Saturday, August 31, 2013

More Plane Spotting Photos from Rockhampton Airport on Saturday

Local plane spotters Don W and Travis W have sent through some more fantastic photos of the action at Rockhampton Airport over the last couple of days.

By far the most interesting movements - as we posted below - were on Saturday 31 August, when the Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott flew into Rockhampton during the Federal election campaign on board Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001, which touched down from Townsville as "Envoy 80".

Mr Abbott's visit also brought Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-JFB to Rockhampton Airport, bringing media to beef city in tow of the opposition leader.

Travis was on hand later on Saturday when VH-JFB departed to Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport as UTY632.

Meanwhile, Travis also spotted Virgin Australia's latest Boeing B737-800 to enter service in form of VH-YIU.

VH-YIU was captured by Travis departing Rockhampton for Brisbane as VOZ1246.  It was VH-YIU's first visit to Rockhampton.

Meanwhile, on the lighter side of Rockhampton Airport, Travis captured a nice photo of Australasian Jet Piper PA-31-350 Navajo VH-ZMK resting in the late afternoon sun.  VH-ZMK has been operating flight to and from Longreach over recent weeks - flying to Longreach on Mondays and returning to Rockhampton on a Friday.

Lastly, Travis captured a couple of spectacular photos of locally-based Eurocopter AS.350BA Squirrel helicopter VH-WHW as it returned from a local flight and landed on its 'pad' outside one of the hangars at Rockhampton Airport on Monday 26 August.

Some fantastic photos of a couple of nice movements into Rockhampton Airport, and we sincerely thanks Don and Travis for sending them through!

Photos taken by Don Williams and Travis Whiting  ©

Federal Election Campaign Comes to Rockhampton Airport with RAAF Boeing B737BBJ A36-001 and Alliance Fokker F-70 VH-JFB Touching Down

With the Federal Election a week away, the campaign trail for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott came to Rockhampton on Saturday 31 August.  Local plane spotter 'IAD' was on hand to capture the RAAF jet carrying the LNP Leader as well as the aircraft chartered Alliance Airlines aircraft used to carry the Australian media contingent that is travelling with Mr Abbott

Mr Abbott arrived at Rockhampton Airport on board Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001, which touched down from Townsville as "Envoy 80".

Soon after, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-JFB also touched down at Rockhampton Airport from Townsville operating as UTY631.

VH-JFB joined the RAAF BBJ parked on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron.  The Alliance Fokker is one of two aircraft (the other is fellow F-70 VH-JFE) that have been chartered to carry Australian media around with the Federal leaders during the Election campaign.

Soon after, Mr Abbott emerged from the BBJ, and after chatting with local airport staff, he was whisked away to his first engagement on Rockhampton.

The media contingent were also noted boarding their bus and following Mr Abbott's car closely behind.

Both aircraft were expected to depart to Melbourne later in the day.

Thanks to 'IAD' for capturing and sending through these fantastic photos from Rockhampton today!  Cheers mate!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Australian Helicopters Bell 412EP VH-EPR Touches Down at Rockhampton Airport for Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS)

The third and final rescue helicopter to be provided for the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) and Central Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service (CQ Rescue) by Australian Helicopters has touched down at Rockhampton Airport this week.

Bell 412EP VH-EPR is shown parked at Rockhampton Airport after arriving on Monday 26 August from Bundaberg and Redcliffe.

VH-EPR joined the current CHRS and Australian Helicopters-operated Bell 412 VH-LSY outside their hangar as shown above.

VH-EPR joins VH-LSY and fellow Bell 412EP VH-CQJ - which is currently based with CQ Rescue in Mackay - as the three rescue choppers that Australian Helicopters has been contracted to provide to assist with emergency response on behalf of Queensland Health.

It is believed that VH-EPR will eventually become the 'permanent' CHRS chopper, while VH-LSY will be moved to Mackay and hangared to be utilised as an 'operational spare'.  VH-CQJ will continue to operate for CQ Rescue.

All photos taken by ‘IAD’  ©

Friday, August 30, 2013

Marcplan Charter Gulfstream G-IV Bizjet Operating RAAF Flight into Bundaberg Airport Friday

Local plane spotter Micah S has sent through some more stunning images from Bundaberg Airport as Marcplan Charter Gulfstream G-IV(X) VH-MBP touched down in the rum city on Friday 30 August.

Most interestingly, the Gulfstream was noted by using the radio callsign of "Envoy 50", suggesting that it was operating a VIP flight on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

VH-MBP arrived into Bundaberg from Townsville and later departed to Newcastle (Williamtown).

While he was there, Micah also captured the departure of the frequently visiting Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK.  On Friday 30 August, VH-PSK had yet another busy of flying, starting and finishing its day in Cairns, flying down and then back up the Queensland Coast, also calling into Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Brisbane. 

Unfortunately, Micah also reports that he missed what would have been a true highlight for the day, with friends of his reporting to him that a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C Aircraft was conducting missed approaches at Bundaberg Airport later on Friday 30 August.  Some research reveals that Wedgetail A30-005 was in the air at the time, and so this could possibly be the aircraft seen.

Thanks to Micah for his efforts on Friday - alerting us to the upcoming movement in the morning - and then capturing some wonderful photos of such a great visitor!

All photos taken by Micah S  ©

Some Plane Spotting Photos from Mackay Airport Early This Week - Including a Pair of Australian Army MRH-90 Helicopters

While in Mackay for work over the latter part of last week and then again early this week, I (of course) ventured to Mackay Airport to have a look!  Much to my surprise - and delight - on Monday 26 August I spotted a pair of Australian Army marked NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters - A40-012 and A40-018.

As I posted to Facebook and Twitter, I spotted them arriving from the North about mid-morning, and fortunately, as I took lunch, they were still both parked at Mackay Airport.

Earlier on Monday 26 August, I captured the departure of Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YIG from Mackay back to Brisbane as VOZ604.

Shortly after, Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-VGA arrived at Mackay from Brisbane as JST882.

Meanwhile, on Friday 23 August, before I flew out to Brisbane for the weekend, I spotted a couple of early morning movements at Mackay Airport, including Virgin Australia B737-800 VH-VUA which was planned to operated the early VOZ600 departure.  This flight ended up being cancelled, and VH-VUA departed later on Friday as VOZ608.

As shown, and mentioned previously on the Blog, VH-VUA - which still wears the 'old' Virgin Blue colours and titles - currently wears a white nose cone, and has recently had its South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League team titles removed.

Departing early on Friday 23 August was Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-FWH, which was photographed back-tracking Mackay's Runway 14 prior to departure to Brisbane as UTY2511 - a flight operated on behalf of QantasLink.

A little later, the early morning arrivals touched down at Mackay Airport, in the form of QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXI, arriving from Brisbane as QJE1760.

And shortly after, Virgin Australia B737-800 VH-VOM also touched down from Brisbane but as VOZ601.  VH-VOM then turned around and took me to Brisbane as VOZ604.

Lastly, on Western General Aviation (GA) parking area, I finally photographed the new Central Queensland Rescue (CQ Rescue) Helicopter service Bell 412EP VH-CQJ sitting in the sun outside theit hangar.

As mentioned previously, VH-CQJ is operated by Australian Helicopters for CQ Rescue.

Nearby was locally-based Cessna 525 Citation CJ2 bizjet VH-ZGP - I think looking rather sharp in the early morning sun!

And finally, a quick photo of Pel-Air Aviation SAAB 340 Freighter VH-KDB parked on the Northern end of the Mackay Airport apron.  It had earlier arrived from Rockhampton and Brisbane as PFY7116.

One of three Pel-Air SAAB Freighters - VH-KDB, VH-KDK and VH-EKT - operate into Mackay and Rockhampton on behalf of Qantas Freight - the company formally known as Australian Air Express.  As shown below, the 're-branding' of the Mackay facilities to depict the new Qantas Freight name has been completed!

A couple of great days in Mackay!  Such a pity my time at Mackay Airport was so brief...  If there are any plane spotters or aviation enthusiasts in Mackay who would like to share any images or news that they have from Mackay Airport, please don't hesitate to contact us here at the Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog - we would love to hear from you!!