Monday, November 11, 2019

More Photos of the Various Firefighting Helicopters and Aircraft Currently Based at Central Queensland Airports

As we posted over the weekend, devastating bushfires have flared up around various parts of Central Queensland with the worst perhaps around Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast region near Rockhampton. Crews are still struggling as the current bushfire emergency gripping parts of Eastern Australia hit locally.

As mentioned, various fighting helicopters and aircraft were noted operating around various parts of CQ including out of Rockhampton Airport.

More of the fixed wing aircraft were photographed at Rockhampton Airport as they prepared for another day fighting the fires on Monday 11 November.  These included Emerald-based Central Highlands Aerial Services (CHAS) Thrush S2R-T660 aircraft VH-PMD "Bomber 434" and VH-KCS "Bomber 435" which was also joined by their Beech A36 Bonanza VH-FEL.

Locally-based R-Mach Aviation Ayres S2R Turbine Thrush VH-NFF "Bomber 407" and PZL Warszawa-Okecie M-18B Dromader VH-MDR "Bomber 402" continued to operate out of Rockhampton Airport, along with their Cessna 337G Super Skymaster VH-JOE "Birddog 410" which was again completing aerial surveying of the firezone.

Of the helicopters, the Kestrel Aviation-operated Firehawk Helicopter (Brainerd Helicopters) Sikorsky UH-60A Blackhawk helicopter N9FH flying as "Helitak 470" flew out of Rockhampton Airport and continued to operate at Yeppoon.

As did the McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Helicopters Bell Textron Helicopter 214B-1 Big Lifter helicopter VH-SEK "Helitak 430" and Aerospatiale AS.355F1 helicopter VH-YUR "Firebird 450".  While the McDermott Aerospatiale 365N2 Dauphin 2 helicopter N366SR which arrived late on Sunday, departed back to the Sunshine Coast during the morning also on Monday 11 November.

Also departing Rockhampton Airport and heading to Maryborough Airport (as shown below) where it will reportedly take up operations was Western Australia-registered Eurocopter AS 350 B3 Squirrel helicopter VH-PKU.

While Elite Helicopters (Brisbane) Aerospatiale AS.350BA Squirrel VH-WMW flying as "Firebird 410" also departed Rockhamptopn Airport and continued to operate around Yeppoon.

And locally-based Stirling Helicopters Bell 206 VH-JAQ, Eurocopter AS.350BA Squirrel VH-WHW "Firebird 423" and Bell Helicopter Textron Canada 407 VH-IBF "Firebird 421" were again noted battling the fires around Yeppoon.

Finally, locally-based Eurocopter AS 350 B3 Squirrel helicopter VH-XBO was noted operating out of Mackay Airport and battling bushfires to the North between Proserpine and Bowen and around the Whitsundays again also on Monday 11 November.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for their help in compiling the information and for allowing us to share these great photos contained in this post.

We offer our thoughts and prayers to those who are affected by this bushfire emergency and sincerely thank those volunteers and other firefighters who are battling these fierce blazes up and down the Eastern Australia coast.

Photos taken by Trevor Hardsman and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

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