Friday, June 30, 2023

Cirrus Design Corp. SF50 Vision Jet N616TS Spotted at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport - Plus More!

On Friday 30 June, Cirrus Design Corp. SF50 Vision Jet wearing the American registration marking of N616TS looked to fly into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport from Nambucca Heads (New South Wales) before it then departed to Cairns. 

N616TS seems to be another new little bizjet on the Australian scene with it looked to arrive in the country in only the last couple of weeks.

While Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-PAC looked to complete airwork at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport while on a flight out of and back to its Sunshine Coast base.

Meanwhile, also on Friday 30 June, Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 bizjet VH-LXZ as "Navair 131" was noted departing Mackay Airport for the Gold Coast.  It seems that VH-LXZ "Navair 131" arrived into Mackay Airport yesterday from Bankstown, Cessnock and the Goldie.

Finally, also on Friday 30 June, the Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ flew up from Brisbane to Rockhampton Airport and then down to Maryborough Airport and then back to Brisbane. 

The Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK flew down from Cairns and Townsville to Rockhampton Airport.  It then continued to Brisbane before later returning to Townsville and then back to Cairns. 

And Bayswater Road / Australian Aerial Mapping (AAM) survey aircraft - Reims Aviation F406 VH-LAA looked to complete some aerial surveying out of Mackay Airport.  It has also been noted operating out of Emerald Airport this week after earlier flying up from Archerfield.

Photo taken by Alex Eecen  ©

Atlas Air Boeing B747-400 N480MC Touches Down at Rockhampton Airport Friday Night

Making a spectacular arrival into Rockhampton Airport late on Friday 30 June was Atlas Air Boeing B747-446 N480MC. It touched down from RAAF Base Amberley as 'GTI8269' / "Giant 8269" and had earlier flown across from Honolulu.

The jumbo taxied in and parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rocky Airport parking apron.  It brought military personnel and cargo into Rocky to participate in joint military exercises being held in the region including Exercise Southern Jackaroo and the massive joint military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23) which are being held over July and into August.

At the time of writing, N480MC looked to be being prepared for an overnight stay.  Stay tuned for the latest information on its planned departure - we will do our best to bring it to you first!

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Scott H and Ash B for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the jumbo's arrival!  Stay tuned for more!

Photos taken by Scott Harris and Ash Burggraaff  ©

United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 167108 (QB-7108) "Raider 52" Calls into Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 30 June, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 167108 (Tail Code QB-7108) was photographed arriving into Rockhampton Airport from RAAF Base Richmond.  It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Raider 52".

After a short time on the ground, the KC-130J was departed Rockhampton Airport and completed air-to-air refuelling drills with USMC aircraft and helicopters/Ospreys from the United States Navy (USN) Ship USS America (LHA-6) which is currently in waters off the Capricorn Coast.

USS America (LHA-6), is an amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy and the lead ship of the America-class amphibious assault ship.

Of interest, KC-130J Hercules 167108 (Tail Code QB-7108) is flown by the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) as a part of Marine Aircraft Group 11 (MAG-11), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).

The squadron, known as the "Raiders", is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

Of further interest, another USMC Lockheed KC-130J Hercules of VMGR-352 has visited Townsville Airport twice over the past week with 165735 (Tail Code QB-5735) noted flying between Townsville and Darwin as "Raider 51".

Photos taken by Scott Harris and Krystiana Taylor  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-208 "Ausy 614" Spotted at Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 30 June, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft A41-208 was spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport.

The massive No. RAAF 36 Squadron Globemaster looked to fly across from RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia and later depart to RAAF Base Amberley.

A41-208 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Ausy 614".

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

All photos taken by Scott Harris  ©

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Australian Army Exercise Sea Explorer Hits Top Gear - Amphibious Beach Landing and More Helicopter Action Around Bowen

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is conducting the amphibious Exercise Sea Explorer along the coast of North Queensland.

As mentioned previously, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship HMAS Adelaide (III) (L01), along with the Bay-class landing ship HMAS Choules (L100), have been in waters off Bowen over the last week. They have been the launching points for various amphibious landing exercises on the Bowen foreshore, as well as multiple helicopter insertions of personnel and equipment.

Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters have been spotted completing operations along with Bowen foreshore.  Chinooks A15-306 and A15-308 were photographed completing several flights last Friday 23 June.

While at the start of this week, A15-306 was again spotted, this time with A15-310 parked on the deck of the HMAS Adelaide as there seems to be a lull in activities.  Also spotted on the deck of the HMAS Adelaide was Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk 'Romeo' helicopter N48-015 (Code 915) which has also been spotted flying around the vicinity of Bowen and the nearby Whitsundays area.

Exercise Sea Explorer prepares the ADF's Amphibious Ready Unit for certification. The Australian Amphibious Force train closely with the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Choules, as well as a beach landing force comprising of infantry, armoured vehicles, artillery, aviation and logistic elements optimised for amphibious raids and assaults.

Exercise Sea Explorer will run until early July and will be closely followed the next in the 'Sea' series of exercises, Sea Raider, which will also look to take place along the North Queensland coast including Bowen and The Whitsundays.

The Sea Series of exercises enhances joint interoperability of the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious capabilities.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter James K for capturing these great photos from Bowen!

All photos taken by James Kirk  ©