Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Execujet Australia Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-VSZ Pops into Hamilton Island Airport

On Tuesday 28 February, Execujet Australia Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-VSZ touched down at Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney.

VH-VSZ at Rockhampton Airport  (File photo)

After less than an hour on the ground, VH-VSZ departed to Brisbane before it departed to Queenstown (New Zealand) a short time later.

Meanwhile, CQ's newest airline, Regional Air, continues to operate regular charter flights into Hamilton Island Airport from their Mackay Airport base with both Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan VH-RKD and Gippaero GA-8 Airvan VH-OHN.

File photo

Keep an eye on Regional Air's Facebook page for latest prices and special announcements:  https://www.facebook.com/FlyRegionalAir

Their website has a lot more information on their travel packages:  http://regionalair.com.au/

Alternatively, you can call them for information to make a booking on:  1300 359 734 (1300 FLY REG) or by sending an email to:  bookings@regionalair.com.au

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

An Awesome Foursome of ADF Aircraft and Helicopters Call into CQ Airports on Tuesday

On Tuesday 28 February there were yet more aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) that were noted visiting various Central Queensland airports.

First up, RAAF Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 was noted landing at Bundaberg Airport from Coffs Harbour (NSW) as "Envoy 60".

A36-001 arrives at Bundaberg Airport on a previous visit  (File photo)

The BBJ - which was believed to be operating a training flight - then departed for Hamilton Island Airport before it was later noted returning to the south.

A little later, RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 was back in CQ. After heading North to Townsville via Rockhampton Airport on Monday 27 February, it was noted heading back South and completing a missed approach at Mackay Airport before then landing again at Rocky for a short time.

A41-207 flys into Rockhampton Airport on Monday 27 February  (File photo)

A41-207 was again heard to be using the radio callsign for "Stallion 62".  It then departed further South and was noted completing a missed approach at Sunshine Coast before heading 'home' to RAAF Base Amberley.

Around the same time as the Globemaster visited, Australian Army (Royal Australian Navy [RAN] marked) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-028 was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from the South as "Destrier 28".

After taking on fuel, the MRH-90 continued to Townsville.

Finally, as the sun was setting on Tuesday 28 February, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-437 - which was flying as "Dingo 25" -  was noted flying South from Townsville and completing airwork at Mackay Airport.

It later returned to Townsville.

Photos taken by Micah S and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Monday, February 27, 2017

RAAF C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 at Rockhampton Airport - Plus More Photos of RAAF KC-30A A39-001 Last Week!

On Monday 27 February, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 called into Rockhampton Airport. It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Stallion 62".

It looked to fly in from around Charleville and after landing, parked on the southern end of Rockhampton airport Parking apron.

After appearing to complete a crew change, The Globemaster then departed to the North where it was heard to complete airwork around Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport before continuing further north to Townsville.

The pattern of large RAAF transport jets landing at Rockhampton Airport is a nice change for the new year. As reported, last Tuesday 21 February, RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 landed at Rockhampton airport after completing a flight north from RAAF base Amberley.

It was heard to be flying as "Dragon 20" and also completed a crew change while on the ground at Rocky before it departed back to Amberley.

Let's hope these visits continue!

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and Scott H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Scott Harris  ©

First Photos in CQ of Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-UQW at Rockhampton Airport over the Weekend

As we've reported below, over the last couple of weeks, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-UQW has been noted visiting a couple of Central Queensland Airports, mostly operating for Virgin Australia.  VH-UQW is the latest Fokker F-100 aircraft to start flying with Alliance Airlines, looking to operate its first flight in January this year.

On Saturday 25 February, VH-UQW was photographed making its first visit to Rockhampton Airport, again operating on behalf of Virgin Australia, flying in from Brisbane as VOZ1245.  It later departed back to Brisbane as VOZ1248.

Earlier in the day, and during most of last week, VH-UQW had operated a return flight to Emerald Airport and back from Brisbane again on behalf of Virgin Australia.  Also during last week, it was noted operating into Mackay Airport also for Virgin Australia, along with some flights from and back to Brisbane for Alliance Airlines on their Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter runs.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great 'first photos' of VH-UQW in Central Queensland!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Thursday, February 23, 2017

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-LHZ Returns South via Mackay and Gladstone Airports

On Thursday 23 February, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-LHZ was noted heading back South from Townsville, calling into Mackay and Gladstone Airports, while heading back to RAAF Base Amberley.

Fellow RAAF SAR S-76A VH-HRP at Gladstone Airport recently  (File photo)

VH-LHZ - which was heard to be flying as "Choppa 9" - was believed to be returning from Townsville where it provided support to the United States Air Force (USAF) which recently deployed some Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter aircraft of the 90th Fighter Squadron (90 FS) "The Dicemen" based at Elmendorf in Alaska.

The Raptors deployed from RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory and participated in a wide range of general flying and tactical exercises in the Townsville Field Training Area (TFTA).

Of interest, VH-LHZ is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia, and is one of a number of choppers used for RAAF Search and Rescue jobs.

Photos taken by Michael Fleetwood and Leroy  ©

Aero Pearl / AirServices Australia Super King Air VH-FIX at Longreach Airport

On Thursday 23 February, AirServices Australia / Aero Pearl (Pearl Aviation) Beech B300 Super King Air VH-FIX was noted passing through Longreach Airport while on a flight from Darwin to Brisbane.

File photo

VH-FIX, along with fellow Super King Airs VH-FIY and VH-FIZ, are aircraft operated by Aero Pearl on behalf of AirServices Australia on navigational aid (navaid) calibration flights around Australia and in parts of Asia.

In fact, I note that VH-FIX is returning to Australia after spending some time over the last couple of months operating in Vietnam (amongst other places).  On Wednesday 22 February, VH-FIX returned to Australia through Darwin, arriving from Bali (Denpasar).

Business Aviation Solutions Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-BLM Calls Into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport

Business Aviation Solutions Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-BLM was noted calling into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport around lunch time on Thursday 23 February from its Gold Coast base.

File photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

After a very short time on the ground it returned South to the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cessna 560 Citation Ultra Bizjet VH-MMC Back at Emerald Airport Once Again - Plus More!

On Tuesday 21 February, the familiar sight of Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC was yet again back at Emerald Airport.  It arrived from its Sunshine Coast base.

At the time of writing, it was due to return to the Sunny Coast on Thursday 23 February.

It's also worth noting that a couple of familiar corporate turboprop aircraft have also called into Emerald Airport in recent days, including the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ which arrived from Brisbane on Wednesday 22 February.  It departed to Kidston and then Townsville before returning to Brisbane later in the day.

And visiting Emerald Airport once again this week was the smart little Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH which is becoming a very familiar sight at CQ Airports.  As mentioned below, it flew in from Toowoomba and Bundaberg Airports on Monday 20 February before departing back to Toowoomba on Tuesday 21 February.

VH-SGQ also visited Bundaberg Airport on Tuesday 21 February - see Blog post below.

Meanwhile, a bit more bizjet action around CQ with the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU back on prisoner transfer duties on Wednesday 22 February.  It flew from Brisbane to Cairns via Rockhampton and Townsville.  It later returned to the capital over the same route.

And finally, after spending the last month in Sydney, locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ was due to return to its Mackay Airport base on Thursday 23 February.

Local aviation photographer Grahame H captured N142GZ on a busy General Aviation (GA) apron at Sydney Airport on Tuesday 21 February.  N142GZ was due to return to Mackay on Wednesday 22 February but this flight was cancelled.

Grahame runs the fantastic 16Right.com website which features more of his quality images, along with excellent live aircraft tracking resources via ACARS and ADSB.  Check the website out at:  http://www.16right.com/

Photos taken by 'AC' and Grahame Hutchison  ©

Skyline Aviation (NSW) MBB BO105 S Helicopter VH-ZXW Also Spotted at Rockhampton Airport

Also spotted at Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 22 February was another nice helicopter in the form of Messerschmitt Bolkow Blohm MBB BO105 S VH-ZXW.

The German-built helicopter is operated by Skyline Aviation of Marks Point in New South Wales (NSW).

VH-ZXW was reportedly on a flight from North to Mackay Airport but turned back and landed at Rockhampton Airport reportedly due to inclement weather in and around Mackay.  It was earlier noted completing a flight from Balina / Byron Gateway Airport in the Northern New South Wales to the Sunshine Coast.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H who was at the right place at the right time to capture these great photos!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Pacific Helicopters Ltd (PNG) Airbus Helicopters H145 P2-PHC (ex ZK-HPB) Passes Through Whitsunday and Rockhampton Airports

A nice helicopter to pass through parts of Central Queensland during the middle part of this week was Pacific Helicopters Ltd in Papua New Guinea (PNG) Airbus Helicopters H145 P2-PHC.

The smart looking helicopter flew into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour from points North and then Cooktown and Townsville on Tuesday 21 February.


Then on Wednesday 22 February, P2-PHC flew South to Rockhampton Airport where it was spotted taking on fuel.  It then departed to Brisbane.

Of interest, research reveals that P2-PHC was previously registered ZK-HPB and passed through both Rockhampton and Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport in July 2016 while on delivery from Airbus Group Australia Pacific (New Zealand) to Pacific Helicopters Ltd in Papua New Guinea.

See more photos of ZK-HPB in our Blog post HERE.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Virgin Australia ATR 72s Start Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Charter Flights to Middlemount Aerodrome

Until recently, Virgin Australia ATR 72 turboprops have been operating a twice-weekly Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights into Emerald Airport with the passengers then being bussed to their Middlemount worksites.  Recently I’ve noticed that rather than land at Emerald Airport, these services are now flying directly into Middlemount Aerodrome.

File photo

The flights come up from Brisbane each Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.  The final pair of flights into Emerald Airport look to have been on Tuesday 7 February and Wednesday 8 February with ATR 72-500 VH-FVI and then ATR 72-500 VH-FVX operating the VOZ9107/9108 and VOZ9109/9110 FIFO Charters respectively.

File photo

The first pair of flights into Middlemount Aerodrome occurred the following week on Tuesday 14 February and Wednesday 15 February with ATR 72-500 VH-FVX and ATR 72-500 VH-FVM operating the VOZ9107/9108 and VOZ9109/9110 FIFO charters respectively – note that they used the same flight numbers.

As this post is being written, on Tuesday 21 February, ATR 72-500 VH-FVX is winging its way back to Middlemount Aerodrome once again as VOZ9107 and will return to Brisbane a little later as VOZ9108.

It appears that on Wednesday 22 February, ATR 72-500 VH-FVU will operate into Middlemount on the VOZ9109/9110 FIFO Charter flight from and back to Brisbane.

This now means that there will no longer be any Virgin Australia coloured aircraft due to visit Emerald Airport with Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 and F-100 jets operating the Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services into Emerald from and back to Brisbane on behalf of Virgin Australia.

File photo

Of interest, Middlemount Aerodrome is not far from the town centre, situated on the Eastern edge of Middlemount.  The Aerodrome has good facilities with a sealed runway, hangar, and a fairly sizeable apron with markings for two parking bays. There is a small terminal building and a small car-parking area.

And Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ Spotted at Bundaberg Airport

On Tuesday 21 February, local plane spotter Micah S was on hand at Bundaberg Airport as the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ popped in for a couple of hours from Brisbane.

It later returned to the capital.

Meanwhile, on Monday 20 February, the now becoming familiar sight of Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH passed through Bundy arriving from its Toowoomba base and later departing to Emerald Airport.

UPDATE!  Of interest, VH-WPH returned to Bundaberg Airport twice on Wednesday 22 February during a busy day of flying which saw it fly from Toowoomba to Boonah then Bundaberg before continuing to Bowen Airport.  It later returned to Toowoomba over the same route.

Sincere thanks to Micah for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Micah S  ©

Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP Bizjet VH-SGY Pops into Mackay Airport

On Tuesday 21 February, the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP VH-SGY was noted visiting Mackay Airport.

VH-SGY at Mackay Airport during a previous visit  (File photo)

It arrived from Brisbane around mid-morning and departed back there during the early part of the afternoon.

It is believed that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk came to Mackay to visit the local Council and also announce a planned concert by multiple Grammy-winning legend and flamboyant superstar, Elton John.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 Calls into Rockhampton Airport

On Tuesday 22 February, local plane spotters Kayanne H and Trevor H were on hand as Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 touched down at Rockhampton Airport.

This is the second time in as many weeks that a RAAF KC-30A has landed at Rocky on what looked to be a crew training flight.

A39-001 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Dragon 20" and after landing, taxied and stopped for a short time on  Taxiway Juliette while undergoing a crew change.

After a short time, A39-001 departed Rockhampton Airport for the South, heading towards the Gold Coast before flying on to Amberley.

Sincere thanks to Kayanne and Trevor for taking the time to send through these great photos and videos of a great visitor to the beef capital!

Photos and videos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Trevor Hardsman  ©