looked to be a full load of passengers and cargo, including local ministers and finally, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who was reportedly due to visit the devastated areas North of Rockhampton at Yeppoon.

A36-002 was followed by Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 A37-001, which touched down from Sydney as "Envoy 80".

Both RAAF bizjets were captured again by 'IAD' early on Friday 27 February before they both departed - A36-002 to Auckland, New Zealand as "Ausy 310", and A37-001 to Gove (Nhulunbuy) as "Envoy 80".

Making a three-some of bizjets, about the same time as the RAAF aircraft touched down on Thursday 26 February, Execujet Australia Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-URR also called into Rockhampton but from Brisbane.

As mentioned below, it is believed that the Challenger is being currently operated by Careflight Queensland (Aeromed) on med-evac flights.  It later departed back to Brisbane.

Finally, earlier on Thursday 26 February, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-JFE called into Rockhampton on what looked like a charter flight from and back to Brisbane as UTY552/553.

Sincere thanks to 'IAD' for capturing and sending through these great photos of some great visitors!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©