Making a unexpected visit to Rockhampton Airport during the afternoon on Thursday 6 December was Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XNE "Rescue 330".
Flight tracking websites suggest that VH-XNE was on a flight from Cairns to Melbourne (Essendon) and was possibly re-tasked as it made a diversion and headed out to sea off Bundaberg / Hervey Bay.
Once it was complete, VH-XNE was photographed as it landed at Rockhampton Airport at the completion of its flight which lasted more than five-hours.
After taking on fuel, VH-XNE departed Rockhampton Airport and returned to Cairns.
As we've previously reported, Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd (Cobham) was contracted in 2014 to provide a new new search and rescue agreement for AMSA using four Bombardier Challenger CL-604 bizjets from late 2016 for a period of 12 years. Presently, VH-XNE is joined by VH-XND which appears to be based at Melbourne (Essendon) Airport in Victoria as "Rescue 660". While another two Challengers, VH-XNC and VH-XNF recently completed a 'swap' between Perth and Essendon late last week after VH-XNC had been operating out of Perth as "Rescue 440".
Sincere thanks to local photographer Russell P for being at the right place at the right time and allowing us to share his great photos of a great visitor to Rockhampton Airport.
All photos taken by Russell Prothero ©