Friday, March 10, 2023

The RoKAF Black Eagles Arrive Back into Rockhampton Airport After Avalon Airshow - 9 KAI T-50B Jets and 2 C-130 Hercules

On Friday 10 March, The Republic of Korea (South Korea) Air Force (RoKAF) "Black Eagles" aerobatic team arrived back into Rockhampton Airport for another overnight stop while heading home to South Korea after participating in the Australian International Airshow.

A total of nine of the team's KAI T-50B trainers landed at Rockhampton Airport after flying up from RAAF Base Williamtown.  They had flown into there from Melbourne (Avalon) the previous day.

The T-50B jets travelled in three flights as "Bravo Echo 01/04/07" and carry the military serial numbers of 10-0052, 10-0059, 15-0084, 10-0053, 10-0055, 10-0051, 10-0058, 10-0060, and 10-0057.

The aircraft will depart Saturday morning for Mount Isa and then Darwin before then continuing home to South Korea over the coming days.

UPDATE!  On Saturday 11 March, the Black Eagles departed Rockhampton Airport for Cairns, RAAF Base Tindal (Katherine) and Darwin.

Meanwhile, arriving into Rockhampton Airport late on Thursday 9 March, was RoKAF C-130J-30 45-750 "Argo 102" after flying up directly from Avalon.  It was photographed still parked in the rain early on Friday 10 March.

And during the early evening, also on Friday 10 March, RoKAF Lockheed C-130H-30 Hercules 55-030 as "Argo 101" also arrived into Rockhampton Airport, also directly from Avalon.

It is expected that both Hercs will also depart on Saturday 11 March, with one possibly following the Black Eagles to Mount Isa Cairns and Tindal while the other is expected to fly up to Darwin.

The Black Eagles Aerobatic Team originally left an air base in Wonju, 130 kilometres east of Seoul, midway through February. It is the first time they have travelled to Australia to participate in the biennial Australian International Airshow and Aerospace Defence Exposition which has just been held at Avalon Airport in Geelong.

For the show, the Korean Air Force has mobilized some 120 personnel, including 11 pilots, as well as the nine T-50B supersonic jets and three C-130 transport aircraft.

Of interest, The Republic of Korea Air Force aerobatic team was formed on December 12, 1994, and flew six Cessna A-37B Dragonfly airplanes.  It disbanded temporarily after the 2007 Seoul Air Show and reformed upon the arrival of the new T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft, codenamed T-50B, in 2010.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for providing us with such a great coverage of the arrival of these awesome visitors to the region!

Photos taken by Scott Harris, Trevor Hardsman, and Jack Wallace  ©

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS Bizjet VH-XCU Pops into Hamilton Island Airport - Plus More!

On Thursday 9 March, Homada Pty Ltd Cessna 560XL Citation XLS bizjet VH-XCU was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.

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It flew up from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon) and later returned directly to Moorabbin.

Meanwhile, also on Thursday 9 March, several King Air turboprops were noted around the region including Austrek Aviation Beech B200 Super King Air VH-ZGD which flew up from Toowoomba to Longreach Airport and then Julia Creek.  It then flew down to Emerald Airport and Maryborough Airport before returning to Toowoomba.

Brisbane-based Crockett Aviation Group Beech B200 King Air VH-FAQ visited the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site from Archerfield and the Sunshine Coast.

As did Flight One (Services) Beech B200 King Air VH-FON which also ar3rived into Labona from Archerfield and the Sunshine Coast.  It later returned to Archerfield.

While Beech 95-B55 VH-MYM flew up from its Gayndah Aerodrome base to Rockhampton Airport and then Townsville.  It later returned South over the same route.

It also appears that VH-MYM visited Gladstone and Bundaberg Airports over the previous couple of days too.

Edwards Coaches Cessna 441 VH-TAZ flew up from Armidale to Emerald Airport before departing to Archerfield and back to Armidale.

And Brisbane-based Hewitt Cattle Australia P/L SOCATA TBM 700 VH-PGA landed at Moura Aerodrome from Archerfield before then departing to Birdsville and further west. 

Photo taken by Jonathan Williams  ©

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-006 "Mitchel 15" Spotted Completing a Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 9 March, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-006 was spotted completing a missed approach into Rockhampton Airport.

It looked to fly up from RAAF Base Williamtown as "Mitchel 15" to Rocky where it completed the airwork.  It then flew off the Central Queensland coast and operated with another aircraft whose identity remains a mystery!

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

Photos taken by Scott Harris and John Lee  ©

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 Bizjet VH-LXZ "Navair 131" Calls into Mackay Airport - Plus More!

On Wednesday 8 March, Navair Flight Operations Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 bizjet VH-LXZ as "Navair 131" visited Mackay Airport from Bankstown and Cessnock.

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While McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Cessna 525A CitationJet CJ2 bizjet VH-SUY visited Emerald Airport from the Sunshine Coast and Archerfield. 

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 8 March, Nebrean P/L Hawker Beechcraft B200GT Super King Air 250 VH-JHP was noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.  It looked to arrive from Toowoomba and Orange before later departing to Tennant Creek. 

UPDATE!  On Thursday 9 March, VH-JHP was photographed above arriving back into Rockhampton Airport from Tennant Creek before it then departed to Orange and back to Toowoomba.

And Link Airways (Corporate Air / Vee H Aviation) Cessna 441 Conquest VH-VEY flew up from Brisbane to the Newlands Coal Mine site before then flying down to Rolleston Aerodrome and Emerald Airport.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 9 March, C441 VEY departed Emerald Airport for Rolleston Aerodrome and then Newcastle (Williamtown). 

Finally, also on Wednesday 8 March, Qantas Freight / Pionair Australia BAe 146-300(QT) VH-SQR called into Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane as QFA7421.  It later returned to the capital but as QFA7424. 

It also looks like VH-SQR called into Mackay Airport on Tuesday 7 March, arriving from Brisbane as QFA7298 and departing to Cairns as QFA7299.

Photos taken by 'JM' and John Lee  ©

Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook Helicopters A15-302 & A15-303 Pass through Rockhampton Airport Heading Home to Townsville from Avalon

On Wednesday 8 March, a pair of Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters were noted passing through Rockhampton Airport as they flew home to Townsville after being at Melbourne (Avalon) where they were on display at the just completed Australian International Airshow.

The two Chinooks were identified as A15-302 and A15-303 and are both operated by the Australian Army's 5th Aviation Regiment (5 Avn Regt) 'C' Squadron based at Townsville.

They looked to fly separately into Rocky from RAAF Base Amberley with A15-302 flying as "Fatboy 359" and A15-303 a few minutes behind as "Brahman 11".

After taking on fuel, both Chinooks departed separately from Rockhampton Airport for Townsville.

Of interest, we reported on Wednesday 22 February, that A15-302 and A15-305 were planned to head South to Avalon but it appears that A15-305 returned to Townsville with it then subsequently passing back through Rockhampton Airport on Saturday 4 5 March as one of three Chinooks (also A15-304 and A15-307) to embark on the HMAS Canberra to head to Vanuatu for Cyclone relief efforts.  

It is unclear when A15-305 flew back to Townsville and then A15-302 flew South to Avalon but we assume they transited through Central Queensland.

Defence images...

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

MacKellar Mining Equipment Pty Ltd (Revesco Aviation) Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign VH-MMC Calls into a Couple of CQ Airports - Plus More!

On Tuesday 7 March, MacKellar Mining Equipment Pty Ltd (Revesco Aviation) Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-MMC arrived into Rockhampton Airport from the Sunshine Coast.  It later departed to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site.

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During the afternoon, VH-MMC returned to Rockhampton Airport from Labona before heading back to the Sunshine Coast.

And Capital Jet Charter (Canberra) Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-STE flew up from Canberra and Toowoomba to Rockhampton Airport.

UPDATE!  On Friday 10 March, VH-STE finally departed Rockhampton Airport and returned to Toowoomba and Canberra.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 7 March, it was Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights galore around the region including DeGunst Transport P/L Textron (Cessna) 208 Caravan VH-NPZ which completed its weekly FIFO run from Bundaberg Airport to Nebo Aerodrome and back direct.  VH-NPZ also looked to have flown to Archerfield and back to Bundaberg Airport last Friday 3 March.

Southern Airlines Beech B200 King Air VH-AMF was noted doing the weekly Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flight up to Moranbah Airport. It flew up from Latrobe Valley and Charleville Airport to Moranbah Airport before then heading back to Latrobe Valley and then Melbourne (Moorabbin).

Hinterland Aviation Beech B200 King Air VH-HLJ and Cessna 208 Caravan VH-ETF looked to fly down from Cairns to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site and back as HND490 and HND456 respectively.

Cessna 208 Caravan VH-NDC flew down from Townsville to Mackay Airport before then flying out to Labona and back to Mackay Airport and then Townsville as HND290/1/2/3.  Of interest, fellow Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravans VH-CVN and VH-MRZ are currently still completing the FIFO charter flights from Rockhampton Airport to Labona and back.

UPDATE!  VH-NDC also operated into Mackay Airport on Wednesday 8 March, flying down from Townsville to Labona and then to Mackay Airport and back to Labona and Townsville as HND280/1/2/3.

And after arriving into Rockhampton Airport the previous day from Cairns and Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport as SKP85/780 and then completing a flight to Labona and back, Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQB completed two more flights to Labona and back to Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 7 March before then departing to Brisbane as SKP513.
Fellow Skytrans Dash-8-100 VH-QQI flew up from Brisbane to Rockhampton Airport as SKP512 but looked to remain parked at Rocky,

UPDATE!  On Wednesday 8 March, VH-QQI departed Rockhampton Airport for Townsville and Cairns as SKP787/6.

And Seair Pacific / Istlecote Textron Aviation (Cessna) 208B Caravan VH-TQI flew up from Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport to Rockhampton Airport before then flying out to Labona.  It then returned to Hervey Bay Airport direct.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Air Gold Coast Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 Bizjet VH-CDG Pops into Bundaberg Airport - Twice! - Plus More!

On Monday 6 March, Air Gold Coast Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-CDG was noted visiting Bundaberg Airport twice during a busy day of flying.

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It flew up from the Gold Coast to Bundaberg Airport before departing to Stanthorpe.  It later returned to Bundy before returning to the Gold Coast. 

Meanwhile, also on Monday 6 March, Flight One (Services) Beech B200 King Air VH-FON visited the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site from Archerfield and the Sunshine Coast.  This time it was heard to use the flight number and callsign of "Navair 170".

Machjet (Machjet International) Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air VH-ZSY and Beech B200 King Air VH-SUW flew into Rockhampton Airport and completed flights to the Labona Station Airstrip within Adani Australia's (Bravus Mining & Resources) Carmichael Coal Mine site and then back to Rockhampton Airport.

VH-ZSY flew up from the Sunshine Coast, while VH-SUW flew down from Cairns.

UPDATE!  Over most of the rest of the week, both VH-ZSY and VH-SUW continued to fly between Rockhampton Airport and Labona.  On Wednesday 8 March, it appears that VH-ZSY and VH-SUW both departed Labona for Townsville and then Cairns.

The Queensland Police Service (Airwing) (State of Queensland) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK flew into Rockhampton Airport from Cairns and Townsville.  It then departed to Mackay Airport before returning to Townsville and Cairns.

And Burketown based Dasap P/L Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan VH-MDM landed at Longreach Airport after flying down from Burketown, Gregory Downs, Mount Isa and Cloncurry.  It then departed to Cunnamulla and Orange in New South Wales.

UPDATE!  On Thursday 9 March, VH-MDM returned to Longreach Airport from Orange and Cunnamulla before later departing to Cloncurry and Mount Isa.

Photo taken by Brodie Lawson  ©

Three Large RAAF Jets Spotted and Noted Around Central Queensland Airports

It was a busy day around some Central Queensland Airports on Monday 6 March with three large Royal Australian Air Force jets spotted and noted visiting.

RAAF Airbus A330-200 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft A39-003 as "Thumper 01" and A39-006 as "Thumper 02" both flew out of RAAF Base Amberley and headed up the Queensland Coast.  

A39-003 "Thumper 01" completed airwork at the Sunshine Coast and Townsville before being photographed (above) climbing out after completing a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.  It then returned to Amberley.

A39-006 "Thumper 02" completed airwork off the coast of Brisbane with A39-003 "Thumper 01" and then returned to Amberley.

While RAAF Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-006 as "Wedgetail 03" flew up from RAAF Base Williamtown to complete airwork including at least two missed approaches at Hamilton Island Airport before then returning to Williamtown.

And RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft A41-209 as "Stallion 30" flew up from RAAF Base Amberley to complete low level work in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) before then landing at the Williamson Airstrip.  It then returned to Amberley but later once again flew up to Williamson Airstrip before later again returning to Amberley.

Photos taken by John Lee and Nick Sainsbury  ©

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Three Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook Helicopters Pass Through Rockhampton Airport Heading to HMAS Canberra to Support Vanuatu Relief Efforts

On Saturday 4 March, three Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters were spotted passing through Rockhampton Airport.  It is believed that they were heading from Townsville to Sydney to rendezvous with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Canberra (L02), which is docked at the Garden Island Naval Base and soon heading to Vanuatu to provide support to Pacific Island nation in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Judy and Tropical Cyclone Kevin.

The three Chinooks are believed to have worn the serial numbers A15-304, A15-305 and A15-307 and looked to arrive into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville (pictured below) for a refuel together as "Chainsaw".  They are pictured later departing to RAAF Base Amberley.

On Sunday 5 March, all three Chinook helicopters of the Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment based at Townsville, landed on the deck of the HMAS Canberra prior to setting sail later in the day.

HMAS Canberra loaded vehicles and aircraft in Sydney in readiness to sail as part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) response to the DFAT-led, Whole-of-Government support to Vanuatu in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Judy and Tropical Cyclone Kevin. Australia is proud to work with the Government of Vanuatu, the Pacific family and other partners to provide humanitarian support.

Meanwhile, during the previous week, a visiting United States Army (US Army) Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopter conducted a series of deck-based training activities aboard HMAS Canberra while alongside at Fleet Base East in Sydney. 

The US Army AH-64E Apache - serial AH-64E 20-03330 - was in Sydney while in transit to the Australian International Airshow 2023 in Avalon Victoria, presenting Army and Navy personnel with an ideal training opportunity ahead of the arrival of Australia’s future AH-64E Apache fleet in 2025. Training includes a landing and take-off serial, general deck handling, refuelling serials and Navy and Army future integration opportunities.

The Apache was delivered to RAAF Base Richmond along with a US Army Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter with serial 13-20592.

Photos taken by John Lee  ©
Additional photos are Defence Images...