Friday, July 20, 2012

More Weather Disruptions in The Whitsundays - And a Quick Trip Report from Townsville to Hamilton Island

Following on from his report about the numerous weather diversions and disruptions in the Whitsundays last week, Jimi L has sent through another small report of diversions early in the week, but also some spectacular photos he took while ferrying passengers from Townsville to Hamilton Island.

Again, low cloud and rain were causing the problems, with the last seven or so days causing the most 'havoc' for Hamilton Island, with more Commercial cancellations and diversions than what there were arrivals. It was certainly a poor end to what is meant to be the busiest time of year for the area - June/July school holidays.

Some of the diversions and cancellations in the Whitsundays from earlier this week.

On Monday 16 July:
Virgin Australia DJ1281 flight actually managed to land, but only after a spectacular go around as a yacht mast infringed on the approach path

Meanwhile, on Tuesday 17 July:
QantasLink QF2503 CNS-HTI returned to Cairns
Virgin Australia DJ1281 SYD-HTI diverted to Mackay after holding before returning to Sydney
Virgin Australia DJ1497 BNE-HTI diverted to Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport after holding before returning to Brisbane
Jetstar JQ846 SYD-HTI diverted to Mackay after holding and attempting the VOR-Runway 14 approach.

Meanwhile, at the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour, the number of cancelled flights are banking up. 

Also, Lindeman Island has reported that their airstrip is 'fine for seaplanes'...  ie. flooded!

Lastly, Jimi sent me a few photos from one of GSL Aviation's charters to and from Townsville late last week.  GSL Aviation were operating their Cessna 210 VH-FOC between Townsville and Hamilton Island quite a lot, in an attempt to transport people to Hamilton Island a major finance conference, following the diversion and then cancellation several flights from Cairns.  

Also on the ground at Townsville, Jimi spotted a couple of other interesting aircraft:

Toll Freight Aviation's ATR 42-300 Freighter VH-TOX.  This aircraft operates weekday freight flights between Townsville and Brisbane, which also occasional call into Mackay Airport early in the morning.  VH-TOX is incidentally painted in Toll's new colours.

Jetgo Australia Embraer EMB-135LR VH-JTG was noted resting in between fly-in fly-out (FIFO) flights from Osbourne Mine.  VH-JTG also operates FIFO charter flights on a weekly basis to Barcaldine from Brisbane.

Jimi also sent through a couple of fantastic photos of the Bowen township and Bowen airstrip as he overflew enroute to Townsville.

Picture-perfect weather now!!  Beautiful photos - thanks Jimi!

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