Monday, May 22, 2023

Re-painted Australian Army Marked Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-YBF "Warhorse 207" Returns to Townsville via Rockhampton Airport - Plus More!

On Monday 22 May, a surprise visitor made a return to Central Queensland in the form of Australian Army marked Leonardo S.P.A. Helicopters (Agusta) AW139 Helicopter VH-YBF.

The chopper called into Rockhampton Airport from the Gold Coast and then departed to Townsville and was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Warhorse 207".

VH-YBF flew up from Bankstown to the Gold Coast the previous day and was photographed below resting at the Goldie.

VH-YBF had flown South to Bankstown in early April for what we thought was and end-of-lease maintenance lay-up - clearly not though - and the chopper looks great in a revised livery.

As previously mentioned, VH-YBF and fellow AW139 VH-YBG are registered to Helicorp (Toll Group) and are two 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.

Meanwhile, also on Monday 22 May, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Exercise Black Dagger 23-1 which is currently underway out of Townsville, saw the RAAF Pilatus PC-21 Forward Air Control Aircraft A54-048 as "Raven 16" fly down to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area to complete a sortie from and back to Townsville Airport.

Finally, also on Monday 22 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-010 looked to visit the Samuel Hill Aerodrome within Shoalwater Bay three separate times on flights from and back to RAAF Base Amberley.  For each flight, it was heard to use the radio callsign of "Wallaby 61".

Photos taken by Steve Vit and Brodie Lawson  ©

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