It is believed to be the first time a New Zealand Defence Force Seasprite helicopter has called into Central Queensland. It is also believed that NZ3618 flew into Rocky from the HMNZS Canterbury multi-role vessel (MRV) of the Royal New Zealand Navy which is presently in the Coral Sea off CQ. It was heard to be completing a med-evac flight from the ship to Rocky and was using the radio callsign of "Seasprite 18".
It appears that NZ3618 later returned to the ship.
The Seasprite helicopters of the New Zealand Navy are provided by No. 6 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The Squadron is equipped with a fleet of four SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopters which are operated by the RNZN and maintained by the RNZAF. They are primarily used as integrated air assets from the HMNZS Canterbury and the two ANZAC Frigates of the New Zealand Navy, in order to provide a range of capabilities from logistic support to combat operations.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and Daniel B for being at the right place at the right time and taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Daniel Bishop ©