Friday, February 27, 2015

Army MRH-90 Helicopters and RAAF Bizjets Highlight the Spotting Action at Rockhampton Airport Thursday and Friday

During the afternoon on Thursday 26 February, three Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters were noted arriving at Rockhampton Airport.  Reports suggest that these helicopters have been deployed to Rocky to assist the Army personnel on the ground with the clean-up and re-build following Tropical Cyclone Marcia.  On Friday 27 February, local plane spotter 'IAD' captured the three choppers - identified as A40-014, A40-028 and A40-032.

On Thursday, they were heard to be using the callsign "Destria" as they all arrived individually, while on Friday, A40-014 and A40-028 departed to Yeppoon as "Destria Black".  During the afternoon on Friday 27 February, all three MRH-90s were heard to depart to Townsville.

Meanwhile, as the sun was setting on Thursday 26 February, a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bizjets operated by the RAAF VIP 34 Squadron called in for the night.  Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 was first to touch down, arriving from Canberra as "Ausy 310".

The BBJ carried what looked to be a full load of passengers and cargo, including local ministers and finally, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who was reportedly due to visit the devastated areas North of Rockhampton at Yeppoon.

A36-002 was followed by Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 A37-001, which touched down from Sydney as "Envoy 80".

Both RAAF bizjets were captured again by 'IAD' early on Friday 27 February before they both departed - A36-002 to Auckland, New Zealand as "Ausy 310", and A37-001 to Gove (Nhulunbuy) as "Envoy 80".

Making a three-some of bizjets, about the same time as the RAAF aircraft touched down on Thursday 26 February, Execujet Australia Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-URR also called into Rockhampton but from Brisbane.

As mentioned below, it is believed that the Challenger is being currently operated by Careflight Queensland (Aeromed) on med-evac flights.  It later departed back to Brisbane.

Finally, earlier on Thursday 26 February, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-JFE called into Rockhampton on what looked like a charter flight from and back to Brisbane as UTY552/553.

Sincere thanks to 'IAD' for capturing and sending through these great photos of some great visitors!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

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