Sunday, November 25, 2018

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

On Sunday 25 November, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-HRP was noted passing through Gladstone and Mackay Airports heading North from RAAF Base Amberley to Townsville where it is photographed below.  It had flown up to Amberley from RAAF Base Williamtown via Coffs Harbour on Saturday 24 November.

VH-HRP "Choppa 22" on finals at Townsville Airport on Sunday

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".

It appears to be ferrying to Townsville where it will participate in the RAAF's Exercise High Sierra - the final training exercise for pilots graduating from Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit.  No. 2OCU Squadron operates out of RAAF Base Williamtown.  The Exercise is expected to take place around Townsville over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, while I've been up in Townsville over the last couple of days, I've noted a couple of aircraft and helicopter operating down to CQ Airports.

On Friday 23 November, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-439 as "Dingo 10" departed Townsville and completed aerial survey work around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) before landing at Rockhampton Airport.  It then returned to Townsville.  While during the afternoon on Thursday 22 November, Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-001 as "Pegasus 087" was noted completing a flight from Townsville to Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport and back.

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