Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Couple of Cessna Citation Bizjets Around Whitsundays Airports – Plus More!

On Saturday 31 July, there were three familiar Cessna Citation bizjets that were noted visiting a couple of Whitsundays Airports.

Jetstream Aviation (Emprja P/L) Cessna 550 Citation II VH-VDF was noted visiting Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport from its Sunshine Coast base.

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Graham Aviation (Cairns) Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-FNI looked to have a busy of flying out of and back to its Cairns base, visiting both Hamilton Island and Proserpine Airports while also flying down to the Sunshine Coast.

Machjet (Machjet International) Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 bizjet VH-ZIY looked to depart Hamilton Island Airport for the Sunshine Coast before then returning to Hamo and then flying back home to the Sunny Coast. It appears to have flown North on Thursday 29 July.

While South Australian-based Piper PA-46R-350T Malibu Matrix VH-ZXJ arrived into Hamilton Island Airport from Cairns.

UPDATE!  On Monday 2 August, VH-ZXJ departed Hamo for Thargomindah and Aldinga in South Australia.

And Eclipse 500 bizjet N257AK landed at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport from Archerfield.

UPDATE! On Monday 2 August, N257AK returned to Archerfield and then made its weekly flight up to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday 31 July, a couple of aircraft I spotted at Bowen Aerodrome last weekend finally, departed with Pilatus PC-12/47 VH-DNG departing Mungindi / Dingadee after arriving from there last weekend. And Cessna 208 Caravan VH-WDE departed to Rockhampton Airport before continuing to Archerfield and Koarlo. It too had arrived from there last weekend.

Finally, also on Saturday 31 July, Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) / Qantas Group Pilot Academy Diamond DA-40 Star VH-YNW called into Bundaberg and Rockhampton Airports while on a flight out of and back to its Toowoomba-Wellcamp base.

Gulf Aircraft Textron Aviation (Cessna) 208 Caravan VH-PYO flew up from Brisbane to land at Marble Island for a short time before heading across to Rockhampton Airport.  It flown down from near Mount Isa on the previous day.

And Aerometrex (South Australia) Cessna 421B Golden Eagle VH-ECF arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Barcaldine Airport via some more aerial survey work.

Hevilift Australia ATR 72-500 VH-FVM Calls into Rockhampton Airport on NRL Sports Charter

On Saturday 31 July, the South Sydney Rabbitohs National Rugby League team touched down at Rockhampton Airport on board Hevilift Australia (Fixed Wing Division) ATR 72-500 VH-FVM after it flew up from Brisbane and the Gold Coast as HT705.

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However, with strict lockdowns announced for the South-East corner while they were enroute, the NRL decided to cancel the proposed game that was to be held in the beef capital later on Saturday. So VH-FVM was refuelled and promptly departed back to the Gold Coast and then Brisbane but as HT706.

Of interest, the St. George Illawarra Dragons were on the tarmac in Brisbane on board Pionair Australia British Aerospace BAe-146-200 VH-SAZ which was also due to call into Rockhampton Airport, also on Saturday 31 July, but didn’t take off which the Dragons’ players instead returning to their hotel.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©️

Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQF Calls into Mackay Airport (and then Rockhampton Airport!) on Sports Charter

On Saturday 31 July, Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQF was noted arriving into Mackay Airport from Cairns as SKP9100.

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It appears to have brought the Cairns Dolphins and the Cairns Marlins basketball teams to town to take on the local Mackay teams in the NBL1 North Competition.

UPDATE!  On Sunday 1 August, VH-QQF departed Mackay Airport for Rockhampton Airport as SKP9200. The two Cairns teams were due to take on the local Rockhampton teams again in the NBL1 North Competition. VH-QQF then returned to Cairns later the day as SKP9300.

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

RAAF Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft A47-008 "Blackcat 10" Completes Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

A nice surprise on Saturday 31 July with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft A47-008 noted completing airwork including a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.




A47-008 was noted flying as "Blackcat 10" and looked to fly down from Townsville – where it has been based during the Combined Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21). Following the airwork at Rocky A47-008 "Blackcat 10" flew all the way up to Cairns where it completed more airwork (as pictured above) before it then returned to Townsville.

A47-008 is one of two RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft deployed to Townsville for Exercise Talisman Sabre with the other believed to be A47-010.

Of interest, the "Blackcat" radio callsign suggests these P-8A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft are of the RAAF's No. 11 Squadron based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.


The Squadron forms part of No. 92 Wing which is the maritime patrol wing of the RAAF and is responsible for long-range surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and survivor supply.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Jonathan W for allowing us to share these great photos from Cairns Airport!

All photos taken by Jonathan Williams  ©

Friday, July 30, 2021

Bundaberg-based Aero Optics Aero Commander 500-S VH-JAJ Calls into CQ Airports - Plus More!

On Friday 30 July, Bundaberg-based Aero Optics Aero Commander 500-S VH-JAJ was noted passing through Rockhampton Airport while heading up to Collinsville Aerodrome.

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It later returned to Rockhampton and Bundaberg Airports.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 30 July, American Registered but Australian based Pilatus PC-12/47E N81DW was noted departing Emerald Airport for the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site.  It then flew down to the Sunshine Coast.

N81DW had originally arrived into Emerald Airport from the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday 27 July.

While Emerald-based Central (Qld) Aviation Bell 206L-1 VH-HJG arrived into Rockhampton Airport from there before later departing to Yaamba.  It appears to have then returned to Rocky.

Finally, also on Friday 30 July, Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan VH-MRZ departed Rockhampton Airport for airwork at Gladstone Airport before returning to Rocky as HND637. 

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Isle of Man-Registered Bombardier Global 5000 Bizjet M-CVGL Calls into Hamilton Island Airport - Plus More!

On Thursday 29 July, Isle of Man registered Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 bizjet M-CVGL was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport.  It looked to fly up from the Sunshine Coast where it appears to be based.

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At the time of writing, it appears that M-CVGL is staying at Hamo for at least the night.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 3 August, M-CVGL finally departed Hamilton Island Airport and returned to the Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, also on Thursday 29 July, Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-KXM was noted visiting Emerald Airport..  It arrived from the Sunshine Coast and then departed to Vanrook Station near Normanton before continuing to Mareeba.

And Brisbane-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-AAC departed Rockhampton Airport for Archerfield.  It appears to have arrived from there the previous day.

Finally, also on Thursday 29 July, Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan VH-TFQ as 'HND253' completed a flight out of Rockhampton Airport to Gladstone Airport and then back.

Photo taken by James Kirk  ©️

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet A56-001 "Envoy 27" Back at CQ Airports

After flying North the previous day, and being spotted at Bundaberg Airport (below), on Thursday 29 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet A56-001 was again the region, calling into a couple of Central Queensland Airports while heading back South.

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It was again flying as "Envoy 27" and departed from Cairns to land at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.  It was then heading to Emerald Airport but diverted to Rockhampton Airport whilst enroute.  From Rockhampton Airport, A56-001 then departed to the Gold Coast and back to Canberra.

Photo taken by Hayden Matthew Alexander  ©

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Awesome Aviation (Perth) Beech 1900D VH-JYA Pops into Rockhampton Airport Once Again - Plus More!

On Wednesday 28 July, Awesome Aviation (of Perth in Western Australia) Beech 1900D VH-JYA was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport once again.  It originally flew down to Brisbane from Cairns and Townsville before returning there via Rockhampton Airport.

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It appears that VH-JYA continues to operate for the Queensland Police Service (Airwing).

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 28 July, Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-PID was noted arriving into Barcaldine Airport from its Toowoomba.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 29 July, VH-PID departed Barcaldine Airport for Charleville Airport.

And American Registered but Australian based fellow Pilatus PC-12/47E N81DW was noted completing a flight to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site from and back to Emerald Airport.

It had arrived from the Sunshine Coast the previous day - see Blog post below.

UPDATE!  On Friday 30 July, N81DW was noted departing Emerald Airport again for Labona before then later flying back down to the Sunshine Coast.

Finally, also on Wednesday 28 July, Jetstream Electrical (Darwin) Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche VH-NEE continued to fly around the region.  It looked to arrive into Longreach Airport from Dalby and then continue to Headingly.  Again, VH-NEE was heard using the radio callsign of "Sparky 424".

Photo taken by Steve Vit  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet A56-001 "Envoy 27" Calls into CQ Airports - Spotted at Bundaberg Airport

On Wednesday 28 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet A56-001 was photographed soon after arriving into Bundaberg Airport.  It was flying as "Envoy 27" and touched down directly from Canberra.


After around an hour on the ground, A56-001 departed Bundaberg Airport for Hamilton Island Airport.  It then departed Hamo for Cairns via a missed approach at Townsville.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 29 July, A56-001 "Envoy 27" was back in CQ, flying down from Cairns to land at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.  It was then heading to Emerald Airport but diverted to Rockhampton Airport whilst enroute.  From Rockhampton Airport, A56-001 then departed to the Gold Coast and back to Canberra.

As shown, A56-001 still wears additional decals to commemorate the RAAF's 100th anniversary.

Photo taken by Hayden Matthew Alexander  ©

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

American Registered (Australian Based) Pilatus PC-12/47E N81DW Pops into CQ Airports - Plus More!

On Tuesday 27 July, American Registered but Australian based Pilatus PC-12/47E N81DW was noted visiting Emerald Airport. It looked to arrive from the Sunshine Coast (where it appears to be based).

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At the time of writing, it appears that N81DW is staying at Emerald Airport for at least the night.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 28 July, N81DW completed a flight to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site and back to Emerald Airport.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 27 July, Jetstream Electrical (Darwin) Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche VH-NEE continued to fly around the region.  It departed for Roma and Dalby Airports.  Again, VH-NEE was heard using the radio callsign of "Sparky 424".

And Brisbane-based Beech 58 Baron VH-VSA departed Surat to Babbiloora then Milmerran, Roma and Archerfield Airports.  It looked to have flown up there the previous day from Archerfield via Toowoomba and Roma Airports.

It also appears that VH-VSA popped into Rockhampton Airport from Archerfield on Sunday 25 July - see Blog post below!

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

RAAF Dassault Falcon 7X Bizjet A56-002 "Envoy 46" Arrives into Maryborough Airport - Plus Avcair Embraer 500 Phenom 100EV Bizjet VH-NJR Visits!

On Tuesday 27 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet A56-002 was spotted arriving into Maryborough Airport.




The Falcon 7X bizjet, which is flown by the RAAF's VIP 34 Squadron, looked to arrive from Canberra as "Envoy 46" and appears to be staying for at least the night.

UPDATE!  Early on Wednesday 28 July, A56-002 "Envoy 46" was noted departing Maryborough Airport for Brisbane and then Canberra.

Meanwhile, also spotted at Maryborough Airport, also on Tuesday 27 July, was Avcair Embraer 500 Phenom 100EV bizjet VH-NJR.  It looked to arrive from and then depart back to Brisbane.

Sincere thanks David G of Maryborough Aviation Services for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by David Geck  ©

Australian Army (Helicorp) Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-YBG Ferries North via Gladstone and Hamilton Island Airports

On Tuesday 27 July, Australian Army marked Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-YBG was noted passing through some Central Queensland Airports while heading North to its new home at Townsville.


After flying up from Bankstown to Oakey the previous day, VH-YBG was noted departing the Oakey Army Aviation Centre for (possibly) Childers and then Gladstone Airports.  It then appeared to continue up to Hamilton Island Airport and then Townsville.

VH-YBG is registered to Helicorp (Toll Group) and is the second of three AW139 helicopters that have been leased to the Australian Army's 5th Aviation Regiment based at Townsville. They have been provided to the Army to provide a similar capability to the NH Industries MRH-90 so pilots can keep up their hours.

The Australian Army's MRH-90 helicopters have suffered years of poor serviceability due to various technical issues so AW139 helicopters are a 'stop gap' measure.

There are reports though that the AW139 could ultimately be used by the Australian Army as a general utility helicopter.

UPDATE!  It appears that VH-YBG started flying for the Australian Army at Townsville the next day on Wednesday 28 July with it completing a local flight. It was seen and heard to be using the flight number and radio callsign of 'MGIC237' / "Magic 237".

Of interest, and as reported below, the first AW139 helicopter, VH-YBF, was noted ferrying out of Townsville for Melbourne (Essendon) via Mackay and Gladstone Airports - plus more - about a fortnight ago after it had originally arrived in Townsville at the end of April.

Defence Image...

Monday, July 26, 2021

Edwards Coaches (Armidale) Cessna 650 Citation VII Bizjet VH-LYM Pops into Bundaberg Airport - Plus More!

On Monday 26 July, Edwards Coaches Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-LYM was noted visiting Bundaberg Airport - twice!

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It looked to arrive from its Armidale base via the Sunshine Coast before then flying back to the Sunny Coast and back to Bundt.  VH-LYM then flew back to the Sunshine Coast once again before returning to Armidale.

Also on Monday 26 July, Ipswich-based Airborne P/L (Palm Lake Works) Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-PLE made yet another visit to Bundaberg Airport.  It looked to arrive from the Gold Coast via the Sunshine Coast.

UPDATE!  VH-PLE returned to Bundaberg Airport again on Tuesday 27 July, arriving from and departing back to the Gold Coast.

Amateur-built Van's RV-10 VH-KJZ departed Bundaberg Airport for Rockhampton Airport also on Monday 26 July.  It arrived there last week from Temora and Moree.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 27 July, VH-KJZ continued from Rocky up to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour.

And Victoria-based Kiowa Aviation Cirrus SR22 VH-YWO was noted arriving into Hamilton Island Airport from the Sunshine Coast.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 27 July, VH-YWO returned to the Sunny Coast.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 26 July, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK was noted calling into Maryborough Airport from Cairns.  It then departed to Brisbane.  VH-PSK then flew back North to Townsville and Cairns, via Rockhampton Airport.

New South Wales based Goonoo Goonoo Pastoral P/L Bell Helicopter Textron B407 VH-EXU called into Rockhampton Airport from the North and departed to the South.

While Jetstream Electrical (Darwin) Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche VH-NEE departed to Goonoo Feedlot (near Comet) for Surat Airport.  It looked to visit Springsure Aerodrome on Sunday 25 July.  Of interest, VH-NEE was heard using the radio callsign of "Sparky 424".

Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-KXM was noted visiting Emerald Airport.  It arrived from Vanrook Station near Normanton and then departed to Archerfield. 

UPDATE!  On Thursday 29 July, VH-KXM headed back North from Archerfield, calling in again at Emerald Airport.

And Colville Aviation Services Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2B-20 Islander VH-PSX flew from Watts Bridge to Cairns via Emerald Airport at the completion of planned maintenance.  The Island was previous part of the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) fleet.

Finally, also on Monday 26 July, Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan VH-TFS flew out from Rockhampton Airport to Labona as HND350 before it then departed there to Cairns as HND790.  Fellow Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan VH-MRZ flew down from Townsville to Labona as HND250 and then flew across to Rockhampton Airport as HND351.

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 169227 (QD-9227) "Sumo 87" Calls into Rockhampton Airport

On Monday 26 July, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 169227 (Tail Code QD-9227) was spotted again in the region, this time photographed visiting Rockhampton Airport.


The Herc was flying as "Sumo 87" and had earlier flown down from Townsville to complete exercises off Fraser Island before then flying down to RAAF Base Amberley.  It then returned to the exercise area off Fraser Island and then flew up to Rockhampton Airport where it landed for a refuel.










"Sumo 87" then departed Rockhampton Airport and returned direct to Townsville.


Of interest, 169227 (QD-9227) is one of two Hercs that have been deployed to Townsville during joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) and are flown by the Marine Aerial Refueller Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) the "Sumos".


The other - as has been reported on here frequently - is Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 168075 (Tail Code QD-8075) and has been mostly operating as "Sumo 86" also out of Townsville.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for allowing us to share these great photos!

Photos taken by Scott Harris, Steve Vit and Ash Burggraaff  ©

The Two United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed MC-130J Commando II Hercules Aircraft - 10-5714 “Hogan 23” and 14-5793 “Hogan 24” - Spotted at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport

On Monday 26 July, I was lucky enough to photograph the two visiting United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed MC-130J Commando II Hercules aircraft parked at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport.  They had arrived into the Whitsundays late on Sunday 25 July from RAAF Base Amberley.






The two Hercs have been identified as 10-5714 "Hogan 23" and 14-5793 "Hogan 24" and are believed to be flown by the 1st Special Operations Squadron (1 SOS) which is part of the 353rd Special Operations Group at Kadena Air Base in Japan.


They had originally arrived into the region at Bundaberg Airport last week, flying across from RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.  It was interesting to note that while at Tindal, the Hercs operated alongside United States Army (US Army) special operations helicopters - two Sikorsky MH-60M Black Hawks and a single Boeing MH-47G Chinook - from 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (160th SOAR (A)).

Defence Image...

It appears the MH-47G Chinook called into Cairns Airport, also on Monday 26 July, arriving from Hughenden as "Jude 63".

Nice!

Some Photos from the Combined Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 Open Day at the Catalina Wharf at Bowen on Sunday

With the amphibious phase of the Combined Military Exercise talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) in full swing, an Open Day was held at the Catalina Wharf at Bowen on Sunday 25 July.  The event was a chance for the community learn more about the soldiers that have been a noticeable presence in town during the last few days.


Overhead, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters 169496 (EP-43) and 168049 (EP-49) kept and eye on proceedings including completing a couple of spectacular low passes to kick off the afternoon.

















Australia Army M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers, G-Wagons and Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) were the main attractions, along with personnel from many of the participating ground forces providing information not only about their roles in the Exercise but also giving the public a chance to get up close and personal with various weapons and other military equipment.























The activities in Bowen kicked off on Friday 23 July with troop insertions from sea and by air, followed by urban operations involving collaboration between the Australian Army, United States Marine Corps (USMC) and Japan Ground Defence Forces, who conducted night operations to secure a remote town and airfield.  All activities culminated on Monday 26 July when troops completed embarkation into HMAS Canberra and HMAS Choules from King's Beach at Bowen.

This was the first time Australian, United States, Japanese and UK amphibious forces have operated from the same ship.  Once embarked, forces will sail for the Coral Sea where they will conduct maritime warfare training.

The exercise is a major undertaking for all countries involved, who have continued to perform cooperative demonstrations between all military personnel, sharing their skills and knowledge to demonstrate cooperative defence capabilities.

Activities in the final week of the exercise will see airfield seizure and assault missions conducted by soldiers from the US Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) and 25th Infantry Division in Charters Towers.

This includes a display from 150 Alaskan based 'Spartan Brigade' paratroopers, who will light up the sky at Lakeview Station, West of Charters Towers, as they execute their tactical manoeuvre from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III for the first time.

Wrapping up the week, soldiers from all seven nations will conduct the amphibious stage of TS21 in a mock assault involving armoured vehicles, air operations and beach landings at Forest beach near Ingham and at Lucinda.

Exercise Talisman Sabre, the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australia Defence Force and Unites States Military, has entered it's final week in north Queensland.

The Talisman Sabre involves multiple field training exercises which incorporate force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvres, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations.

In addition to our US counterparts, the 2021 exercise has invited participation from Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with approximately 17,000 military personnel participating on land, sea and air throughout its duration.

Occurring every two years, the exercise is designed to challenge participating military personnel with planning and conducting combined and joint task force operations to improve combat readiness between respective forces.