Friday, May 31, 2019

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-002 Another Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 31 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-002 was back in the skies over Rockhampton for the second time this week, this time noted completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

A39-002 climbing out at Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday  (File photo)

It appeared that the KC-30A flew up to Rocky from RAAF Base Amberley and after completing the missed approach, it returned to the South.  A39-002 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Dragon 30".

Photo taken by Daniel Bishop  ©

Fugro LADS / Royal Australia Navy (RAN) Hydrography Dash-8-200 VH-LCL Photographed Still Operating out of Bundaberg Airport

Also photographed still at Bundaberg Airport this week by local plane spotter Dan B was the Fugro LADS Corporation / Surveillance Australia / Royal Australian Navy (RAN) LADS Hydrography Institute Dash-8-200 VH-LCL. 


It has been based at Bundaberg Airport completing almost daily aerial survey flights since late April.

VH-LCL was this week noted completing airwork off the coast of Rockhampton before returning to Bundy each time after around 5-6 hour long flights.  It has also operated off the coast of Gladstone and around Heron Island.

The heavily modified Dash-8-200 is usually based at Cairns Airport with Cobham Aviation.

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.

Sincere thanks to Dan from Dan Beck Photography for allowing us to share these great photos!

All photos and video taken by Dan B  ©

Greensill Capital (IOM) Ltd Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet M-GGBL Arrives into Bundaberg Airport - Plus More!

It’s back!

On Friday 31 May, Greensill Capital (Isle Of Man) Ltd Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet M-GGBL was photographed by local plane spotter Dan B soon after it arrived into Bundaberg Airport.  It looked to arrive from Brisbane after arriving from overseas only hours earlier.





This is the second visit by the sleek looking bizjet this year with it also spending some time in the Rum City in late February.

At the time of writing, it appears that M-GGBL is staying at Bundaberg Airport for at least the night.

UPDATE!  M-GGBL was noted departing Bundaberg Airport for Sydney on Monday 3 June.

Meanwhile, also noted visiting Bundaberg Airport also on Friday 31 May was Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH which arrived from its Toowoomba base via Gympie.  It then departed to Emerald Airport before later visiting Roma and Saint George before returning to Toowoomba.

While Flanagan Aviation (New South Wales) Beech 95-B55 Baron VH-EUZ visited from its Lismore base.

Finally, down at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport, also on Friday 31 May, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU visited once again from its Brisbane base.  It also visited Hervey Bay Airport on Wednesday 29 May - see Blog post below.

Sincere thanks to Dan from Dan Beck Photography for allowing us to share these great photos!

All photos taken by Dan B  ©

Thursday, May 30, 2019

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

Early on Thursday 30 May, the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY was noted arriving into Mackay Airport from Brisbane.

File photo

After spending the morning on the ground, VH-SGY returned to Brisbane around lunchtime.

As mentioned below, VH-SGY also visited Mackay Airport the previous week, arriving from Brisbane and departing to Townsville on Wednesday 22 May.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-XNE "Rescue 330" Before Dawn Visit to Bundaberg Airport

Before dawn on Thursday 30 May, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XNE "Rescue 330" was noted arriving into Bundaberg Airport.

File photo

It flew up from Melbourne (Essendon) and was reportedly assigned to support a Search and Rescue mission off Gladstone.  VH-XNE was due to originally land at Rockhampton Airport but diverted to Bundy.

After taking on fuel, VH-XNE "Rescue 330" then coordinated the search for a missing boat which looked to be completed by the Rockhampton Airport-based Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) (Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia) Bell 412EP VH-EPR "Rescue 300".

With the search complete, VH-XNE then returned direct to Essendon - spending over five hours in the air!

Photo taken by Russell Prothero  ©

More Great Photos as Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ338 Comes and Gos at Rockhampton Airport


Perhaps the movement of the year thus far into Central Queensland was the Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ338 which touched down at Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 29 May as "Ascot 2142" direct from Hickam Field (Hickam Air Force Base) in Hawaii.








After staying for the night, ZZ338 was loaded with personnel and their cargo before departing Rockhampton Airport early on Thursday 30 May again as "Ascot 2142" but destined for Brunei.



















The RAF Voyager appears to have collected personnel which may have been involved with exercises with local troops in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).  It seems they arrived into RAAF Base Amberley in mid-April on board a RAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III ZZ172.  Of interest, fellow RAF C-17A ZZ177 was photographed departing Townsville Airport earlier this week.


The RAF Voyager is based on the Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft and provides the RAF with Strategic Air Transport and Aeromedical capabilities. In addition, the Voyager is an extremely effective Air-to-Air Refuelling aircraft, which is utilised to enable a variety of RAF aircraft to operate for extended periods.  It is currently flown by both No. 10 and No. 101 Squadrons based at RAF Brize Norton in England and replaced the RAF's Vickers VC10 C1K and Lockheed L1011 Tristar fleets at RAF Brize Norton.

It’s interesting to note that there are two types of RAF Voyager aircraft – the KC2 which is a two-point tanker, equipped with 1 FRL Mk32B 900E pod under each wing – and the KC3 which is a three-point tanker with an additional centre line hose for larger ‘receiver’ aircraft. It is also capable of providing transport for up to 291 personnel, while the cargo hold areas remain available for freight on either military or civil pallets.

Back at Rockhampton though, this the second RAF Voyager to visit the beef capital - sistership ZZ330 visited about this time in 2017.



All the same, its visit was a very pleasant surprise and great warm-up for the coming months when Rockhampton Airport is expected to play a significant support role during the Australian and American joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Russell P for taking the time over the last couple of days to capture and send through these great photos of a great visitor at Rockhampton Airport!

Photos taken by Russell Prothero, 'Shinpow16' and Daniel Bishop  ©

Another Pair of United States Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22B Osprey Tiltrotor Aircraft Visit Rockhampton incl 168244 / YZ-00 on a First Visit

Another day, and another pair of Ospreys to visit Rockhampton!

On Thursday 30 May, it appears that the same United States Marine Corps (USMC) Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft completed two more visits into the Australian Army District Support Unit (DSU) compound nearby to Rockhampton Airport.  The two Ospreys that visited Rockhampton on these two occasions were identified as 168028 / YZ-07 and 168244 / YZ-00 - the latter believed to be making its first visit to the beef capital during its deployment to Townsville and Central Queensland.



It also appears that during its morning visit, Osprey 168244 / YZ-00 sparked a grass fire inside the DSU which was captured on this dramatic video.


Of interest, for the morning visit, Ospreys 168028 / YZ-07 and 168244 / YZ-00 flew down as "Skytrain 14" from Townsville and were refuelled at the DSU before returning to Townsville via Shoalwater Bay.  They did the same in the afternoon but as "Skytrain 16".

Photos taken by Leroy  ©

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 Bizjet VH-WMY Calls into Hamilton Island Airport

On Wednesday 29 May, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport direct from its Melbourne (Moorabbin) base.

File photo

After a short time on the ground, VH-WMY departed Hamo direct for Melbourne (Essendon).

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 29 May, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU was noted visiting Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.  It arrived from and later departed back to Brisbane.

Finally, on Tuesday 28 May, I noticed McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Cessna S550 Citation SII bizjet VH-JLU complete what looked like a test flight out of and back to the Sunshine Coast up to around Maryborough.  It doesn't appear to have landed or completed airwork in the area.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-041 Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Wednesday 29 May, Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-041 was noted calling into Rockhampton Airport.  It flew down from Townsville and was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Warhorse 249".

File photo

After some time on the ground, A40-041 departed Rocky for Brisbane.

Photo taken by Scott Harris  ©

Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ338 Arrives into Rockhampton Airport as “Ascot 2124”

On Wednesday 29 May, Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ338 touched down at Rockhampton Airport as "Ascot 2142" direct from Hickam Field (Hickam Air Force Base) in Hawaii.









After arriving and parking at Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport parking apron, ZZ338 was unloaded and looked like it was being prepared for an overnight stay.







It is believed that the No. 10 Squadron operated RAF Voyager is in the beef capital to pick up troops for further transport and should depart Rockhampton Airport early on Thursday 30 May.

The RAF Voyager is based on the Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft and provides the RAF with Strategic Air Transport and Aeromedical capabilities. In addition, the Voyager is an extremely effective Air-to-Air Refuelling aircraft, which is utilised to enable a variety of RAF aircraft to operate for extended periods.  It is currently flown by both No. 10 and No. 101 Squadrons based at RAF Brize Norton in England and replaced the RAF's Vickers VC10 C1K and Lockheed L1011 Tristar fleets at RAF Brize Norton.

It’s interesting to note that there are two types of RAF Voyager aircraft – the KC2 which is a two-point tanker, equipped with 1 FRL Mk32B 900E pod under each wing – and the KC3 which is a three-point tanker with an additional centre line hose for larger ‘receiver’ aircraft. It is also capable of providing transport for up to 291 personnel, while the cargo hold areas remain available for freight on either military or civil pallets.

No doubt over the coming days, we will see many more photos of this great visitor to Central Queensland as I am told that there was a great crowd of spotters and curious onlookers to watch its arrival.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters ‘IAD’ and Trevor H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by ‘IAD’ and Trevor Hardsman  ©