Monday, August 31, 2015

North American AT-6 Mk 2A Harvard VH-NRO Over Rockhampton and at Mackay Airport Monday

Certainly a nice sight and sound in parts of Central Queensland on Monday 31 August with Brisbane-based North American AT-6 Mk 2A Harvard VH-NRO seen in the skies above Rockhampton and later landing at Mackay Airport while on a journey North.

Simon Coates /

It was later heard departing Mackay for Townsville.

QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXK Calls into Hamilton Island Airport Monday

For the second time in about as many weeks, QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXK has called into Hamilton Island Airport on Monday 31 August operating a scheduled Qantas service from and back to Brisbane.

VH-NXK departs Mackay Airport recently

It again operated as QJE1722/1723.

Meanwhile, a couple of bizjets were noted visiting Hamilton Island on Sunday 30 August.  News Corporation Gulfstream Aerospace G-V-SP Gulfstream G550 N897NC was noted visiting Hamo once again, departing to Townsville.  Also, Westfield Aviation Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express bizjet N18WF was also noted touching down at Hamo from Sydney.  I'm told it will remain parked on Hamo for most of the week.

File photo taken by  'AC'  ©

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Also Spotted at Rockhampton Airport on the Weekend - Including CASA Safety Video Out-N-Back 2 Crew in Airvan VH-EHS

Local plane spotter 'IAD' popped out to Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 29 August and captured some great photos of a couple of interesting light General Aviation (GA) visitors.  Perhaps the nicest looking aircraft to arrive was Gippsaero GA8 Airvan VH-EHS of Go Air at Barwon Heads in Victoria.  It arrived from the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour.

VH-EHS is involved with transporting cast and crew for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) Flight Safety Video - "Out-N-Back 2" - described as a mini-series following a VFR flight around the North-Eastern parts of Australia - Far North Queensland and now parts of Central Queensland.  More can be found on the video on CASA's Facebook page:

I believe that Bathurst-based Cessna 172 VH-CYF of Stella Aviation is flying in company with VH-EHS.

Spotted departing Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 29 August was Cairns-based Cirrus SR-22 VH-REY.  It had earlier arrived from Cairns and was captured departing to the Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, as mentioned below, also calling into Rockhampton Airport early, and then again late on Saturday 29 August, was Pel Air / Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLQ.  Local plane spotter Kayanne H was also on hand and also captured some great photos!

As mentioned, it called in from Brisbane and departed to Mackay and Cairns, ferrying the locally-based Central Queensland Capras Rugby League team North to play the Northern Pride in the Queensland Rugby League's Intrust Super Cup.

The Capras lost and so I presume it was a sombre flight back to Rocky very late on Saturday!

Finally, as this post is written, I note that Charleville-based Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-FDP "FlyDoc 434" called into Rockhampton Airport from Longreach late on Sunday 30 August.  It is due to depart to Charleville later.

Thanks guys!

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pel Air / Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLQ at Rockhampton and Mackay Airports

An interesting movement into both Rockhampton and Mackay Airports on Saturday 29 August was Pel Air / Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLQ.

It was noted arriving into Rocky from Brisbane as PFY9880.

VH-ZLQ was being used by the locally-based Central (CQ) Capras Rugby League Club to fly the senior first grade team and support staff to Cairns to take on the Northern Pride in the Queensland Rugby League's Intrust Super Cup.

However, after VH-ZLQ departed Rockhampton as PFY9270, it landed at Mackay where it is believed that it took on additional fuel before it departed onward to Cairns.

Local plane spotter 'AC' even captured VH-ZLQ on the ground at Mackay Airport alongside Pel-Air SAAB 340A Freighter VH-EKT which is resting at Mackay over the weekend.

Of interest, VH-ZLQ is expected to fly back to Mackay and Rockhampton from Cairns later on Saturday 29 August as PFY9271, eventually touching down back at Brisbane in the wee small hours of Sunday 30 August as PFY9881.

UPDATE!  Looks like it will be a sombre flight home to Rockhampton for the Capras as they were flogged by the Northern Pride in their game today!

Photos taken by Trevor Hardsman and 'AC'  ©

Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 Bizjet N142GZ Spotted at Longreach Airport

The spectacular sight of Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ was captured at Longreach Airport on Friday 28 August.

On Thursday 27 August it had a busy day of flying, initially touching down at Longreach and returning to its Mackay base before it then departed to Brisbane.  From Brisbane, N142GZ returned to Longreach where it remained parked.

Also captured resting at Longreach Airport on Friday 28 August was Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-FMM which arrived from Anthony Lagoon Airport in the Northern Territory also on Thursday 27 August.

It looks to be on a tour of the Northern Territory and Western Queensland.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Friday, August 28, 2015

Royal Newcastle Aero Club Members and Aircraft Call into CQ Airports while on Safari to Far North Queensland

Several aircraft of the Royal Newcastle Aero Club (RNAC) have been noted at various Central Queensland Airports over the last couple of weeks as they and other members' aircraft embark on one of the RNAC's annual safaris.  This time, the safari was to Thursday Island in Far North Queensland.

In all, as many as seven aircraft have been participating in the safari, which started at the RNAC's home airfield at Russell Field in Maitland in New South Wales last week.

Last Tuesday 18 August, members aircraft were noted departing Roma Airport for Longreach Airport where photos on the RNAC Facebook page ( ) show they enjoyed the Central West hospitality, taking in several sights including tours of the aircraft and other displays at the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach Airport.

From Longreach, the aircraft continued to Far North Queensland including stops at Normanton, Karumba, Horn Island, Cooktown and Townsville.  From Townsville, some of the aircraft were noted calling into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour on Monday 24 August.

On Wednesday 26 August, three of the RNAC aircraft - Piper PA-28-181 VH-RNN, Cessna 172 VH-RNY and Cessna 182 VH-RNL - departed Shute Harbour for Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport via fuel stop at Rockhampton Airport.

A fourth aircraft - Diamond DA40 VH-MPM - flew directly from Shute Harbour to Hervey Bay.

After enjoying an overnight stop, the four aircraft departed Hervey Bay, flying South to Lismore on Thursday 27 August.  They are expected to return to Maitland on Friday 28 August.

What a great adventure!

Photos sourced from the Royal Newcastle Aero Club Facebook page:

Toowoomba-based Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH Spotted at Rockhampton and Maryborough Airports

The smart little Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 corporate turbo-prop VH-WPH was captured visiting both Rockhampton and Maryborough Airports on Thursday 27 August.

It initially touched down at Rocky from its Toowoomba base before later heading to Maryborough.

VH-WPH later returned to Toowoomba.

Thanks to 'IAD' and David G for capturing and sending through these great photos!

Photos taken by 'IAD' and David Geck  ©

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cessna Citation Bizjets VH-WFE and VH-DHN Depart Hamilton Island Airport

A pair of visiting Cessna Citation bizjets that called into Hamilton Island Airport late last week and in the early part of this week have finally departed to their respective 'home' airports.

File photo taken by 'AC'  ©

After arriving on Friday 21 August, Trump Aviation / Australian Corporate Jet Centres Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-WFE departed back to Melbourne (Essendon) Airport on Thursday 27 August.

On Wednesday 26 August, Business Aviation Solutions Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-DHN called departed Hamo for Sydney before returning to its Gold Coast base.

Finally, a couple of other lighter aircraft that we've missed reporting on over the last couple of weeks that have also been noted around Hamilton Island Airport included Victorian-based Partenavia P.68C VH-PNV which touched down from the Sunshine Coast on Sunday 23 August.  It departed to Roma and Melbourne (Moorabbin) on Monday 24 August.

And on Tuesday 18 August, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air flying as "Dingo 47" performed a missed approach at Hamo before being later noted doing the same at Mackay Airport.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet VH-CRW at Emerald Airport Wednesday

Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet VH-CRW was noted calling into Emerald Airport early on Wednesday 26 August.

File photo taken by 'AC'  ©

The smart looking bizjet is a semi-regular visitor to Emerald.  It arrived from, and later departed back to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, on Monday 24 August, that unidentified Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan called back into Emerald Airport from Ingelara.  It was noted departing Hamilton Island Airport on Wednesday 26 August still as "HND440" for Cairns - presumably on completion of the tourist charter that it appeared to be operating.

PAC 750XL ZK-KNQ Passes Through Longreach Airport on Delivery to Beijing General Aviation Company (BGAC)

On Tuesday 25 August, Pacific Aerospace PAC 750XL ZK-KNQ was noted departing Longreach Airport for Darwin.  I presume that it had arrived the previous day from the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

Brisbane-based plane spotter Brendan B was lucky enough to be at Darwin Airport on Tuesday as the ZK-KNQ arrived from Longreach.  It was noted wearing the titles and colours of Beijing General Aviation Company of China and is presumably on a delivery flight from New Zealand.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday 26 August, Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation SAAB 340B VH-VEF was noted departing Longreach Airport.  It looked to be operating a closed charter flight, presumably for 'Bill Peach Journeys'.  Corporate Air SAABs have been noted operating these flights on previous occassions.

Finally, Toowoomba-based Beech B200 King Air VH-NME operated what looks to be the 'weekly' flight from Brisbane-West Wellcamp Airport to Longreach and on to Cloncurry.  It called in on Monday 24 August.

A massive thanks to Brendan yet again for his continued support of the CQ Plane Spotting Blog and sending through these awesome photos from Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

Brendan has his own plane spotting and travel Blog - named BMB Photography - you can check out more of his photos and much more at:

All photos taken by Brendan Berry  ©

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 Steadfast Foundation Outback Air Race (SOAR) Launches in Western Australia and to Finish at Hamilton Island Next Weekend

The small town of Esperance in Western Australia came alive over the weekend as 26 light aircraft brimming with pilots and their passengers gathered for the start of the 2015 Steadfast Foundation Outback Air Race (SOAR), a two week flying challenge raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The event, which runs from Sunday 23 August to Friday 4 September resembles a car rally through remote and outback Australia, the significant differences being that the planes are all in top mechanical condition and the distance covered is far greater. Many of the planes will cover almost 8,000km over the two weeks and in total churn through more than 27,000 litres of fuel.

Amazingly, however, the total distance covered by all 26 planes from start to finish during the two weeks of the Race, around 208,000km, will amount to less than three average days of flying for the RFDS.

The RFDS is one of Australia’s most recognised charities, both domestically and internationally.  In 2014 Financial Year, the RFDS made a daily average of 773 patient contacts, 148 patient transports and flew 72,358 kilometres. Last year, it ran 16,096 healthcare clinics, operated 63 aircraft, 22 bases, 5 health facilities and had 1,144 full-time equivalent staff.

It has provided a ‘mantle of safety’ for rural communities for 86 years. In this important work the RFDS is funded by the Federal Government. However, despite growing demand for services, RFDS funding levels remain significantly unchanged since 2006.

2015 Steadfast Foundation Outback Air Race Manager, Rowan Hill, said, “This will be the ninth triennial Outback Air Race, since its inception in 1996 and we aim to raise over $300,000 for the RFDS to add to the event total of $1.5 million raised over the last 20 years”.

It has taken our volunteer committee, spread all over the country, over 18 months to pull together the complex logistics of our fantastic itinerary flying from Esperance to Forrest, Yulara, Alice Springs, Birdsville, Winton, Karumba, Cooktown and wrapping it all up with a grand finale on Hamilton Island”, he said.

The Outback Air Race, which began as a joint concept between the RFDS (Western Division) and the Royal Aero Club of WA (RACWA) 20 years ago, has gone from strength to strength. It is now being recognised as an important platform through which community focused corporations can support this iconic, uniquely Australian charity. This year Steadfast Foundation, Summit Fleet Leasing and The Classic Safari Company are the event’s naming and major sponsors with several other organisations also supporting “leg” sections of the race along the way”, said Mr Hill.

Teams, totalling almost 70 people, from across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia have spent the past six to 12 months preparing for the race and hosting all manner of fundraising events in a bid to be the most successful fundraising team.

The race attracts a broad cross section of entrants flying in a huge variety of planes which this year includes five home-built RV aircraft to Mooney, Cessna, Socata types and even an Eclipse jet.

But the real test and race winner comes from piloting skills rather than he who is fastest”, says Don Rechichi, the official Race Safety Officer and Enroute Race Director and otherwise Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor and Dentist. “Aircraft are scored based on their ability to predict their time taken to fly between each leg (down to the second) and accuracy at flying over visual start and finish points”, he said.

You can follow the progress of the race on the SOAR website:

The event is still open for anyone to support and sponsor and this can be done online through the Steadfast Outback Air Race Everyday Heroes Event account:
or by contacting Fiona at

Alliance Airlines Latest Fokker F-70 VH-NKU Enters Service and First Flight to Emerald Airport

A first visit on a first ever service at Emerald Airport on Monday 24 August as Alliance Airlines' latest Fokker F-70 VH-NKU touched down as UTY4078 from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

This was the first flight that the little Fokker jet has operated for Alliance after it was delivered to the airline in June this year.  VH-NKU is ex OE-LFK of Austrian Airlines.

At the time of writing, VH-NKU was heading back to Emerald Airport operating as UTY4072 again from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast early on Tuesday 25 August.

What a nice surprise!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Couple of Cessna Citation Bizjets at Rockhampton Airport Monday – VH-PSU & VH-TFW

A couple of familiar bizjets touched down at Rockhampton Airport on Monday 24 August.  First to call in from Brisbane as the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU.

After spending much of the day parked on the Rockhampton Airport apron, it departed North to Mackay where it looked to be spending the night.

UPDATE!  VH-PSU returned to Brisbane from Mackay on Tuesday 25 August.

Also arriving into Rockhampton for another visit on Monday 24 August was Light Jets Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 VH-TFW which on this occasion, touched down directly from its base at Archerfield.

It was parked on the General Aviation (GA) Apron at Rockhampton Airport and looked to be spending the night.

Finally, of interest, the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY made a visit to Rockhampton in the very small hours of Saturday 22 August.  It arrived from Brisbane and departed back there around sunrise.  This was possibly one of the many medical retrieval flights at the Government jet also operates.

Thanks to local plane spotter 'IAD' for capturing these two great photos!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C A30-006 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Monday 24 August, local plane spotter 'IAD' was at the right place at the right time to capture Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-006, performing a missed approach on Rockhampton's Runway 33.

A30-006 was flying as "Mitchell 02" and flew up to Rockhampton from the South.  After completing the airwork, the Wedgetail departed back to the South.

Awesome photos!  Thanks mate!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©