Monday, October 16, 2023

Bowenville-based Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1+ Bizjet VH-JSZ Pops into a Couple of CQ Airports - Plus More!

On Monday 16 October, Bowenville (near Toowoomba) based Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1+ bizjet VH-JSZ flew up from Archerfield to Mackay Airport and then down to Rockhampton Airport and then back to Archerfield. 

File photo

Meanwhile, also on Monday 16 October, Seair Pacific (Istlecote) Cessna 208 Caravan VH-LYI flew up from Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport and Maryborough Airport to Middlemount Aerodrome before then flying down to Rockhampton Airport and then back to Hervey Bay Airport. 

McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Beech B200 King Air VH-ZPY as 'MC11' / "Machflight 11" visited the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site from Cairns.

Mooney M20J VH-KDC arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Toowoomba and then departed to Normanton. 

And newly registered Helibras AS350B2 Esquilo VH-EQP looked to fly up from Caloundra to the Sunshine Coast, Orchid Beach, Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) and Bundaberg Airports.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 17 October, VH-EQP continued to Gladstone Airport, Rockhampton Airport, the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour and then Hamilton Island Airport.  After completing a couple of local flights, on Thursday 19 October and Friday 20 October, VH-EQP flew down to Toowoomba via Emerald and Dalby Airports.

Finally, also on Monday 16 October, Sharp Airlines Metro III VH-OZV flew as "Sharp 129" flying from Mackay to Brisbane diverted into Rockhampton Airport.

UPDATE!  After two weeks, on Monday 30 October, VH-OZV finally departed Rockhampton Airport as "Sharp103F" for Brisbane.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 9V-SHQ Pops into Rockhampton Airport in Support of Exercise Wallaby 2023

Also on Monday 16 October, Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-951 9V-SHQ was photographed arriving into Rockhampton Airport direct from Singapore's Changi Airport as SIA8921.

After loading a full flight of personnel and equipment, it departed back to Changi but as SIA8928.

It is believed that this flight concludes the waves of heavy jet passenger charter flights in and out of Rockhampton Airport in support of the Singapore Armed Forces Exercise Wallaby 2023 (XWB23).

Bring on Wallaby 2024!

Photos taken by Steve Vit  ©

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16D+ Fighting Falcon Jets - Plus Airbus A330-MRTT '765' - And Lockheed C-130H Hercules '733' - All Depart Rockhampton Airport For Good!

As mentioned below, on Monday 16 October, most of the participating Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopters and aircraft departed Rockhampton Airport for good following their participation in the latest iteration of the Singapore Armed forces Exercise Wallaby 2023 (XWB23).

After arriving the previous after from Singapore, RSAF Airbus A330-243 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330-MRTT) aircraft '765' departed Rockhampton Airport for Cairns and then Singapore again as "SAF8333".

It went shortly before the four RSAF General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin) F-16D+ (F-16D Block 52+ Version) Fighting Falcon jets also departed Rockhampton Airport, also bound for a refuelling stop at Cairns before then continuing to Singapore.

The four F-16s - 677, 662, 665 and 679 - took to the air again using the ferrying flight callsigns of "SAF 3315A-D".

Lastly, RSAF Lockheed C-130H transport aircraft '733', which had been deployed to Rockhampton Airport for most of the Exercise and completed multiple daily flights to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and back to Rockhampton Airport, also departed to Cairns before then flying onwards to Darwin.

It was heard to use the radio callsign of "SAF6348".

Fellow RSAF C-130H Hercules '731' which arrived the previous day from Darwin as "SAF6348" appeared to break down and reports suggest a quick unload and then re-load of personnel and equipment took place in order to get the serviceable Herc '733' off the ground and on to Cairns and Darwin.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 18 October, '733' as "SAF6348" departed Darwin for Singapore.

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 18 October, '731' as "SAF6342" departed Rockhampton Airport for Darwin with it then continuing to Singapore on Thursday 19 October.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters at Rockhampton and Cairns for allowing us to share these great photos!

Photos taken by Steve Vit, Jensen Jackson, Graham Aspinall and Trevor Hardsman  ©

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache & Boeing CH-47F Chinook Helicopters Depart Rockhampton Airport for Oakey - Via Bundaberg Airport!

Some spectacular photos on Monday 16 October, as just about all the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopters departed Rockhampton Airport and 'Warriors Camp' at the conclusion of the Singapore Armed Forces Exercise Wallaby 2023 (XWB23).

The four Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters departed in a spectacular flight of four as "Aspen Flight" and called into Bundaberg Airport to refuel.  Local plane spotters were out in force in Bundy to capture photos and videos of the unusual visitors!

The four Apaches - serials 056, 063, 064, and 069 - then continued down to the Oakey Army Aviation Centre where they are believed to be completing more flying operations with Australian Army Eurocopter Tiger ARH helicopters.

While six of the eight RSAF Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters also departed Rockhampton and flew down to Oakey direct.

They complete the flight in two groups with "Celtic" departing first - 1 & 2 from the Camp and 3 & 4 from Rockhampton Airport - followed by "Concorde" - 1 from the Camp and 1 from Rockhampton Airport.

There are two remaining RSAF Chinooks which are seemingly planned to depart to Oakey on Tuesday 17 October.

All the helicopters had arrived into Rockhampton Airport back at the end of August / start of September with the Apaches freighted in on the Antonov AN-124.

Exercise Wallaby is over for another year, and we look forward to seeing both the Apaches and Chinooks back at Rockhampton Airport again in 2024!

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for allowing us to share these great photos and videos from both Rockhampton Airport and Bundaberg Airport!

Photos and videos taken by Daniel Gorza and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Airbus A330-MRTT '765' and Lockheed C-130H Hercules '731' Both Call into Rockhampton Airport as Exercise Wallaby 2023 Draws to a Close

During the late afternoon on Sunday 15 October, a pair of The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) transport aircraft both arrived into Rockhampton Airport in preparation for the departure of participating aircraft and helicopters as The Singapore Armed Forces Exercise Wallaby 2023 (XWB23) draws to a close.

First to arrive into Rockhampton Airport was RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules transport aircraft '731' which flew down from Darwin as "SAF6348".  It had arrived there from Singapore the previous day.

Then RSAF Airbus A330-243 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330-MRTT) aircraft '765' arrived from Singapore as "SAF8333".

Both aircraft are expected to stay for the night with information suggesting they will be departing to Cairns early on Monday 16 October, in company with the four RSAF General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin) F-16D Block 52 Version Fighting Falcon jets, while on the first leg of their journey home to Singapore.

Meanwhile, it is also possible that on Monday 16 October, the RSAF helicopters will be departing Rockhampton Airport soon with one report suggesting the Boeing AH-64D Apaches are not being uplifted back to Singapore from Rockhampton Airport but instead they are flying away to a different location for more Exercises.

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Steve Vit  ©

Sharp Airlines Metro 23 VH-UZN Calls into Some CQ Airports on Federal Referendum Duties - Plus More!

On Sunday 15 October, Sharp Airlines Metro 23 VH-UZN as "Sharp 173" departed Winton Airport for Longreach, Barcaldine, Charleville, Cunnamulla and Toowoomba Airports before flying onwards to Brisbane.  As mentioned below, it had originally landed at Winton Airport on Friday 13 October.

Of interest, on Saturday 14 October, VH-UZN as "Sharp 104" did a similar run out of Winton Airport, flying to Longreach, Charleville, Cunnamulla, Saint George and Toowoomba before then returning to Winton Airport.

It appears that these flights were in support of the Federal Referendum held over the weekend.

Perhaps a similar set of flights were completed by General Aviation Maintenace (GAM) Aero Commander 500-S VH-KAK.  On Saturday 14 October, it flew up from Brisbane to Longreach Airport and then Mount Isa, before then, on Sunday 15 October, flying across Mount Isa to Cairns and then down to Rockhampton Airport and back to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday 15 October, Brisbane-based Hewitt Cattle Australia P/L SOCATA TBM 700 VH-PGA flew back from Alice Springs and Ambalindum to Longreach Airport before then continuing to Archerfield.  It looked to have flown out there a few days earlier.

Air Link Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan VH-MZI flew out of Blackall Airport to Archerfield after arriving there the previous day.

And also visiting Blackall Airport, also on Sunday 15 October, was American-registered (but seemingly Australian-based) Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet N510MW which arrived from Melbourne (Essendon).

UPDATE!  Monday 16 October, N510MW departed Blackall Airport and flew up to Lizard Island.  Over the next week, it flew to Cooktown and the Sunshine Coast before eventually returning to Essendon.

And Cessna 182 VH-RYZ was noted operating the parachuting flights out of Lakeside Airpark around the Laguna Quays Resort.

All photos taken by Garry Wilkinson  ©