Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Qantas Freight (Pionair Australia) BAe 146-200(QT) VH-SFW First Visit to CQ at Mackay and Rockhampton Airports - Plus More!

On Tuesday 16 May, Qantas Freight (Pionair Australia) BAe 146-200(QT) VH-SFW made what we believe to be its first visit into Central Queensland - and it was spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport on what appeared to be a different 'rotation'.

It flew up from Brisbane to Mackay Airport first as QFA7421 before then popping into Rockhampton Airport as QFA7425 and then departing back to Brisbane as QFA7426.

Of interest, the much-travelled freighter found a home in Australia in late 2016 with Pionair Australia and soon after, it began operating freight flights for Virgin Australia including up to Townsville and Cairns.  VH-SFW maintains the basic orange colour scheme of its former operators that flew on behalf of TNT Freight.

And also spotted at Rockhampton Airport, also on Tuesday 16 May, was Sharp Aviation (ex Toll) Metro III Freighter VH-UZP which arrived from Brisbane as SH162 before continuing to Mackay Airport as the same.  

After parking for the day, it is currently flying back to Brisbane from Mackay Airport but as SH161.


Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 16 May, Avcair (Avgunn) LearJet 60 bizjet VH-ILJ was in the region again, visiting Rockhampton Airport from its Brisbane base.

While the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-PSY flew into Rockhampton Airport from Cairns before returning there but via Townsville.

UPDATE!  On Friday 19 May, VH-PSY once again visited Rockhampton Airport but from Cairns direct.

And a couple of the 'usual' Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights were again noted operating with Southern Air Beech 1900 VH-VSO arriving into Moranbah Airport from Latrobe Valley and Bourke, before then departing back to Latrobe Valley and then eventually to Melbourne (Moorabbin).

Plus DeGunst Transport P/L Textron (Cessna) 208 Caravan VH-NPZ completed its weekly FIFO run from Bundaberg Airport to Nebo Aerodrome and back, calling into Mackay Airport on the way up and then Rockhampton Airport on the return flight.  

It appears that VH-NPZ completed a couple of runs to Gladstone Airport and back to Bundaberg Airport over the last couple of days.

Finally, also on Tuesday 16 May, some small Cirrus aircraft were noted flying up and down through the region.

Victoria based Cirrus SR22s - Tomfoolery Holdings VH-8AT and Weztex P/L VH-CFD - landed at Gladstone Airport from Townsville.  They had flown from Sweers Island in Far North Queensland to Cairns a couple of weeks ago then to Townsville a week ago.  They then departed to Gold Coast.

NSW based Sercon Aviation SR22 VH-IRP flew up into the region from the Gold Coast, but its exact movements are not fully known.

And new SR22 VH-FBT flew down from the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour to Gold Coast.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter John L for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by John Lee  ©

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