Far North Queensland Skies Cairns and Townsville Airport, Australia

Far North Queensland Skies Cairns and Townsville Airport, Australia

Copyright Notice

Copyright Notice

All photos on Far North Queensland Skies are copyrighted to me, or the photographer of that photo. All photos that are downloaded from Far North Queensland Skies are strictly intended for personal use only. Anyone, including the media, who would like to use any of the photos on the Blog, for any purpose other than personal use, must contact me in writing to obtain permission to use the photo(s). Any photo not taken by me, that was obtained from another photographer or another source, that appears on this Blog, will be duly acknowledged as such.

Friday 31 July 2015

FNQ Yestayear Extra - The 'Lifter's Half Century


50 years ago, the USAF’s MATS division took delivery of the first of 284 LOCKHEED C-141A’s which was named ‘Starlifter’.  As deliveries took place it gradually replaced its predecessor, the C-124 Globemaster ll, to form the backbone of the US military’s transport capability for the next three decades.  The C-141 has been involved in every major world conflict be it involving the U.S or in a supporting role for allies from 1965 to 2004 when the last active duty example was retired, being replaced by the C-17 who took over the mantle.  It shouldered a large percentage of airlift duty during the Vietnam War, both in the cargo and personnel role. MATS became MAC in 1966, and from 1992 flew under the AMC banner.

In 1975 all existing C-141A’s were modified to C-141B’s which involved a two plug fuselage extension and an in-flight refuelling capability. In 1992 further modifications were made to 63 C-141B’s becoming C-141C’s, the changes being mainly internal plus additional software upgrades.  Over the years the Starlifter became a familiar sight as it crisscrossed the globe visiting numerous facilities including landing on the ice caps. An example on the production line was modified to commercial standards (L-300) in the hope that the civil cargo market might find it attractive, but there was little interest and the aircraft was passed on to NASA. 

The C-141 was no stranger in the Pacific, a major theatre of operations for the aircraft, and of course Australia figured in this respect with frequent supply flights to U.S installations in the country and supporting numerous exercises. The Cairns airport saw several visits of the Starlifter in the decades before retirement.   Probably the most notable being the visit of an example sent to pick up former President Clinton after 9/11, who happened to be visiting the area.  Following withdrawal of the type from ANG service the last operating unit of the type, they were retired to the AMARG facility in Arizona for storage.  The familiar sight may well be gone but not forgotten.
backtracking on rw15 at Cairns is this C-141B wearing EU1 camouflage

60130 a Mississippi ANG (reserve) C-141C climbs out of Cairns in the later grey trim

70021 a C-141C of the Tennessee ANG (reserve) lays over at Cairns

CIC of MAC used this C-141B as his personal transport.
Note gold trim on tail and cheat line. 
70166 was the final Starlifter built, seen here at RIAT.

this C-141B was caught over the fence for rw33 at Cairns

MAC C-141B 70024 rotates off runway 23 at Dublin, it wears the high viz trim

C-141A 50248 at Mildenhall in the original silver finish, the shorter fuselage is evident

newspaper cutting, courtesy of the Cairns Post

NASA 714 L-300 N714NA seen here at Christchurch

64-0616 C141B McGuire seen at Wellington Airport.

64-0616 C141B McGuire landing rw16 at Wellington Airport.
Thanks to GAFLIKS for providing this Yestayear Extra report.

 © Copyright.

FNQ Yestayear Images - July 1994

Stopping over from PPT on 16th was DC-8-72F F-RAFF.
This was probably the last French military aircraft transitting Australia for the next two years as a result of the suspension of French military traffic, due to the resumption of nuclear testing in their Pacific Territories. The regular C-160 transit flights to and from Noumea substituted POM for their tech stop. In 1996 following the French Government's signing of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, thereafter normal transit rights were reinstated.

Thanks to GAFLIKS for providing this Yestayear report.

 © Copyright.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Alliance Airlines Fokker 50 VH-FKZ

UTY992 VH-FKZ F50 Brisbane-Townsville-Groote Is.

VH-FKZ F50 at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

Network Aviation Fokker 100 VH-NHY in Qantas scheme

VH-NHY F100 Townsville-Alice Springs-Perth, was Seletar-Juanda-Darwin-Townsville 15/7/2015

VH-NHY F100 at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

Monday 27 July 2015

NZ registered Cirrus Design SR20 ZK-LDV

ZK-LDV SR20 Port Moresby-Cairns-Townsville

ZK-LDV SR20 at Cairns.

ZK-LDV SR20 at Cairns.

Hevilift Helicopters noted at Cairns

A couple of Hevilift helicopters noted at Cairns today.

P2-HCP Bell 412 and P2-HCG Bell 206 below:

P2-HCP B412 at Cairns.

P2-HCP B412 at Cairns.

P2-HCG B206 at Cairns.

Saturday 25 July 2015

RAAF Kingair 350 A32-350 passes through

ASY621 A32-350 BE30 Port Moresby-Cairns-Richmond

A32-350 BE30 at Cairns.

A32-350 BE30 at Cairns.

A32-350 BE30 at Cairns.

Tropicair Kingair P2-MAX

P2-MAX BE20 Cairns-Port Moresby, was Port Moresby-Cairns 24/7/2015

P2-MAX BE20 at Cairns.

Friday 24 July 2015

Thursday 23 July 2015

RAAF Charter - A340 CS-TQY

ASY19 CS-TQY A343 Darwin-Townsville-Sydney

File Picture - CS-TQY at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

Global Express N881WT pass back through

N881WT GLEX Hamilton Is.-Cairns-Bangkok (DMK)

RNZN Super Seasprite NZ3601 drops in!

A Royal New Zealand Navy Super Seasprite Helicopter dropped into Cairns this morning using callsign "SEASPRITE 01". The helicopter was a transfer off the Frigate HMNZS Te Kaha.
After a brief stop the SH-2G Super Seasprite returned back to the Frigate.

HMNZS Te Kaha is returning after Exercise Talisman Sabre in Northern Australia.

NZ3601 SH-2G at Cairns, Photo supplied.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Global Express N881WT

N881WT GLEX Beijing-Cairns-Hamilton Is.

Helifix (PNG) Cessna Caravan C208 P2-HFA

P2-HFA C208 Cairns-Horn Is.-... , was Port Moresby-Horn Is.-Cairns 21/7/2015

P2-HFA C208 at Cairns.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 winds up in Townsville

With most of the Talisman Sabre 2015 exercise being conducted in the Territory the following RNZAF movements have been noted in Townsville: (5-21 July)

5/7 KIW329 NZ7003 C130H Whenuapai-Amberley-Townsville

7/7 KIW44 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-local-Townsville

8/7 KIW44 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-local-Townsville

9/7 KIW44 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-Amberley-Townsville

10/7 KIW44   NZ7003 C130H Townsville-Rockhampton-Townsville
10/7 KIW643 NZ7005 C130H Whenuapai-Townsville

11/7 KIW643 NZ7005 C130H Townsville-Whenuapai
11/7 KIW44  NZ7003 C130H Townsville-Amberley-Townsville

13/7 KIW44 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-local-Townsville

14/7 KIW44 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-local-Townsville

15/7 KIW44 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-Amberley-Townsville

19/7 KIW851 NZ7005 C130H Whenuapai-Townsville-Darwin-Townsville

20/7 KIW329 NZ7003 C130H Townsville-Rockhampton-Whenuapai
20/7 KIW851 NZ7005 C130H Townsville-Samuel Hill-Rockhampton-Townsville

21/7 KIW851 NZ7005 C130H Townsville-Rockhampton-Ohakea

NZ7003 C130 at Townsville, Photo by Leroy.

NZ7003 C130 at Townsville, Photo by Leroy.

NZ7005 C130 at Townsville, Photo by Leroy.

NZ7003 C130 at Townsville, Photo by Leroy.

Monday 20 July 2015

USAF "Super Galaxy" C-5M 87-0040 departs

RCH374 87-0040 C5M Townsville-Darwin-Andersen AFB

87-0040 C5M at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

L-3 Communications Learjets N16FN and N26FN

Learjets N16FN and N26FN have been in Darwin for the last couple of weeks in support of the Talisman Sabre exercise.

L-3 Communications Flight International provides airborne electronic warfare and electronic countermeasures support for training of aircrews and shipboard personnel.

Today they were seen passing through Cairns as the exercise nears completion this week in the Territory using callsigns "Riptide26" and "Riptide 16" respectively.

RTD26 N26FN LJ36 Darwin-Cairns-Andersen AFB
RTD16 N16FN LJ36 Darwin-Cairns-Andersen AFB

N26FN LJ36 at Cairns.

N16FN LJ36 at Cairns.

Sunday 19 July 2015

USAF "Super Galaxy" C-5M 87-0040 arrives

RCH374 87-0040 C5M Hickam-Townsville

87-0040 C5M at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

87-0040 C5M at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

87-0040 C5M at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

87-0040 C5M at Townsville, Photo by Dave.

Jetstar 11 Coolangatta-Narita diverts

JST11 VH-VKG B788 enroute Coolangatta to Narita diverted to Cairns this afternoon.
After a brief stopover the aircraft continued onto Narita.

VH-VKG B788 at Cairns.

Saturday 18 July 2015

Central Aviation Pacific Aerospace Pac750 XL P2-OMC

P2-OMC P750 Cairns-Horn Is.-Mt Hagen, was Coolangatta-Rockhampton-Cairns 17/7/2015.

P2-OMC P750 at Cairns.

P2-OMC P750 at Cairns.

Fugro LADS Dash 8 VH-LCL in new scheme

The LADS Dash 8 VH-LCL was noted today out of the paint shop in a new scheme.

See previous VH-LCL post for picture in old scheme: http://fnqskies.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/fugro-lads-dash-8-vh-lcl-returns.html

VH-LCL DH8B a Cairns.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Bali disruption catch-up flight

Jetstar upgraded the Cairns-Bali service today from a A320 to B787 to clear some of the disrupted passengers due to the ongoing Eruption of Mt Raung which has been causing delays and cancellations over the last week.

JST7090/7091 VH-VKA B788 Cairns-Denpasar-Cairns

File Picture - VH-VKA B788 at Cairns.

Network Aviation Fokker 100 VH-NHY

VH-NHY F100 Seletar-Surabaya-Darwin-Townsville

Saturday 11 July 2015

Microflite Eurocopter EC120B VH-JBY

Noted at Townsville today was Eurocopter EC120B VH-JBY.

VH-JBY EC120B at Townsville, Photo by Leroy.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Central Aviation Pacific Aerospace Pac 750XL P2-OMB

P2-OMB P750 Horn Is.-Cairns

P2-OMB P750 at Cairns.

Marcplan Charter Embraer ERJ-135 VH-VLT returns

VH-VLT E135 Majuro-Cairns-Hamilton Is.

was Cairns-Majuro-Honolulu 24/6/2015.

VH-VLT E135 at Cairns.

Airbus Helicopters Demonstrator H145 D-HADW departs

D-HADW H145 Townsville-Mackay

D-HADW H145 at Townsville, Photo by Leroy.