Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Multiple Australian Defence Force (ADF) Aircraft and Helicopters Call into Rockhampton Airport and Other CQ Airports

On Tuesday 30 May, several Australian Defence Force aircraft and helicopters were spotted and noted visiting Rockhampton Airport, mostly in support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Exercise Black Dagger which is currently underway out of Townsville and into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

After arriving the previous day, RAAF Search and Rescue (SAR) / CHC Helicopters Australia / Lloyd Helicopters Agusta AW139 helicopter VH-RQW "Choppa 22" flew from Rockhampton Airport to Shoalwater Bay and then later back to Rockhampton Airport.  It is assumed it will repeat this pattern over the week.

Air Affairs (Australia) LearJet 35A VH-LFA "Beagle 11" also flew down into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville before later returning there.  Again, it is assumed it will repeat this pattern over the week.

Of interest, RAAF Pilatus PC-21 Forward Air Control Aircraft A54-048 as "Mayhem 14" flew down from Townsville and operated in Shoalwater Bay before it later returned to Townsville.  Later, A54-048, now as "Mayhem 17" again flew down from Townsville to the Bay and on completion, returned to Townsville.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 31 May, PC-21 A54-048 as "Mayhem 02" flew down from Townsville to the Bay and back after and then in the afternoon, it returned but as "Mayhem 15".  While fellow PC-21s A54-047 and A54-046 operated as "Reaper 11" and "Reaper 12" but to the West of Townsville. 

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 30 May, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air turboprops A32-671 "Hudson 05" and A32-426 "Hudson 10" both arrived at Rockhampton Airport from the Sunshine Coast - after some airwork.  

A bit later A32-671 now as "Hudson 06" and then A32-426 now as "Hudson 07" both departed to Cairns.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 31 May, A32-671 as "Hudson 10" and A32-426 as "Hudson 07" flew down from Cairns to complete airwork at Richmond then to land at Longreach Airport.  After a break, A32-671 as "Hudson 10" departed to complete more airwork to the North-East of Longreach before then flying up to near Proserpine and down to land at Mackay Airport.  A32-426 as "Hudson 06" this time, departed Longreach to complete airwork at Emerald Airport before then also landing at Mackay Airport.

Of interest, on Monday 29 May, fellow RAAF Super King Air A32-437 as "Hudson 05" landed at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport from RAAF Base East Sale before it later departed back there.

While Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopter A15-302 as "Pegasus 9" was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville before it then departed to the South.

Finally, also on Tuesday 30 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet A56-003 as "Envoy 33" landed at Bundaberg Airport from Canberra and Coffs Harbour before it then departed to Hamilton Island Airport and Cairns.  This appears to be one of the 34 Squadron's training flights.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 31 May, A56-003 "Envoy 33" departed Cairns for Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) and Rockhampton Airports before continuing to the Gold Coast, Tamworth and back to Canberra.

And RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 "Dragon 63" flew across from Perth to South of Townsville to meet a flight of RAAF Super Hornets, taking them South until it then descended to fly low-level off the Capricorn coast before climbing again to continue onwards to Amberley.

Photos taken by Steve Vit and John Lee  ©

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