Thursday, September 12, 2019

Locally-Based Bushfire Fighting Helicopters and Aircraft Operating out of Rockhampton Airport This Week

Over the course of this week, several locally-based and other helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft have been photographed and noted fighting several bushfires in and around Rockhampton.  They have been mostly operating out of Rockhampton Airport and fighting fires in the Berserker Ranges, on the North-East edge of Rocky and around the Gladstone region.

R-Mach Aviation Cessna 337G  Super Skymaster VH-JOE has been completing survey flights around Rocky and Gladstone as "Birddog 410".

A trio of Stirling Helicopters (Stirling Consolidated) helicopters have been noted and photographed operating out of both Gladstone and Rockhampton Airports and fighting fires around Gladstone, the Berserkers and North to Shoalwater Bay.

They were identified as:  Bell Helicopter Textron 206L-3 helicopter VH-JMM flying as "Firebird 423", Bell Helicopter Textron Canada 407 helicopter VH-IBF as "Firebird 423" and Eurocopter AS.350BA Squirrel helicopter VH-WHW "Firebird 421".

Other visiting helicopters that have been noted operating out of Rockhampton Airport this week included Heli-Central (Emerald) Aerospatiale AS.350B2 Squirrel VH-ZHM as "Firebird 260" and McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Aerospatiale AS.355F1 Squirrel helicopter VH-YUR as "Firebird 450".

Of the fixed-wing aircraft operating in the area, locally-based R-Mach Aviation Ayres S2R Turbine Thrush VH-NFF "Bomber 407" has been operating out of Rockhampton Airport and flying around Rocky and Gladstone areas.

While Air Affairs Australia / Gojet operated Beech B200T King Air VH-LAB as "Firescan 125" landed at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport on Tuesday 10 September.  It arrived from Toowoomba-Wellcamp Airport.  On Tuesday and then again on Wednesday 11 September, the King Air completed flights overhead the various fire zones at the Sunshine Coast, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Shoalwater Bay to take photos of the affected areas. On both occasions, it returned to Hervey Bay.

Our thoughts are with those affected by these bushfires...  stay safe everyone!

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

Photos taken by Michael Fleetwood, Trevor Hardsman and Scott Harris  ©

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