On Saturday 12 September, a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft were noted completing airwork - including missed approaches and touch-and-go's - at some Central Queensland Airports. Both were also photographed at Longreach Airport.
The Hercs were identified as A97-447 as "Trojan 02" and A97-440 as "Trojan 01". Both flew down from Townsville to complete missed approaches at Hamilton Island and Emerald Airports before they both headed West to Longreach Airport where they were photographed completing several approaches and touch-and-go's.
Both Hercs then headed back to Townsville, with A97-440 "Trojan 01" completing a missed approach at Hughenden.
It appears that both Hercs had arrived into Townsville on Thursday 10 September from RAAF Base Learmonth in Western Australia having arrived there from its RAAF Base Richmond base and RAAF Base Edinburgh over the previous couple of days.
As shown, above, C-130J Hercules A97-447 still looks resplendent with special tail art commemorating 75 years of the RAAF’s No 37 Squadron which currently flys the Herc. The unit has provided airlift ever since its origins at RAAF Base Laverton in Victoria in July 1943.
UPDATE! Both Hercs - A97-440 "Trojan 01" and A97-447 "Trojan 02" - were back in the region completing yet more airwork at CQ Airports with A97-440 landing at Rockhampton Airport for a short time. It appears that they both ended the day at Dubbo in New South Wales.
UPDATE! They returned to Richmond on Monday 14 September.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Greg W who was at the right place at the right time at Longreach Airport to capture these great photos!
All photos taken by Greg Weir ©