The highlights of the morning were by far the visits of two more Qantas Airways Boeing B737-800 aircraft, both touching down at the industrial city on Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights on behalf of Bechtel.
First to touch down was VH-VXJ, which arrived from Brisbane as QFA6100. After collecting passengers and freight, it departed back to Brisbane a little later as QFA1369.
As it departed, fellow B737-800 VH-VZY touched down at Gladstone all the way from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport as QFA6104. It too collected a load of pasengers and cargo, before making a dusty departure back to Melbourne as QFA1373.
But the FIFO action didn't stop there with a pair of QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200s also calling into Gladstone Airport on charter flights from and back to Brisbane. VH-NXD visited first operating as QJE6200/1961, while a little later VH-NXL – still in the old QantasLink colours – arrived and departed as QJE6202/1959.
Of interest, fellow B717-200s VH-NXG and VH-NXJ were both spotted operating more FIFO charter flights in and out of Gladstone on Sunday 21 December.
One final FIFO flight on Monday 22 December was operated by QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QON which also operated from and back to Brisbane as QLK2670/2581.
In terms of the scheduled services into Gladstone Airport on Monday 22 December, QantasLink dominated the day with eight flights touching down operated by an even mix of B717-200s and Dash-8-Q400s.
VH-NXG and VH-NXJ called in twice during Monday, while Dash-8-Q400s VH-QOM, VH-LQM, VH-LQQ and VH-LQB were all noted calling in during the day.
As shown above, VH-LQM wears its full ‘Recognise’ colour scheme, while VH-QON wears the smaller version of the ‘Recognise’ logo behind the port-side cockpit windows. As mentioned below in a previous post, the entire QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 fleet will soon wear this smaller logo.
Other schueld services into Gladstone were operated by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) ATR 72 aircraft with ATR 72-500s VH-FVX and VH-FVI both spotted by Anthony during his time at the Airport.
JetGo Australia Embraer E-135 VH-JGB also operated twice into the industrial city from and back Sydney.
And finally, on the lighter side of the aircraft to call into Gladstone Airport on Monday 22 December, locally-based Air Charter CQ / Australia by Seaplane De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Mk1 Floatplane VH-IDO and Gladstone Helicopters / Heli-Reef (Aviation Tourism Australia) Bell 206L-3 VH-CKP were spotted returning to the Airport after completing local flights.
While visiting from parts unknown was Roma-based M.I. Helicopters Aerospatiale AS.355F1 Squirrel helicopter VH-PCQ. It departed for Curtis Island.
A big thank you to Anthony for taking the time to capture these great photos and for allowing us to share them with you all!
Photos taken by Anthony Schulz and Col ©