On Monday 31 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-005 was noted completing airwork around Longreach, including at least one touch-and-go at Longreach Airport. It had flown in from the South as "Wedgetail 02".
Perhaps one of the final military movements in association with joint Military Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 (TS17) came to Rockhampton Airport on Monday 31 July with Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Boeing B757-200 NZ7572 touching down from Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) in Guam as "Kiwi 496".
It was promptly loaded with personnel and bags and the B757 departed home to RNZAF Base Ohakea - an operational base of the Royal New Zealand Air Force near Palmerston North - also as "Kiwi 496".
As mentioned below, the HMNZS Canterbury multi-role vessel (MRV) of the Royal New Zealand Navy was docked at the Gladstone Port last week and as posted, RNZAF NH Industries NH90 helicopter NZ3304 was spotted being loaded in preparation for transport back to New Zealand.
It was joined by fellow NH90 NZ3306 and Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite NZ3618.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos and video!
It was interesting to note that on Friday 28 July, a former frequent visitor to Central Queensland - and in particular Hamilton Island Airport - in the form of Shortstop Jet Charter British Aerospace BAe-125-1000B bizjet VH-LMP departed Australia and now wears the San Marino registration marking of T7-SMA.
It is pictured departing Melbourne (Essendon) Airport for Broome in Western Australia before it later continued to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean.
As VH-LMP, the BAe-125-1000B bizjet made its final visit to CQ in early February when it visited Hamilton Island Airport, departing to Essendon on Sunday 5 February.
As we've also noted several times over, Shortstop Jet Charter has now been operating Dassault Falcon 900C bizjet VH-OAA since February.
Sincere thanks to Adelaide-based plane spotter Stefan P for allowing us to share his great photo!
An interesting bizjet visitor into Hamilton Island Airport on Sunday 30 July was American registered Textron Aviation Inc. Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign+ N578AB.
The sleek 2015-build bizjet seems to be on a demonstration tour of Australia and on Sunday it visited Hamo from Brisbane.
Meanwhile, also on Sunday 30 July, Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C VH-OAA also visited Hamilton Island Airport arriving from and departing back to its Melbourne (Essendon) base.
Of interest, VH-OAA has been a frequent visitor to Hamo of late, arriving last Sunday 23 July from Essendon and departing back there on Friday 28 July. It is pictured above during a recent visit.
Finally, the other frequent bizjet visitor to Hamilton Island Airport of late in the form of Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS VH-XCU returned to Hamo on Friday 28 July. It touched down from Melbourne (Moorabbin) and Essendon.
Perhaps the final heavy jet arrival into Rockhampton Airport now that joint Military Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 (TS17) has concluded with Omni Air International Boeing B777-2U8(ER) N828AX touching down from Brisbane as OAE309 during the morning on Sunday 30 July. It had earlier arrived from Honolulu (Daniel K Inouye International) Airport.
Local plane spotters 'IAD' and Kayanne H were both amongst another good crowd of onlookers who watched on as the massive twin-jet parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rocky Airport parking apron.
Soon after, personnel and their bags were loaded before the N828AX taxied out and departed Rockhampton Airport, returning to Brisbane again as OAE309.
N828AX has since departed Brisbane bound for Hickam Field (formerly Hickam Air Force Base) also in Hawaii. It is due to then continue to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. All of these flights are with the same flight number and callsign of OAE309.
Of interest, N828AX was acquired by Omni Air International earlier this year after it was operated for over a decade by Kenya Airways as 5Y-KQT.
Sincere thanks to 'IAD' and Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
On Friday 28 July, newly registered Hevilift De Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter VH-YWJ visited Central Queensland, popping into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport from Cairns and Townsville. It was due to fly straight from Townsville to Rockhampton Airport but was noted diverting to Prosie presumably to take on additional fuel.
After departing Proserpine, the Twin Otter flew into Rockhampton Airport and stayed for the night.
Early on Saturday 29 July, VH-YWJ is pictured departing Rockhampton Airport for the Sunshine Coast via missed approaches at Gladstone, Bundaberg and Maryborough Airports. It eventually continued to Brisbane.
It has been reported that the Twin Otter will be in Brisbane for a short time before it heads to Mount Isa where it will be based.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Don W and Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its final report into a runway excursion incident involving Island Air (Reef Airways) Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 VH-AZH on Avoid Island, South-East of Mackay on Thursday 23 March.
VH-AZH taxis out at Mackay Airport in happier times (File photo)
The 'remains' of VH-AZH near the Chrisair hangar at Mackay Airport in May (File photo)
The ATSB reports that "The pilot of VH-AZH, prepared for a departure from Avoid Island aeroplane landing area (ALA), for a passenger charter flight to Mackay. The pilot observed a 5-10 kt wind from the south-east and elected to use runway 14 for take-off. Runway 14 was a grass runway, 800 m long and included a slight rise in the middle. At the end of the runway was a vertical drop of about 2 meters down to a rocky beach. At about 1555 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot commenced the take-off. As the aircraft approached the end of the runway, just prior to reaching the rotation speed, the pilot felt a significant deceleration. The pilot identified that insufficient runway remained to stop the aircraft, and elected to continue the take-off. The aircraft did not take-off before overrunning the runway and became airborne as it passed over the vertical drop at a speed of about 50 kt. The aircraft was unable to maintain height and descended until the landing gear and underside of the rear fuselage impacted rocks."
On Friday 28 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-LHN was noted passing through Longreach Airport while heading from RAAF Base Williamtown (Newcastle) to Western Australia. It arrived from an overnight stay at Charleville and departed to Mount Isa where it spent the night.
On Saturday 29 July, VH-LHN was due to continue to Broome in Western Australia.
It is unclear where its final destination will be however it should be noted that earlier in the month, VH-LHN completed a ferry flight from RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory to Williamtown.
UPDATE! On Sunday 30 July, VH-LHN continued and looks to have completed its journey at RAAF Base Learmonth (Exmouth) also in Western Australia.
VH-LHN is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia, and is one of a number of choppers used for RAAF Search and Rescue jobs. On this ferry flight it was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Chopper 64".
Local plane spotter Kayanne H was also on hand at Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 29 July as Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-005 called in from RAAF Base Amberley as "Dragon 22".
The KC-30 came to Rocky to transport local personnel and their bags home following the completion of Military Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 (TS17). It parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron.
It later departed to Adelaide Airport before it eventually returned to Amberley later in the day.
Sincere thanks again to Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
After arriving during the previous afternoon, Omni Air International Boeing B777-2U8(ER) N819AX made a spectacular early morning departure from Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 29 July destined for Guam as OAE323.
Local plane spotters Daniel B and Kayanne H were both amongst a good crowd of onlookers who watched on as personnel boarded and their bags loaded before the B777 taxied out to line up on Runway 15 at Rockhampton Airport.
After a short delay due to a technical issue, N819AX thundered down the Runway, lifting up and gracefully setting course of from overhead Gracemere.
Of interest, N819AX was acquired by Omni Air International last year after it was operated for over a decade by Kenya Airways as 5Y-KQU.
UPDATE! N819AX has since departed Guam and continued to Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya, Japan, before heading to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska. As I write this update, N819AX is now heading to the joint public/military Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York, and is then scheduled to fly to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. All of these flights are with the same flight number and callsign of OAE323.
Sincere thanks to Daniel B and Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!