On Thursday 14 June, a nice surprise arrival into Rockhampton Airport as a pair of Australian Army helicopters called in from the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA). They were heard to fly in formation under the callsign "Chainsaw".
The helicopters were identified as Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook A15-303 and Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-041.
After a short time on the ground, both helicopters departed together again back to Shoalwater Bay.
It is understood that the MRH-90 A40-041 later returned to Rockhampton Airport flying as "Chainsaw 11".
Meanwhile, also on Thursday 14 June, there were several movements through Central Queensland airspace by various Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft.
Most notable was RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-005 "Dragon 31" which came up from RAAF Base Amberley and operated refuelling exercises within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area with RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets ("Carbine") and Boeing EA-18G Growlers ("Wolf 11" and "Wolf 21"). All the fighter jets were heard to fly overhead Rockhampton on both inbound and outbound flights.
While RAAF Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft A47-007 was back in the skies over CQ, heard departing Shoalwater Bay for Townsville (where it is based) flying as "Blackcat 52".
Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Jason M and Russell P for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
Photos taken by Jason Miller and Russell Prothero ©