Monday, May 15, 2023

Numerous Fixed-Wing and Rotary-Wing Aircraft and Helicopters Come to the Fraser Coast to Search for Missing People - Plus More!

On Monday 15 May, a search for two missing persons brought several fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft to the Fraser Coast region and specifically, at least, Bundaberg Airport.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd) Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet VH-XNC as "Rescue 440" flew down from Cairns to complete and coordinate Search and Rescue operations North of Fraser Island 

File photo

It acted as overseer for search helicopters, LifeFlight Bell 412s VH-XCI "Rescue 522" and VH-XCK "Rescue 511", plus Heli-Aust Whitsundays (Gladstone Helicopters) Airbus Helicopters EC135 P3 (CPDS) VH-ZGH, and McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin helicopter N365JA and Aerospatiale AS.355F1 Squirrel helicopters VH-YUR and VH-YEU.

During the afternoon, VH-XNC "Rescue 440" called into Bundaberg Airport for fuel before then returning to Cairns.

Of interest, Brisbane-based Heli Support (Aust) / Aviation Utilities Eurocopter AS.350B3 Squirrel helicopter VH-HTV "Media 48" was also in the area covering the search for television media.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 15 May, Seair Pacific (Istlecote) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-TFB arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Maryborough Airport then flew to Middlemount Aerodrome and back to Rockhampton Airport before departing to Lady Eliott Island. 

As usual, Brisbane-based Crockett Aviation Group Beech B200 King Air VH-FAQ looked to head up to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site from Archerfield and the Sunshine Coast.  But due to inclement weather in the area, it stopped in at my local Clermont Aerodrome before eventually continuing to Labona.  VH-FAQ then returned to the Sunshine Coast and Archerfield.

While also calling into Clermont Aerodrome were Link Airways (Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation) Cessna 441 Conquest VH-VEJ which flew up from Brisbane to the Newlands Coal Mine site and then across to Mackay Airport and back to Newlands.  It then flew down to Clermont Aerodrome.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 16 May, VH-VEJ made an early departure from Clermont Aerodrome for Emerald Airport.  It then remained parked all day and then on Wednesday 17 May, VH-VEJ departed to Rolleston Aerodrome and then back to Brisbane.

Plus Crowfly P/L (of South Australia) Amateur-built Vans RV-9A VH-VRH landed at Clermont Aerodrome from Cairns. 

Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 bizjet VH-LXZ as "Navair 131" flew up from Bankstown to Mackay and then Hamilton Island Airports.  It then returned to Bankstown.

And fellow Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 VH-HQK as "Navair 141" flew from Dubbo and Newcastle (Williamtown) to Brisbane and then Moranbah Airport.  It then departed to the Sunshine Coast before returning to Newcastle and Dubbo.

Finally, also on Monday 15 May, NSW based Purdy Aviation Bell Helicopter Textron 505 VH-IHH flew down from the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour to Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and then Agnes Water Airports.

UPDATE!  Over the course of the rest of the week, VH-IHH flew down to the Sunshine Coast and then onwards to Bankstown.

The less-than-a-year old helicopter looked to complete a tour of Far North Queensland and Whitsundays, and looked to fly North via the Central Queensland Coast just short of a fortnight ago.


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