Believed to be making its first visit into Central Queensland at Mackay Airport during the afternoon on Thursday 31 January was Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XNC.
It looked to call into Mackay Airport at the completion of a flight from Cairns which lasted more than two hours and took the Challenger over an inland track. VH-XNC appeared to be using its registration as its radio callsign rather than the usual "Rescue" callsign.
After around an hour on the ground, VH-XNC returned directly 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.
VH-XNC appeared to ferry into Cairns last weekend from Melbourne (Essendon) via Perth and is now based at Cairns to replace fellow Challenger VH-XNE which ferried to Essendon at the start of the week presumably for maintenance. The other two Challengers - VH-XND and VH-XNF - appear to be based at Essendon as "Rescue 660" and Perth as "Rescue 440" respectively.
All photos taken by 'JM' ©