Thursday, September 19, 2019

Exercise Wallaby 2019 - Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 RA-82044 Returns to Rockhampton Airport This Time with Four RSAF AH-64D Apache Helicopters

As expected, just on dawn on Thursday 19 September, Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82044 returned to Rockhampton Airport, again flying in directly from Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, but this time as as VDA2204.

Again, the giant aircraft taxied onto Gate 6 at the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron and after a couple of hours, it finally commenced unloading its cargo.  The massive Antonov was placed into its unique 'kneeling' position  - with its front landing gear raised - to allow the unloading of its cargo.

On this flight, four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters were unloaded and parked at Rockhampton Airport.  They were seen to be wearing the serials 060', '062', '063' and '066'.

All four Apache helicopters are flown by the RSAF's 120 Squadron "Kestrel" (also known as the "Red Hawks") based at Sembawang Air Base in Singapore.  The Squadron is the first and oldest RSAF operational squadron in service, first formed in 1969.  The squadron goes by the motto of "Strive To Achieve".

It is expected that the Apaches will soon join the RSAF Super Pumas that were delivered earlier in the week in being re-assembled and then test flown ahead of their participation in the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2019 which is expected to kick-off in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, after all four Apache helicopters were unloaded, RA-82044 was closed up and looked to be departing Cairns later on Thursday 19 September.

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Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Scott H, Trevor H and Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Antonov AN-124 at Rockhampton Airport!

Photos taken by Scott Harris, Trevor Hardsman and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

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