Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Qantas / QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXR in New 'Silver-Roo' Colours Visits CQ at Rockhampton Airport

On Wednesday 30 December, QantasLink (Cobham Aviation-operated) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXR made its first visit into Central Queensland only days after returning to Australia after it was re-painted into the new Qantas / QantasLink 'Silver-Roo' colour scheme.




It called into Rockhampton Airport while operating the QJE1792 service from Brisbane. It appeared to then suffer a maintenance issue and departed back to Brisbane after dark as QJE6203.

VH-NXR underwent planned maintenance at Singapore (Seletar) Airport during November and December and it is believed that while it was there, it was re-painted into the new Qantas / QantasLink colour scheme. VH-NXR ferried back to Australia at the start of this week and is now the thirteenth of the fleet of Cobham Aviation-operated Boeing B717-200 regional jets to wear 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.

It also appears that the previously un-named VH-NXR has now been named 'Murray River National Park'.

Of interest, VH-NXR has had an interesting history to the present day. The Boeing B717-2BL (c/n 55168-5118) was originally ordered new in 2003 by Midwest Airlines, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the USA and was entered onto the US Aircraft Register as N904ME in April 2003.

N904ME at Milwaukee in 2008  (Ray Barber / https://www.flickr.com/)

It operated with the airline until 2009 and was stored at Victorville soon after.  Subsequent leases were not taken up and the B717 eventually ferried to Miami, Florida in November 2011 where it was prepared for lease to Qantas Airways.  It then departed to Australia, arriving in Adelaide in early April 2012.

N904ME arrives into Adelaide Airport at the end of its delivery flight  (File photo)

It was then registered VH-NXR with National Jet Systems (now Cobham Aviation Services) as the registered operator.  VH-NXR operated its first QantasLink revenue service flying as QJE1806 from Perth to Paraburdoo in May 2012.

Photos taken by 'AC' and Ryan Hothersall  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" at Rockhampton and Bundaberg Airports

Very late on Tuesday 29 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It arrived from Brisbane and then departed back to Brisbane now in the wee small hours of Wednesday 30 December.

Then, as this post was being prepared, VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" was spotted below at Bundaberg Airport.


It arrived from Brisbane and has just departed to Townsville before it looks to be continuing to Cairns before returning to the capital in the wee small hours of Thursday 31 December.

Photo taken by Peter Sajko  ©️

Clive Palmer's Mineralogy Company Bombardier Global Express XRS Bizjet VH-UPH at Hamilton Island Airport - Plus More!

On Wednesday 30 December, Clive Palmer's Mineralogy Company's registered Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express XRS bizjet VH-UPH was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport twice during a busy day of flying.

File photo

It looked to arrive from and the later depart back to Brisbane before then returning to Hamo and staying for at least the night. 

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 30 December, Machjet (Machjet International) Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-ZSY flew up to Mackay Airport from the Sunshine Coast before later departing to Townsville.

While Brescon (Toowoomba) Beech B200 King Air VH-XDW was noted visiting my local Clermont Aerodrome flying from and back to Toowoomba-Wellcamp.

Finally, back at Hamo but on Tuesday 29 December, Milbrae Quarries / Pegasus Air Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-BEV was noted visiting Hamilton island Airport.  It arrived from the Sunshine Coast via Dubbo in New South Wales and later returned to the Sunny Coast.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

AMSA Bombardier Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-XND "Rescue 660" Pops into Bundaberg Airport - Plus More!

Early on Wednesday 30 December, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XND "Rescue 660" was noted calling into Bundaberg Airport after flying up from Melbourne (Essendon).  

File photo

It reportedly came up to Bundy to coordinate a search in the area, although it was called off before the Challenger touched down.

Also noted arriving into Bundaberg Airport to participate in the 'search' was LifeFlight Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter VH-XIA which flew up from Archerfield as "Guardian 10".

And locally-based LifeFlight Rescue Bell 412EP VH-XCK "Rescue 522" was also involved in the search out of Bundaberg Airport.

Photo taken by Michael Malick  ©

Corporate Aircraft Charter (SA) Cessna 550 Citation II Bizjet VH-ZLE Overnight Visit to Gladstone Airport

In the wee small hours of Wednesday 30 December, Corporate Aircraft Charter (South Australia) Cessna 550 Citation II bizjet VH-ZLE was noted visiting Gladstone Airport.

File photo

The familiar Citation which is possibly operating for Queensland Health (through LifeFlight) looked to arrive from and then later depart back to its Brisbane base.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Revesco Aviation (WA) Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 Bizjet VH-NJC Arrives into Hamilton Island Airport

On Tuesday 29 December, Revesco Aviation (Western Australia) Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 bizjet VH-NJC was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport.  It looked to arrive from Perth and the Gold Coast.

Mike Didsbury / https://www.flickr.com/

At the time of writing, VH-NJC appears to be spending at least the night parked on Hamo.

Monday, December 28, 2020

While at Mackay Airport - UP Aviation Global Express Bizjet VH-UBH Visits - Local Embraer EMB-550 N142GZ Also Out and About

At Mackay Airport, also on Monday 28 December, a couple of nice corporate bizjets were also noted visiting including UP Aviation (Victoria) Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express 6000 bizjet VH-UBH.


It looked to arrive from Melbourne (Tullamarine) via a Sunshine Coast (pictured).

After some time on the ground, VH-UBH returned to the Sunny Coast and Tullamarine.

While also at Mackay Airport also on Monday 28 December, the locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ was noted completing a daytrip to Port Macquarie in New South Wales and back to Mackay Airport.

N142GZ completed a similar trip to Port Macquarie some 10 days ago.

Sincere thanks to the Sunshine Coast Plane Spotting Facebook page for allowing us to share these great photos!

All photos taken by Sunshine Coast Plane Spotting  ©

And Another Trio of Australian Bizjets call into Hamilton Island Airport - Pilatus PC-24 VH-VTF - LearJet 60 VH-ILJ - Cessna Citation Sovereign VH-PYN (Again!)

On Monday 28 December, there were yet another three Australian based corporate bizjets that were noted to be calling into Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

Poolhurst Aviation Air Charter Services Pilatus PC-24 jet VH-VTF was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport. It arrived from and later departed back to Archerfield.

Avcair (Avgunn) LearJet 60 bizjet VH-ILJ was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport. It arrived from and later departed back to Brisbane

And yet again making almost daily visits, was Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-PYN.  In fact, on Monday 28 December, it made two visits, both times looking to arrive from and then later depart back to Brisbane.

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-QQY Out of Storage and Back at CQ Airports - UPDATED!

This posted has been UPDATED with a current photo!


Interesting to note on Sunday 27 December that Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-QQY operated flights for the airline into both Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) and Gladstone Airports.

Interesting in that VH-QQY was - what I thought - still in storage at Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. But no!

VH-QQY at Alice Springs in August this year  (File photo)

Research reveals that VH-QQY departed Alice Springs for Cairns on Sunday 4 October and has been stored there until Tuesday 22 December when it ferried into Brisbane as UTY9103.

As shown above, VH-QQY had been stored at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) facility at Alice Springs Airport since arriving there in early April.

Of interest, a further two other overseas operated aircraft have also recently left the APAS facility although there still remains over 100 aircraft stored in the Australian desert.

UPDATE!  Meanwhile, into the New Year, VH-QQY continues to operate for Alliance Airlines on scheduled passenger and Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights as shown above when it arrived into Emerald Airport from Brisbane on Monday 11 January.

A massive thanks to Brendan yet again for his continued support of the CQ Plane Spotting Blog and for allowing us to share his photo of VH-QQY which he captured during a helicopter flight over the APAS Facility at Alice Springs Airport.  Check out more great photos on Brendan's own plane spotting and travel Blog - named BMB Photography - at:  http://madaboutplanes.blogspot.com.au/

All photos taken by Brendan Berry  ©

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Another Trio of Aussie Bizjets Call into Hamilton Island Airport - Dassault Falcon 900 VH-OAA - Canadair Challenger 605 VH-LEF - Cessna Citation Sovereign VH-PYN

On Sunday 27 December, another trio of Australian based corporate bizjets were noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C bizjet VH-OAA was noted arriving its Melbourne (Essendon) base before later departing to Brisbane.

Linfox Express Charter / Air National Australia Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 605 VH-LEF was noted arriving from and later departing back to its Melbourne (Essendon) base.

And Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-PYN looked to make yet another visit to Hamo, arriving from and later departing back to Brisbane.

Finally, also calling into Hamilton Island Airport also on Sunday 27 December was Corporate Aviation Bell 429 Global Ranger helicopter VH-EQP which looked to arrive from its Southport base on the Gold Coast via Gladstone Airport.

At the time of writing, it appears that VH-EQP is staying on Hamo for at least the night.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" Pops into Blackall Airport

During the afternoon on Sunday 27 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted visiting Blackall Airport. It looked to arrive from Brisbane.

File photo

After some time on the ground, VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted departing Blackall Airport for Townsville where it appears to be currently based.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Trio of Cessna Citation Bizjets Pop into Hamilton Island Airport on Boxing Day

It was a reasonably busy day at Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 26 December with a trio of Australian-based Cessna Citation bizjets noted arriving and departing from various locations.

File photo

Albury (New South Wales) based Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1+ bizjet VH-JSZ arrived from what seems to be its Archerfield base before departing back there after dark.

Re-registered BHMM Aviation Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-SSZ arrived from and later departed back to its Gold Coast base.

And Australian Corporate Jet Centres Cessna 560 Citation Ultra VH-WFE arrived from the Gold Coast and later departed to its Melbourne (Essendon) base.

Finally, not a bizjet, but also noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport, also on Saturday 26 December, was Sydney-based Hawker Beechcraft G36 Bonanza VH-JKL.  It looked to arrive from Bankstown via Monto Airport.

Photo taken by Jonathan Williams  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" Pops into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport

Late on Christmas Day, Friday 25 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted visiting Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport. It looked to arrive from its Townsville 'base'.

File photo

After some time on the ground, VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted departing Proserpine Airport for Brisbane before later returning to Townsville.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Thursday, December 24, 2020

A Pair of Bizjets at Hamilton Island Airport - LearJet 60 VH-ILJ and Cessna Citation Sovereign VH-PYN

On Thursday 24 December, Avcair (Avgunn) LearJet 60 bizjet VH-ILJ was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport. 

VH-ILJ at Adelaide Airport recently (File photo)

It looked to arrive from Brisbane and then depart up to Townsville before returning to Hamo and then flying back to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, also visiting Hamilton Island Airport, also on Thursday 24 December, was Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-PYN.

It looked to arrive from and then later depart back to Brisbane.

This is the third day in-a-row that VH-PYN has visited Hamo!

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" Overnight Visit to Mackay Airport

Late on Wednesday 23 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was noted arriving into Mackay Airport from its Townsville 'base'.

File photo

After some time on the ground, now in the wee small hours of Thursday 24 December, VH-OFA "Ambulance 614" was departed Mackay Airport and returned to Townsville.

Photo taken by 'JM'  ©

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Some More Hinterland Aviation Aircraft Swaps at Rockhampton and Labona Airports

In the days before Christmas, it has been interesting to note that Hinterland Aviation has completed some aircraft 'swaps' while operating their 2-3 times daily Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) closed charter flights from both Townsville and Rockhampton Airports to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site.

File photo

The shuffling of aircraft looked to start during the afternoon on Monday 21 December when Cessna 208 Caravans VH-LZK and VH-MRZ both departed Rockhampton Airport for Labona as HND350 and HND360 respectively.  Fellow Cessna Caravans VH-LZK and VH-TFQ operated the 'return' flights back from Labona to Rocky as HND351 and HND361 respectively.

These two Caravans continued operating out of Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 22 December.

Then on Wednesday 23 December, Cessna 208 Caravan VH-NDC arrived into Rockhampton Airport direct from Cairns as HND663 before fellow Cessna 208 Caravan VH-TFQ then departed Rockhampton Airport for Cairns also as HND663.

Also on Wednesday 23 December, Cessna 208 Caravan VH-HLL departed Rockhampton Airport as HND360 for Labona but fellow Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LZK operated the 'return' flight to Rocky as HND361.

A Pair of Cessna Citation Bizjets - VH-ACC and VH-PYN at Hamilton Island Airport

On Wednesday 23 December, Australian Country Choice Properties (Brisbane) Cessna 560 Citation V Encore bizjet VH-ACC was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

VH-ACC looked to arrive from and then later return to its Archerfield base.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 23 December, Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-PYN was also noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.  This is the second consecutive day that the Citation has visited.

On this occasion, VH-PYN looked to visit Hamo, flying in from Brisbane via Swan Hill (Victoria) and Wagga Wagga (New South Wales).  It then returned to Brisbane.

UPDATE!  VH-PYN returned to Hamilton Island Airport again on Thursday 24 December.

Photo taken by James Kirk  ©

QGAir Rescue (State of Queensland) Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-EGK Ferries South via Rockhampton Airport

As predicted, on Wednesday 23 December, Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue (State of Queensland) Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopter (Agusta) AW139 helicopters VH-EGK was noted ferrying South from Townsville to Archerfield via Rockhampton Airport.

File photo

VH-EGK has been operating out of Townsville Airport in recent weeks as "Rescue 521" and has seemingly ferried South to Archerfield to complete planned maintenance.

As posted below, on Tuesday 22 December, fellow Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue (State of Queensland) Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-ESZ was noted ferrying North from Archerfield to Townsville via Rockhampton Airport.

As we have mentioned previously, this is part of the 'rotational system' the service utilises to ensure the even distribution of flying hours on each of the QGAir Rescue helicopters. This system avoids the need to have multiple helicopters offline for simultaneous scheduled maintenance.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Conair Aerial Firefighting Dash-8-Q400MR C-FFQE Departs Bundaberg Airport at the Conclusion of Bushfire Season

Certainly sad to see on Wednesday 23 December that the resident Canadian-based Conair Aerial Firefighting Dash-8-Q400MR C-FFQE departed Bundaberg Airport on the first couple of legs home after its first deployment to Queensland where it was contracted to be the State's own heavy water bomber for the recently completed bushfire season.


C-FFQE was heard to be using the radio callsign "Fireguard 141" and was spotted above as it passed through Cairns Airport.  It then departed the country and continued up to Guam.

The Conair Dash-8-Q402MR, C-FFQE (msn 4325), arrived into Bundaberg Airport in late August after flying all the way from its Abbotsford base in Canada via stops in Oakland, Honolulu, Majuro, Honiara and Brisbane.  The Dash-8 was originally built in 2011 and was acquired by Conair early in 2020 and converted to a fire bomber.  Its maximum tank capacity is around 10,000 litres (2,642 US gallons).

As "Bomber 141", C-FFQE completed several water bombing flights from Bundaberg Airport to parts South and North in the State, and most recently, over Fraser Island.

Photo taken by Jonothan Williams  ©

Four Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters Pass Through Mackay and Rockhampton Airports Heading to Fiji on board HMAS Adelaide

On Wednesday 23 December, four Australian Army NH Industries MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopters departed from their Townsville base heading South via Mackay and Rockhampton Airports with three of them later landing on the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Adelaide (L01).


They were identified as A40-??? "Kraken 11", A40-020 "Kraken 12", A40-023 "Kraken 13" and A40-031 "Kraken 14".



Each arrived into Mackay Airport from Townsville before then heading to Rockhampton Airport.  They then departed Rocky with "Kraken 11/12/14" heading to HMAS Adelaide, while "Kraken 13" flew to the Enoggera Barracks.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 23 December, a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) MRH-90 helicopter identified as A40-037 "Cutlass" was noted also flying around the South-East corner of the state - possibly around the HMAS Adelaide.

It is believed that the HMAS Adelaide will be setting sail to Fiji where the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has commenced relief operations in support of the Fijian Governments response to Tropical Cyclone Yasa.


The ADF has already flown a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft loaded with disaster relief supplies to Fiji.

Defence Images and additional photos taken by Craig Elgar  ©

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Air Kiribati Embraer E-190-E2 VH-IKJ Pops into Rockhampton Airport While on Training Flight

On Tuesday 22 December, Air Kiribati Embraer E190-E2 (ERJ-190-300 STD) VH-IKJ was spotted at Rockhampton Airport, operating what appears to be a training flight.


The Embraer arrived from Brisbane and taxied in and parked on Bay 5B. After reprogramming, it departed back to the capital.




As mentioned previously, the brand new Embraer was delivered to Air Kiribati at Toowoomba-Wellcamp in January wearing its Brazilian delivery registration marking of PR-EHT.

It was added to the Australian Aircraft Register in February as VH-IKJ is owned by and registered to the Government of Kiribati, with Sydney-based passenger and cargo airline Pionair Australia as the registered operator.

Air Kiribati is the flag carrier of the Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) and operates scheduled passenger services to 20 atolls spread over an area of 3.5m sq km.


It is headquartered at Bonriki International Airport on the island of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.  The airline operates an international service from Tarawa to Tuvalu.  Regional charter flights, medical evacuation and search and rescue services are also undertaken by the airline.

Kiribati is a small nation that covers an immense geographical area - which is mostly water.  The E190-E2 was chosen for its ability to economically connect two important islands, Tarawa in the west and Kiritimati or Christmas Island in the east. Even with the E2 this is more than a 4 hour flight.

VH-IKJ appears to have completed only a handful of flights between Brisbane and Tarawa.

Photos taken by Steve Vit and Jaxson White  ©

Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue Agusta AW139 Helicopter VH-ESZ Flys North via Rockhampton Airport

On Tuesday 22 December, Queensland Government (QGAir) Rescue (State of Queensland) Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-ESZ was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport while on a ferry flight North.


The Agusta flew into Rocky from Archerfield and later departed further North to Townsville.

VH-ESZ had flown South for planned maintenance in May this year and has recently been operating in the South-East corner out of Archerfield as "Rescue 500".

I believe that fellow QGAir Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopter (Agusta) AW139 helicopter VH-EGK is presently operating out of Townsville as "Rescue 521" so I would assume that will ferry South in the coming days to enter the maintenance hangar allowing VH-ESZ to take up service in the Far North.

UPDATE!  Indeed on Wednesday 23 December, VH-EGK was noted ferrying South from Townsville to Archerfield also via Rockhampton Airport.

As we have reported previously, this 'rotational system' of airframes that QGAir utilises ensure the even distribution of flying hours on each of the their Rescue helicopters.  This system avoids the need to have multiple helicopters offline for simultaneous scheduled maintenance.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Gulf Aircraft (Brisbane) Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign Bizjet VH-PYN Pops into Hamilton Island Airport - Plus More!

On Tuesday 22 December, Gulf Aircraft Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-PYN was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

It looked to fly up from and then later return to Brisbane.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 23 December, VH-PYN looked to again visit Hamilton Island Airport, this time flying in from Brisbane via Swan Hill (Victoria) and Wagga Wagga (New South Wales).  It then returned to Brisbane.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 24 December, VH-PYN called into Hamilton Island Airport for the third day in-a-row, again arriving from and later departing back to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday 22 December, Brisbane-based Pesca Aviation AeroCommander 690-A Turbo Commander VH-ATF was spotted as it visited Rockhampton Airport from Archerfield.




While slightly smaller visitors in the region included Van's RV-10 VH-BKK visiting Middlemount Aerodrome from Warwick, while Hawker Beechcraft G36 Bonanza VH-MMR visited my local Clermont Aerodrome from Goondiwindi.

Finally, on Monday 21 December, Wagga Air Centre (Mabena) SOCATA TBM-850 VH-PVM as "Wagga Air 669" popped into Hamilton Island Airport after flying up from Wagga Wagga.  It later returned to Wagga Wagga flying via Mittagong.

While Edwards Coaches Cessna 441 VH-TAZ departed Mackay Airport for Tyabb and Armidale after it arrived from its Armidale home base on Sunday 20 December.

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Steve Vit  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" Pops into Charleville Airport

During the afternoon on Tuesday 22 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" was noted visiting Charleville Airport.

File photo

It looked to arrive from and later depart back to Brisbane.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©️

Monday, December 21, 2020

Virgin Australia (ex Tigerair Australia) Boeing B737-800 VH-YVA Re-Enters Service and Calls into Hamilton Island Airport

An interesting visitor into Hamilton Island Airport on Sunday 20 December was Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YVA.  It arrived from and later departed back to Brisbane as VOZ1497/8.

https://www.instagram.com/timbowrey26/

VH-YVA re-entered service with Virgin Australia only on Friday 18 December after operating for Virgin's low cost subsidiary Tigerair Australia since April 2019.

File photo

VH-YVA was withdrawn from use and stored at Melbourne (Tullamarine) in late March this year and was finally taken out of storage and flown from there to Townsville in mid-November where it was re-painted into Virgin Australia livery at the local Flying Colours paint shop.  As shown above, VH-YVA has again picked up its previous name of 'Eurong Beach'.

Of interest, VH-YVA was delivered new to Virgin Australia in mid-2011 and flew with the airline until February 2019 when it was transferred to Tigerair Australia.  After being re-painted into Tigerair livery also in Townsville, VH-YVA entered service with Tigerair in April 2019.

Photos taken by Tim Bowrey and Lloyd Fox  ©

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Corporate Aircraft Charter (SA) Cessna 550 Citation II Bizjet VH-ZLE Pops into Emerald Airport

Before dawn on Sunday 20 December, Corporate Aircraft Charter (South Australia) Cessna 550 Citation II bizjet VH-ZLE was noted visiting Emerald Airport.

File photo

The familiar Citation which is possibly operating for Queensland Health (through LifeFlight) looked to arrive from and then later depart back to its Brisbane base.  It also visited Emerald Airport on Thursday 17 December.

Photo taken by Lloyd Fox  ©

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Agair (Victoria) Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1 Bizjet VH-RMB Departs Bundaberg Airport For Good - Conair Dash-8 C-FFQE to Follow This week

On Saturday 19 December, the visiting Agair Logistics P/L Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1 bizjet VH-RMB was noted departing Bundaberg Airport.  It looked to fly back to its Stawell base in Victoria suggesting that its ;deployment' to Bundy and Queensland may have come to an end.


Indeed, it is believed that the Queensland Bushfire Season may also have concluded or is soon to be over.

Furthermore, it appears that this Wednesday 23 December, the visiting Conair Aerial Firefighting Dash-8-Q400MR C-FFQE "Bomber 141" will also depart Bundaberg Airport for good, with a plan showing a departure from Bundy to Cairns and then overseas.


Since its arrival into the region in August, Queensland's own heavy water bomber was utilized on several occasions during the bushfire season. It completed several water bombing runs over to Fraser Island in recent weeks, and was also sent to the South-East corner of the State and up to Townsville to fight fires in these areas.

We hope to see them back again next bushfire season!

Thanks to all the crews and other personnel for their hard work over the bushfire season!

File photos taken by Dan B  ©

Divair (New South Wales) Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3 Bizjet VH-NNE Pops into Hamilton Island Airport

On Saturday 19 December, Divair Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3 bizjet VH-NNE was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport from its 'home' at Orange in New South Wales via Bankstown.

File photo

The sleek little Citation didn't spend long on the ground and was later noted returning to Orange..

Photo taken by 'JM' ©

Friday, December 18, 2020

Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 Bizjet VH-WMY at Roma and Hamilton Island Airports - Plus More!

On Friday 18 December, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport during a busy day of flying.  It started the day at Roma Airport after arriving there on Thursday 17 December from Melbourne (Essendon), Echuca and Ballarat.

File photo

After a short time on the ground, VH-WMY departed Hamilton Island Airport and flew back to Ballarat before continuing to Melbourne (Moorabbin).

Meanwhile, also on Friday 18 December, it is believed that Link Airways (Corporate Air) / Vee H Aviation Cessna 441 VH-VEW "Survey 24" returned to Emerald Airport, touching down from Goulburn.  It had flown down there from Emerald Airport at the start of the week - see Blog post below.

VH-VEW "Survey 24" then departed on a three-and-a-half hour survey flight South of Middlemount before landing back at Emerald Airport. 

UPDATE!  On Sunday 20 December, VH-VEW "Survey 24" returned to Roma Airport and continues to operate out of there as it has done since the start of the month.

Finally, after flying South two days earlier, also on Friday 18 December, Central Highlands Aerial Services (CHAS) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LMZ returned to Emerald Airport from Orange in New South Wales, again flying via Rockhampton Airport.

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 Jet VH-KBX Spotted at Emerald Airport

Making a rare visit to Central Queensland on Friday 18 December was Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jet VH-KBX.  It was spotted on the ground at Emerald Airport shortly after arriving on a closed Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flight as UTY4584 from Brisbane.


It later returned to the capital but as UTY4585.

As we've mentioned previously, the Fokker F-70 jet VH-KBX previously flew with the Royal Netherlands Air Force / Government of the Netherlands as a VIP transport aircraft and carried the Dutch registration marking of PH-KBX.  It arrived into Brisbane in August 2017 and entered the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-KBX soon after.  VH-KBX looked to finally enter service in May 2019.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 18 December, Alliance Airlines announced that it has acquired an additional 16 Embraer E-190 jets.  All aircraft were previously flown by American Airlines and will keep their two-class 99-seat cabin configuration. 

The aircraft will be delivered in the coming eleven months, with five due for delivery this month and then one per month until November 2021.

The 16 E-190 jets are part of the airline's expansion and fleet renewal strategy.  Previously the airline acquired 14 former COPA E-190s, of which the first was recently delivered into Brisbane. 

Alliance Airlines expects to add the E-190 jets to their network in March 2021.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" Pops into Mackay Airport

During the afternoon on Friday 18 December, LifeFlight (Aeromed) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" was noted visiting Mackay Airport.

File photo

It looked to arrive into Mackay Airport from Townsville before later departing to Brisbane.

Of interest, VH-OFC "Ambulance 634" then flew across to Toowoomba-Wellcamp and then North to Cairns before returning to Townsville.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©️

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-211 Spotted Completing Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 18 December, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-211 was spotted completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.




The C-17 departed RAAF Base Amberley and flew up to Rocky where it completed the missed approach.  It then returned to Amberley.

A41-211 was noted flying as "Stallion 40".

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

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Sunshine Air Services (Victoria) Bombardier Challenger 604 Bizjet VH-VLZ Departs Hamilton Island Airport

On Thursday 17 December, the visiting Sunshine Air Services (of Victoria) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-VLZ was noted departing Hamilton Island Airport.

File photo

It looked to fly 'home' to its Melbourne (Essendon) base having arrived from there on Monday 14 December.

Photo taken by Calen Harvey  ©