Thursday, August 17, 2017

Brand New Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 Bizjet VH-ZIY Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 17 August, recently delivered Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 bizjet VH-ZIY was spotted on final approach to Rockhampton Airport's Runway 33 after flying North from Archerfield.  It had earlier flown into Archerfield from its Sunshine Coast base.

This was the first flight completed by Machjet's newest Citation bizjet after it was delivered to the Sunny Coast via Townsville Airport on Friday 4 August.

They also fly fellow Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-SIY which is a frequent visitor to CQ and interestingly flew into Darwin presumably from the Sunshine Coast also on Thursday 17 August.

VH-ZIY later returned to Archerfield from Rocky before finishing the day back at the Sunshine Coast.

Also on Thursday 17 August, Professional Jet Aviation Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-CDG was noted also visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It initially flew into Brisbane from its Gold Coast base before it headed for Rocky.  It appears that VH-CDG is staying at Rockhampton Airport for the night.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday 16 August, a nice corporate General Aviation (GA) visitor was alos spotted on short final onto Runway 33 at Rockhampton Airport in the form of New South Wales-based SOCATA TBM-850 VH-KOF.

It flew North from and later departed back to Archerfield.

Finally, Monto-based Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron VH-EZD has been noted visiting Rockhampton Airport on no-less than three occasions over the last week.  It was spotted below departing for Hamilton Island Airport last Friday 11 August.

On Tuesday 15 August, VH-EZD was also noted touching down at Bundaberg Airport, arriving from Rockhampton and Monto.

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

JetGo Australia Embraer ERJ-135LR VH-JGB Involved with Collision with Runway Lighting at Middlemount Aerodrome

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a collision with runway lighting involving JetGo Australia Embraer ERJ-135LR VH-JGB at Middlemount Aerodrome last Tuesday 8 August.

File photo

The aircraft landed close to the beginning of the runway. After landing, a runway inspection was carried out which found two runway threshold lights damaged. The Captain was notified and an aircraft inspection carried out prior to a subsequent departure. There were no injuries and the aircraft was not damaged.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the flight crew and gather additional information.  A report will be released within several months.

As reported below, JetGo commenced a new Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) contract in mid-July on behalf of Middlemount Coal.  The flights call into Middlemount Aerodrome from and back to Brisbane on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings and will initially be flown by the E-135 and E-140 aircraft before the airline takes delivery of their first 50-seat Embraer E-145.

Air Link (Dubbo) Beech 1900D VH-RUE Visits Longreach Airport

Here's one aircraft that CQ Plane Spotting hasn't seen for a little while!

On Tuesday 15 August, Air Link Beech 1900D VH-RUE arrived into Longreach Airport from Sydney.

The previous day, it was noted operating scheduled services from Cobar via its Dubbo base in New South Wales to Sydney.

After staying for the night, on Wednesday 16 August, VH-RUE departed Longreach Airport Mount Isa and the RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.

As mentioned, Air Link is a Dubbo based subsidiary of Regional Express Airlines (REX).  It provides both charter and scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services within New South Wales, most notably connecting Sydney with Dubbo and Cobar.

Meanwhile, last Friday 11 August, Brisbane-based Pesca Aviation  AeroCommander 690-A Turbo Commander VH-ATF was noted passing through Longreach Airport while flying from the Sweers Island Resort Airstrip to Archerfield.

And  Alizzi Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-ZOS also called into Longreach Airport on Friday 11 August, arriving from its Ballarat base in Victoria and later departing to Cairns.

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

All photos taken by Calen Harvey  ©

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Preparations at Rockhampton Airport for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017 - 2x Antonov AN-124s - Heavy Jet Passenger Charters

Preparations are beginning around Rockhampton Airport for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2017, which is scheduled to take place around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) from Thursday 31 August to Saturday 14 October.

As usual, there will be a significant deployment and redeployment of personnel and equipment taking place before, during and after the Exercise through Rockhampton Airport.  This will be highlighted by multiple visits by the giant Antonov AN-124 cargo jet with two inbound flights already being rumoured to be touching down as early as next week!

There will also be several heavy jet passenger charter flights with information suggesting that these will be operated by as many as three commercial airlines bringing twin-engine and four-engine aircraft to Rockhampton Airport as various times during the Exercise period.

Recently released AirServices Australia and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) documents indicate that Exercise Wallaby 2017 will see the participation of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and military helicopters including Boeing CH-47SD Chinooks, Boeing AH-64D Apache and Aerospatiale / Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopters which will operate from both Rockhampton Airport and from within the Exercise area.

Stay tuned to the Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog Facebook Page or Twitter Feed for the latest news and movements associated with Exercise Wallaby 2017.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-447 Completes Airwork at Gladstone and Mackay Airports

On Monday 14 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-447 was noted conducting airwork up the Queensland coast after appearing to earlier depart RAAF Base Amberley as "Ausy 615".

File photo

It appears to have earlier departed RAAF Base Richmond before landing at Amberley for a short period of time.

A97-447 "Ausy 615" was heard completing an overshoot onto Runway 28 at Gladstone Airport before continuing further North where it was then noted overflying Rockhampton.  It is believed that A97-447 then completed a missed approach at Mackay Airport.

Photo taken by Simon Coates  ©

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 Jet VH-JFE Spotted in New (Standard) Livery - While Alliance Also Takes Delivery of F-70 PH-KBX Formerly of Dutch Royal Family

Over the last week or so, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jet VH-JFE has made multiple visits into CQ Airports - Gladstone, Bundaberg, Emerald and even Rockhampton - as it completed both scheduled services for Virgin Australia and Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights.  What has been interesting to note is that VH-JFE now wears the standard Alliance Airlines livery (presumably) following a period of scheduled maintenance with Austrian Technik Bratislava (ATB), a Lufthansa group company specialising in servicing Fokker aircraft in Slovakia.

VH-JFE was acquired by Alliance Airlines in 2013 after the Fokker spent a short time stored following two years operating for Air Panama as HP-1732PST.

Previous to that it has been one of two corporate Fokker F-70 jets operated by the Ford Motor Company (Ford Holdings Financing Inc) as N324K.  The other Ford corporate Fokker F-70 jet was N322K which has since become VH-JFB also with Alliance!

Meanwhile, on Sunday 6 August, Alliance Airlines took delivery of Fokker F-70 jet PH-KBX with it arriving into Townsville Airport from Kupang (Indonesia).  On Monday 7 August, PH-KBX continued to Brisbane where it has remained parked prior to entering pre-service maintenance with Alliance.

Until February this year, PH-KBX was operated by the Royal Netherlands Air Force / Government of the Netherlands as a VIP transport aircraft.  It has been noted visiting Australia bring members of the Dutch Royal Family to the country on more than one occasion.

It is due to take up the Australian registration marking of VH-KBX and has reportedly maintained its VIP interior to possibly become Alliance Airlines' new 'corporate charter aircraft'.

Photos taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C Bizjet VH-OAA Back at Hamilton Island Airport Yet Again!

Days after departing back to its Melbourne (Essendon) base, Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C bizjet VH-OAA was noted arriving back into Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 9 August VH-OAA.  It touched down once again from its Melbourne (Essendon) base.

It later departed Hamo for Brisbane - where it is pictured arriving - above.

Then early on Friday 11 August, VH-OAA departed Brisbane and was noted visiting Moranbah Airport.  After a few hours on the ground, it departed to the Gold Coast before flying back North and touching down at Hamilton Island Airport once again.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Friday, August 11, 2017

United States Navy (USN) Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk 168538 / RB-07 of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) 'Island Knights' Pops into Rockhampton Airport as "Knightrider 07"

On Friday 11 August, United States Navy (USN) Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk (Knighthawk) helicopter 168538 / RB-07 was photographed by local plane spotter ‘IAD’ as it arrived into Rockhampton Airport as "Knightrider 07".

It looked to arrive from the USS Bonhomme Richard and after dropping off passenger, it was noted returning to the Ship.

The Knighthawk is flown by the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) "Island Knights" and is presently deployed and assigned with CVW-5 on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6).  It is also reported that the "Island Knights" squadron is based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Sincere thanks to to ‘IAD’ for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by ‘IAD’  ©

Thursday, August 10, 2017

RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 10 August, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-001 was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport as "Dragon 05".

It looked to touch down from RAAF Base Amberley.

The KC-30A Tanker is flown by 33 Squadron based at RAAF Base Amberley.  The Squadron is responsible for aerial refuelling and long-range passenger transport and is controlled by No. 86 Wing, which is part of Air Mobility Group.  33 squadron currently operates five Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. 

After parking for a short period of time and completing a crew change, A39-001 departed back towards the South, again as "Dragon 05".  It was later noted completing several circuits before landing back at Amberley.

UPDATE!  On Saturday 12 August, A39-001 was back in the skies over Rocky, completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport as "Dragon 11".  It initially departed Amberley heading towards Far North Queensland and flew down towards Rocky from the North before it later returned to Amberley.

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

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RAAF Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-001 Back Again on a Training Flight at Various CQ Airports

Over the last couple of days, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-001 was noted in the skies of Central Queensland, completing what looked to be another training flight out of Canberra, flying up and down the Queensland coast.

On Tuesday 8 August, A36-001 was heard to be flying as "Envoy 35" and was spotted on the ground at Bundaberg Airport by local plane spotter Micah S.

Like previous times, it looked to fly into Bundaberg Airport from Coffs Harbour before departing a short time later for Hamilton Island Airport.   From Hamo, A36-001 reportedly continued to Cairns before finishing the night at Townsville.

Then on Wednesday 9 August, A36-001, again as "Envoy 35", departed Townsville and called into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.  It was then later noted arriving into Gladstone Airport before later being heard arriving into the Gold Coast.  The RAAF 34 Squadron VIP aircraft then looked to have then continued back to Canberra.

All photos taken by Micah S  ©

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

American-registered Gulfstream Aerospace G-V Bizjet N881HS Departs Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport - And More!

Early on Tuesday 8 August, Singapore-based American-registered Gulfstream Aerospace G-V bizjet N881HS was noted departing the Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport for Darwin.  It had arrived into Prosie from the 'Top End' the previous week on Thursday 3 August.

N881HS at Brisbane in 2016  (File photo)

UPDATE!  It appears to have continued to Singapore (Seletar) Airport from Darwin on Wednesday 9 August.

N881HS is reportedly operated by Cherripo Import and Export Agencies of Singapore.

Also popping into Proserpine Airport but on Sunday 6 August was Cloncurry-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-MDH which visited from its Devoncourt Station home base.

Meanwhile, also in the Whitsundays, this week has seen Hamilton Island Airport continue to have various Australian-based corporate bizjets and light General Aviation (GA) aircraft come and go.

After arriving into Hamo on Thursday 3 August, Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR departed for Townsville and Archerfield on Saturday 5 August.  Also on Saturday 5 August, Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C bizjet VH-OAA departed Hamilton Island Airport for Melbourne (Essendon).  It then continued to Sydney and then Hobart before returning to Essendon.  It had originally arrived on Hamo on Wednesday 2 August.

And Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet VH-CRW also popped into Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 5 August, arriving from Brisbane and Sydney.  It later departed back to Brisbane.

And capping off a busy Saturday 5 August, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY departed Hamo for Roma Airport and then Melbourne (Moorabbin).  It had arrived the previous day after a busy day of flying.

Down at Mackay Airport, on Monday 7 August, the locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 N142GZ was noted returning to Mackay from Brisbane.  It had flown South last Thursday 3 August.

Finally, very late on Sunday 6 August,  LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451" was noted calling into Longreach Airport from Brisbane.  After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-VVI returned to Brisbane now in the wee small hours of Monday 7 August seemingly completing a med-evac flight.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

US Navy Gulfstream C-37B Bizjet and United States Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22B Ospreys Call into Rockhampton Airport

As a US Marine pilot continues to fight for his life in a Brisbane hospital, details have emerged of the three other decorated Marines that were tragically killed when their MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed and sank in the sea during a training exercise in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area off the Central Queensland coast over the weekend.

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) divers now face the grisly task of recovering their bodies, believed to be trapped 50m down in the submerged wreckage.  It has been confirmed that the Navy's HMAS Melville had located the wreckage of the ill-fated Osprey.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday 8 August, it is believed that high-ranking officers of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) touched down at Rockhampton Airport on board United States Navy (US Navy) Gulfstream C-37B bizjet wearing the serial number 166377.

It looked to arrive from Darwin and was heard using the radio callsign of "Marine 101".

Of interest, the C-37B is flown by the Navy's Fleet Logistics Support Squadron VR-1 "Star Lifters" based at Joint Base Andrews / Naval Air Facility Washington.  The C-37B is the US military designation for the Gulfstream G550 bizjet in a VIP passenger configuration.

Back at Rockhampton Airport, the C-37B met a pair of USMC Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft which flew in from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) together as "Puff 01".

They were identified as 168220 / EP-00 and 168028 / EP-07.

Both Ospreys are flown by the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265) "Dragons", which is part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.  As shown, 168220 / EP-00 is the 'CAG bird' - a specially painted aircraft, officially flown by the commanding officer of United States Navy Carrier Air Groups.

Soon after the Gulfstream arrived, both Ospreys departed back to the USS Bonhomme Richard.

Then as the sun was setting on Tuesday 8 August, both Ospreys returned to Rockhampton Airport, dropping off passengers before departing and returning once again to the ship.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters 'IAD' and Daniel B for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Daniel Bishop  ©