Many local and visiting plane spotters, along with other members of the public were on hand as the giant Ukrainian aircraft gracefully touched down on Rocky's Runway 33 before taxiing into its parking spot on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron.
As the tech crew departed for their accommodation, the ground engineers were joined by local ground crew and the Antonov commenced loading with its front landing gear being raised and the aircraft placed into its unique 'kneeling' position to allow the loading of its cargo.
On this flight, the four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters - serials '066', '062', '067' and '060' - which had been deployed to Rockhampton during the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2016, along with their rotor blades and other equipment, were all loaded in preparation for their return to Singapore.
At the time of writing, UR-82007 is scheduled to make a late evening departure from Rockhampton Airport for Darwin in the Northern Territory as ADB2396. It will take on more fuel before then continuing to Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore.
As we have reported below, the AN-124 is expected to return twice more to Rocky over the coming days, arriving back at Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 13 November and next Thursday 17 November, again touching down around 8.00am each time and departing around 11.00pm on the same day.
Please note that these flights mentioned above are very much subject to change.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and Trevor H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Antonov's visit to Rocky today!
Photos taken by Trevor Hardsman and Kayanne Hardsman ©