Sunday, June 30, 2019

United States Navy (USN) Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk 168546 / RB-05 of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) 'Island Knights' Also Popped into Rockhampton Airport as "Knightrider 05"

Also popping into Rockhampton Airport for a short time, also on Sunday 30 June, was United States Navy (USN) Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk (Knighthawk) helicopter 168546 / RB-05 flying as "Knightrider 05".






It is believed to have arrived from and then later depart back to the USS Wasp (LHD-1), which is currently in the area to participate in the forthcoming joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).





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 Wasp (LHD-1). It is also reported that the "Island Knights" squadron is based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.


Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Scott H who was at the right place at the right time and capturing these great photos!

All photos taken by Scott Harris  ©

More of the 13 US Army Apache and Blackhawk Helicopters Arrive into Rockhampton Airport from the Gladstone Port

Again on Sunday 30 June, some more of the 13 helicopters of the United States Army (US Army) flew from the Gladstone Port to Rockhampton Airport.  They are in Queensland to participate in joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).


As mentioned below, five Boeing AH-64E Apache and eight Sikorsky UH-60/HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were unloaded from a ship at the Gladstone Port during the last week.  Their rotor blades were re-attached and test flights were conducted before they started taking to the air on Saturday 29 June to fly up to Rockhampton Airport - see Blog post below!

Research reveals these 13 helicopters are of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State, USA. 


The UH-60M Blackhawks are of the 2nd Battalion 158th Aviation Regiment 'Warhawks', while the HH-60M Blackhawks are of the 1st Battalion 52nd Aviation Regiment.  The AH-64E Apaches are of the 1st Battalion 229th Aviation Regiment.  Altogether, they have formed Task Force 'Tigershark'.


UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter (89-)26181 and AH-64E Apache helicopter (18-03201) 83201 looked to fly up to Rockhampton Airport from the Gladstone Port during the middle part of the morning.

They were joined by UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter (**-)20401 which later returned back down to the Gladstone Port before flying back to Rockhampton Airport yet again during the later part of the afternoon.





It was then joined by another AH-64E Apache helicopter (18-03200) 83200.





Along with the previous arrivals, this sees four Blackhawks and four Apaches currently parked at Rockhampton Airport.



While down at the Gladstone Port, the remaining Blackhawks and Apaches remain in their secure compound, along with some other ground equipment and vehicles.  It is expected that some more, or all, of these will position to Rockhampton Airport in the coming days.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for their information and photos to be able to prepare this post!

Please feel free at any time to share your photos and videos either on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/cqplanespotting/) or send them in an email to:  cqplanespotting@yahoo.com

All photos taken by Daniel Bishop  ©

United States Air Force (USAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III Transport Aircraft 99-0168 Arrives into Rockhampton Airport as "Trek 24"

An exciting end to the weekend military aircraft action at Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 30 June with United States Air Force (USAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft 99-0168 made a lovely late afternoon arrival.














It arrived from Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii as "Trek 24" and was parked on the Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport parking apron.








Almost immediately, the Globemaster was closed up and pitot tube covers were put in place, with it definitely looking to be spending the night parked at Rocky.



At the time of writing, the reason for its visit is not known, although some equipment was unloaded presumably for the upcoming joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).  Also, a possible departure time, is not known.

Of interest, 99-0168 is flown by The 517th Airlift Squadron (517 AS) which is part of the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.


Finally, it's also worth noting perhaps that earlier on Sunday 30 June, fellow USAF C-17A Globemaster III 05-5147 as "Trek 68" was noted arriving into RAAF Base Amberley from the North.

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

Photos taken by Daniel Bishop and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-465 "Trojan 53" Pops into Williamson Airfield in Shoalwater Bay

On Sunday 30 June, the build-up to the joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19) continued with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft A97-465 noted arriving into Williamson Airfield within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

A97-465 at Rockhampton Airport last weekend  (File photo)

It looked to fly in direct from RAAF Base Richmond as "Trojan 53".

After a little while on the ground, A97-465 "Trojan 53" departed Williamson Airfield and was heard to fly to RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

Photo taken by Scott Harris  ©

Pel-Air / Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLQ Calls into Longreach and Rockhampton Airports

The run of closed Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights operated through Central Queensland Airports by Pel-Air / Regional Express (REX) continued on Sunday 30 June with SAAB 340B VH-ZLQ noted visiting Longreach and Rockhampton Airports, amongst other locations.

File photo

The SAAB initially departed Brisbane for Longreach Airport as PFY9884 before continuing to Julia Creek again as PFY9884.  VH-ZLQ then flew direct from Julia Creek to Rockhampton Airport but as PFY9285 before it then departed back to Brisbane as PFY9887.

Photo taken by Zac Fitzgerald  ©

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Some of the 13 US Army Apache and Blackhawk Helicopters Arrive into Rockhampton Airport from the Gladstone Port

On Saturday 30 June, some of the 13 helicopters of the United States Army (US Army) flew from the Gladstone Port to Rockhampton Airport.  They are in Queensland to participate in joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).


In all, five Boeing AH-64E Apache and eight Sikorsky UH-60/HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were unloaded from a ship at the Gladstone Port during the last week.  Their rotor blades were re-attached and test flights were conducted before they started taking to the air on Saturday to fly up to Rockhampton Airport.

Research reveals these 13 helicopters are of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State, USA. 


The UH-60M Blackhawks are of the 2nd Battalion 158th Aviation Regiment 'Warhawks', while the HH-60M Blackhawks are of the 1st Battalion 52nd Aviation Regiment.  The AH-64E Apaches are of the 1st Battalion 229th Aviation Regiment.  Altogether, they have formed Task Force 'Tigershark'.


UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter (13-)20577 and HH-60M Blackhawk helicopter (90-)26283 were joined by AH-64E Apache helicopter (17-03197) 73197 in flying up to Rockhampton Airport from the Gladstone Port.




One of the Blackhawks - (13-)20577 - then returned to Gladstone.














Then, during the late afternoon, also on Saturday 29 June, another UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter (13-)20539 and AH-64E Apache helicopter (18-03198) 83198 were both noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport.

In all, two Blackhawks and two Apaches were being prepared to stay for the night at Rockhampton Airport.

While down at the Gladstone Port, five Blackhawks and three Apaches remain in their secure compound, along with some other ground equipment and vehicles.  It is expected that some more, or all, of these will position to Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 30 June or in the days after.








Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for their information and photos to be able to prepare this post!

Please feel free at any time to share your photos and videos either on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/cqplanespotting/) or send them in an email to:  cqplanespotting@yahoo.com

Photos taken by Scott Harris, Russell Prothero and Anthony Schulz  ©