Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Some Great Photos of the Spectacular Centenary Flypast at Canberra Celebrating 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

On Wednesday 31 March, the skies above the nation's capital came alive as the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) spectacularly celebrated its 100th anniversary with a mass flypast over Canberra.

Defence image...

More than 60 past and present aircraft of the RAAF flew in waves over Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.  They were also joined by helicopters of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Australian Army.

The latest Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters and Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighters loudly announced themselves before flying over Government House and Lake Burley Griffin.

RAAF transport aircraft including the massive Boeing C-17A Globemaster III rumbled overhead.

Along with the Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

The high-tech Boeing P-8A Poseidon and Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft also flew over.

The RAAF's World War II-era aircraft weren’t forgotten, with the iconic Spitfire and Kittyhawk fighters, a Catalina flying boat and a DC-3 Dakota transport also taking part in the flypast.

A 14-minute display by the RAAF's formation aerobatics team, the Roulettes, provided a spectacular finale to the aerial display.

Before the flypast, Governor-General General (retd) David Hurley presented Air Force with a new Queen’s Colour during a parade at Government House.

It replaced an older colour presented by the Queen in 1986.

The centenary commemorations began with a flag-raising ceremony by ADFA cadets at Commonwealth Place in Canberra, followed by another at Defence headquarters in Russell.

The birthday concluded with the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.

Sincere thanks to local aviation photographers Paul S for allowing us to share these spectacular images!

Photos taken by Paul Sadler  ©

New Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 Bizjet VH-LXZ at Rockhamtpon and Bundaberg Airports - Plus More!

As mentioned below, late on Tuesday 30 March, new Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 bizjet VH-LXZ was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport.  It had earlier flown down from Townsville to Mackay Airport before then heading to Rocky.  Then early on Wednesday 31 March, VH-LXZ was photographed below resting on the Rockhampton Airport bizjet apron at the General Aviation (GA) area.

Later, VH-LXZ was photographed as it departed Rockhampton Airport for Bundaberg Airport.

VH-LXZ was also photographed on the ground at Bundaberg Airport and later departed Bundy for Bankstown where it appears to be based.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 31 March, Brisbane-based Cessna 525 CitationJet M2 bizjet VH-YWS was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.  It arrived from Archerfield and the Sunshine Coast before it later returned to its Archerfield base.

Finally, a number of light General Aviation (GA) aircraft were noted and spotted visiting various Central Queensland Airports, also on Wednesday 31 March.

After being spotted arriving the previous day (below), Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-PID departed Rockhampton Airport for its Toowoomba base.

McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Beech B200 King Air VH-MWZ looked to arrive into Rockhampton Airport from Mackay Airport before departing down to Maryborough Airport.  VH-MWZ then appeared to fly up to Townsville Airport.

It looks like VH-MWZ originally arrived into Mackay Airport from Perth late on Tuesday 30 March.

Edwards Coaches Cessna 441 VH-TAZ flew into Mackay Airport from Armidale via Bankstown and the Gold Coast.  It later returned to its Armidale base.

BPW Aviation / Airspeed Aviation Cessna 441 Conquest II VH-EQU visited my local Clermont Aerodrome from Maitland.

Gulf Aircraft Textron Aviation (Cessna) 208 Caravan VH-PYO arrived into Longreach Airport from Mount Isa and later departed to the Gold Coast.

Cessna 210L VH-FMT also popped into Longreach Airport, arriving from Hillston and Griffith.  It is due to depart to Hughenden and Mareeba on Thursday 1 April.

UPDATE!  On Friday 2 April, VH-FMT passed through Emerald Airport, arriving from Mareeba and departing to Toowoomba.

Victoria-based Beech A36 Bonanza VH-WBO landed at Emerald Airport from Port Macquarie before later departing to Cairns. It had arrived into Port Macquarie from Lord Howe Island on the previous day.

And a trio to Brescon (Toowoomba) Beech B200 King Air turboprops VH-WXB, VH-XDW and VH-WXN were all noted arriving into Emerald Airport from Toowoomba-Wellcamp.  VH-WXB then departed to Townsville and Cairns while VH-XDW and VH-WXN both departed direct to Cairns. 

During the afternoon, both VH-XDW and VH-WXB flew back down direct to Wellcamp, while VH-WXN flew to Wellcamp via at Emerald Airport. 

Photos taken by 'AC', Steve Vit and Dan B  ©

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-QQR Spotted at Rockhampton Airport on School Holiday Run From/To Horn Island

During the afternoon on Tuesday 30 March, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jet VH-QQR arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Horn Island as UTY569.  It had earlier flown North from Brisbane to Horn Island via Townsville as UTY568.

After staying for the night, VH-QQR was spotted (above) as it departed Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 31 March as UTY568 back to Horn Island.  VH-QQR then returned to Brisbane but as UTY569.

We see these types of flights between Rocky and Horn Island quite regularly particularly around school holiday time prompting speculation that these flights ferry boarding school children home for school holidays - which start very soon!

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

New Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 Bizjet VH-LXZ at Mackay and Rockhampton Airports

On Tuesday 30 March, new Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 bizjet VH-LXZ was noted arriving into Mackay Airport from Townsville.  As mentioned below, it had arrived into North Queensland the previous day after flying up from Bankstown via Emerald Airport.

After being photographed and spending the afternoon on the ground, around dusk on Tuesday 30 March, VH-LXZ departed Mackay Airport and flew down to Rockhampton Airport.

At the time of writing, it appears that VH-LXZ is staying for at least the night at Rockhampton Airport.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

Bayswater Road Aerial Surveys / Aero Logistics Survey Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) N-22C Nomad VH-ATO - Plus More!

Early on Tuesday 30 March, Bayswater Road Aerial Surveys / Aero Logistics Survey Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) N-22C Nomad VH-ATO was noted departing Emerald Airport for the Gold Coast.

VH-ATO at the Gold Coast recently  (File photo)

The 1979-built survey aircraft - which also happens to be the only airworthy Nomad left flying in Australia - looked to arrive into the region late last week.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 30 March, Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-PID was noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from its Toowoomba base.

While Sunshine Coast-based Piper PA-28RT-201T Cherokee VH-NWX arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Caloundra before it then departed to Tambo and Roma Airports. 

And North Queensland-based Cessna T210N VH-PDP departed Chinchilla Aerodrome for Mareeba.  It had flown South to Orange in New South Wales via Rockhampton Airport over the latter part of last week.

And Great Western Aviation Beech B200 VH-XGV flew up from Archerfield and Brisbane to Emerald Airport before returning to Brisbane.

Finally, also on Tuesday 30 March, Bowenville (near Toowoomba) based Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1+ bizjet VH-JSZ was noted visiting Charters Towers Aerodrome from its Archerfield base(?).

Photo taken by Tony Coles  ©

Three RAAF Alenia C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft Complete Airwork around Bundaberg - A34-007, A34-010 & A34-001 - Flying Together as "Mongrel"

Certainly interesting to note that on Tuesday 30 March, three Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft were flew together around the Fraser Coast region including near Bundaberg in what seems to be a rehearsal for the upcoming RAAF 100th Anniversary Fly-over in Canberra this week.

Defence Image...

The three C-27Js were identified as A34-007, A34-010 and A34-001 (pictured) and looked to fly up from RAAF Base Amberley in formation at block level five thousand to seven thousand to a position out over water North of Bundaberg.  They then turned back toward land, descended to below 500 feet and flew down the coast to past the Sunshine Coast and back to Amberley.

Monday, March 29, 2021

New Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 Bizjet VH-LXZ Calls into Emerald Airport - Plus More!

On Monday 29 March, new Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 bizjet VH-LXZ made its first visit to Central Queensland, noted touching down at Emerald Airport after flying up from its Bankstown base.

The new Phenom bizjet - which was only registered and delivered earlier this month - then departed to Cairns and Townsville.

As shown above, VH-LXZ only arrived into the country via Broome, Alice Springs and Sydney (pictured) during the middle part of this month! 

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 30 March, VH-LXZ continued South from Townsville to Mackay Airport and then Rockhampton Airport with it arriving into the beef capital after dark.

Also on Monday 29 March, the locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ was back in the air out of Mackay Airport, flying down to Brisbane and back.  It had only just returned to the Sugar City from a three-day stay at the capital the previous day.

And the familiar sight of Balmoral Air Dassault Falcon 2000LX bizjet VH-WIO was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport from its Bankstown base.

At the time of writing, it appears to be staying on Hamo for at least the night.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 30 March, VH-WIO departed Hamilton Island Airport and returned to Bankstown.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 29 March, Townsville Airlines (Flightech Air Logistics) Beech B200 King Air VH-WZN arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Cairns and Townsville before it then departed to Brisbane.  Later in the day, VH-WZN returned North to Cairns via Mackay Airport.

While fellow King Air - the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ - departed Blackall Airport after arriving there from Cairns and Brisbane the previous day.

While another King Air - Brisbane-based Altitude Aviation Raytheon B200 King Air VH-EEL - flew up from Archerfield to Dalby before then heading to the Australian Country Choice (ACC) properties Dooloogarah (YDLG), Babbiloora (YABB) and Brindley Park (YABP).  It then returned to Dalby and Archerfield. 

And the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSY arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Cairns and Townsville before later departing back to Cairns.

Finally, some helicopter action, also on Monday 29 March, included a pair of NQ Heliworx Eurocopter AS.350 Squirrel helicopters heading North from Archerfield to Townsville via Gladstone and Mackay Airports.  Recently registered VH-YHQ headed up first followed later in the day by VH-JKX.

While Aeropower McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company (MDHC) 369D VH-PLJ continued flying powerline inspection flights out of and back to Rockhampton Airport after arriving over the weekend.

Sincere thanks to Sydney-based specialist aviation photographer Grahame Hutchison for allowing us to share this great photo!

Do check out more of Grahame's fantastic images on his well-known Sydney Airport based website

All photos taken by Grahame Hutchison  ©

New Hevilift Express / Hevilift Australia (Fixed Wing Division) ATR 42-320F VH-YWX Calls into Rockhampton and Mackay Airports

On Monday 29 March, an interesting first-time visitor to Central Queensland in the form of Hevilift Express / Hevilift Australia (Fixed Wing Division) ATR 42-320F Freighter VH-YWX was spotted visiting Rockhampton and Mackay Airports while completing a series of training flights between Brisbane and Cairns.

It initially flew up to Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane as 'HT401' / "Hevilift 401" before then continuing up to Mackay Airport as 'HT402' / "Hevilift 402".

VH-YWX then continued up to Townsville and Cairns. as HT403/4.

VH-YWX was registered to Hevilift Australia (Fixed Wing Division) in November 2020 after previously being registered to Hevilift (Papua New Guinea) as P2-AVV.  The almost 29-year-old ATR has been a long-term resident at Cairns Airport having being stored there since 2014.

Prior to its arrival into Cairns, the ATR was operated by Airlink in Papua New Guinea as P2-ALA and before this, it operated in Algeria with Khalifa Airways as F-OHRO and (British Airways) Cityflyer Express as G-BUEB.


Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Steve V for allowing us to share this great photo of a great first-time visitor to Rockhampton Airport!

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLS Calls into Rockhampton Airport on Closed Charter Flight

On Saturday 27 March, Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340B VH-ZLS was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport while operating a closed charter flight into the beef capital.

File photo

VH-ZLS touched down directly from Cairns as PFY9271 and looked to carry the players and officials of the Northern Pride Rugby League team to Rockhampton to take on the local CQ Capras Rugby League Team in the latest round of the Queensland Rugby League's Intrust Super Cup Competition.

After the match, which saw the Northern Pride snatch a hard-fought draw with the locals, VH-ZLS returned to Cairns after dark as PFY9272.

Photo taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©