Monday, December 31, 2018

A Couple of Bizjets Come and Go at CQ Airports - Falcon 900 VH-OAA - Falcon 2000 VH-WIO - Legacy 550 N142GZ

Hamilton Island Airport and the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour - in the beautiful Whitsundays - seem to be attracting some nice corporate bizjets and light General Aviation (GA) aircraft perhaps in time for New Years Eve celebrations.

During the afternoon on Saturday 29 December, Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000LX bizjet VH-WIO was noted arriving into Hamo from its Bankstown base.  It then returned to Bankstown on Sunday 30 December before returning once again for a quick visit again on Monday 31 December.

File photo

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 2 January, VH-WIO visited Hamilton Island Airport once again, arriving from and later departing back to Bankstown.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday 30 December, Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C bizjet VH-OAA was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney via Bathurst.  It then returned direct to Sydney.

At the time of writing, VH-OAA is due to return to Hamo from Sydney on Tuesday 1 January.

UPDATE!  Indeed on Tuesday 1 January, VH-OAA departed Hamilton Island Airport for Sydney.

It also appears that after arriving on Friday 28 December, Marcplan Charter Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy bizjet VH-VLT is due depart Hamo also on Tuesday 1 January.

UPDATE!  Indeed on Tuesday 1 January, VH-VLT appeared to depart Hamilton Island Airport for Kangaroo Island and Adelaide.

And also on Sunday 30 December, Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ made a quick visit into Hamilton Island Airport, arriving from and departing back to its Mackay Airport base.

One other corporate bizjet that was also noted (sort of) in CQ also on Monday 31 December was Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-SIY which was noted visiting Charleville Airport during a busy day of flying.  It arrived from Townsville and departed to Melbourne (Essendon).

Finally, of the light General Aviation (GA) aircraft to visit, Chinchilla-based Raytheon 58 Baron VH-EZR arrived into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour on Sunday 30 December.  On Monday 31 December, it flew across to Hamilton Island Airport.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 1 January, VH-EZR departed Hamo for Chinchilla.

Also arriving into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour also on Sunday 30 December were Alice Springs-based Cessna 182 VH-LXS and Cirrus SR22 VH-NKY.  They flew in together from Alice Springs via Winton.

While the Darling Downs Aero Club Cessna 172 VH-TWB arrived into the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour last Friday 28 December from Toowoomba via Rockhampton Airport.  On Monday 31 December, it returned to Toowoomba via Hamilton Island and Rockhampton Airports.

Finally, in the wee small hours of Saturday 29 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-URR "Ambulance 604" was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane.  It returned to the capital soon after the rose.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Rolleston-based Lockheed 12A Electra Junior VH-ABH ‘Silver City’

One of my personal plane spotting highlights this year was travelling to Rolleston for their annual Wings and Wheels day where local pilot Ross Smith had his small collection historic aircraft on display.  One aircraft I was particularly excited to see was his beautifully presented Lockheed 12A Electra Junior VH-ABH named ‘Silver City’.

The Electra was the 36th Lockheed 12A from the factory in 1937 and has the Airframe number of 1236.  It is powered by two Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior Supercharged 450HP radial engines.

Other technical data includes the Electra being some 11.07m (26ft 4ins) long, 2.97m (9ft 9ins) high with a wingspan of 15.09m (49ft 6ins).

In the air, the Electra’s range is around 800 nautical miles (1287kms) at a maximum speed of 200kts (226mph / 364kph) although usual cruise speed is 178kts (203mph / 327kph).

Inside, VH-ABH is configured to seat 6 passengers and is crewed by two pilots in the flightdeck.

VH-ABH has a rich history being initially shipped new from the Lockheed factory to Australia in 1937 and registered to Zinc Corporation as VH-ABH.  It was then christened as ‘Silver City’.  It attracted the attention of BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary Ltd) and they formed Associated Airlines with VH-ABH as their first company airplane.  This remained their only airplane until the end of World War II.

The Lockheed heralded many firsts for Australian aviation. It was Australia’s first all-metal aircraft, the nation’s first with two-way ground-to-air radio communications and was the fastest aircraft in the country at that time.  Both the speed and ease of travel with ‘Silver City’ revolutionised communication and transportation for company executives.

By the early 1940’s, VH-ABH had attracted the attention of the Commonwealth Government and was being utilised on regular occasions by Prime Minister Robert Menzies, the Governor General, Cabinet Ministers, State Governors as well as defence chiefs, all on flights across Australia.

In fact, I was told on the day that the seat pictured above was PM Menzies own seat!

In 1957, the Electra was sold by Associated Airlines.  It then had several owners until 1985 when it was acquired by the Wangaratta city Council in Victoria, who put the aircraft on permanent display at the Airworld Museum as a featured attraction.

Ross and Peggy Smith finally purchased VH-ABH from the Museum in 2004.  Ross had the aircraft fully restored to full airworthiness which included fitting two newly overhauled engines and propellers as well as completed refurbishment of the undercarriage/landing hear.  In late 2005, VH-ABH was flown out of the museum to Rolleston where it currently resides.

It is really great to see Ross continue to maintain and preserve this historic treasure of Australian Aviation.

Friday, December 28, 2018

An Awesome Foursome of Bizjets Come and Go at Central Queensland Airports - VH-SQY & VH-VLT & VH-WMY & VH-KXL

Four corporate bizjets including a trio of Cessna Citations have been noted calling into Central Queensland Airports.  The action started late on Thursday 27 December with Cirrus (Australia) Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-SQY noted arriving into Mackay Airport from its Bankstown base.  After spending the night, early on Friday 28 December, VH-SQY departed Mackay Airport for Hamilton Island Airport before it flew West where it was photographed below arriving into Longreach Airport.

After refuelling, VH-SQY departed Longreach Airport for Ayers Rock.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 28 December, three other corporate bizjets were all noted also calling into Hamilton Island Airport.

Marcplan Charter Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy bizjet VH-VLT looked to arrive direct from its Melbourne (Essendon) base.  It appears to have stayed at Hamo.

Edwards Coaches Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-KXL arrived into Hamo from its Armidale base via Sydney.  After around an hour on the ground, VH-KXL returned to Armidale.

And Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY arrived into Hamo from its Melbourne (Moorabbin) base via Melbourne (Essendon) and Yarrawonga.  After it also spent about an hour on the ground, VH-WMY returned to Moorabbin.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Greg W for taking the time to capture and send through this great photo of VH-SQY arriving at Longreach Airport!

Photo taken by Greg Weir  ©

Weekly King Air Flights Touch Down at Injune Airport - Plus Other FIFO Flights Around the Region

Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that during the middle part of the week, 2-3 Beech King Air turboprops have popped into Injune Airport presumably on closed charter flights.

For instance, on Thursday 27 December, Brescon P/L Beech B200 King Airs VH-WXB (pictured) and VH-WXN, along with Easternwell Group Raytheon B200 King Air VH-EWG were all noted operating into Injune Airport from Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. VH-WXB also popped in on Wednesday 26 December.

VH-WXB at Clermont Aerodrome  (File photo)

The previous couple of weeks, VH-WXB and VH-WXN were joined by Austrek Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-WXO in also popping into Injune Airport also from Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport over the previous couple of Thursdays.

Meanwhile, I also happened to notice Easternwell Group Beech B300 Super King Air VH-EWQ departing Taroom Airport also on Thursday 27 December.

Of interest, late on Thursday 27 December, Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQB was due to operate a flight also to Taroom Airport but from Brisbane.  It was then due to continue to Chinchilla Airport before returning to Brisbane.

VH-QQB departs Brisbane to Chinchilla Airport on Boxing Day

These are regular Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights and Skytrans also flys these direct to Chinchilla Airport from and back to Brisbane.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Avcair Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300E Bizjet VH-NSQ in and out of CQ Airports - Plus More!

After arriving into Hamilton Island and Mackay Airports from Sydney on Christmas eve, very late on Wednesday 26 December, the visiting Finico (Avcair) Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300E bizjet VH-NSQ was noted departing Mackay Airport for Archerfield.

Then, early on Thursday 27 December, VH-NSQ was noted arriving into Gladstone Airport from Archerfield before it continued North and called into Hamilton Island Airport once again.  After a couple of hours on the ground, it departed Hamo for Brisbane.

Of interest, VH-NSQ then continued overseas to Queenstown in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, also calling into Gladstone and then Hamilton Island Airports, also on Thursday 27 December, was Corporate Aviation Bell 429 Global Ranger helicopter VH-EQP.  As usual, it flew up from its Southport base via a fuel stop at Gladstone Airport.

While a little earlier but also on Thursday 27 December, Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron VH-EZD was noted also arriving into Hamilton Island Airport but from its Monto base.

Finally, also on Thursday 27 December, locally based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport from its Mackay Airport base.  After only an hour on the ground, it returned to the Sugar City.

While also visiting Mackay Airport also on Thursday 27 December was Beech 58 Baron VH-SNZ which popped in for a couple of hours from its Charters Towers base.  VH-SNZ looked to also pop into Hamilton Island Airport back on Sunday 23 December!

All photos taken by 'JM'  ©

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Recently Delivered Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-UQF First Visit to CQ at Rockhampton Airport

On Wednesday 26 December, Alliance Airlines recently delivered Fokker F-100 jet VH-UQF was photographed making its first visit to Central Queensland, arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane operating on behalf of Virgin Australia Airlines as VOZ1243.  This was its first ever revenue flight with Alliance Airlines following its delivery almost two weeks ago.

The Fokker later departed back to Brisbane as VOZ1244 before completing another return flight to Rockhampton Airport and back to Brisbane as VOZ1249/1252.

Of interest, Fokker F-100 VH-UQF was delivered to Alliance Airlines at Brisbane on Friday 14 December after it completed the final legs of its delivery flight from Europe via Kupang and Townsville.

The 25-year-old Fokker F-100 was registered VH-UQF to the airline in May 2018 and previously operated as OE-LVH with Austrian Airlines since 2003.  It had operated with American Airlines prior to this.

As we've mentioned many times previously, Alliance Airlines has flown from Brisbane to Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg Airports on behalf of Virgin Australia Airlines since 2017.  Local photographer, Russell P has also shared some other images of Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100s VH-UQB and VH-XWR as they also operated into Rockhampton Airport in recent weeks.

Sincere thanks to Russell P for allowing us to share his great photos!

All photos taken by Russell Prothero  ©