Noted to be operating out of Mackay Airport over the last week was the Fugro LADS Corporation / Surveillance Australia / Royal Australian Navy (RAN) LADS Hydrography Institute Dash-8-200 VH-LCL.
The heavily modified Dash-8-200 is usually based at Cairns Airport with Cobham Aviation and landed at Mackay Airport from there on Monday 16 April. It has then completed flights out of Mackay Airport each day of around six hours duration each time returning to Mackay Airport after the sun has set.
VH-LCL is operated by Surveillance Australia for Fugro LADS Corporation on a multi-year lease to the Royal Australia Navy LADS Hydrography Institute. The 'LADS' (Laser Airborne Depth Sounding) system is an aircraft based hydrographic surveying system that measures the difference between the sea surface and the sea floor as calculated from the aircraft's altitude to generate hydrographic data. After operating overseas since it was delivered in late 1997, VH-LCL commenced operations with the RAN LADS Hydrography Institute in late 2009.
Photo taken by 'JM' ©