Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Debbie Brings Various Civilian and Army Helicopters and Fixed Wing Aircraft to the Whitsundays Region

With severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie making land-fall in the Whitsundays earlier this week, the last couple of days has seen various civilian and Australia Army helicopters and fixed wing aircraft call into various parts of the damaged region including Mackay and Bowen.

On Wednesday 29 March, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was noted touring Bowen after flying from Townsville on board an Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter - possibly A40-014.  Fellow MRH-90 A40-039 was believed to have visited Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.

Brian Cassey /

Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopter A15-307 was also possibly involved with the relief effort on Wednesday 29 March.

As we mentioned over the last few days, Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue Agusta AW139 helicopters VH-EZJ "Rescue 510" and VH-ESZ "Rescue 500", and Bell 412 helicopters VH-ESB and VH-ESD "Rescue 521", are also operating throughout the region, including an airlift of patients from the badly damaged Proserpine Hospital to Townsville on Wednesday 29 March.

Of the civilian choppers, McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia AS365N2 Dauphin helicopters N38MD and N365JL are operating out of Townsville and Cairns respectively.  They were spotted passing through Gladstone Airport over the weekend - see Blog post below.

And AusJet Helicopters (Essendon) Bell 206L-1 helicopter VH-TWO has been noted in the region - parking for the night at Rockhampton Airport on Monday 27 March - and is being operated as a media camera platform.  It is flying as "Media 42" and I believe is usually based around Brisbane.

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Finally, a trio of locally-based Stirling Helicopters choppers were also noted departing Rockhampton Airport for the North.  They possibly landed at Mackay Airport and will operate in the disaster zone from today.  Eurocopter AS.350B2 Squirrel VH-AGL was joined by fellow Eurocopter AS.350BA Squirrel helicopter VH-WHW and Bell 206B (II) VH-JAQ were also noted heading North from Rocky on Wednesday 29 March.

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