Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Edwards Coaches Cessna 650 Citation VII Bizjet VH-LYM Pops into Gladstone Airport

The run of interesting aircraft to call into Gladstone Airport continued on Wednesday 22 March as Edwards Coaches Cessna 650 Citation VII bizjet VH-LYM came to town for a short while.

The sleek Citation touched down from its Armidale base and the Gold Coast.  After a few hours on the ground, it departed back to Gold Coast before returning home to Armidale.

Also on Wednesday 22 March, a nice corporate turbo-prop in the form of Wagga Wagga-based SOCATA TBM-850 VH-PVM was spotted also visiting Gladstone Airport.  It arrived from Bundaberg Airport.

It appears that VH-PVM is conducting a tour of CQ with it initially arriving into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport from Wagga Wagga via Roma on Sunday 19 March.  It then flew to Bundaberg Airport on Tuesday 21 March.

Of interest, another SOCATA in the form of Bishopp Aviation SOCATA TBM-700 VH-VSV was noted visiting Bundaberg Airport on Wednesday 22 March from Archerfield.

Meanwhile, locally-based Cessna 210 VH-KTE has been busy flying from Gladstone Airport with the Centurion noted visiting Roma, Maryborough and Hamilton Island (twice) over the last week or so.

A more couple of nice visitors to Gladstone Airport this week - and we thank the local plane spotters for sending through their great photos despite the inclement weather that is currently passing through the region.  Although one thing I do like about the rain is that creates some nice reflections of the aircraft in the apron surface!

All photos taken by 'Mick'  ©

Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter A38-010 Also Spotted at Longreach Airport

On Wednesday 22 March, Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter A38-010 was also spotted at Longreach Airport.

Its exact movements are not known, however it appears that the Tiger took on fuel before departing.

All photos taken by ‘AC’  ©

Kefford Corporation Gulfstream G-IV-SP Bizjet N810LP Calls into Longreach Airport - Plus More!

On Wednesday 22 March, Kefford Corporation (of Victoria) Gulfstream G-IV-SP bizjet N810LP was spotted calling into Longreach Airport from its Melbourne (Essendon) base via Canberra.

After parking on the old Longreach Airport parking apron, adjacent to the Qantas Founders Museum, N810LP returned to Canberra and then Essendon.

Meanwhile, a couple of other interesting visitors into Longreach Airport over the last few days have included a nice pair of Pilatus PC-12 turboprops.  

Cloncurry-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-MDH also visited on Wednesday 22 March.  Of interest, it also called into Longreach Airport on Sunday 19 March.  While Brisbane-based Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-AAD was noted visiting on Sunday 19 March and again on Monday 20 March.

UPDATE!  VH-AAD also visited Longreach Airport on Thursday 23 March.

Finally, as shown in a photo above, Dubbo (New South Wales) based Cirrus SR20 VH-ZCD visited Longreach Airport on Wednesday 22 March.  It arrived from Dubbo and is pictured departing to Normanton.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

More Virgin Australia Flight Cancellations sees Boeing B737-800 VH-VUF Call into Gladstone Airport enroute to Rockhampton

It was another interesting day with a couple of interesting arrivals into Gladstone Airport on Tuesday 21 March.  In the late afternoon, Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-VUF was spotted arriving into Gladstone Airport as VOZ1245 from Brisbane.

This service usually flys direct to Rockhampton Airport, however, on this occasion, due to a cancelled flight in and out of Gladstone Airport, the larger jet was substituted and completed the 'triangular pattern' of flying from Brisbane to Gladstone and then Rocky.

After the sun had set, VH-VUF departed Gladstone for Rockhampton Airport, continuing as VOZ1245.  It later departed Rocky for Brisbane on the delayed VOZ1248 service.

Meanwhile, another interesting helicopter arrival into Gladstone Airport on Tuesday 21 March was Whitsunday Helicopters' Agusta A109E Power VH-KZD.

It looked to fly in direct from its Mackay Airport base and appeared to be spending the night at Gladstone Airport.

UPDATE!  VH-KZD was noted returning to Mackay from Gladstone Airport on Wednesday 22 March.

All photos taken by 'Mick'  ©

Regional Express (REX) Grounds Some SAAB 340 Aircraft as a Result of Propeller Malfunction over Sydney

As has been widely reported, on Friday 17 March, Regional Express (REX) Flight ZL768 from Albury to Sydney lost the propeller from its Number 2 engine in flight, then carried on to make a safe landing at Sydney Airport.

The flight was operated by SAAB 340B VH-NRX (c/n 340B-291) which was manufactured in 1991, and was first registered in Australia in October 2004.

VH-NRX in happier times  (File photo)

As an investigation continues into how a propeller fell off the SAAB as it was approaching Sydney Airport, REX has grounded some of its planes.

“REX has decided, by abundance of caution, to immediately remove from service and quarantine all propeller gear boxes and shafts of the same series as that of the incident for further inspection and testing if warranted,” REX said in a statement.

REX is yet to confirm how many planes have been impacted.

It is believed the fleet of three Pel-Air SAAB 340 Freighter aircraft has been grounded.  As a result, it was interesting to note that Qantas Freight Boeing B737-300F VH-XML popped into Mackay Airport early on Tuesday 21 March to cover for the grounded SAAB 340.

File photo

VH-XML flew into Mackay Airport from Brisbane as QFA7339 before continuing to Townsville using the same flight number.  Of interest, the Qantas Freight B737-300's operated on this route during 2016 - as shown above.

Back on Friday, the Number 2 engine on VH-NRX was shut down following 'abnormal indications'. That action 'feathers' the propeller in order to reduce drag.  It was at this point that the propeller assembly separated and rotated upwards and to the right of the aircraft which was carrying 16 passengers and three crew members.

Regional Express operates a fleet of more than 50 Saab 340 aircraft on about 1500 weekly flights to 58 destinations across Australia.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Avcair (Earth Commodities) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo Bizjet VH-CCJ at Gladstone Airport

Back in CQ once again on Monday 20 March was the Avcair (Earth Commodities) Cessna 550 Citation Bravo bizjet VH-CCJ.  It flew North from Brisbane and touched down at Gladstone Airport where it remained parked on a rain-soaked apron for most of the day.

During the middle part of the afternoon, VH-CCJ returned to Brisbane.

Also spotted visiting Gladstone Airport on Monday 20 March was RACQ LifeFlight Agusta Westland AW139 VH-XIH which flew in from the South as "Rescue 533".

Flight tracking websites suggest that VH-XIH may have flown into Bundaberg Airport before continuing to Gladstone Hospital.  I presume it then positioned over to Gladstone Airport to take on fuel before returning South to Brisbane.

Finally, an interesting visitor in the form of Cairns-based Cessna 182 VH-IFJ flew into Gladstone Airport from there on Saturday 18 March.  It departed to Bathurst (New South Wales) on Sunday 19 March.  The Skylane is operated by Hinterland Aviation but has also been operated by the North Queensland Aero Club.

All photos taken by 'Mick'  ©

A Busy Day at Hamilton Island Airport on Monday - A Bizjet Departure - QantasLink Cracked Windshield - Jetstar A320 Break Down

A really interesting 'mixed-bag' type of day at Hamilton Island Airport on Monday 20 March with one of the three nice visiting bizjets departing, as well as cancelled and delayed scheduled flights due to maintenance problems.

First up, the visiting Isle-of-Man registered Bombardier BD-100-1A10 Challenger 350 M-SGJS departed to Darwin - where it is pictured below arriving a little while later.

After taking on fuel, M-SGJS continued overseas to Singapore (Seletar) Airport.

As posted below, M-SGJS was one of three nice bizjets that arrived at Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 18 March.  Also touching down was American-registered Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 N667BB.  It is pictured parked on the Hamo Apron on Monday 20 March.

Eagle-eyed reader will also notice the brand new Shortstop Jet Charter Dassault Falcon 900C VH-OAA which remains parked on the Western side of the Island after also arriving on Saturday 18 March.

On Monday 20 March, maintenance problems affected two outbound flights from Hamilton Island Airport to Sydney and Brisbane for both Jetstar Airways and QantasLink respectively.  Jetstar Airbus A320 VH-JQL initially touched down at Hamo as JST846 from Sydney, however it was unable to operate the return JST849 service due to a technical issue.  Much later in the day - in fact in the evening - fellow Jetstar A320 VH-JQG positioned empty from Brisbane to Hamilton Island Airport JST7994 before it operated a significantly delayed flight to Brisbane (not Sydney) as JST7849.

It appears that VH-JQL remains parked at Hamo.

UPDATE!  VH-JQL re-positioned empty back to Brisbane from Hamilton Island on Tuesday 21 March as JST7995.

And QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOX touched down from Brisbane as QLK2828 but was unable to return to Brisbane due to the Q400 having a cracked windshield.  In the late afternoon, fellow QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOH positioned to Hamo from Mackay Airport empty as QLK2670 before it operated the now delayed QLK2829 service back to Brisbane.

It too appears that VH-QOX remains parked at Hamo.

UPDATE!  VH-QOX was noted flying to Cairns from Hamilton Island on Tuesday 21 March as QLK2450.

UPDATE!  Another QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOF flew into Hamilton Island Airport from Cairns early on Tuesday 21 March as QLK7311.  It then departed to Brisbane as QLK2675.

Finally, a couple of visitors to Hamilton Island Airport on the 'lighter side' that are worth mentioning included 

Jedda Lin (Sydney) Hawker Beechcraft G36 Bonanza VH-JKL flew into Hamilton Island Airport from Archerfield on Monday 20 March.  It then departed to Rockhampton Airport and collected some passengers before it later returned to Hamo.  VH-JKL had flown into Archerfield from Bankstown on Sunday 19 March.

Also visiting Hamilton Island Airport on Monday 20 March was Hinterland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan VH-ETF which operated as HND720 from and back to Townsville.

On Sunday 19 March, Pegasus Air (South Australia) Pilatus PC-12/47E flew from the Gold Coast to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport and then Hamilton Island Airport.

VH-KWZ at its Adelaide Airport base earlier this month

At the time of writing, VH-KWZ is due to return to the Gold Coast on Tuesday 21 March.

Finally, over the last week, Regional Air Piper PA-31-350 VH-RKD continues to operate private charter flights into Hamilton Island Airport from its Mackay Airport base.

Photos taken by Sid Mitchell, 'AC' and Tony Haynes  ©