Sunday, June 30, 2013

Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQJ Departs Australia

From the HNL (Honolulu) Rare Birds Blog, we've seen that Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQJ has departed Australian shores this week bound for the United States of America (USA).  On Thursday 27 June, VH-QQJ departed Cairns for Majuro in the Marshall Islands, and has since been spotted at Honolulu.

VH-QQJ at Clermont Aerodrome in April 2012.  (File photo)

VH-QQJ (msn 392) was originally delivered to Allegheny Commuter Airlines in December 1994 as N828EX, and was operating for US Airways Express. It was then transferred to Piedmont Airlines in July 2004, when Piedmont merged with Allegheny Commuter. In January 2010, Skytrans took delivery of the Dash-8 as VH-QQJ.

Helicopters Galore at Rockhampton Airport - Including New Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (Australian Helicopters) Bell 412 VH-LSY

Rockhampton Airport has been a hive of activity over the last week with various helicopter movements buzzing around the Airport and surrounding areas.  Local plane spotters Trevor H and Gordon C have captured some of the choppers, and also report that some of the recent action has been related to control burning off of bushland around Mt Archer.

On Saturday 29 June, there was one very interesting arrival with the new Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) Australian Helicopters-operated Bell 412 VH-LSY spotted shortly after touching down from Bundaberg and Redcliffe.

As we've mentioned on several occasions, Australian Helicopters has been selected as the new helicopter provider to support both the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS), based at Rockhampton Airport, and Central Queensland Helicopter Rescue Service (CQ Rescue), based at Mackay Airport, to assist with emergency response on behalf of Queensland Health.

VH-LSY was actually joined on the ground at Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 29 June by Gladstone-based Careflight Bell 412EP VH-XCY.

VH-XCY was in fact spotted at Rockhampton Airport during the week on Tuesday 25 June - as spotted below by local spotter Ben O.

Incidentally, the current Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service - Jayrow Helicopters-operated - Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-JRD was spotted by Gordon C departing Rockhampton for Biloela / Thangool during the morning of Saturday 29 June, as always using the callsign "Rescue 300".

Other choppers captured by Trevor H on Saturday 29 June included New South Wales-based Bell 206B VH-FHY.

And Theodore-based Stirling Helicopter Services Bell 206B (II) VH-JAQ was captured as it departed Rockhampton Airport complete with a bambi-bucket underneath.

Sincere thanks to all the Rockhampton plane spotters for their great coverage from Saturday!

Photos taken by Trevor Hardsman, Gordon Clark, and Ben O’Dowd  ©

Saturday, June 29, 2013

More Photos of Cessna Citation Bizjets VH-KXL and VH-RJB and Corporate Air Metro VH-VEK and Conquest VH-VEY at Gladstone Airport Last Week

After some technological problems, I have received some lovely image that Jamie C and Tash C captured last week of a couple of special visitors to Gladstone Airport over the course of Wednesday 26 June and Thursday 27 June.

On Wednesday, Edwards Coaches' two Cessna 525 Citation bizjets - CJ1 VH-KXL and CJ2 VH-RJB - were both spotted arriving into Gladstone Airport from Brisbane and Armidale.

On Thursday, both bizjets were photographed as they departed pretty much together to Mount Isa.

Also arriving on Wednesday, and then departing on Thursday were Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation Metro 23 VH-VEK and Cessna 441 Conquest VH-VEY.  

Both departed to parts unknown.


As shown above and below, there was of course, the usual array of commercial traffic through Gladstone Airport.  QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXE and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines ATR 72-500 VH-FVU are pictured below on Wednesday 26 June.

Locally-based Cessna 210 VH-TET was also captured as it prepared for departure on Wednesday 26 June. Shown in the foreground of the photo is Nanchang Aviation (of New South Wales) Cessna 185 VH-AQA.

Finally, it's also worth mentioning that on Tuesday 25 June, Brisbane-based Cessna 414A VH-FCZ was photographed at Gladstone Airport during a visit to the port city.
Sincere thanks to Jamie and Tash for sending through their wonderful images from a great week at Gladstone Airport!

Photos taken by Jamie C and Tash C  ©

Hermes Executive Aviation Gulfstream G-V-SP (G550) Bizjet M-JIGG at Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport

A spectacular day of plane spotting in Central Queensland continued at the Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport where Hermes Executive Aviation Gulfstream G-V-SP (G550) bizjet M-JIGG was spotted by my mother-in-law Tanya Puntti early on Saturday 29 June.

The very attractive bizjet touched down from Singapore (Seletar) and Cairns late on Friday 28 June.

Sincere thanks to Tanya for taking time out of her day to pop into the Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport and capture an image of such a great bizjet visitor to Central Queensland.

Tanya is a professional photographer based in the Whitsundays.  Check out her work at her website -

All photos taken by Tanya Puntti  ©

Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YID Highlights a Magic Early Morning of Plane Spotting at Gladstone Airport

No, you aren't seeing things!  Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YID popped into Gladstone Airport before dawn on Saturday 29 June.  VH-YID positioned up from Brisbane and was operating a charter flight as VOZ9653.

After collecting passengers and bags, VH-YID departed back to Brisbane as VOZ9652.  Local plane spotters Jamie C, Tash C, and Michael F braved the cold start to the day to capture some magnificent images of such a rare visitor to the port city.


Shortly after the B737-800 departed, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines ATR 72-600 VH-FVR also arrived into Gladstone on charter and positioning up from Brisbane as VOZ9651

VH-FVR also collected passengers and bags and eventually departed back to Brisbane as VOZ9650, completing the charter requirements for the Saturday morning.

As well as the two Virgin charter flights in and out of Gladstone Airport on Saturday 29 June, Jamie, Tash, and Michael also captured some spectacular images of the 'regular' commercial departures from the port city.

As shown above, QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOH had arrived into Gladstone Airport the previous evening, and was captured departing to Brisbane as QLK2331.

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines ATR 72-500 VH-FVU was also spotted departing for Brisbane after arriving into Gladstone the previous evening.  It departed as VOZ1708.

My sincere thanks to Jamie and Michael for getting out of their warm beds at such as ungodly hour to capture and share with us a truly spectacular arrival into Gladstone Airport!  Cheers guys!

Photos taken by Jamie C, Tash C, and Michael Fleetwood  ©