Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Couple More Photos from the NORRA-Aus Fly-In at Monto Aerodrome - by Norm Crouch

Norm Crouch is a professional photographer who normally specialises in Sports and Livestock photography.  However, at the recent NORRA-Aus Fly-In at Monto Aerodrome, Norm was on hand and took some lovely photos of some of the visiting aircraft.  Here is a small sample...

I think Norm's photos are excellent, and hope that he sends a few more our way to have a look at!

Norm Crouch Photography can be found at this website:

TAG Aviation Asia Falcon 2000LX VP-CJS Pops into Hamilton Island Airport

TAG Aviation (Asia) Dassault Falcon 2000LX VP-CJS arrived into Hamilton Island from Melbourne (Essendon) on Tuesday 30 October as flight 'TBJ33'.  It later departed to Avalon Airport using the same flight number.

Meanwhile, Macau-based Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 605 bizjet B-LOL, which arrived into Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney on Friday 26 October, departed Hamo bound for Sydney on Sunday 28 October.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Virgin Australia Announces a Trio of Transactions to Accelerate Growth and Competition

From: Virgin Australia on Tuesday 30 October:

Virgin Australia today announced three transactions designed to accelerate the growth of the business, diversify its earnings and increase competition in Australia.

The transactions include:

  • Making a placement of shares to Singapore Airlines, which will see Singapore Airlines owning a 10% interest in Virgin Australia Holdings;
  • Entering a Share Purchase Agreement to acquire 60% of the existing shares in Tiger Australia from Tiger Airways; and
  • Entering an in-principle agreement with Skywest to acquire 100% of its business.

Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said: “The transactions announced today are in line with Virgin Australia’s strategy to become the airline of choice in all markets, in order to diversify our earnings and drive growth opportunities for the business.

“The acquisition of Tiger Australia and Skywest provides Virgin Australia with a strong presence in the budget, Fly-in Fly-Out (FIFO) and regional markets, enabling us to fast-track our expansion in these areas and become a stronger competitor”, Mr Borghetti said.

“These transactions will bring important benefits to Australia, driving growth in jobs, tourism and competition”, Mr Borghetti said.

If approved, following the completion of the transactions, the Virgin Australia Group will expand to 139 aircraft and over 9,000 employees.

Malaysia Airlines Charters to Rockhampton Airport on Monday Night

'IAD' was on the spot when two Malaysia Airlines charters touched down at Rockhampton Airport late on Monday 29 October.  Again these flight arrived from, and then later departed back to Singapore (Changi) Airport, and were in association with the Singapore Armed Forces Military Exercise Wallaby 2012.

First to touch down last night was Airbus A330-300 9M-MKE which arrived as MH8715 and later departed as MH8726.

More surprisingly was then the arrival of Malaysia Airlines Boeing B747-400 9M-MPK which arrived around 11.30pm from Singapore as MH8733.

It was the first ever visit to Rockhampton of a Malaysia Airlines jumbo, and it certainly made for an awesome sight!  9M-MPK departed in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 30 October, for Singapore as MH8750.

Looks like a great night of action at Rockhampton - and I'm sure this will continue in the days to come!!

A Few Photos From Gladstone Airport on Monday - Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPH

Despite the cloudy skies, Jamie C had a great afternoon of plane spotting at Gladstone Airport on Monday 29 October, with the highlight being the visit of Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPH, which touched down from Brisbane as VOZ1713.

The E-190 - which is still wearing the colours of Virgin Blue - made for a spectacular sight and Jamie managed to take quite a few photos - stay tuned to CQ Plane Spotting Blog for a 'pictorial study' of VH-ZPH in coming days!

VH-ZPH eventually returned to Brisbane as VOZ 1716.

Other visitors to Gladstone on Monday 29 October included QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOX.

QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXK also paid a visit.  It has returned to CQ skies this week in the B717-200 'rotation', and has also had the additional titles applied that promote QantasLink's Award as Air Transport World magazine Regional Airline of the Year 2012.

Lastly, we have yet more photos - lovely ones of course - of the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK which was photographed by Jamie departing Gladstone for Rockhampton.

Thanks Jamie!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Few Photos from Gladstone Airport Over the Weekend

Jamie C has sent through some great photos of a little bit of action from Gladstone Airport over the last couple of days.

With all the burning-off occurring around Central Queensland late last week, the smoke made for very hazy conditions on Friday 26 October - as shown below in the photos of Virgin Australia (Skywest Airlines) ATR 72-500 VH-FVL departing Gladstone for Brisbane.

Meanwhile, on Sunday 28 October, Jamie photographed a couple of 'green' coloured light aircraft that departed at about the same time for parts unknown.  The aircraft in questions were Sunshine Coast-based Cessna 182 VH-EVC and Maryborough-based Beech A36 VH-MTM.

Certainly a pair of nice looking aircraft!

Some Photos from Rockhampton Airport over the Weekend as Malaysia Airlines Charters Resume Monday Night

Rockhampton plane spotters Ben O and 'IAD' have spent various times at Rockhampton Airport over the last couple of days, and have sent through some fantastic photos to share, despite the inclement weather passing through Central Queensland.

One of the highlights was the movement of the visiting Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules '730'.

As the photos below show, the Herc is making various flights out of Rockhampton Airport during the day to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in association with the Singapore Defence Force Military Exercise Wallaby 2012.

The 'resident' RSAF Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma and Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters also continue to fly various sorties to the SWBTA.

Meanwhile, the third 'wave' of charters into Rockhampton from Singapore are due to start this week.  Information suggests that there will be two Malaysia Airlines-operated aircraft arriving into Rockhampton Airport after dark on Monday 29 October.

Stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog - and our Facebook page and Twitter feed) for more information and (hopefully) photos!

Australian Air Express British Aerospace (BAe) 146 Freighters to Central Queensland (??)

We have received some information about a possible imminent equipment change on the week-nightly Australian Air Express flights between Mackay and Brisbane, via Rockhampton.

These flights are currently operated by Pel-Air SAAB 340 Freighters - as shown below with VH-EKT at Rockhampton Airport recently.

Word is, that these flights may be replaced by British Aerospace (BAe) 146-series jet freighter aircraft.

We shall wait and see!

UPDATE!  As of the end of 2012, no BAe 146s have operated these evening freight flights yet!

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Construction Works to Begin at Rockhampton Airport as Spotters Lose a Popular Photography Spot

Don W has sent through a photo from the General Aviation side of Rockhampton Airport showing that a popular plane spotting location has now become inaccessible due to forthcoming construction works.

The CQ Plane Spotting Blog reported In July (HERE) that the former Peace Aviation Office - which is the old Ansett-ANA Terminal from the old Connor Park Airport (now Rockhampton Airport) - along with the little old hangar (pictured above) that used to house local Cessna 150 VH-WWV - will soon disappear for good.

Peace Aviation now operates exclusively from their hangar at the end of the General Aviation access Road near Gate 21 - as shown below.

The construction works are coming as a result of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) being rumoured to have taken over all of the land from their current facilities and hangar to the General Aviation AVGAS refuelling facilities at Rockhampton Airport.  The RFDS reportedly have plans to construct a new building and hangar facilities on the site.  There is a push to have as many as four RFDS King Air aircraft based at Rockhampton in the future.

It will be interesting to see how things progress - thanks Don for the update!

Emerald Airport on Saturday - But I Couldn't Make It!!

"That'd be right!!"  On Saturday 27 October there were some interesting arrivals into Emerald Airport, however I was stuck in Clermont attending to some sporting commitments!

Alliance Airlines Fokker 70 VH-QQX departed early on a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) charter as UTY651, while Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-XWR was noted operating into Emerald twice on QantasLink scheduled services.

As mentioned below, Adelaide-based Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-TFW popped in, arriving from Canberra and later departing to Cairns.

However, the mix of light aircraft was probably the highlight.  Driscoll Investments Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-KJD arrived from the Gold Coast.  Bluewater Aviation Cessna 210 VH-DNP arrived from its Townsville base.  Rockhampton-based Cessna 182 VH-PKE touched down from Moree, while Darling Downs Aero Club Cessna 182 VH-JCU arrived from Saint George.  TBird Co (Byron Bay) Cessna 206 VH-FVW arrived from Toowoomba, and after dark, Australian Skydive Cessna 206 VH-SPI was noted arriving from Tully and departing to Toowoomba.

A popular flight tracking website also had a Dutch-registered Piper PA-30 Commanche PH-ILB arriving into Emerald from Brisbane - this is yet to be confirmed!

Lastly, big Bell 212 Huey P2-HCI arrived into Emerald from Mackay, Townsville, and Cairns.  It had earlier arrived in Cairns from the North of Cairns, and was photographed by the Far North Queensland Skies blog - LINK.