Sunday, May 31, 2015

RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-003 Back Again at Rockhampton Airport Sunday

On Sunday 31 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-003 performed a 'non-standard' missed approach onto Runway 33 at Rockhampton Airport.

Local plane spotter Kayanne H captured some great photos of A39-003 as it approached Rocky, before it spooled up its two General Electric CF6-80E engines, completing the missed approach right in front of her vantage point.

Nearer to Rockhampton Airport, fellow spotters Isaac M and 'IAD' capture some more great photos as the KC-30 - flying as "Dragon 02" - climbed out of the missed approach and on to Townsville.

Some great photos of a great Sunday surprise in the skies over Rocky!

Thanks to the local plane spotters for sending through their great photos!

Photos taken by Isaac Matthews, Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

Skytrans (Version 2) Dash-8-100 VH-QQI Pops into Mackay Airport Twice on Sunday

After unfortunately closing up and ceasing operations at the start of this year, a 'new' Skytrans has returned to the skies of North Queensland after a rescue buy-out by aviation entrepreneur Peter Collings and NRL great Johnathon Thurston.

The duo who own Collings Airline Holdings, have teamed up to resurrect permanent services and return confidence to the people living and travelling to the Cape York regions.  Operations under the Skytrans AOC commenced on Monday 31 March.

Skytrans Dash-8-100 VH-QQI - which only re-entered service with the airline this week after a period of storage - called into Mackay Airport empty from Cairns as SKP204 early on Sunday 31 May.

It then departed back to Cairns as SKP205.

VH-QQI then returned to Mackay from Cairns and Townsville later on Sunday 31 May as SKP206.  It then ferried back to Cairns as SKP207.

Photos taken by Dave and 'AC'  ©

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cirrus Australis Showcase Next Sunday at Rockhampton Aero Club - Cirrus SR22 N9ZN

Cirrus Aircraft Australia will be at the Rockhampton Aero Club next Sunday 7 June from 9:00am to 1:00pm to showcase the new Cirrus Generation 5 SR22T Special Edition: Australis.

Viewing is FREE!

The Australis is an aircraft that Cirrus Aircraft has designed specifically for Australian conditions, featuring air conditioning, UV protection windows, PLB, four-person survival kit, four-in-one back-up gauges, claw tie-downs and a two-year subscription to the AvPlan EFB.

The Rockhampton Aero Club is located on the General Aviation side of Rockhampton Airport, with the Aero Club building situated on the General Aviation access road which is off Canoona Road. For further information about membership, flight training, charter flights and scenic tours, the Rockhampton Aero Club can be contacted on (07) 4922 4596 or by visiting their website at or on their Facebook page

Come along and check out one of the newest additions to the Cirrus fleet of aircraft.

Shown above is Cirrus Aircraft SR22 Australis N9ZN which visited the Old Station Fly-in at Raglan last weekend.  The Australis is currently based at the Balina / Byron Gateway Airport in Northern New South Wales and has been noted operating demonstration flights throughout Queensland and New South Wales in recent weeks.

Finally, the Rockhampton Aero Club has unveiled a new-look corporate logo this week - as shown above.  It think it looks very professional and very eye-catching!

New Rockhampton Aero Club shirts are available for purchase as well, and there is also a BBQ at the Clubhouse this coming Friday 5 June at 6:30pm.

Additional information and images from Cirrus Aircraft website (

Air Fraser Island / Aero Commute Operations out of Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport

Brisbane-based plane spotter Brendan B recently ventured to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport and captured a couple of photos of locally-based Air Fraser Island Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvans VH-BFS and VH-BNX as they departed to the nearby beaches of the picturesque Fraser Island.

Air Fraser Island is a family owned and operated, award winning air charter and scenic aerial tours company, based at Hervey Bay, that is uniquely known for providing passenger transfer and scenic tourist flights to nearby World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, using the fabulous beaches as a landing strip for their Airvans.

During the traditional humpback whale Northern migration period between August and October each year, scenic flights to witness these truly magnificent marine animals is another Air Fraser Island speciality.

As well as operating the Air Fraser Island tourist brand, Geltch Enterprises Pty Ltd also operates Aero Commute Australia (ACA) out of Hervey Bay.

File photo

Aero Commute operates 6, 8 and 10 seater, twin engine aircraft that are available any time for charter all over Australia.  Aero Commute can satisfy mine and construction crew staff changes, outback charters and other corporate air charters.

To learn more about Air Fraser Island, contact them on (07) 4125 3600 or by visiting their website at:

Air Fraser Island can also be found on Facebook:

Aero Commute Australia can be contacted on 1300 172 706 or by visiting their own website at:

Photos taken by Brendan Berry  ©

Friday, May 29, 2015

More Great Photos of Geotech Airborne Agusta Westland AW119 MK2 Helicopter VH-VTQ at Gladstone Airport

With sincere thanks to Col, we can share some more awesome photos of the visiting Geotech Airborne (Aviation Utilities) Agusta Westland AW119 MK2 helicopter VH-VTQ as it continues a series of aerial survey flights over parts of Central Queensland.

As photos posted on the CQ Plane Spotting Blog last week showed, VH-VTQ has been towing a massive airborne electromagnetic receiver coil.

It is believed that VH-VTQ operated out of the Old Station Farm at Raglan during last week before returning to Gladstone Airport during the latter part of the week.

Thanks to Col for sharing these awesome photos!

All photos taken by Col  ©

Seair Pacific (Istlecote) Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Movements out at Theodore Aerodrome

I noted with interest - and posted on our Facebook page this week - that on Thursday 28 May there were no less than three Seair Pacific (Istlecote) Cessna 208 Caravan turbo-props touching down in quick succession at Theodore Aerodrome on Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights from the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Kerry Raymond /

Gold Coast-based Seair Pacific operates almost daily FIFO charter flights to Theodore from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, reportedly under contract by Australian gold company, Evolution Mining, for its workforce at the nearby Cracow Mine.

Kerry Raymond /

On Thursday - and in fact for the last two weeks - Seair Cessna 208 Caravans VH-LYT, VH-LMZ and VH-OZH (shown above) have been noted visiting Theodore.

Of interest, Seair also operates a weekly (Wednesday) FIFO charter flight to Wanella Station (near Coppabella) from the Fraser Coast - usually between Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) and Maryborough - along with their daily transfer and tourist flights to the picturesque Lady Eilliot Island also from the Fraser Coast and the South-East corner,

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) ATR 72-600 VH-VPJ First Visit to Bundaberg and Emerald Airports

On Friday 29 May, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) ATR 72-600 VH-VPJ returned to service in Queensland and made its first visit to both Bundaberg and Emerald Airports.

File photo

After initially arriving from Port Macquarie following a couple of weeks of service in New South Wales, on Friday, VH-VPJ then flew in and out of Bundy as VOZ1701/1702 before it made an evening visit to Emerald as VOZ1267/1268 from and back to Brisbane.

Of interest, VH-VPJ made its first visit to Gladstone Airport on Tuesday 19 May.  It operated the VOZ1707/1710 service from and back to Brisbane.  After completing the flight back to Brisbane, VH-VPJ then departed South to Port Macquarie for operations in New South Wales.

Meanwhile, QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQL called into Gladstone again also on Tuesday 19 May.  It was noted operating the QLK2336/2337 service also from and back to Brisbane.  Like VH-VPJ, VH-LQL then departed South but to Canberra where again it began operating for Qantas throughout New South Wales.  It has not returned to Queensland as yet.

File photo

VH-LQL now wears a very attractive colour scheme promoting the Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo in country New South Wales.

Photos taken by Isaac Matthews and Tash C  ©

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Marcplan Charter Gulfstream G-IV Bizjet VH-MBP Calls into Moranbah Airport

Marcplan Charter Gulfstream G-IV bizjet VH-MBP reportedly called into Moranbah Airport on Thursday 28 May.

File photo taken by Micah S  ©

It looked to have called in for the day from Brisbane, departing back to the capital later in the day.

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes Aerobatic Display Team Members Land at Roma Airport

It is believed that a pair of Pilatus PC-9/A's of  the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) elite formation aerobatic display team - The Roulettes - have touched down at Roma Airport over the course of Thursday 28 May.

Firstly, A23-058 touched down, believed to be using the radio callsign of "Alladin 75".  It was captured taking on fuel by local plane spotter Graham M.

A little later in the morning another PC-9 using the radio callsign of "Alladin 77" was also heard to possibly land at Roma Airport.  This aircraft could be A23-061 which was noted flying around last week with A23-058.  Both aircraft were based at Gladstone Airport last weekend and performed solo routines at the Old Station Fly-in.

While he was at Roma Airport, Graham also captured a photo of Piper PA-31-350 VH-MJA which was visiting for the day from its Toowoomba base.  

VH-MJA has undergone a rare Colemill engine conversion - including the addition of winglets.  The rare Colemill Panther engine conversion gives the Navajo a pair of 350hp (261 kW) Lycoming TIO-540-J2B engines, 4-blade "Q-Tip" propellers and the optional winglets. This conversion was designed by Colemill Enterprises of Nashville, Tennessee in the United States of America.

Thanks to Graham for taking the time to capture these great photos and for sending them through to us!

All photos taken by Graham McKnight  ©

Meanwhile - Careflight Agusta A109E VH-ZCF "Rescue 522" - Also at Bundaberg Airport

Another helicopter that has taken up residence at Bundaberg Airport is Careflight Agusta A109E Power VH-ZCF - "Rescue 522".

The Agusta has been noted flying out of Bundaberg Airport since April when - presumably - one of Careflight's Kawasaki BK117 B-2 helicopters - presumably VH-BKV - was hangared for maintenance - but this could be incorrect.

Of interest, VH-ZCF was noted at Gladstone Airport last Friday 22 May undertaking some airwork before it returned to Bundaberg where it was tasked on a rescue flight.

Many More Becker Helicopter Services Bell 206s at Bundaberg Airport

Over the course of this week, I've noted four Becker Helicopter Services Bell 206 helicopters have called into Bundaberg Airport while on training flights from the Sunshine Coast.

On Tuesday 26 May, VH-WCF, VH-NXV and VH-NXW all called in, while on Thursday 28 May, those same three choppers visited, again along with VH-XJA.

On each occasion, each helicopter has arrived directly from the Sunshine Coast, and after a short while on the ground at Bundy, departed directly back there.

Would certainly be a great sight!

File photo taken by Micah S  ©

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Virgin Australia (Virgin Samoa) Boeing B737-800 VH-YID at Hamilton Island Airport

Making a surprise and very welcome visit to Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 27 May was Virgin Australia (Virgin Samoa) Boeing B737-800 VH-YID.  It operated the VOZ1497/1496 return service from Brisbane and the the aircraft's first visit to CQ since it was repainted and rebranded into Virgin Samoa colours.

Virgin Samoa B737-800 VH-YID in Adelaide recently.

The B737-800 largely operates on Virgin's overseas sectors and in March was repainted into the colours and titles of Virgin Samoa - which was preceded by Polynesian Blue - for operations also into Western Samoa and other Pacific Islands.  It also wears the name 'Tapu'itea'.

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

Cessna 525 Citation M2 Bizjet VH-WMY Back at Rockhampton Airport - And at Mackay Airport!

Early on Wednesday 27 May, Mitchell Water Australia Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY called into Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane.  It was the second time that it touched down in the beef capital this week.

File photo

Later in the morning, it departed Rocky and touched down at Mackay.  At the time of writing, VH-WMY had returned to Melbourne (Essendon) Airport.

Meanwhile, spotted in the skies above Rockhampton also on Wednesday 27 May was Geotech Airborne (Aviation Utilities) Agusta Westland AW119 MK2 helicopter VH-VTQ.

As local plane spotter Kayanne H's photo show, VH-VTQ was towing a massive airborne electromagnetic receiver coil and believed to be operating survey flights around the Rockhampton Area.

The Agusta has recently been photographed parked at Gladstone Airport and it was believed to be heading back there after completing its airwork around Rocky.

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-003 at Rockhampton Airport

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-003 conducted a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 26 May.

The KC-30 flew up from RAAF Base Amberley, and after completing the missed approach at Rocky, it flew North to Townsville.  It was heard to be flying as "Dragon 42".

File photos taken by 'IAD'  ©