Sunday, March 31, 2019

American Registered Bombardier Global 5000 Bizjet N2QE Calls into Hamilton Island Airport - Plus More!

Certainly a nice bizjet to once again visit Hamilton Island Airport on Sunday 31 March was American registered Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 N2QE.  The sleek bizjet is pictured below departing Brisbane for Hamo having arrived in the Queensland capital from overseas the previous day.

N2QE has visited Hamilton Island Airport during previous visits to Australia including just over a year ago in early March 2018.

On this occasion, after a few hours on the ground, it appears that N2QE departed Hamo for Sydney.

Meanwhile, after arriving into Hamilton Island Airport on Friday 29 March, Gold Coast-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-KWZ was noted departing Hamo late on Sunday 31 March for Archerfield and the Gold Coast.

Finally, also late on Sunday 31 March, Graham Aviation (Cairns) Cessna 510 Citation Mustang VH-FNI was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from its Mareeba base via Cairns.  After taking on fuel, VH-FNI then departed to the Sunshine Coast, Archerfield and Bankstown.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Bombardier Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-URR "Ambulance 604" Spotted at Mackay Airport

During the late afternoon on Sunday 31 March, I spotted LifeFlight (Aeromed) Bombardier Challenger 604 bizjet VH-URR "Ambulance 604" arriving into Mackay Airport.

It looked to arrive from Brisbane and Cairns.

After an hour on the ground, VH-URR "Ambulance 604" departed Mackay Airport and returned to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week on Wednesday 27 March, I noted no less than three RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters flying in and out of the Fraser Coast region during a busy evening of medical evacuation flights.

LifeFlight Rescue Bell 412EP VH-XCK as "Rescue 511" was noted flying out of Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport for the Sunshine Coast where it is currently based.  LifeFlight's locally-based Bell 412EP VH-XCY "Rescue 522" was again noted operating around Bundaberg.  And LifeFlight's newest Leonardo SPA Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 helicopter VH-XIW "Rescue 533" was also noted flying from Hervey Bay to Brisbane.

New QGAir Rescue (State of Queensland) Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-EGK Ferries North via Gladstone and Mackay Airports

On Sunday 31 March, one of the two new Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue (State of Queensland)  Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopter (Agusta) AW139 helicopters VH-EGK was spotted ferrying North from Archerfield to Townsville via Central Queensland Airports.

Local plane spotter Michael F was on hand at Gladstone Airport as VH-EGK called in for fuel.  It then departed further North to take on more fuel at Mackay Airport.

VH-EGK was then spotted arriving into Townsville Airport where it is reportedly due to take up operations at the local base alongside Agusta AW139 VH-ESH and Bell 412 VH-ESD.  QGAir Rescue also flew Helicorp (Toll Helicopters) Bell Helicopter Textron 412EP VH-LWI from their Townsville base during the summer storm season however it ferried to Redcliffe on Friday 29 March - see Blog post below.

Of interest, it appears that VH-ESH ventured down to Mackay Airport in the wee small hours of Sunday 31 March operating as "Rescue 521".

As mentioned, VH-EGK is one of two new Leonardo AW139 helicopters - the other is VH-EGF - that were registered and delivered to QGAir at the end of last year.  The two helicopters have undergone modification and fitting out at Caloundra Airport on the Sunshine Coast prior to entering service.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a great first-time visitor to CQ!

Photos taken by Michael Fleetwood and Leroy  ©

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Newly Registered Torres Strait Air Britten-Norman BN-2B-20 Islander VH-BNC Passes Through CQ Airports

An interesting visitor to be noted passing through Central Queensland Airports on Saturday 30 March was recently registered Colville Aviation Services (Torres Strait Air) Britten-Norman BN-2B-20 Islander VH-BNC.

The Islander started the day at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and called into Biloela / Thangool, Emerald and Charters Towers Airports before finishing the day at Mareeba.  It is expected to continue to Horn Island early on Sunday 31 March.

VH-BNC appears to be one of two newly acquired aircraft for the Far North Queensland based Torres Strait Air which operates a fleet of nine aircraft including other BN-2 Islanders out of their Horn Island base to small neighbouring Island in the Torres Strait and beyond.  Their aircraft are registered to Colville Aviation Services.

Of interest, VH-BNC was placed on the Australian Aircraft registered in January this year having previous operated for a number of years in Japan as JA5324.

Mike Kell /

It looked to operate with Ryukyu Air Commuter before being photographed (above) in the titles and livery of First Flying (FFC).

Also the Australian Registration marking VH-BNC is quite familiar to CQ Plane Spotting with it previous worn by long-time Bowen Airport resident Cessna 172.

Finally, as mentioned, VH-BNC was one of two BN-2B Islanders to be recently registered to Colville Aviation Services with the other being VH-BNG which was also registered in January and also previously operated in Japan but as JA5325.


Local Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 Bizjet N142GZ Returns to Mackay Airport

After flying South at the end of last weekend, on Saturday 30 March, locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ returned to its Mackay Airport base from Brisbane.

File photo

It had flown to Brisbane from its Mackay Airport base last Sunday 24 March.

Meanwhile, a nice corporate turboprop in the form of Gold Coast-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-KWZ was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport late on Friday 29 March.  It arrived from Alice Springs via Ayers Rock and Mount Isa and appears to be on an 'outback safari' with it also noted departing the Gold Coast and visiting Birdsville and Ayers Rock in the previous couple of days.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Helicorp (Toll Helicopters) Bell Helicopter Textron 412EP VH-LWI Ferries South via Mackay and Gladstone Airports

After operating for Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue since the start of the year, on Friday 29 March, the bright green and white Helicorp (Toll Helicopters) Bell Helicopter Textron 412EP VH-LWI was noted ferrying South from Townsville to Redcliffe via Mackay and Gladstone Airports.

As we have posted previously, VH-LWI has been based at Townsville on lease to QGAir Rescue from Toll Helicopters for the Summer storm season.  It proved to be a vital part of the recovery efforts during the recent major flooding event in Townsville.

VH-LWI was believed to have replaced the QGAir Rescue Bell 412EP VH-ESB which ferried to Mudgee in New South Wales in mid-December 2018.

Meanwhile, back at Townsville, QGAir Rescue continues to operate Bell 412 VH-ESD and Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-ESH.  Another AW139 helicopter VH-EZJ is currently based at Cairns.

Finally, it is believed that the first of two brand new Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 that have been delivered to QGAir Rescue and registered VH-EGF and VH-EGK, could possibly pass through Central Queensland Airports next week on delivery to North Queensland following weeks of preparation and fitting out at both Archerfield and Caloundra Airports.

RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-005 Missed Approach at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport

On Friday 29 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-005 was noted completing a missed approach at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.

A30-005 at Hervey Bay Airport on a previous visit  (File photo)

A30-005 was flying as "Wedgetail 21" and reportedly flew up to Hervey Bay from RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle in New South Wales.  After completing its airwork at Hervey Bay Airport, A30-005 was noted landing at RAAF Base Amberley.

It seems that the RAAF are liking using Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast region in general for training with several flights noted visiting so far this year.

Photo taken by Matthew Cotter  ©

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dassault Falcon Bizjets VH-WIO and VH-CRW at Hamilton Island and Mackay Airports - incl a Diversion!

There were a couple of interesting bizjet visitors that were due into the Whitsundays on Thursday 28 March, however, bad weather forced one of them to divert to Mackay Airport.

During the middle part of the morning, Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000LX bizjet VH-WIO landed at Hamilton Island Airport, flying in from its Bankstown Base.  After some time on the ground, it was noted returning to Bankstown during the middle part of the afternoon.

Also during the morning, Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet VH-CRW was also heading to Hamilton Island Airport but from its Brisbane base.  With inclement weather closing in and visibility reduced, VH-CRW attempted a landing at Hamo but couldn’t so it was forced to hold to North.

After some time holding and still unable to land, VH-CRW diverted to Mackay Airport where it was photographed below soon after landing.

After a couple of hours on the ground, VH-CRW departed Mackay Airport for the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport before it later returned to Brisbane.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the corporate bizjet customers weren’t the only people to be affected by the inclement weather with a pair of Virgin Australia operated flights also divert after being unable to land at Hamilton Island Airport.

The VOZ1751 flight from Melbourne (Tullamarine) which was operated by Boeing B737-800 VH-YFI diverted to Mackay Airport while the VOZ1281 flight from Sydney which was operated by B737-800 VH-YID diverted to Townsville.

Both flights were able to land at Hamo later and the scheduled outbound flights back to Melbourne and Sydney respectively were able to depart as per normal, albeit a bit behind schedule.

No other flights seemed to be affected at Hamilton Island Airport - and it appears that no flights at the Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport were affected.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Pel-Air Aviation SAAB 340A Freighter VH-KDK Spotted at Mackay Airport also in Revised Livery!

Also on Wednesday 27 March, Pel-Air SAAB 340A Freighter VH-KDK was photographed resting on the Mackay Airport apron after it had earlier operated the week-daily cargo flight from Brisbane and Rockhampton as PFY7416/7418.

VH-KDK in its current livery

Eagle-eyed readers will note that VH-KDK has had a re-paint and now has blue engine cowls!

VH-KDK in early 2018  (File photo)

VH-KDK was re-painted at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales during February and March.  It joins several other SAAB 340s which are operated by Pel-Air Aviation's parent company Regional Express (REX) in service following a similar re-paint in which they are also operating with blue engine cowls - as shown below on REX SAAB 340B VH-ZLQ as it departs Charleville Airport last week.

VH-ZLQ last week at Charleville Airport  (File photo)

As we've posted before, Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd (Pel-Air) has been providing the Australian express freight industry with a broad range of aircraft and services since 1992.  Freight operations are conducted both domestically and internationally on behalf of major freight forwarders.  Pel-Air’s current freight charter fleet comprises of  three converted SAAB 340A freighter aircraft each with a 3,500 kg capacity per aircraft.  They are registered VH-EKT, VH-KDB and VH-KDK.

Photos taken by 'JM' and Zac Fitzgerald  ©

QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOU Calls into CQ Airports in New Colours

On Wednesday 27 March, QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOU was photographed at Mackay Airport after it became the latest of the 'classic' Dash-8-Q400 aircraft to emerge from the Flying Colours paint-shop at Townsville in the new Qantas 'Silver-Roo' colour scheme.

It had emerged from the paint-shop on Monday 25 March and has subsequently called into Mackay and Rockhampton Airports in the days since.

On Wednesday, it was photographed soon after arriving into Mackay Airport as QLK2302 from Rockhampton Airport.

As shown, VH-QOU has now been named 'Port Campbell' having been previously un-named since it arrived into Australia and entered service in late 2009.

As mentioned, VH-QOU joins several other Dash-8-Q400s in the new and updated Qantas livery and kangaroo logo, which was introduced to coincide with the introduction the Boeing B787 Dreamliner into service with the airline in 2017.  They are becoming quite a common sight at most Central Queensland Airports.

We will wait to see what emerges from the Flying Colours paint-shop next!

All photos taken by 'JM’ ©

And Cessna Citation Bizjets VH-MOR and VH-NEQ Pop into CQ Airports - Plus more!

A couple of nice Cessna Citation Bizjets were noted passing through Central Queensland Airports on Wednesday 27 March.

Brisbane-based Cessna 525A CitationJet2 bizjet VH-MOR was noted arriving into Emerald Airport from its Archerfield Base via Brisbane.  It then departed to Osborne Mine.

VH-MOR at Rockhampton Airport recently  (File photo)

While AirMed Australia Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-NEQ passes through Birdsville Airport while returning south from Lizard Island. It then continue to Kingscote in South Australia before making the short hop to Adelaide.

VH-NEQ had passed through Longreach Airport last Friday 22 March while heading to Far North Queensland.

Meanwhile, another couple of familiar corporate bizjets to pop into CQ Airports also on Wednesday 27 March were the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU which looked to call into both Mackay and Rockhampton Airports during another busy day of flying.

While Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC was back in CQ, this time landing at Biloela / Thangool Airport after flying up from its Sunshine Coast base.

UPDATE!  VH-MMC returned to the Sunshine Coast on Thursday 28 March.

Finally, a pair of slightly smaller corporate movements also on Wednesday 27 March with Brisbane-based Piper PA-31-350 VH-RPV visiting Rockhampton Airport. It arrived from Archerfield and the Gold Coast and later returned to the south-East corner.

While McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Beech B200 King Air VH-MWZ looked to call into Bundaberg Airport from the Gold Coast.  It was later noted returning South.

Photo taken by Russell Prothero  ©

SG Aviation / Business Aviation Solutions Global Express XRS Bizjet VH-SGA Also Pops into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport

Another nice visitor to Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport on Wednesday 27 March was SG Aviation Australia / Business Aviation Solutions Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express XRS VH-SGA.

VH-SGA at Mackay Airport during a previous visit  (File photo)

It looked to start the day at Melbourne (Essendon) and flew up to Townsville.  From Townsville, VH-SGA popped into Prosie before it then flew back all the way down to Essendon.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-212 "Stallion 06" Pops into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport

On Wednesday 27 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-212 was noted calling into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport as “Stallion 06”.

A41-212 at Prosie last year  (File photo)

It looked to arrive from RAAF Base Amberley.

After a short time on the ground, A41-212 returned to Amberley flying at low level.

Photo taken by 'JM'  © 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

More Great Photos of Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-VQK in Launceston Tasmania Colour Scheme at Mackay Airport

Photographed making another visit to Mackay Airport on Tuesday 26 March was Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-VQK which is adorned in stickers promoting Launceston in Tasmania as a tourist destination.

VH-VQK once again operated the scheduled JST886/887 service from and back to Brisbane.  It has done so a few times since emerging from hangar in this striking livery two weeks ago.

VH-VQK emerged from the maintenance hangar at Brisbane and was officially unveiled at Launceston Airport on its first day of operation on Wednesday 13 March.

Four of Tasmania’s most iconic destinations have been applied to both sides of the A320 that will fly throughout Australia and overseas for the next four-and-a-half months.  Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay, Cataract Gorge and the Bay of Fires are featured on the livery of VH-VQK.

The scenic images, which will be featured on the plane until the end of July, have also been emblazoned on tray tables and overhead lockers.  The promotion is designed to encourage visitors to fly into Tasmania via the North.


Sincere thanks to local plane spotter ‘JM’ for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a great visitor to CQ!

Photos taken by ‘JM’  ©️

Teys Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ2 Bizjet VH-TEY Pops into Rockhampton Airport - Plus More!

On Tuesday 26 March, Brisbane-based Teys Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ2 bizjet VH-TEY was noted flying into Rockhampton Airport from its Archerfield base.

File photo

After a couple of hours on the ground, the sleek Citation departed Rocky and returned to Archerfield.

Also on Tuesday 26 March, the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY was noted visiting Biloela / Thangool Airport.  It arrived from and later departed back to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, on Monday 25 March, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU was back in CQ once again with it calling into both Rockhampton and Mackay Airports during a busy day of flying.

Finally, a slightly smaller corporate aircraft but a familiar one none-the-less with CromAir Cessna 414A VH-CBT now back based at Bundaberg Airport and once again flying around various CQ Airports and beyond.  On Tuesday 26 March it completed a return flight from Bundy to the Ballina / Byron Gateway Airport in Northern New South Wales.  It was also noted visiting Rockhampton Airport last week.

Photo taken by David Geck  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) B737 / E-7A Wedgetails - A30-002 & A30-005 - Missed Approaches at Hervey Bay and Bundaberg Airports

On Tuesday 26 March, as a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft were both noted completing missed approaches at Central Queensland Airports.

In the early afternoon, A30-002 as "Wedgetail 10" flew up from RAAF Base Williamtown and completed a missed approach at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.  It then returned to Williamtown.

File photo

Then a little later, A30-005 as "Wedgetail 07" also flew up from Williamtown via a missed approach at the Gold Coast and completed another missed approach but at Bundaberg Airport.  It then also returned to Williamtown.

Of interest, six Wedgetails are flown by the RAAF's No. 2 Squadron out of RAAF Base Williamtown, along a detachment also in the Northern Territory.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 26 March,  Royal Australian Navy (RAN) NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter A40-015 was heard operating between Navy ships near Heron Island off Gladstone.

Photo taken by Scott Harris  ©

Monday, March 25, 2019

RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 and Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-005 Complete Airwork at CQ Airports

On Monday 25 March, a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft were noted completing airwork at Central Queensland Airports.

RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-005 "Mitchell 03" was noted completing a missed approach at Hamilton Island Airport.

It flew up from and later returned to its 'home' at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales.

Soon after, RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-001 was spotted climbing out of Rockhampton Airport after it completed a missed approach.

The KC-30A was flying as "Dragon 36" and looked to call into Rockhampton from the North - it had appeared to 'follow' the Wedgetail up through inland Queensland.

After completing the airwork at Rockhampton Airport, A39-001 departed to RAAF Base Amberley.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Local Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 Bizjet N142GZ Completes Flights in and out of Mackay Airport

After flying South at the end of the previous week, on Friday 22 March, locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ returned to its Mackay Airport base from Brisbane.

File photo

Now, on Sunday 24 March, N142GZ was back in the air, departing Mackay Airport again heading to Brisbane.


More Photos as RAAF Alenia C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft A34-001 "Kaos 34" Completes More Airwork at Rockhampton Airport

On Sunday 24 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-001 was again spotted completing airwork at Rockhampton Airport.

It flew South from Townsville was again heard to be using the radio callsign of "Kaos 34".

As posted below, A34-001 "Kaos 34" was noted completing airwork at several CQ Airports on Friday 22 March and was also captured by local photographer Russell P completing one of its five touch-and-go landings at Rockhampton Airport.

A34-001 was also noted up at Cairns Airport on Saturday 23 March and seemed to spend the last couple of days based out of Townsville.

After completing its airwork at Rockhampton Airport on Sunday, A34-001 was heard to fly South to RAAF Base Amberley.

Sincere thanks to Kayanne H and Russell P for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Spartan at Rockhampton!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Russell Prothero  ©