Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Cessna Citation Bizjet Touches Down at Hamilton Island Airport - CJ3 VH-ANE

Celijet Aviation Solutions Cessna 525B Citation CJ3 bizjet VH-ANE popped into Hamilton Island Airport on Thursday 31 July.  The little bizjet arrived from Archerfield.

VH-ANE remained parked at Hamo along with Gold Coast-based Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign VH-VPL which arrived earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Australasian Jet-operated Cessna 206 VH-XBF was also noted to fly into Hamilton Island on Thursday 31 July on a brief visit from Mackay.  VH-XBF is one of two Australasian Jet Cessnas that Ergon Energy’s Remote Observation Automated Modelling Economic Simulation (ROAMES) project of aerial surveys.

Finally, Hamilton Island Air / Whitsunday Air Services has published photos and a great video of their recently acquired Eurocopter EC130B4 VH-WYH.

What a beautiful sleek looking machine!

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-EZJ at Gladstone and Mackay Airports

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) / Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-EZJ ferried North-bound through Gladstone and Mackay Airports on Thursday 31 July.

VH-EZJ at Rockhampton earlier this year  (File photo taken by 'IAD'  ©)

VH-EZJ started its journey at Archerfield and finished in Cairns.

It seems obvious that another EMQ rescue helicopter will ferry South from Cairns to Archerfield in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, a couple of light aircraft noted passing through Gladstone Airport on Thursday 31 July included Julia Creek-based Beech A36 VH-BZY which departed to Mackay, fellow Beech B58 VH-KCN was returning to its Rockhampton base from the Sunshine Coast and called into Gladstone Airport, while Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow VH-JPW of the Aero Dynamic Flight Academy on the Sunshine Coast was believed to have called in while on a flight from and back to the Sunny Coast which included stops at Bundaberg, Theodore and Gladstone.

Also Spotted at Rockhampton Airport Thursday - RAAF Super King Air A32-349 "Hudson 08"

Along with capturing photos of the locally-based Hawker Siddeley Aviation T.75A - Hawker Hunter - VH-XHH - as it was broken up at Rockhampton Airport late on Thursday 31 July, plane spotters 'IAD' and Trevor H also captured a couple of great images of some interesting late afternoon visitors including Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air A32-349.

After conducting air work over Taroom, the Super King Air - operated by 32 Squadron and using the radio callsign of "Hudson 08" - then overflew Rockhampton Airport, before performing a 'touch-and-go' on Runway 33.

A32-349 continued further North to Townsville.

Earlier on Thursday 31 July, Brisbane-based Cirrus SR22 VH-YDM touched down at Rockhampton Airport from the Sunshine Coast, having arrived there earlier from Archerfield.

Meanwhile, parked on the Rockhampton Airport General Aviation (GA) Apron were R-Mach Aviation's Weatherley Aviation 620A VH-WEA and Ayres S2R Turbo Thrush VH-NFF.

Also visiting was Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YFN which was captured departing Rocky for Brisbane as VOZ1248.

Although, as we posted below, the undoubted highlight of the afternoon was seeing the sad sight of locally-based Hawker Siddeley Aviation T.75A - Hawker Hunter - VH-XHH - being broken up and prepared for shipping overseas to Canada.

Thanks guys for the great photos!

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Trevor Hardsman  ©

Rockhampton-based Hawker Hunter VH-XHH Broken up and to be Shipped Overseas

Earlier this week, local plane spotters Kayanne H and 'IAD' noted that Rockhampton-based Hawker Siddeley Aviation T.75A - Hawker Hunter - VH-XHH - was making a rare appearance outside of its hangar at Rockhampton Airport.

Well, on Thursday 31 July, it was noted that VH-XHH was being broken up into parts, and these parts were being placed into two large shipping containers.

Local plane spotters Ben O and Trevor H have sent through some great photos of the dismantling and storage of this great aircraft - and great piece of Rockhampton Aviation history.

Information suggests that VH-XHH will be tomorrow - Friday 1 August - begin an export journey to North America - to take up residence and hopefully see greener pastures in Canada.

Thanks guys for capturing these great photos!

Photos taken by 'IAD', Ben O'Dowd and Trevor Hardsman  ©

QantasLink Cuts Gladstone Airport to Sydney Flights from end of August

The Gladstone Observer newspaper has broken the story that QantasLink's Dash-8-Q400 operated direct flights from Sydney to Gladstone Airport will be no more after August.

Flights were scaled back from eight to five per week in April this year, and with continuing low passenger numbers, QantasLink has now decided to axe the poorly performing route completely, with the final departure expected on Friday 29 August.

Gladstone's airport and tourism leaders supported the route but in the end it came down to passenger support.  Gladstone Airport Corporation had worked with QantasLink to support the service but in the end there just weren't enough passengers.

Passengers who booked on the service after August will be offered a refund or rebooking on another service.

QantasLink's Gladstone to Brisbane flights are not affected with all 52 direct flights to Brisbane retained in a move confirming Qantas's commitment to Gladstone.

It should also be noted that QantasLink currently also operates 2-3 additional flights between Gladstone and Sydney each week that appear to be closed Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charters.

File photos of QantasLink's first arrival into Gladstone from Sydney on Monday 4 March 2013 by Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQH taken by Jamie C  ©

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And Saying Farewell to Australian Skies This Week - Airwork (NZ) B733 ZK-SLA and Air New Zealand B744 ZK-SUH

As I write this post, Qantas B767-300(ER) VH-OGG has landed at Sydney Airport at the completion of its final service with the airline - QFA454 from Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Sydney.

Meanwhile, it's worth mentioning that a couple of New Zealand-based visitors to Central Queensland over the years have recently departed for the final time on flights to overseas airlines and storage.

Airwork New Zealand Boeing B737-300 ZK-SLA departed Darwin for Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 26 July on what has been reported as a delivery flight to Blue Air - a low-cost carrier in Romania.  Research reveals that ZK-SLA has been operated by Blue Air from 2005-2012 as YR-BAC.

ZK-SLA has visited Rockhampton and Gladstone Airports in late 2012 / early 2013 including a brief time flying on behalf of Our Airline (Air Nauru).

The B737-300 was originally delivered to Ansett in 1986 as VH-CZA and flew with the Australian carrier until it suspended operations in 2001.

It was re-registered ZK-SLA in 2003 to Airwork New Zealand, and in the years since, flew for Air Vanuatu, Norfolk (Island) Jet Express, Alliance Airlines and Air Niugini, before ferrying over to Romania in 2005.  It returned to New Zealand in 2012 and operated ad-hoc leased and charter flights throughout New Zealand and Australia until recent times.

Also departing New Zealand but on its final flight before being placed into storage, was Air New Zealand Boeing B747-475 ZK-SUH.  ZK-SUH - named "Dunedin" - was no stranger to Rockhampton Airport, with the jumbo photographed in 2012 while operating troop charter flights into beef capital.

ZK-SUH was originally built for Canadian Airlines but wasn't taken up, instead being acquired by International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and initially leased to Varig (Brazil) as PP-VPI.  It was then leased to Air New Zealand and delivered in November 1994.

ZK-SUH departed Auckland for Los Angeles and Victorville on Monday 28 July as ANZ6074.

Air New Zealand's fleet of B747-400s has been reduced to one now with ZK-NBV the only example remaining.

Additional photos taken by 'IAD'  ©