|VH-LCL at Mackay Airport in April (File photo)
The heavily modified Dash-8-200 is usually based at Cairns Airport with Cobham Aviation. It has been at Mackay Airport completing almost daily flights out over water and back since it arrived from Cairns in early October.
VH-LCL is operated by Surveillance Australia for Fugro LADS Corporation on a multi-year lease to the Royal Australia Navy LADS Hydrography Institute. The 'LADS' (Laser Airborne Depth Sounding) system is an aircraft based hydrographic surveying system that measures the difference between the sea surface and the sea floor as calculated from the aircraft's altitude to generate hydrographic data. After operating overseas since it was delivered in late 1997, VH-LCL commenced operations with the RAN LADS Hydrography Institute in late 2009.
UPDATE! On Monday 12 November, VH-LCL was then noted departing Cairns for the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby.
Photo taken by 'JM' ©