Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Few Photos and a Little Bit More Information on the Departure of Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) King Air VH-FDO

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a long time Rockhampton Airport resident aircraft in the form of Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Beech B200 King Air VH-FDO, will soon depart Australia for the United States of America (USA).

The former-VH-FDO completed a maintenance lay-up at Rockhampton Airport, and was photographed  devoid of RFDS titles, sponsor stickers, and also its Australian registration markings.

On Friday 7 September, ex-VH-FDO reportedly flew to a location in New South Wales where auxiliary fuel tanks were to be fitted in preparation for its flight to USA.  Eventually it will leave our shores, presumably ferrying to mainland USA, flying via the Pacific route, Island hopping through Fiji, American Samoa, Hawaii then on to Los Angeles or San Francisco. The exact route is not known at this stage.

I'm also lead to believe that ex-VH-FDO departed Rockhampton without a registration marking, as the new owners have reportedly received a dispensation fly the aircraft to the USA unregistered, as it was going to be broken into spare parts pretty much straight away.  It would have obviously been quite costly to register it on the Australian or American register for just one flight.

I'm told that the RFDS staff at the Rockhampton Airport base who used to fly in VH-FDO when it was based there are sad to see it go, as it is the last analogue B200 King Air in the RFDS fleet.

VH-FDO was also the original aircraft that the Rockhampton Airport base operated. It was manufactured in 1982 and was first registered in Australia in April 1995.


  1. The aircraft is US registered as N478GD

  2. Wasn't the last analogue RFDS B200, that was FFI (ex FDI) which continued flying for RFDS out of Mt Isa until 2016. There was also the G1 EFIS B200s FDD and FDF that were analogue apart from the Pilots PFD and HSI; they continued at Cairns until 2016.