Wednesday, October 26, 2016

RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 Two More Missed Approaches at Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday

On Wednesday 26 October, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 was again spotted in the skies above Rockhampton - not once but twice - completing missed approaches at Rockhampton Airport during the morning and then later in the afternoon.

It appears that during the morning, A39-001 flew South (possible from Townsville) and continued further South to RAAF Base Amberley following its airwork at Rockhampton.  A39-001 was noted using the radio callsign of "Dragon 30".

Then during the afternoon, A39-001 flew North from Amberley to complete the approach at Rockhampton before continuing further North (again possibly to Townsville).  A39-001 was noted using the radio callsign of "Dragon 32" during this flight.

As this post is being written, it appears that the KC-30 A39-001 has returned to Amberley.

Of interest, the RAAF currently operates five KC-30A MRTT aircraft, with an additional two ex-Qantas Airways-operated A330-200's - VH-EBH and VH-EBI - undergoing conversion to KC-30A specification by Airbus Defence and Space in Spain.  There are expected to be delivered in 2018.

It has also recently been announced that one of the converted aircraft will also be modified with a VIP interior to support long-range government transport needs.

Finally, A39-001 has a soft spot in my heart as I was very privileged to be invited on-board the RAAF KC-30A MRTT to observe at close-quarters, air-to-air refuelling drills during the RAAF's Exercise Pitch Black 2016 which was held in August in the Northern Territory.  You can check out our report here:

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H who capture these photos of the two visits by A39-001 from her yard!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

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