Rockhampton Airport plane spotters Don W and 'IAD' love a good investigation, and the recent arrival of Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Beech B200 King Air VH-FFI, and had both hot on the chase of this rare visitor to the beef city.
VH-FFI - which is possibly the oldest King Air in the RFDS fleet - touched down at Rockhampton Airport on Monday 18 March as "FlyDoc 469" from its base at Mount Isa. VH-FFI is in fact an 'operational spare', however by all accounts it has been well utilised in recent months particularly in North-Western Queensland.
VH-FFI was registered as VH-FDI, however had its registration markings changed to accommodate the new Rockhampton-based Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-FDI ("FlyDoc 467") - pictured below.
VH-FFI was spotted this week tucked away in the back of the RFDS hangar at Rockhampton Airport - and we thank the RFDS staff for the opportunity to grab a quick photo.
As can be seen VH-FFI is undergoing maintenance while in Rockhampton. Being of the same vintage as once sister-ship VH-FDO, which was sold last year and exported to the United States of America (USA) for spares. It can be perhaps speculated that VH-FFI might be heading down the same path.
Meanwhile, 'IAD' has spotted no less than five different RFDS King Airs passing through Rockhampton Airport as various time this week. The Rockhampton base is certainly a busy one, as with the rumoured expansion works being undertaken on the General Aviation side of Rockhampton Airport, it looks like the base might become busier still!
Photos taken by 'IAD' and Don Williams ©