Friday, December 2, 2016

ATSB Also Investigating Runway Undershoot by Metro II VH-SSV at Theodore Airport and a Separation Issue for QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 at Bundaberg Airport

I've also been reading that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a runway undershoot at Theodore Airport on Wednesday 23 November involving Altitude Flight Operations (New South Wales) Brisbane-based Metro II VH-SSV.

VH-SSV at Bundaberg Airport recently  (File photo)

The ATSB states that "During the approach, the aircraft encountered windshear, which resulted in a runway undershoot and collision with a runway light. Debris from the runway light punctured one of the aircraft fuel tanks. There were no injuries and the aircraft received minor damage."

Meanwhile, the ATSB is also investigating a 'separation issue' between a QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOV and an unknown helicopter near Bundaberg Airport on Saturday 26 November.

The ATSB reports that "During the approach, the crew of the Dash-8-Q400 received a TCAS Traffic Alert and subsequently detected a helicopter pass abeam their aircraft. No radio broadcasts had been received from the crew of the helicopter. There were no injuries and the aircraft were not damaged."

Reports on both incidents will be released in several months.

Photo taken by Micah S  ©

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Releases Final Report into Whitsunday Tiger Moth VH-ARU Forced Landing - Birdstrike Ruled Out

The Whitsunday Tiger Moth Adventures distinctive red 1942-built De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth VH-ARU was forced to make an emergency landing at Funnel Bay near Airlie Beach on Saturday 2 July when the plane's propeller started making a strange noise while on one of its popular aerobatic joyflights.

The Australia Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has recently released its final report in the forced landing, and it has ruled out a bird strike, which was suspected to be the cause of the propeller failure as on-board video footage had shown the camera being "knocked by something flying back".

The report said there was no evidence of bird strike when the footage was reviewed frame by frame.  Small parts of the propeller that were retrieved held no bird remains.  However, the report was unable to definitively determine why the propeller failed.

The propeller manufacturer did say though that a failure was indicative of an "overspeed" event. This could not be confirmed however, as the propeller broke off over the water and most of it couldn't be retrieved.  The report stated that "the factors contributing to the propeller failure could not be determined by the timber fragments".

The report also praised the pilot, Nick Rorison, who had done well to scope out an alternative landing area once he realised the plane would not make it back to the runway at Shute Harbour.  "The pilot had a secondary plan to land on the beach at Funnel Bay" it stated.

"This incident highlights the value of always having a consideration of landing areas available in case a forced landing is required. Alerting air traffic control as emergencies arise enables them to provide the necessary and appropriate assistance."

The full report can be found on the ATSB website by clicking HERE.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Helifix Operations (PNG) Cessna 208 Caravan P2-HFD Arrives at Maryborough Airport

On Thursday 1 December, Helifix Operations of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Cessna 208B Supervan 900 was a nice arrival into Maryborough Airport.  It flew in from Cairns.

P2-HFD had flown into the Far North on Wednesday 30 November from Port Moresby and Horn Island.  It appears to be staying at Maryborough for the foreseeable future.

Sincere thanks to David G from Maryborough Aviation Services for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by David Geck  ©

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Air New Zealand Airbus A320 ZK-OJA ANZ805 Diverts to Rockhampton Airport from Christchurch due Storms in Brisbane

Certainly a surprise arrival into Rockhampton Airport late on Wednesday 30 November was Air New Zealand Airbus A320-200 ZK-OJA.  It was operating as ANZ805 which is the airline's scheduled service from Christchurch (New Zealand) to Brisbane.

ZK-OJA landed at Rockhampton Airport after being unable to land at and diverting from Brisbane due to a line of serious storms passing through around the time it was due to touch down.  It parked on Gate 1 on the Northern end of the Rocky Airport apron due to a Toll Freight Express Metro III VH-UZP parked on the Southern end.

What is strange is that ZK-OJA flew all the way North to Rockhampton Airport, rather than diverting to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, two airports where Air New Zealand actually operate scheduled services into.

Reports suggest though that Rockhampton might actually be the 'usual' diversion airport for Air New Zealand - as well as some other airlines including Qantas, Singapore Airlines and even Emirates Airline.

After being refuelled, ZK-OJA departed to Brisbane, continuing as ANZ805.

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters that ventured to Rockhampton Airport to capture some great photos of this great surprise visitor!

Photos taken by Ash Burggraaff and Kayanne Hardsman  ©

Jetstar A320 VH-VQP Delayed at Hamilton Island Airport as Report Shows 35% of Jetstar Flights Depart Mackay Airport Late!

On Wednesday 30 November, Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-VQP was noted departing Hamilton Island Airport some five-hours late as JST849 to Sydney.  It had earlier arrived on-time from the Harbour-city as JST846.

What seems to be Jetstar policy is that an engineering issue needs to be 'signed-off' by an engineer and it seems that GSL Aviation Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain was chartered to fly one from Cairns to Hamo and back during the evening  before VH-VQP could depart.

A Jetstar A320 arrives at Mackay Airport  (File photo)

The delay is rather timely as the local Daily Mercury newspaper reported this week that during October this year, the BITRE airline on-time report performance monthly report showed only 65% of Jetstar flights departed Mackay Airport on time.  This figure is some 15% worse than competitors Virgin Australia and Qantas/QantasLink.

Also, 22.4% of Jetstar flights into Mackay Airport failed to arrive on time.

Photo taken by 'AC'  ©

McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Bell 214B-1 Big Lifter Helicopter P2-MSA "Helitack 676" at Rockhampton Airport

Another nice large bushfire fighting helicopter was spotted passing through Rockhampton Airport on Wednesday 30 November in the form of McDermott Aviation / Heli-Lift Australia Bell 214B-1 Big Lifter Helicopter P2-MSA "Helitack 676".

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) registered 'Huey' is one of several that McDermott Aviation / Hevi-Life Australia operates around Australia on contract to local bushfire fighting authorities.

P2-MSA was noted to arrive into Rocky from the South and after taking on fuel, it continued North to Mackay Airport.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 30 November, fires in the vicinity of (or even within) the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) has seen locally based fixed-wing aircraft depart Rockhampton Airport for operations in the area.  R-Mach Aviation Ayres S2R Turbo Thursh VH-NFF "Bomber 407" was noted completing water-drops while Old Station (at Raglan) based Cessna 182D VH-RDQ has been noted completing reconnaissance flights to the North and South of Rocky as "Firespotter 403".

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and Trevor H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Trevor Hardsman  ©

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Look Inside Air New Zealand Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZJ at Rockhampton Airport

During October and November, Air New Zealand Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZJ operated into Rockhampton Airport several times, flying from and to Singapore's Changi Airport in support of the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2016.

On one visit to Rocky, local plane spotter Travis W was lucky enough to be invited airside and he was able to capture some great photos as ZK-NZJ (MSN: 37966) pulled into Gate 6 and then again as it was being prepared to return to Singapore.

The three-month-old aircraft is currently configured with 18 Business Class seats, 21 Premium Economy Class seats and 263 Economy Class seat.

Travis tells us that ZK-NZJ still had that 'new plane' smell!

Sincere thanks to Travis for taking the time to capture and send through these awesome photos!

All photos taken by Travis Whiting  ©

Friday, November 25, 2016

Search for Missing Fishing Trawler Brings Aerorescue (AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority) / Aero Pearl Dornier 328-100 VH-PPJ "Rescue 471" to Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 25 November, Aerorescue (AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority) / Aero Pearl Dornier 328-100 VH-PPJ "Rescue 471" was spotted at Rockhampton Airport returning from an early morning sortie over water in search of a missing fishing trawler.  The search area reportedly stretches from the Capricorn Coast South to the Gold Coast.

VH-PPJ had earlier flown into Rocky from its Cairns base and after taking on fuel, departed out to sea.

After landing back at Rockhampton Airport, the crew of VH-PPJ were heard to suggest that a relieft crew was being flown from Cairns and indeed later on Friday 25 November, McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Beech B200 King Air VH-WJK arrived into Rockhampton Airport from Cairns.

Soon after, both VH-WJK and VH-PPJ returned to Cairns.

It is not believed that any other aircraft are involved with the search around the Capricorn Coast region.

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign Bizjet VH-VPL Back in Mackay Airport During a Busy Day of Flying

After visiting Mackay Airport earlier in the week, on Friday 25 November, Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign bizjet VH-VPL made what looked to be a surprise visit to Mackay Airport, diverting in from Brisbane while reported flying to the Northern Peninsula Airport at Bamaga in Far North Queensland.

File photo

VH-VPL departed Mackay Airport for Townsville before then continuing to Bamaga.

It then returned South via Townsville and then Rockhampton Airport.  It then looked to continue to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, at Hamilton Island Airport, on Friday 25 November, Shortstop Jet Charter British Aerospace BAe-125-1000B bizjet VH-LMP returned to its Melbourne (Essendon) base.  It had arrived on Wednesday 23 November.

UPDATE!  VH-LMP operated a from Essendon into Hamilton Island Airport and back also on Saturday 26 November.

Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra Bizjet VH-MMC at Emerald Airport - Plus More!

On Thursday 24 November, Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC was spotted parked at Emerald Airport after it had earlier touched down from its Sunshine Coast base.

At the time of writing, it remains parked at Emerald Airport and appears to be staying for the at least the weekend.

Meanwhile as this post is written, late on Friday 25 November, LifeFlight LearJet 45 bizjet VH-CXJ "Ambulance 452" has also called into Emerald Airport during a busy afternoon of flying.  VH-CXJ had earlier departed Townsville for Blackall and Rockhampton before arriving at Emerald.  It then departed to Brisbane before it is due to return to Townsville.

On the lighter side of visitors to Emerald Airport over the last couple of days, Flight One (Services) Cirrus SR22 VH-VGG looked to make its 'usual' visit on Friday 25 November.  And departing Emerald Airport on Friday 25 November after spending the night was Archerfield-based Luxford Aviation (Brisbane) Mooney M20K VH-WNP.

On Thursday 24 November, Wolff Aviation Hawker Beechcraft C90GTi VH-VWG was spotted parked at Emerald Airport soon after it arrived from its Toowoomba base.

Also noted visiting Emerald Airport on Thursday 24 November were The Rockhampton Aero Club's Beech 58 Baron VH-KCN and Vanderfield Pilatus PC-12/47 corporate turbo-prop VH-WPH.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©