Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 - Tuesday's Highlights at Rockhampton Airport

Local news reported that there was a mass amphibious landing in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area early on Tuesday 19 July, and to support this there were several Eurocopter EC665 (ARH) Tiger and Sikorsky S70A-9 Blackhawk helicopter sorties from Rockhampoton Airport to the training area.

Pictured below are Eurocopter Tigers A38-020 and A38-012 which flew as "Grumpy 11".

Eurocopter Tigers A38-008 and A38-007 flew as "Mohawk".

Also noted flying to the training area were Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Westland Mk.50A Sea Kings N16-239 "Shark 21" and N16-118 "Shark 07", while RAN Sikorsky S-70B/SH-60 Seahawk N24-005 is pictured arriving again today from the South as “Tiger 74”.

Later in the day, a flight of four Blackhawks was set to fly out at "Warhorse Blue" however on departure, one of the choppers, A25-215, was seen to be puffing out a lot of smoke from one engine. It immediately landed safely and was later photographed being towed to the temporary Australian Army helicopter maintenance area.

The other three Blackhawks departed as planned.

There were some interesting United States Navy (USN) helicopter movements as well on Tuesday 19 July. Arriving late in the morning, and parking at Rockhampton Airport for most of the day were USN Sikorsky SH-60F Oceanhawk 164446 of the HSL-51 VIP 7th Fleet, which is pictured arriving as "Blackbeard 02" , while USN Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk 163240 of the HSL-51 Unit is pictured arriving as "Warlord 710". This Seahawk was also noted popping into the airport on two other occasions during the day.

Of the fixed-wing movements, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 popped into Rockhampton from Amberley as “Stallion 24”.

RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-339 from 38 Squadron popped into Rockhampton Airport as "Dingo 11".

Lastly, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J, 167983 (Tail Code QD-983) of the VMGR-152 Unit paid a quick visit before departing to the North as "Sumo 82".

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