Saturday, June 30, 2012

Virgin Australia (Virgin Blue) Embraer E-190 VH-ZPD at Gladstone Airport Saturday

A nice surprise with Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 jet VH-ZPD visiting Gladstone Airport on Saturday 30 June.

File photo

The E-190 - wearing Virgin Blue colours - touched down from Brisbane as DJ1711.  After about an hour on the ground, VH-ZPD departed back to Brisbane as DJ1712.

Meanwhile, we also noted QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) Dash-8-Q300 VH-TQZ parked at its gate at Gladstone Airport as well on Saturday 30 June.

Virgin Australia are expected to again operate an E-190 jet into Gladstone Airport on Saturday 28 July.

The Sun Was Out and The Hawks Were Flying at Rockhampton Airport on Friday

Finally, the sun was out throughout Central Queensland, and plane spotters were able to finally step outside and catch up with the machines that they love to watch and photograph!

At Rockhampton Airport on Friday 29 June, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Brittish Aerospace (BAe) Hawk 127 jets were flying, and Ben O was there to catch some of the action!

There are reportedly four Hawks at Rockhampton Airport again, although one of the serials seems to be different from one of the visiting aircraft from a fortnight ago.

Ben's fantastic photos show Hawks A27-14 taking off and later returning on a solo flight.

And then later A27-02 and A27-20 taking off together.

The fourth Hawk is reportedly A27-28, which has replaced A27-09, which was noted departed Friday 29 June to the South.

One other interesting movement at Rockhampton Airport on Friday 29 June, was the arrival and departure of an Australian Army marked MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter. The chopper marked A40-016 is shown departing Rockhampton Airport.

Looks like a great day!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Virgin Australia - Skywest Airlines - ATR 72-500 VH-FVX Pops Into Moranbah Airport Thursday

Over the last few days, Moranbah Airport has received very little traffic, possibly caused by the very poor weather that had moved into Central Queensland this week.  As reported earlier, QantasLink diverted pretty much all of their scheduled RPT and fly-in fly-out (FIFO) Dash-8 flights from Brisbane to Mackay Airport.

One arrival I had been informed of was Bond Air Charter's Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR arriving on Tuesday 26 June arriving from Brisbane.  It reportedly departed and returned to Brisbane on Wednesday.

Although, on Thursday 28 June, things at Moranbah Airport were starting to return to normal with some QantasLink flights landing, but also a Virgin Australia (Skywest Airlines) ATR 72-500 also landing from Brisbane.

ATR 72-500 VH-FVX was noted departing Brisbane early on Thursday and landed at Moranbah mid-morning.  VH-FVX was then noted departing Moranbah, returning to Brisbane this afternoon as "Virgin 852 Alpha".

Perhaps Virgin Australia will soon be flying into Moranbah more regularly!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gladstone Airport Spottings on Thursday

Finally the poor weather has started to clear, so we took the opportunity to pay Gladstone Airport a visit on Thursday 28 June, and this is what we saw!

We firstly visited local aeroplane and helicopter maintenance provider, Aerotor.  The boys were very busy completing an engine change-out on a 2008-build Robinson R-22 BETA Helicopters - VH-HYY. The little Robbie is owned by Channel Country Heliwork and is powered by a 360 cubic horizontally-opposed, 4-cylinder Lycoming piston engine. Life expectancy between change-outs is 2000 hours, provided a scheduled service is completed every 100 hours.

Also sighted was Cessna 210N VH-SOV which is owned by Central Skies Pty Ltd of Alice Springs but reportedly now a resident in Gladstone.

VH-SOV is waiting to receive some attention, while an ongoing project for Aerotor is VH-EED which is a Cessna U206G.

Other aircraft noted on Thursday 28 June included Jabiru 55/3J with RA-Aus registration of 55-1981. It was preparing to depart on a local flight.

Locally-based Australian Helicopters Kawasaki BK117 B-2 VH-VRP was also noted just after returning from another flight.

Lastly, we noted a couple of interesting charter aircraft parked at Gladstone Airport on Thursday 28 June. Cessna 402 VH-ZMG is operated by Australasian Jet and has recently been based at Mackay Airport.  While Cessna 441 Conquest VH-VEY, which is owned by Vee H Aviation in the A.C.T., but is operated by Corporate Air, of which it wears titles on the rear of the aircraft fuselage, was also noted.

REMINDER! Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 Jet to Touch Down at Gladstone Airport This Saturday

A quick reminder that Virgin Australia will be again flying an Embraer E-190 jet into Gladstone Airport this coming Saturday 30 June.

The E-190 jet will again operate the DJ1711/1712 - Brisbane to Gladstone to Brisbane service - touching down at Gladstone Airport at 10.10am, with a scheduled departure at 10.40am.

Spotters are certainly hoping to see one of three E-190s that are painted in the lovely Virgin Australia colours - and hopefully not another visit from a "Pacific Blue" coloured E-190!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Diversions and FIFO Flights Galore - Emerald Airport Movements on Tuesday Morning

As posted late yesterday, I spotted three of four Skytrans diversions to Emerald Airport, plus a few other very interesting scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) and fly-in fly-out (FIFO) movements at Emerald Airport on Tuesday 26 June.

When I arrived, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWR was preparing for departure to Brisbane as UTY651.  The F-100 had arrived the night before, and as previously mentioned on the Blog, the FIFO charter that VH-XWR was operating was on behalf on AERgO.

As VH-XWR was departing, another Alliance F-100 arrived.  This time, VH-FKK arrived into Emerald operating from Brisbane on behalf of QantasLink as UTY2400.

VH-FKK returned later in the day, again operating for QantasLink from and back to Brisbane.  I believe that Fokker F-70 VH-QQX also popped into Emerald Airport on Tuesday 26 June, operating as UTY400/401, which seems to be a FIFO charter.

Other scheduled RPT arrivals at Emerald Airport included Virgin Australia (Skywest Airlines-operated) ATR 72-500 VH-FVU, which is pictured arriving as DJ1255 (or "Virgin 255 Alpha").

Also QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QON arrived from Brisbane as QLK2402.

Also on the FIFO scene, there was the four Skytrans Airlines Dash-8s that diverted from Clermont Aerodrome, and all later departed to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.  Dash-8-300s VH-QQP and VH-QQM, as well as Dash-8-100s VH-QQL and VH-QQI all passed through.

One last FIFO movement - which is a fairly recent arrival to Emerald Airport on a Tuesday morning - was Air Link Beech 1900D VH-RUE.

The Beech arrives from Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport where it operates to from Brisbane every Monday evening.  VH-RUE collect a few passengers, and then departed to Brisbane.  It's great to see a new aircraft and airline at Emerald!

Lastly, Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Raytheon B200 King Air VH-FDZ arrived from Roma as "FlyDoc 458", and parked for the day.  I believe the aircraft transported health care professionals to Emerald for the day.

Not bad for a murky day weatherwise!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Bad Weather Means More Flight Diversions in Central Queensland

An early start at Emerald Airport for me on Tuesday 26 June.  While I was there I managed to capture three of four Skytrans fly-in fly-out (FIFO) arriving after diverting from Clermont Aerodrome.  My wife tells me that Clermont had a day of drizzle and low cloud - this meant that all the usual FIFO charters to and from Clermont Aerodrome went through Emerald Airport.

Pictured below are Skytrans Dash-8-300s VH-QQP and VH-QQM which both arrived at Emerald from Mackay.

Dash-8-100 VH-QQL is pictured arriving from Townsville. 

I believe that Dash-8-100 VH-QQI also arrived into Emerald.  All four Dash-8s departed from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast as they would normally do from Clermont.

There were some other diversions from Moranbah Airport and Gladstone Airport on Tuesday 26 June.

Virgin Australia ATR 72-500 VH-FVM (pictured below last weekend) diverted to Bundaberg Airport after unsuccessfully trying to land at Gladstone - where Jamie C reports that persistent drizzle and low cloud also caused numerous flight delays and disruptions.

Jamie also reports that QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXO again had problems getting into Gladstone.  After circling Gladstone and eventually landing yesterday, Jamie reports that VH-NXO didn't even land at Gladstone this evening, and instead returned to Brisbane.

At Moranbah Airport, there were again disruptions caused by the weather, with numerous QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) Dash-8-Q400 flights noted diverting and operating through Mackay Airport.

The weather is expected to start clearing to the South - slowly - so there could yet be more disruptions for at least tomorrow.

Diversions and Cancellations Galore - Poor Weather in Central Queensland Monday

The poor weather has caused numerous diversions and cancellations on several Central Queensland Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) and fly-in fly-out (FIFO) charter flights on Monday 25 June.

Early in the day, QLK2452, the scheduled QantasLink Brisbane to Moranbah service operated by VH-QOD diverted to Mackay. VH-QOD then departed Mackay to Rockhampton as QLK2673, before departing Rockhampton to Brisbane as QLK2453. Later in the evening, the scheduled QantasLink QLK2522 Brisbane to Moranbah service was noted returning to Brisbane. It was operated by VH-QOS.

Mackay Airport has either played host to a lot of additional QantasLink flights, or there was a cancellation of a QantasLink flight or two, as on Monday 25 June, several additional flights from Brisbane to Mackay and return were noted operating this afternoon and evening.

UPDATE: I believe the following flights were scheduled FIFO charter flights that were supposed to fly from Brisbane to Moranbah, but instead flew to Mackay Airport with slightly different flight numbers.

Noted flying Mackay to Brisbane - at the time of posting - were QLK2677 (VH-QOJ) and QLK2951 (VH-QON). Return flights noted departing Brisbane and returning from Mackay were QLK2952/3, QLK2954/5, QLK2596 (VH-QOH), and QLK2598/9 (VH-LQF).

Also at Mackay Airport on Monday 25 June, Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-VUY was spotted arriving as DJ1281 – the scheduled Sydney to Hamilton Island service. VH-VUY was later noted ferrying back to Sydney direct from Mackay as DJ9060. (VH-VUY is shown below arriving into Hamilton Island earlier this year - thanks Jimi!)

Another diversion from Hamilton Island was a scheduled Jetstar Airways flight from Melbourne (Tullamarine). The JST860 flight diverted to Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport and was operated by Airbus A320 VH-VFD – one of Jetstar’s recent acquisitions. VH-VFD then ferried to Brisbane as JST7983. It appears another aircraft operated the return flight to Melbourne from Hamilton Island.

Gladstone Airport also had bad weather. Jamie C alerted me to the fact that QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXO circling over the Airport waiting for a break in the cloud.

As the above screen-capture from shows, VH-NXO did eventually land, but not before some 45 minutes or so of holding!

Lastly, all of Skytrans FIFO charters to Clermont Aerodrome were affected by the adverse weather in Clermont. It appears as though all five Dash-8 operated scheduled flights diverted to Emerald Airport.

The early morning SKP860 flight diverted to Emerald, while later, all four scheduled arrivals to Clermont also diverted to Emerald. The affected aircraft were VH-QQI, which was noted at Emerald Airport twice, while Dash-8-300’s VH-QQM and VH-QQP also stopped in at Emerald before departing to Townsville and Mackay Airports respectively as scheduled. VH-QQL was also believed to have diverted to Emerald.

What a day!

A Few From Gladstone Airport As Well!

Just after I finished the post below, Jamie C sent me some images from the last few days at Gladstone Airport. Gladstone Airport has also been affected by the adverse weather passing through Central Queensland, with several scheduled and charter flights being cancelled or affected by delays and diversions.

As Jamie's first three photos from Sunday 24 June show, the cloud and mist at the Airport was not only starting to affect flights, but also made for some tricky photography as well!

Jamie spotted Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-ESH which is operated by Emergency Management Queensland (Queensland Government).  VH-ESH was heading North, arriving into Gladstone from Archerfield, before departing later for Mackay and then Townsville.

On the commercial scene, on Monday 25 June, QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOH was also photographed by Jamie still wearing its striking 'pink' Breast Cancer Awareness colour scheme.

Lastly, on Tuesday 26 June, Morrison Nautical Services of Tasmania Robinson R-44 VH-MKR was spotted arriving into the Airport.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Other Noteworthy Movements at Central Queensland Airports on Sunday and Monday

I've received some news from spotters of some interesting movements over the last couple of days - it's such a shame that the weather is so poor at the moment - the rain is chasing the cameras away!

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330/KC-30A (MRTT) reportedly paid a visit to Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 24 June.

It was also noted at Rockhampton Airport that the RAAF Brittish Aerospace (BAe) Hawk 127 jets that have been operating sorties from the Airport, have gone, and have returned to their home base. Rumours at Rockhampton Airport suggest that these exciting fast jets may be back later this week or next week.

Also nearby to Rockhampton Airport, as many as eight Australian Army Commonwealth CA-32 (Bell 206B/OH-58A) Kiowa helicopters have been spotted, although, photographs of these machines are unable to be taken. (The photos below are from Rockhampton Airport in 2011.)

On Monday 25 June, Virgin Australia has commenced flying its Skywest Airlines-operated ATR’s between Rockhampton Airport and Townsville Airport.

After arriving into Rockhampton from Brisbane as DJ1239, ATR 72-500 VH-FVX then departed for Townsville as DJ1901. It later arrived operated the return Townsville to Rockhampton flight as DJ1904, and later departed back to Brisbane.

These flights had previously been operated by Embraer E-190 jets, and Rockhampton spotters noted that the callsign of the Skywest Airlines-operated ATRs were “Virgin 901 Alpha”.

One other interesting movement to note on Monday 25 June was the – now becoming frequent – visit of a pair of Seair Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft operating a fly-in fly-out charter.

VH-LMD and VH-LMZ were noted flying closely together, arriving in Gladstone before dawn from Maryborough. They later departed Gladstone for Moranbah, before later departing to Hervey Bay.