Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jetstar Airbus A320 VH-VFX in "Kung Fu Panda 3" Livery Visits Hamilton Island Airport

After being rolled out of the maintenance hangar in mid-March and a special livery to celebrate the cinema release of Dreamworks Animation's 'Kung Fu Panda 3', Jetstar Airbus A320 VH-VFX has finally visited Central Queensland, calling into Hamilton Island Airport on Thursday 31 March.

It was noted operating the JST846/849 service from and back to Sydney.

Meanwhile, fellow Jetstar A320 VH-VQG. which also wears a special livery promoting 'Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie', continues to visit CQ, popping into Hamo and Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport where it is shown on Monday 23 March.

Sincere thanks to Townsville plane spotter Dave who captured VH-VFX during a recent visit to Townsville Airport.

Photos taken by Dave  ©

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang Bizjet VH-KXM Back at Longreach Airport - Plus a Few Lighties!

For the second time this month, Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-KXM once again ventured North from Bankstown Airport to Vanrook Station near Normanton, stopping in for fuel at Longreach Airport on Thursday 31 March.

File photo taken by 'top_end_dude' ©

Meanwhile, over the last few days, a wide variety of light General Aviation (GA) aircraft have been noted passing through the Central West town including Dick Lang's Dessert-Air Safaris' Beech B200 VH-ODI which was noted departing to Innamiincka (South Australia) on Saturday 26 March.

On Sunday 27 March a pair of Beech 58 Barons were noted visiting returning to their respective 'homes' - VH-CUY flew to Cloncurry while VH-KGK flew to Roma. Another Baron in the form of locally-based Air Central West Beech 58 VH-TNR departed Longreach for Consuelo Airport (South of Rolleston) and Blackall on Wednesday 30 March.

Finally, a pair of Cirrus SR22s were also noted visiting Longreach Airport on Tuesday 29 March from separate locations with VH-MCX visiting from the Sunshine Coast and VH-OBT visiting from Rockhampton.

Toowoomba Based Piper PA-31-350 Navajo VH-TTX at Bundaberg Airport Thursday

Toowoomba-based Piper PA-31-350 VH-TTX visited Bundaberg Airport on Thursday 31 March flying from Archerfield Airport in Brisbane.  It departed back there later in the day.

Simon Coates /

My interest was sparked with this aircraft's visit as I recently spotted the 1980-build Navajo 'For Sale by Tender' on

Meanwhile, it's been a pretty quiet week for light General Aviation (GA) movements at Bundy and the rest of the Fraser Coast this week with Shadforth's Plant Hire Raytheon (Beech) C90A (C90B King Air) VH-JEO visiting Maryborough Airport on Wednesday 30 March from the Sunshine Coast.

The Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK visited Maryborough Airport on Thursday 29 March during a busy day of flying.

File photo taken by Micah S  ©

And Brisbane-based Cessna 340 VH-LKM and Gold Coast-based Beech 76 Duchess VH-AZX noted visiting Bundy on Tuesday 29 March.

New South Wales-based Piper PA-39 Twin Comanche VH-ICS was noted departing Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport on Monday 28 March for the Illawarra Regional Airport at Wollongong.  It had arrived the previous day.

Torres Strait Air BN-2A-27 Islander Returns North via Rockhampton and Mackay Airports

As suspected, on Thursday 31 March, Torres Strait Air Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-27 Islander VH-TRS ferried back North to Cairns from Archerfield again calling into Rockhampton and Mackay Airports for fuel.

VH-TRS had ventured South last weekend and I presume that like the airline's other two Islanders - VH-EXC and VH-URJ - VH-TRS spent time at Archerfield to complete planned maintenance.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPF Departs Australia For Good!

On Wednesday 30 March, it appears that another Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 has left Australia for the final time with VH-ZPF noted departing Brisbane for Apia (Tonga), Honolulu (Hawaii) as VOZ9901.  It should continue to Nashville (Tennessee) via Van Nuys (California) in the coming days.

VH-ZPF at Gladstone Airport in late February  (File photo)

VH-ZPF is the third of five Virgin Australia E-190s that will be withdrawn from the fleet and transferred to operate for Aero Mexico.  VH-ZPD and VH-ZPG have already left Australia - see referring Blog post HERE.

VH-ZPF was ordered new by Virgin Blue and delivered to the airline in early August 2008.  The aircraft named 'Maiden Brazil' and its first flight was recorded as VOZ953 from Brisbane to Mackay on Friday 15 August 2008.

VH-ZPF in Virgin Blue colours at Rockhampton Airport in 2013  (File photo)

Following a re-paint into Virgin Australia colours, VH-ZPF was then noted wearing the name 'Whitehaven Beach'.

It was interesting to note that VH-ZPF's final visit to CQ was to Gladstone Airport last Saturday 26 March when it operated the VOZ1709/1712 service from and back to Brisbane.

Photos taken by Col and 'IAD'  ©

Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP Bizjet VH-SGY at Rockhampton Airport Wednesday

Another day, another visit by the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY which was captured arriving at Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane during the morning on Wednesday 30 March.

Local news reports showed that Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and other Ministers were in town for a series of engagements around Rocky and Yeppoon.

VH-SGY departed back to Brisbane a little later in the day.

Sincere thanks to 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Executive Airlines Cessna 550 Citation Bravo Bizjet VH-EYJ Calls into Hamilton Island Airport

On Wednesday 30 March, Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-EYJ of Executive Airlines at Essendon was noted calling into Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney.  It looks to be staying for the night.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Australian Army Tiger ARH Helicopter A38-007 Calls into Rockhampton Airport Heading North as "Checker 01"

It was certainly a pleasant surprise on to see another Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter call into Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 29 March.  

On this occasion, A38-007 was noted calling from the South before continuing further North to Townsville.

It was also interesting to note that the Tiger was using the radio callsign of "Checker 01" which seems to be a 'general' callsign for Army helicopters.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD'  ©

NetJets (AusJet) Cessna 501 Citation I/SP Bizjet VH-FUM Departs Mackay Airport for Hamilton Island and Essendon

And continuing the almost-daily run of bizjets coming and going around CQ Airports, the visitingNetJets (AusJet) Cessna 501 Citation I/SP bizjet VH-FUM departed Mackay Airport on Tuesday 29 March to collect passengers at Hamilton Island before flying South back to its Melbourne (Essendon) base.

File photo taken by 'AC'  ©

As mentioned below, it had arrived at Mackay last Thursday 24 March from Charleville and Hamo.

Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP Bizjet VH-SGY at Gladstone Airport Tuesday

The Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY was noted visiting Gladstone Airport during the morning on Tuesday 29 March.

File photo taken by Col  ©

Local news reports showed that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was in the port city to announce the future development of more industry for the area in the form of a bio-fuel refinery.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mackay Airport-Based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 Bizjet N142GZ Departs to New Zealand

Early on Monday 28 March, Mackay-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ departed its Mackay Airport base for Brisbane before eventually heading 'across the ditch' to Christchurch in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, also early on Monday 28 March, Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY of Mitchell Water Australia departed Hamilton Island Airport for its Melbourne (Moorabbin) Airport base.  It had arrived there on Saturday 26 March.

File photo taken by Don Williams  ©

Torres Strait Air BN-2A-27 Islander VH-TRS Ferries South via Mackay and Rockhampton Airports

It was interesting to note that under the cover of darkness very late on Sunday 28 March, Torres Strait Air Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-27 Islander VH-TRS ferried South to Archerfield from Cairns via both Mackay and Rockhampton Airports.

I presume that like the airline's other two Islanders - VH-EXC and VH-URJ - VH-TRS is ferrying to Archerfield to complete planned maintenance and thus should ferry back North during the latter part of this week.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-HRP "Choppa 3" at Gladstone Airport Late Saturday

Late on Saturday 26 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-HRP "Choppa 3" was noted departing Gladstone Airport while heading North to Townsville.

File photo taken by Michael Fleetwood  ©

"Choppa 3" is believed to be heading to Townsville to provide support during the RAAF's Exercise Black Dagger.  RAAF Pilatus PC-9 aircraft from Number 4 Squadron have been joined in Townsville over the weekend by United States Navy (USN) Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-115 F/A-18E Super Hornets from Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, ahead of the Exercise which will begin in the coming days.

Photo taken by Dave  ©

Photo taken by Dave  ©

Exercise Black Dagger is a field training exercise that has been held at RAAF Base Townsville and surrounding airspace over the past couple of weeks.  Exercise Black Dagger is the culmination of Number 57 Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) course designed to produce combat-ready JTAC-qualified personnel.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

And a Couple of Light GA Aircraft Spotted at Rockhampton Airport in Recent Days

Over the latter part of the week there's been a couple of interesting light General Aviation (GA) aircraft spotted and noted passing through Rockhampton Airport.

On Saturday 26 March, Basair Australia (of Bankstown) Cessna U206G VH-NNS touched down at Rocky from its Archerfield base via Mundubberra.

It later departed to Bundaberg.

On Friday 25 March seemingly locally-based Beech F33A VH-LXN departed for Caloundra.

As mentioned below, on Wednesday 23 March, Redjet Aviation Piper PA-31 VH-PJU called into Rockhampton from Toowoomba, Archerfield and Hervey Bay.

Brisbane-based Cessna 182 VH-SHY was also spotted at Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 23 March.  It has been noted at several Central Queensland airport in recent weeks including Rocky on other occasions.

Also on Wednesday, locally-based both of Atlass Aviation Vulcanair (Partenavia) P.68C aircraft - VH-CFT and VH-KBO - were both noted departing to the Sunshine Coast.

And locally-based Piper PA-32R-301 VH-OKD operated a return flight to Mackay.  It also flew to Warwick and back on Tuesday 22 March.

File photo

Finally, on Tuesday 22 March, Gold Coast-based Beech 95-B55 Baron VH-FEM called in for a couple of hours.

Australian Army Boeing CH-47F ‘Foxtrot’ Chinook Helicopter A15-304 Back at Rockhampton Airport Saturday

New Australian Army Boeing CH-47F ‘Foxtrot’ Chinook helicopter A15-304 returned to Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 26 March, flying home to Townsville after making a trip as far South at Melbourne where it was spotted on the ground at Tullamarine Airport last weekend.

A15-304 - flying as "Brahman 304" - flew into Rocky from the South and took on fuel before departing to Townsville.

An initial fleet of seven 'Foxtrot' model Chinooks were delivered to the Army's 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville on board a series of flights operated by United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed C-5B Galaxy aircraft during the latter part of 2015.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Ben O for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Ben O'Dowd  ©

Great Photos of NetJets (AusJet) Cessna 501 Citation I/SP Bizjet VH-FUM Parked at Mackay Airport

As we reported below, NetJets (Australasian Jet) Cessna 501 Citation I/SP bizjet VH-FUM arrived into Mackay Airport on Thursday 24 March. from Hamilton Island.  It had initially flew into Hamo from its Melbourne (Essendon) base and Charleville before (I suspect) positioning down to Mackay.

With sincere thanks to a local plane spotter, we've been sent these great photos of VH-FUM still parked at Mackay Airport on the Western General Aviation (GA) apron on Saturday 26 March.

It is still unclear how long it will remain at Mackay.

Thanks mate!

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Cessna 525 Citation M2 Bizjet VH-WMY Calls into Mackay and Hamilton Island Airports

Making another visit to Mackay Airport before continuing onto Hamilton Island Airport early on Saturday 26 March was the smart little Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY of Mitchell Water Australia.

It arrived into Mackay from its Melbourne (Moorabbin) Airport base before continuing to Hamo where it looks to remain parked.

Meanwhile, as one of these great photos show, the Mackay Airport based Piper PA-31-350 VH-RKD of Central Queensland's newest airline, Regional Air, also visited Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 26 March.

Regional Air commenced operations earlier in March and offer general charter and Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter services along with special $149 flights from Mackay to Hamilton Island (amongst other packages).  Take a look at their website for more information:

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

Gladstone Helicopters / Helireef Eurocopter EC135 Helicopter VH-ZGZ to Caloundra and Back on Friday

Early on Friday 25 March, Gladstone Helicopters / Helireef Eurocopter EC135 P2 VH-ZGZ had a busy morning of flying departing Gladstone for Hervey Bay and Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. 

File photo taken by Dave  ©

After an hour at Caloundra, VH-ZGZ then returned to Gladstone.  It looked to fly some missed approaches and other airwork upon its return.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The 25th Anniversary Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show at Raglan 2016 - Full RAAF Roulettes Display Team AND Matt Hall is Back!!

It's on again!! The Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show - hosted by the Creed Family at "The Old Station" farm at Raglan, about 50km South of Rockhampton - will be held from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 May 2016.

And this year they have something special to celebrate marking 25 years since The Old Station first staged this very unique and popular fly-in event.

To celebrate the milestone, Leonie Creed of The Old Station has announced that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have graciously decided to send not one, but the entire Roulettes elite formation aerobatic display team to participate and cap off celebrations on the Saturday.

Yet again, Australia's own Top Gun pilot Matt Hall will be in attendance for the weekend shortly before he will jet off to compete in the Japanese leg of the Red Bull Air Race 2016 World Championship.

And Paul Bennet will again be bringing a selection of his aircraft including the mighty Grumman TBM-3E Avenger Warbird and the smart little Wolf Pitts Pro aerobatic bi-plane.

As usual, the entire weekend is again being hosted by the Old Station Flying Club, and the action is scheduled to kick off on the Friday afternoon, when the RAAF Roulettes and most other aviators intending to participate during the weekend will arrive.  This will be followed by a Friday evening dinner where Matt Hall and pilots of the RAAF Roulettes will be guest speakers.  Be sure to book for one of the limited seats!!

The Saturday sees most other aircraft arrive, followed by numerous flying displays and joyflights - featuring numerous warbirds and of course, Matt Hall!!

It's a great weekend at the Old Station Farm with camping available on site, and for plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts, there is a great mix of antique and new aircraft and helicopters on display. And we will be there again this year!!

The day also includes a heritage machinery and a huge car and truck show, as well as tractor pulling.

There is also plenty of food, a licenced bar, drinks, stalls, joyflights, a fashion parade, children's entertainment, and a live band on the Saturday night.  There are also lots of prizes to win!!

Admission is $20 per day by donation (with children under 12 free!), and camping charges start at $40 per site.  All proceeds will aid the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS).

For further information and enquiries contact Leonie Creed by phone on (07) 4934 6562 or 0438 346 563, or by email by clicking HERE.

Alternatively, the Old Station Flying Club website can be found at:

The Old Station has played host to similar events over the last few years, and as the photos above show, it is a picturesque rural setting and a great day full of action!!  It's a fun day for the whole family!!  We'll see you there!!