Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet VH-CRW Pops into Hamilton Island Airport

During the early afternoon on Wednesday 31 July, Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet VH-CRW was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport.  It looked to arrive from its Brisbane base.

File photo

After a short time on the ground, VH-CRW departed Hamilton Island Airport and returned to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, as it has done of the last couple of weeks, during the afternoon also on Wednesday 31 July, Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR was noted flying into Theodore Airport direct from its Archerfield base.

It should stay the night and return to Archerfield early on Thursday 1 August.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-003 Completes Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Wednesday 31 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-003 was noted completing a missed approach and low overshoot at Rockhampton Airport.

File photo

It appears that the Wedgetail flew up direct from RAAF Base Williamtown at Newcastle.  After completing the airwork at Rocky, A30-003 then returned to Williamtown via missed approaches at the Sunshine Coast and Coffs Harbour.

A30-003 was noted to be using the radio callsign of "Wedgetail 03".

Photo taken by Scott Harris  ©

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Boeing B757-200 NZ7572 Out and Back at Rockhampton Airport Again as "Kiwi 645"

On Tuesday 30 July, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Boeing B757-2K2 NZ7572 was once again back at Rockhampton Airport, appearing to arrive from RNZAF Base Auckland-Whenuapai in New Zealand, again using the radio callsign of "Kiwi 645".


Then, early on Wednesday 31 July, NZ7572 was photographed above and below departing Rockhampton Airport for RNZAF Base Ohakea near Palmerston North in New Zealand again as "Kiwi 645".



Of interest, NZ7572 departed Rockhampton Airport also for RNZAF Base Ohakea near Palmerston North in New Zealand also as "Kiwi 645" on Monday 29 July having departed to and later returned from Christchurch.

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

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 169227 "Sumo 52" Photographed Departing Rockhampton Airport

After arriving a couple of days earlier, on Wednesday 31 July, the visiting United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 169227 (Tail Code QD-9227) was photographed departing Rockhampton Airport for Guam.  It was again heard to be using the radio callsign of "Sumo 52".






As mentioned below, the Herc is flown by the Marine Aerial Refueller Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) the "Sumos" and is one of a handful that have operated in the region in support of joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).


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

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

American-Registered Eclipse EA500 Bizjet N257AK Arrives into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour (via Proserpine Airport)

Noted arriving into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour this week was American-registered Eclipse EA500 bizjet N257AK.


It looked to originally arrive into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport on Monday 29 July from Mount Isa after arriving into Australia via Darwin the previous day from Singapore (Seletar) Airport.  N257AK then continued to Archerfield where it spent the night before arriving into the Whitsunday Airport on Tuesday 30 July.


At the time of writing, it remains parked at the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour and is reportedly going to be based there at least in the short term.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 1 August, N257AK departed the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour for Archerfield.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 4 August. N257AK returned to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour from Archerfield.

Meanwhile, it is just over month until the 2019 Air BP Airlie Beach Airshow at the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour on Saturday 7 September.


Jump on our website to grab your tickets today!
https://www.whitsundayairport.com.au/events/airshow/

Photos taken by Lee Holloway  ©

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft A34-009 Pops into Gladstone Airport Twice!

On Tuesday 30 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter aircraft A34-009 was noted completing two visits to Gladstone Airport during a busy day of flying.

File Photo

A34-009 was noted flying as "Wallaby 42" and looked to arrive into Gladstone Airport from RAAF Base Amberley before it then flew North to Townsville.  Later in the day, it then returned to Gladstone Airport from Townsville before it returned back to Amberley.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 169227 "Sumo 52" Arrives into Rockhampton Airport

Also noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport during the late afternoon on Monday 29 July was United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 169227 (Tail Code QD-9227).  It looked to arrive from the North and was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Sumo 52".


The KC-130J remained parked for the night and was photographed still sitting at Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 30 July.

And as this post is being written, it appears that 169227 / QD-9227 is staying at Rockhampton Airport for another night.

Of interest, the Herc is flown by the Marine Aerial Refueller Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) the "Sumos" and is one of a handful that have operated in the region in support of joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).

Photos taken by Mame Du Bois  ©

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Three Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NH Industries NH90 Helicopters Depart to Gladstone Port for Shipping Back to NZ

On Monday 29 July, the three Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NH Industries NH90 helicopters that deployed to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) for joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19) look to have flown to the Gladstone Port for shipping home to New Zealand.


They initially flew into Rockhampton Airport in formation flying as "Warrior Flight" before later heading down to Gladstone Port in 30-minute intervals with NZ3308 "Warrior 08", NZ3306 "Warrior 06" and NZ3302 "Warrior 02" (pictured) all seemingly heading to Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury.

https://www.facebook.com/NZNavy/

It also appears that individual NH90s have been completing flights from Shoalwater Bay to both Rockhampton and Gladstone over the last couple of days, with NZ3302 "Warrior 02" noted flying to Gladstone and back to the Bay on Friday 26 July.

As mentioned previously, all three NH90s are flown by the RNZAF's Number 3 Squadron based at RNZAF Base Ohakea near Palmerston North in New Zealand.  They all arrived on board the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury at the Gladstone Port in early July and spent most of the Exercise operating from Williamson Airfield within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).


Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules Transport Aircraft A97-467 Spotted at Rockhampton Airport This Time as "Trojan 24"

On Monday 29 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft A97-467 was photographed arriving into Rockhampton Airport once again flying as "Trojan 24".




The Herc has been around Rocky and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in recent days, flying between RAAF Base Richmond and Darwin.  On Monday, it looked to have flown into Rocky from Darwin and was later noted heading South and eventually flying into at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 30 July, A97-467 "Trojan 24" returned to Rockhampton Airport from Edinburgh and was later noted flying South, possibly to Richmond.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 29 July, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-651 was noted departing Rockhampton Airport for Williamson Airfield within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).  It was noted flying as "Beaufort 26".  A32-651 later departed Williamson Airfield and was noted departing to RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria.

It appears that A32-651 had arrived into Rocky late on Sunday 28 July from RAAF Base Richmind also as "Beaufort 26".

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Qantas Airways Boeing B747-438 VH-OJU Visits Rockhampton Airport

On Monday 29 July, Qantas Airways Boeing B747-438 VH-OJU made a spectacular early afternoon arrival into Rockhampton Airport.









It positioned into Rocky empty, flying up direct from Sydney as QFA6162.










The jumbo jet taxied in and parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport parking apron.  It was then loaded with what looked to be a full flight of passengers and their bags.  VH-OJU then departed Rockhampton Airport direct to Adelaide as QFA1364.


Of interest, VH-OJU then positioned back to Sydney from Adelaide but as QFA6164.

This appears to be the final heavy jet charter flight in support of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) following the completion of joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).  It is assumed now that heavy jet charter flights in support of the United States Defence Forces should also touch down at Rockhampton Airport in the coming days!

This could also be the final time we see a Qantas Boeing B747-400 at Rockhampton Airport given their ongoing and subsequent retirement from the Qantas fleet.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters Scott H, 'IAD' and Steve V for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Scott Harris, 'IAD' and Steve Vit  ©

Some Photos and Videos from Recent Media Day on board the United States Navy USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)

During the recently completed joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19), local media (not including us!) were invited to inspect operations at close quarters on board the United States Navy Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).  However, we have been very fortunate to receive and be able to share some great photos and short video clips from on board last week.


The ninth ship of its class, the USS Ronald Reagan is named in honour of former President Ronald Reagan, President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.


Upon its christening in 2001, it was the first ship to be named after a then-still-living former president.

Since late 2015, Ronald Reagan has been the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5), the only forward-based carrier strike group home-ported at Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the United States Seventh Fleet.  Ronald Reagan also embarks Strike Warfare Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5) and its nine squadrons.  As of June 2015, CSG 5 includes three Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (CDS 15), which serves as the Sea Combat Commander and is responsible for eight assigned Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.




Ronald Reagan and the ten surface combatant ships operate out of Yokosuka, Japan, while CVW 5 operates out of Atsugi, Japan, when not embarked on Ronald Reagan. Together, these units form the U.S. Navy's only continuously forward deployed (and largest) carrier strike group.


























Carrier Air Wing Five is a critical combat strike element of Battle Force Seventh Fleet, the only forward-deployed carrier strike group in the U.S. Navy.  CVW-5 consists of VFA-102 'Diamondbacks' flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet, VFA-27 'Royal Maces' flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet, VFA-115 'Eagles' flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet, VFA-195 'Dambusters' flying the F/A-18E Super Hornets,  VAQ-141 'Shadowhawks' flying the EA-18G Growler, VAW-125 'Torch Bearers' / 'Tigertails' flying the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, VRC-30 Detachment 5 'Providers' flying the C-2 Greyhound, HSC-12 'Golden Falcons' flying the MH-60S Seahawk and HSM-77 'Saberhawks' flying the MH-60R Seahawk.

Sincere thanks to our contributor for allowing us to share their awesome photos and videos!

Additional images courtesy of Defence Media...