Saturday, April 24, 2021

Some Photos from the Whitsunday Airport Fly-in and Runway Dinner - Plus Photos of Fly-in Aircraft 'Stuck' at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.

On Saturday 24 April, we ventured to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour to take a few photos of the aircraft that were able to get in for their Fly-in and Runway Dinner.

Sadly though, the weather was pretty miserable, and as a consequence, a lot of aircraft that were planning on heading to Shute Harbour ended up arrived late or were forced to divert and stay at nearby airports such as Bowen, Hamilton Island and Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airports.  Some even reportedly stayed further afield at places including Rockhampton and Emerald Airports.

Late arrivals into Shute on Saturday 24 April included:  Cessna 172 VH-EGL which arrived from Rockhampton, Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer VH-TZT arrived from Old Station, Cirrus SR22 VH-KKY arrived from Emerald and Van's RV6 VH-MEK and Cessna 210 VH-CSD arrived from Pandora via Rockhampton (VH-MEK later departed back to Rocky and then Caboolture).

But still there was a good turn up of aircraft to take photos of with no doubt the star being the Cirrus Design Corp. SF50 Vision Jet wearing the American registration marking of N755DS.

As mentioned below, it arrived from ports South via Rockhampton Airport the previous day.

Fellow bizjet, Graham Aviation (Cairns) Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-FNI, was also parked across the airfield.  It appeared to arrive on Friday 23 April from Cairns.  Their Cessna T206H Float Plane VH-PXT was also at the Airport.

Nearby was Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-WPH.  It had arrived from its Toowoomba base also the previous day.

Several small Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft were also parked at the Whitsunday Airport including Flight One Cirrus SR20 VH-FOH.

A couple of other Cirrus aircraft along with other light aircraft were also spotted across at Proserpine Airport including fellow Flight One Cirrus SR20 VH-FOL.

Also on the other side of the field were several Robinson and other model helicopters which had arrived at the end of the Heli-biz Australia annual Helicopter Safari which had started at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport earlier in the week.  As posted below, the group had traveled up as far as Hamilton Island and even further North towards Townsville before returning South to Bowen and then the Whitsunday Airport on Thursday 22 April - see Blog post below!

Also parked were several amphibious and other float planes which had come to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour from all over Australia to participate in the annual  Seaplane Pilots Association Australia (SPAA) annual conference "Splashdown 2021".

The star arrival for the conference was undoubtedly the Paspaley Pearling Grumman G-73AT Turbo Mallard VH-PPT which arrived into the Whitsundays during the week, completing a safari all the way from its Darwin base via several stops.  It was based at the Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport for the duration of its stay.

The Mallard was also due to operate a series of scenic joyflights around the beautiful Whitsundays however the miserable weather conditions prevented this and instead the Mallard remained parked.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 25 April, VH-PPT departed Proserpine Airport for Burketown before returning to Darwin.  It was heard to be flying as "Pearling 66".  This was sadly early than expected due to the cancellation of its proposed tours around the Whitsundays.  Watch out for a future Blog post featuring more photos of this great classic aircraft - plus a quick look inside and in the cockpit!

It's also worth noting a couple of departures from Shute Harbour, also on Saturday 24 April, included:  Bankstown Helicopters Robinson R66 VH-LHG which departed to Mackay, Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast, while Van's. RV7 VH-PSW departed to Bundaberg.

While Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga VH-GKF and Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee VH-URD both departed Rockhampton for Hamilton Island Airport but both returned to Rocky (possibly) due to weather.  VH-URD later flew back at and landed at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.  And Piper Aircraft Corp PA-28-235 Dakota VH-KIF also flew up from Rocky to Shute but returned to Rocky.
Sincere thanks to Lee and Dan and all the staff at the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour for their kind hospitality and allowing us to take photos at the airport of all of the participants at the Fly-in.

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