Saturday, February 2, 2013

Some Photos and Movements from a Hectic Week at Bundaberg Airport after Devastating Flooding

As has been reported widely, Bundaberg - and in particular North Bundaberg - was devastated this week by record flooding caused by torrential rain in the wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

As we posted below, there was a large influx of both helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft that called into Bundaberg Airport throughout the week.  Bundaberg Plane Spotter Micah S ventured to Bundaberg Airport on Tuesday 29 January and sent through a few of his photos from the day, as we also summarise some of the extra movements that have passed through during the week.

At the height of the flood crisis, as many as 14 helicopters were noted operating from Bundaberg Airport, winching locals off roof-tops and from cars stranded in swollen creeks.   As Micah's photos show, the ramps at the Airport were quite busy with all the different choppers parked in between sorties.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been heavily involved with firstly, assisting with the evacuation of Bundaberg residents at the height of the flood, and now with the recovery and rebuilding of Bundaberg.  At least four Australian Army Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters joined with several local rescue helicopters to winch over 1000 people as the floodwaters rose.

Later, hundreds of Army personnel and heavy vehicles rolled into Bundaberg to support locals with the recovery and rebuilding now that the floodwaters have receded.

A pair Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules aircraft were involved with airlifting sick and elderly Bundaberg residents to Brisbane.

The aircraft - A97-447 and A97-448 - flew several times between Bundaberg and Brisbane.  A97-448 is pictured below at Bundaberg departing to Brisbane.

Those patients that needed to be transported more quickly were ferried to Brisbane on board a pair of Careflight (Queensland) LearJet 45 aircraft.  Both VH-CXJ (pictured below) and VH-VVI were noted at Bundaberg at various times during the early part of the week.

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) King Airs were also noted making several flights in and out Bundaberg over the week - Hawker Beechcraft B200 VH-FDA is pictured below.

RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 was noted at Bundaberg Airport flying in much needed fuel for the various helicopters and fixed wing aircraft that were operating out of Bundaberg Airport over the week.

And of course RAAF VIP aircraft including Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ), serial A36-002, as well as Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 A37-003 were spotted at Bundaberg Airport being in Prime Minister Gillard and Governor General Bryce during the latter part of the week.

Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY and Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ also made numerous visits to Bundaberg with Queensland Premier Newman and other Government Ministers.

Another 'large' aircraft that popped into Bundaberg Airport on four occasions over Wednesday 30 January and Thursday 31 January was Lynden Air Cargo Lockheed L-100-30 (C-130H) Hercules N404LC.  The aircraft had been operating out of Cairns (where it is pictured below), however, it operated four flights between Brisbane and Bundaberg, no doubt flying in much needed supplies and other materials.

Another cargo aircraft in the form of Toll Aviation ATR 42-300 VH-TOQ was also noted delivery supplies into Bundaberg Airport from Brisbane on Tuesday 29 January.

Over the week, QantasLink scheduled services to Bundaberg from Brisbane continued, however there were several additional other passenger charter flights noted, that brought various members of the Defence Forces (ADF) and other organisations to assist with evacuation and now rebuilding of Bundaberg.

The Queensland Police Service (Air Wing) aircraft also were noted several times during the week at the Airport, ferrying in extra police to assist in Bundaberg.  Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU, Raytheon 1900D VH-PSK, and Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSY (pictured below) were all noted.

Various Skytrans Airlines Dash-8 aircraft were noted flying up and down the Queensland coast and into Bundaberg over the week.  Brindabella Airlines British Aerospace BAe Jetstream J-41 VH-TAI was also noted flying passengers into Bundaberg from Brisbane on Thursday 31 January.

Photos taken by Micah S  ©

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