Sunday, May 21, 2023

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-RQW "Choppa 22" Pops into CQ Airports - Plus More!

On Sunday 21 May, CHC Helicopters Australia / Lloyd Helicopters Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-RQW was noted passing through some Central Queensland Airports while heading to Townsville to participate in an Exercise.

VH-RQW was flying as "Choppa 22" and originally departed RAAF Base Amberley for Gladstone Airport before it then flew into Mackay Airport and then into Townsville - pictured above.

The Agusta operates for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in a Search and Rescue (SAR) role by CHC Helicopters / Lloyd Helicopters.

It is assumed that it has flown into Townsville to support the RAAF's Exercise Black Dagger.

Exercise Black Dagger 23-1 is the closing activity for No. 71 Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Course. The exercise requires students to coordinate the live and simulated employment of aircraft and ordnance in a range of air and ground scenarios.  The Air Force has deployed personnel and aircraft to RAAF Base Townsville to conduct Exercise Black Dagger from Monday 22 May to Friday 2 June 2023.

No. 4 Squadron will deploy Pilatus PC-21 aircraft and be supported by F-35A Lightning II aircraft from No. 77 Squadron.  Aircraft will also operate into the Townsville Field and Shoalwater Bay Training Areas.

And speaking of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, also on Sunday 21 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-010 looked to visit the Samuel Hill Aerodrome within Shoalwater Bay on a flight from and back to RAAF Base Amberley.  It was heard to use the radio callsign of "Wallaby 61".

Photo taken by 'BW'  ©

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