Sunday, May 19, 2019

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP Helicopter VH-VAB "Rescue 82" Arrives into Rockhampton Airport

Presumably arriving into Rockhampton to provide support for the joint Military Exercise Southern Jackaroo which is due to start in the nearby Shaolwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) this week, on Sunday 19 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP helicopter VH-VAB was spotted on the ground at Rockhampton Airport after completing a three-day flight from Darwin in the Northern Territory.

VH-VAB arrived from Darwin via stops at RAAF Base Tindal (Katherine), Borroloola, Mount Isa and Clermont Aerodrome (where I sadly missed it!).  It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Rescue 82" during its ferry flight.

Elements of the Australian Army, United States Marine Corps (USMC) and British Army Gurkhas are reportedly kicking off war-games in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) this week as a part of Exercise Southern Jackaroo.

Of interest, the Bell 412EP VH-VAB is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia and spent many years operating as Victorian Air Ambulance Helimed 1 HEMS 2 based at the Latrobe Valley Airport in Traralgon, Victoria.  In Early 2016, it was retired as an air ambulance and its titles were replaced RAAF Rescue titles.  VH-VAB then moved to RAAF Base East Sale and has previously been noted travelling with The Roulettes when they display around Australia, replacing Sikorsky S-76A VH-LHN at East Sale.

Photo taken by Jaxson White  ©

Friday, May 17, 2019

Great Photos as Jetworks Display Team ex RSAF SIAI Marchetti S.211 Jet Trainers VH-DZJ & VH-SGB Pop into Gayndah Aerodrome

Certainly a great surprise on Friday 17 May for David G of Maryborough Aviation Services who sends us some fantastic photos he captured at Gaydnah Aerodrome as the Jetworks Display Team were visiting in their ex RSAF SIAI Marchetti S.211 jet training aircraft VH-DZJ and VH-SGB.

The Jetworks Display Team comprises of 2 x SIAI-Marchetti S.211 jet trainers flying as a Syncro Pair and are flown by ex-RAAF Engineer Steve Gale and ex-RAAF Pilot and Roulettes Leader Steve Baker.  An engineer for the team reportedly comes from Gayndah hence the reason for the visit and for the overnight stay!

Both Marchettis were due to depart Gayndah Aerodrome on Saturday 18 May for Toowoomba where they are attending the annual David Hack Classic Meet at Toowoomba Airport which will be held on Sunday 19 May.

Both VH-DZJ and VH-SGB were part of 20 former Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) jet training aircraft that were operated out of RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia.  VH-DZJ wore the serial number '381' while VH-SGB was '396' and they were both retired from service with the RSAF in mid-to-late 2009.

File photo

I captured '381' amongst the other Marchettis in early 2010 after it was placed in storage at Jandakot Airport near Perth in early 2010.

Of interest, pilot trainees from the RSAF now complete basic flying training on Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft still out of RAAF Base Pearce.

Sincere thanks to both David G and to Dael G for capturing and sending through these great photos of a great pair of little jets!

Photos taken by David Geck and Dael Giddens  ©

Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS Bizjet VH-XCU at Hamilton Island Airport Once Again

On Friday 17 May, Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS bizjet VH-XCU was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon).

VH-XCU at Cairns Airport  (File photo)

As with its previous visits, VH-XCU remains parked Hamo.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 19 May, VH-XCU was noted departing Hamo for Essendon and then Moorabbin.

Meanwhile, after both arrived into Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 15 May, Isle of Man registered Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 bizjet M-CVGL and Henadeck Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-YNE both remain parked.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 19 May, VH-YNE departed Hamo for Bankstown.

Finally, also on Friday 17 May, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC made its second visit to Biloela / Thangool Airport for the week.  As it did on Tuesday 14 May, VH-MMC arrived from and later departed back to its Sunshine Coast base.

Photo taken by the FNQ Skies Blog  ©

Airmed Australia Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-SQY Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 17 May, AirMed Australia Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-SQY was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Archerfield. It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Airmed 272".

File photo

After being on the ground for around an hour, VH-SQY departed to Bankstown in New South Wales again as "Airmed 272".

The sleek little bizjet has recently has its operator details updated to AirMed Australia - a New South Wales (NSW) based organisation that has been providing patient transport services by air and by ground for over a decade.  They promote themselves as one of the few providers that have extensive air and ground assets positioned around NSW, thus enabling them to provide our customers with a true "bed-to-bed" service.

To find out more about AirMed, visit their website at:

Photo taken by Greg Weir  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 Completes a Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 17 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 was spotted completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

This was the second time in the week that A41-208 completed a training exercise at Rockhampton Airport and completed a great week for local military aircraft plane spotters with a RAAF C-17 on the ground or in the air above Rocky each day this week!

A41-208 climbs out of Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday  (File photo)

On Friday, A41-208, which was flying as "Stallion 54", flew up from RAAF Base Amberley before completing its airwork.  Once complete, it returned to Amberley.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 17 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-001 was noted completing low-level airwork around Theodore and Taroom.  After that, A34-001, which was flying as "Wallaby 37", flew at flight levels to Mount Isa.

Video and photo taken by Scott Harris  ©

The Final Day of the Federal Election Campaign Brings PM Morrison to Gladstone Airport with RAAF B737-700BBJ A36-001 "Envoy 38"

As we've mentioned, the Central Queensland-based Federal Parliamentary seats of Flynn, Capricornia and Dawson are some of the most marginal and thus more important ones during this Federal Election campaign.  On Friday 17 May, the final day of campaigning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was noted on the hustings around Gladstone one final time having flown down in the early afternoon from Cairns.

File photo

PM Morrison and entourage were noted flying on board Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 which was noted flying into Gladstone Airport as "Envoy 38".

It was clearly a quick 'whistle-stop' visit as the following media pack instead flew direct from Cairns to Sydney on board Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-JFE "Envoy 40".

Engagements complete, Mr Morrison rejoined A36-001 and looked to depart Gladstone Airport for Sydney again as "Envoy 38".

Photo taken by Anthony Schulz  ©

Thursday, May 16, 2019

RAAF Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet A37-003 "Regent 28" Pops into Gladstone Airport During the Federal Election Campaign

On Thursday 16 May, and in the final days of the Federal election campaign, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet A37-003 was back in Central Queensland yet again, this time noted visiting Gladstone Airport. It arrived direct from Sydney as "Regent 28".

A37-003 at Rockhampton Airport last week  (File photo)

After a couple of hours on the ground, A37-003 was noted departing Gladstone Airport to Townsville.  It was later noted heading back South.

Meanwhile, later on Thursday 16 May, fellow Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet A37-001 was noted flying up to Townsville from the South as "Regent 66".  It could possibly head South over the next 24 hours?

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-210 Back at Rockhampton Airport Again (and Again!)

Late on Wednesday 15 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-210 returned to Rockhampton Airport, again arriving from Darwin but this time as "Stallion 20".

This is the second time this week that the C-17 has visited Rocky from Darwin and like its visit at the start of the week, it appeared to bring another load of American troops and equipment to town for an Exercise in the nearby Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

After spending the night, on Thursday 16 May, A41-210 departed Rockhampton Airport for Darwin again as "Stallion 20".

It appears that the C-17 is then due back into Rockhampton Airport again from Darwin and again as "Stallion 20" later on Thursday 16 May with one more load of American troops.

UPDATE!  A41-210 didn't stay this time and has since departed Rockhampton Airport heading North-West presumably back to Darwin once again as "Stallion 20".

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

Photos and video taken by 'IAD' and Kayanne Hardsmann  ©

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Paspaley Pearling Grumman G-73AT Turbo Mallard VH-PPT Pops into Longreach and Hamilton Island Airports

An interesting and certainly most welcome visitor into Central Queensland this week in the form of Paspaley Pearling Grumman G-73AT Turbo Mallard VH-PPT which touched down at Longreach Airport during the afternoon on Tuesday 14 May from Mount Isa.

VH-PPT was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Pearling 66" and is on a closed tourist charter flight from its Darwin base to the Rathmines Catalina Festival at Lake Macquarie in New South Wales.

After spending the night, on Wednesday 15 May, VH-PPT "Pearling 66" departed Longreach Airport and flew across to Hamilton Island Airport where it was again looking to spend the night.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 16 May, VH-PPT departed Hamilton Island Airport and landed on the water at the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island.  After dropping off its passengers, it appears that VH-PPT then positioned across to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport for parking.

Of interest, the Rathmines Catalina Association Festival is due to take place at the spectacular Lake Macquarie on Sunday 19 May with an airshow, static Seaplanes on display and other live entertainment.  See more at:

It appears too, that VH-PPT will return to Darwin over the same route - Fraser Island to Hamilton Island to Longreach - after the Festival is complete.

Meanwhile, Paspaley Pearling operates a fleet of three Grumman G-73AT Turbo Mallards from their Darwin Airport base, mostly servicing their Kimberley region-based pearling operations.  The Grumman G-73 Mallard was originally designed in 1944 with 59 aircraft built between 1946 and 1951. The G-73 was a step up from the smaller Goose and Widgeon aircraft having a larger passenger capacity, additional fuel in wingtip tanks, a double stepped hull, fully stressed skin and tricycle undercarriage.

The original Mallards were initially powered by Pratt and Whitney R-1340 radial engines.  During the 1960's though, the idea of re-engineering the aircraft produced the modified Frakes G-73T Turbo Mallard, powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6.

In a further model development, the three Grumman Mallards of Paspaley Pearling underwent the Pearl Aviation G-73AT Turbo Mallard program which saw a renewing of the airframe life and installation of new engine nacelles housing PT6A-34 turbine engines. The new turbines also drive 4 blade Hartzell propellers which improve performance of the aircraft both on water and when airborne. Additional modifications are constantly being implemented by Paspaley such as updated avionics and navigation systems.

The three Turbo Mallards operated by Paspaley Pearling are VH-PPE (serial number J22), VH-PPI (J23) and VH-PPT (J26), and were all constructed in 1947 - not bad for a 70-something year old aircraft!

Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation SAAB 340B VH-VEM Pops into Rockhampton Airport on 'Bill Peach Journeys' Around Australia Tour

An interesting visitor to arrive into Rockhampton Airport during the late afternoon on Tuesday 14 May was Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation SAAB 340B VH-VEM.  It was noted arriving from the Ballina / Byron Bay Gateway Airport.

As shown in these great photos captured by local plane spotter Trevor H, the SAAB wears a sticker promoting the well known tour company 'Bill Peach Journeys' and it certainly appears that it is currently on a 15-day 'Circumnavigate Australia' tour.

After spending the night parked at Rocky, VH-VEM was noted departing Rockhampton Airport for Cairns on Wednesday 15 May.

Thanks mate!

All photos taken by Trevor Hardsman  ©

Isle of Man-Registered Bombardier Global 5000 Bizjet M-CVGL Arrives into Hamilton Island Airport - Plus More!

A nice arrival corporate into Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 15 May with Isle of Man registered Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 bizjet M-CVGL touching down from the Sunshine Coast.

File photo

The sleek Global 5000 bizjet is a semi-regular visitor to the Sunshine Coast (having been photographed above during a previous visit).  On this occasion, it arrived there the previous week from Hanoi in Vietnam.

At the time of writing, M-CVGL appears to be staying at Hamo for at least the night.

Meanwhile, also noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport, also on Wednesday 15 May, was Henadeck Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-YNE which touched down from Bankstown.

It too appears to be staying for at least the night.

Finally, Divair Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3 bizjet VH-NNE was noted visiting Charters Towers Aerodrome also on Wednesday 15 May.  It appears to have arrived from the West and was seen departing to Brisbane.

Photo taken by Alan Macdonald  ©

Australian Corporate Jet Centres Bombardier Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-SCR Pops into Emerald Airport as "Consort 17"

As the Federal election campaign is in the final few days, a familiar corproate bizjet was back in CQ for another visit.

On Wednesday 15 May, Australian Corporate Jet Centres Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-SCR was noted arriving into Emerald Airport from Sydney as "Consort 17".

File photo

As mentioned previously, the sleek Challenger has been chartered by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and is being used to ferry Federal politicians around Australia - and in particular National Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack - during this Federal election campaign.

With engagements complete, VH-SCR "Consort 17" departed Emerald Airport for HMAS Albatross at Nowra in New South Wales.

Photo taken by Leroy  ©

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Tuesday 14 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 was photographed visiting Rockhampton Airport for a short time while on a crew training flight.

The Globemaster flew up from RAAF Base Amberley before it landed at Rockhampton Airport for a short time where it appeared to complete a crew change.

A41-208 then departed to the North and was later noted landing at Townsville.  The Globemaster then noted returning South to Amberley during the middle part of the afternoon.

A41-208 was heard using the radio callsign of "Stallion 50" during each of its flights.

Photos taken by 'IAD', Kayanne Hardsman and Scott Harris  ©