Thursday, January 21, 2021

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-003 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 21 January, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-003 was spotted as it climbed out after completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

The MRTT initially departed from RAAF Base Amberley and completed airwork over water in the south east corner of the state before it then flew up to Rockhampton Airport where it completed the missed approach.  A39-003 then returned South directly back to Amberley.

A39-003 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Dragon 27".

Of interest, this was the first time we've sighted A39-003 in Central Queensland since its recent re-paint.

On their entry to RAAF service, the KC-30A fleet initially carried a 'low-visibility' grey colour scheme brought over from the predecessor Boeing B707 Tanker Transports. This included the aircraft’s identification numbers, emergency markings, RAAF roundels and squadron insignia being applied in blue grey paint.

Difficulty with identifying individual KC-30As on the tarmac and in the air will see the existing blue-grey markings swapped with dark grey markings that have higher contrast with the light grey applied to the rest of the aircraft as they come due for scheduled repainting.

It certainly makes it a lot easier for us plane spotters to identify the KC-30A with a repaint program applying dark grey markings to the aircraft.

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

Photo taken by John Lee  ©

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