Saturday, September 29, 2018

Graham Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang Bizjet VH-FNI Pops into Rockhampton Airport

On Saturday 29 September, Graham Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-FNI was noted passing through Rockhampton Airport.

VH-FNI at the Mechanos Wings and Wheels at Mackay Airport last month  (File photo)

The smart little bizjet arrived from its Cairns base and departed to Bankstown a short time later.

Meanwhile, as mentioned below, late on Friday 28 September and into Saturday 29 September, LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-CXJ "Ambulance 452" took to the air from Brisbane and looked to call into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast), Gladstone, Cairns and Rockhampton Airport while on a flight from and back to Brisbane.

It also visited Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Emerald and Longreach Airports before it returned to Rocky and then Brisbane on another flight on Thursday 27 September.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Exercise Wallaby 2018 - Great Photos of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache Helicopters Night Flying from 'Warriors Camp' near Rockhampton Airport

As the Singapore Armed Forces Military Exercise Wallaby 2018 continues, local photographer Russell P has shared with us some spectacular photos captured over the last week as the visiting Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters complete night-time operations from 'Warriors Camp' to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and back.

Like previous years, most of the RSAF helicopters are utilising the space to land and take off from inside the Australian Army Defence Support Group (DSG) 'Camp Rocky' which is adjacent to Rockhampton Airport.  The RSAF has re-named the DSG as 'Warriors Camp' while they utilise the facility to launch and park some of their helicopters.

The four Apaches that were flown into Rockhampton Airport a couple of weeks ago and are now completing almost daily flights from 'Warriors Camp' to Shoalwater Bay and back and have been heard to be using the 'usual' radio callsigns of "Atom", "Avon" and "Astro".  They are flown by the RSAF's 120 Squadron "Kestrel" (also known as the "Red Hawks") based at Sembawang Air Base in Singapore.  The Squadron is the first and oldest RSAF operational squadron in service, first formed in 1969.  The squadron goes by the motto of "Strive To Achieve".

Meanwhile, the RSAF Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters are also presently based at 'Warriors Camp' and are also operating night-time flights to and from Shoalwater Bay.  They have been heard using the radio callsigns of "Cyclops" and "Celtic".

Be sure to stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for all the latest news and updates via our Facebook page:

Sincere thanks to local photographer Russell P for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Russell Prothero  ©

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-HRP "Choppa 22" Pops into Mackay and Gladstone Airports

On Saturday 29 September, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-HRP was noted flying South from Townsville to RAAF Base Amberley via Mackay and Gladstone Airports.

File photo

VH-HRP 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 missions. On this ferry flight, it was noted using radio callsign of "Choppa 22".

VH-HRP "Choppa 22" has been in Townsville to provide support for RAAF F/A-18 Hornets from Number 3 Squadron and PC-9/A aircraft from Number 4 Squadron during the RAAF's Exercise Black Dagger which has just completed.

File photo

Exercise Black Dagger is a field training exercise that was held at RAAF Base Townsville and surrounding airspace.  The Exercise is the culmination of Number 60 Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) course designed to produce combat-ready JTAC-qualified personnel.

Of interest, VH-HRP "Choppa 22" has had a long deployment with it originally noted heading North from RAAF Base Williamtown via Longreach Airport (pictured) - amongst other places - in late July when it headed to the Northern Territory where it provided support for the joint Military Exercise Pitch Black 2018 which will was held at both RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal (Katherine) in August. From Darwin, it flew across to Townsville in early September.

Photos taken by Calen Harvey and 'Shinpow16'  ©

Friday, September 28, 2018

AirServices Australia / Pearl Aviation Super King Air VH-FIY "Auscal 03" at Gladstone Airport Friday

On Friday 28 September, AirServices Australia / Pearl Aviation Hawker Beechcraft B300 Super King Air VH-FIY was noted visiting Gladstone Airport completing one of its regular calibration flights of the Gladstone Airport Instrument Landing System (ILS) and other navigational aids (navaids).

VH-FIY at Gladstone Airport last year  (File photo)

VH-FIY looked to arrive into Gladstone Airport from Brisbane during the early morning.  It then completed a two-and-a-half-hour flight around Gladstone before returning to land.

VH-FIY  then departed Gladstone Airport for and returned to Brisbane.

VH-FIY was heard to be using its usual radio callsign of "Auscal 03".

Photo taken by Terry Purcell  ©

Thursday, September 27, 2018

(Mostly) Familiar Local Bizjets Come and Go at CQ Airports During a Busy Thursday

Thursday 27 September was quite a busy day with a few locally-based corporate bizjets noted coming and going at several CQ Airports.

During the early part of the morning, Business Aviation Solutions Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-DHN was noted arriving into Gladstone Airport from the Gold Coast.  It returned to the Goldie during the middle part of the afternoon.

VH-DHN at Gladstone Airport during another visit  (File photo)

Out at Longreach Airport, Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-KXM called in yet again while flying from Bankstown to Vanrook Station near Normanton.  It was due to call back into Longreach Airport during the afternoon but instead flew directly back to Bankstown.

Up at Hamilton Island Airport, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC arrived from its Sunshine Coast base.  While a short time ago, Australian Corporate Jet Centres / Fox Aviation Citation I/SP bizjet VH-FCS arrived from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon).

UPDATE!  On Friday 28 September, VH-MMC completed a flight from Hamo to Rockhampton Airport and back.

During the afternoon and evening, LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-CXJ "Ambulance 452" took to the air from Brisbane and looked to call into Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Emerald and Longreach Airports before it returned to Rocky and then Brisbane.

UPDATE!  On Friday 28 September, VH-CXJ "Ambulance 452" was back in the air and back in CQ this time calling into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast), Gladstone, Cairns and Rockhampton Airport while on a flight from and back to Brisbane.

Finally, as this post is being written, American-registered but Australian-based Gulfstream Aerospace G-VI (G650ER) bizjet N720LF is heading Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney.

Photo taken by Col B  ©

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Victorian-based Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 Bizjet N227SL Pops into Gladstone Airport - Plus More!

An interesting bizjet to pop into Gladstone Airport on Wednesday 26 September was Victorian-based but American-registered Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 N227SL.

The Phenom 300 is reportedly flown by the Warrnambool Bus & Motor Co. in Victoria.

N227SL has had a busy week of flying - it is pictured above at Adelaide Airport on Monday 24 September - and on Wednesday, it arrived into Gladstone Airport from Sydney and the Sunshine Coast.  It then departed to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Meanwhile, also calling into Gladstone Airport, also on Wednesday 26 September, was Corporate Aviation Bell 429 helicopter VH-EQP.  It arrived from its Southport base and continued to Hamilton Island Airport where it appears to be staying for at least the night.

Of interest, also visiting Hamilton Island Airport this week was the familiar sight of Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000LX bizjet VH-WIO.  It arrived from Bankstown on Tuesday 25 September and returned to Bankstown on Wednesday 26 September.

I believe that Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR is still parked at Hamo after arriving there from Archerfield via Rockhamption Airport on Monday 24 September - see Blog post below.

Finally, also on Wednesday 26 September,  Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XNF "Rescue 550" was due to call into Mackay Airport on a flight from Melbourne (Essendon).  The Challenger passed Bundaberg and flew out to sea for a short time before it turned around and returned to Essendon.

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

A Pair of Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters A40-011 & A40-038 Pop into Rockhampton Airport

On Wednesday 26 September, a pair of Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters were both spotted passing through Rockhampton Airport.  They both looked to arrive from the Oakey Army Aviation Centre.

A40-011 arrived first as "Warhorse 208".

Then A40-038 arrived as "Warhorse 249"

After both taking on fuel, they departed to Townsville.

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

All photos taken by Scott Harris  ©