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The loss of Grumman G-73 Mallard VH-CQA

Posted by Bill on January 26, 2017 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Our last sighting of Grumman G-73 Mallard, VH-CQA was at the Great Eastern Fly-in, Evans Head on the 08th of January '17. It was with great regret to learn of the Australia Day, 26th of January '17 accident upon the Swan River (on the opposite side of our country) at Perth. Condolences go out to family and friends of the pilot and passenger (RIP) from the team at "Aviate Downunder". The tragic loss of life can never be replaced and is surely felt deeply amongst fellow aircrew who share the passion for aviation. It was always such a pleasure to see this aircraft flying around South-East Queensland and northern New South Wales, frequently seen by my wife and I at Watts Bridge, Archerfield, Raglan and Evans Head. Sad to know that this gorgeous Grumman Mallard flying boat will no longer be seen gracing our skies :( Picture shows VH-CQA at Watts Bridge airfield, Brisbane Valley.


Posted by Bill on September 3, 2016 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Great News!! ... Aviate Downunder & Flying Monster now fly under the umbrella of "COMAN AVIATION". This is due to my marriage to a super cool aviation minded lady. We now combine to bring every aviation enthusiast our in-flight video's, photography and written content upon our websites. As well as this our eBay webstores (expanding each year) continue to provide our fellow aerosexual's great value for money aviation merchandise\giftware :) Visit us at either &
Also visit us at & ... Cheers ;)

Airborne at Straddie (YDUN)

Posted by Bill on January 1, 2016 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Cessna 182G Skylane "Delta Kilo Romeo" leaps into the air once again, climbing out of Dunwich airstrip (YDUN) on North Stradbroke Island. The 230hp, 6 cylinder Continental engine provides plenty of reliable power for flying over the surrounding rising terrain, even in hot/heavy conditions.

Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club Fun Fly Poker Run

Posted by Bill on July 5, 2015 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Flown on Saturday the 04th of July 2015 the BVSAC Fun Fly Poker Run was greeted with good weather conditions, the trophy winning hand this year being three 10's. Cessna 182 Skylane "Mary Elaine" took part flying into all airfields on the day. It was not our winning year but the flying was a treat and we'll be back for another crack at it in 2016 :) ... The game - 2 cards are pre-selected from a deck by the organisers and unknown by players until aircraft return to Watts Bridge airfield - 3 cards are collected by players near the airfield's primary windsock as aircraft fly into three of four nominated airfields (Kilcoy, Gatton, Bradfield or McCarron). Cards collected are unable to be seen within an envelope and only opened upon returning to Watts Bridge when your 3 cards are registered. The 5 cards then become your hand for the game ... best of luck 8)

Video showing the atmosphere of the event, with thanks to Scott & Chris Hendry (2014 Trophy Winners).

Retro Qantas

Posted by Bill on May 21, 2015 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Delivered to Australia brand new during November 2014 is this retro-schemed Qantas Boeing 737-800! VH-XZP is now a delight to see flying across our skies downunder. Qantas plans to operate this jetliner throughout the next 20 years, logging 40,000 flying hours and 60,000 cycles (a cycle being one take-off and landing).

The Airline of Middle-Earth

Posted by Bill on May 21, 2015 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Climbing skywards and heading back home to Middle-Earth is Air New Zealand flight ANZ136 a Boeing 777-300ER (registered ZK-OKP). It's always a delight to see such superb paintwork applied along the fuselage of selected Air New Zealand airliners. This particular scheme is to mark the movie release and celebrate "The Hobbit".

RAAF No.34 Squadron

Posted by Bill on May 21, 2015 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Seen today about to depart Brisbane International Airport is a Canadair CL604 Challenger of the Royal Australian Air Force's No.34 Squadron based at Canberra. The squadron is equipped with three aircraft of this type, this example being A37-002 (Serial number 5534). Also within the VIP transport fleet are two 737 BBJ's (Boeing Business Jets).
Image courtesy of Byron's Photography ... a big thank you from Aviate Downunder :)

Straddie Brekkie Fly-in

Posted by Bill on April 13, 2015 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Held generally on the third Saturday of each month is the North Stradbroke Island Fly-in Breakfast at Dunwich airfield (YDUN). A pleasant morning for any aviation enthusiast to enjoy. For further information contact the airfield on 3409 9727 or Pat on 0410 558334. See you there ;)

The Life & Death of Cessna 172N Skyhawk VH-MZW

Posted by Bill on November 28, 2014 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

A tragic sight to see this afternoon is the airframe loss of this Cessna 172N Skyhawk which was always observed to be an aircraft that was extremely well looked after. A storm which swept across Brisbane yesterday afternoon ended this aeroplane's flying days, becoming a part of the estimated total $200 million + damage bill to Brisbane's property. This particular aeroplane is a special one for myself as she's written within the pages of my logbook. During 1999 I had the pleasure to take her flying on four separate occasions, once to complete a PPL Biennial Flight Review and another three sessions of private hire. Sad to see her flipped over and so very badly damaged ... 1978 - 2014 RIP MZW :(

"Mike Zulu Whiskey" in better days ...

Alliance Airlines Fokker 100

Posted by Bill on September 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

On approach to Brisbane airport (23.09.14) is an Alliance Airlines Fokker 100. Registered VH-FWH, this aircraft is operating with the callsign of "Unity 372". UTY372 departed Alice Springs 2.5 hours earlier for this flight to Brisbane. Alliance Airlines are based in Brisbane and have an all Fokker fleet being a mix of Fokker 100, Fokker 70 and the turboprop Fokker 50. The core of their operations is air charter and providing dedicated Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) services to the mining and energy sectors of business. A separate note and something I like about this photograph, apart from the stunning Fokker 100 is the multi-coloured background of sky showing layers of grey, white and blue :)   

Hawaiian Airlines B767-300

Posted by Bill on September 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Photographed on short final for Brisbane's runway 01 is Hawaiian AIrlines flight 443 operates a Boeing 767-300. Hawaiian Airlines has been ramping up their oceania flights into Brisbane with HA443 being a direct flight from Honolulu, the aircraft then returns home as HA444. Today's flight, (23.09.14) arrived at 3:40pm after 09 hours 27 minutes of flying time over the Pacific Ocean and Coral Sea.

Qantas B747-438ER VH-OEJ

Posted by Bill on August 14, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Photographed on 13.08.14 as about to depart Brisbane, YBBN for Los Angeles, KLAX. The total duration for this trip (Qantas Flight 15) being 12 hours 49 minutes. Qantas B747-438ER, VH-OEJ is now sporting a Socceroos and World Cup livery. In previous years this aircraft was adorned with the fantastic aboriginal colour scheme "Wunala Dreaming". Getting back to the soccer, a huge congratulations goes out to Germany for winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament :)

U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender

Posted by Bill on August 13, 2014 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Seen departing Brisbane airport today was this McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, the military version of the well known DC-10 airliner. Registered 79-1951 it's of the 60th / 349th Air Mobility Wing with a home at Travis Air Force Base (KSUU) in California, USA. The role of the Air Mobility Wing is to provide strategic airlift capability and to extend the operations of American and allied air power via in-flight refueling missions, as required anywhere around the globe.

Thai Airways Boeing 777-300

Posted by Bill on August 9, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Thai Airways Boeing 777-300 HS-TKQ named "Khemarat". On climb out of Brisbane's runway 01 and tucking away her landing gear, the beginning of this aircraft's flight back home to Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi International Airport (photograph taken 23.05.14).

Airplane spotting

Posted by Bill on May 15, 2014 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

There's something super special about taking time-out to just observe and photograph an activity that one is truly passionate about. For me, it's aviation and today being a day off, about 6 hours was enjoyed at Brisbane airport. Pack a hat, sunscreen lotion, camera gear, possibly an airband scanner and/or binoculars, bring some food and drink and you'll be all set. Much chat can be had through-out the time too as us aviation-luvers can talk aviation all day long. Towards the start of my airplane spotting time today was the arrival of Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300 9V-STV, as Flight SQ236 from Changi, Singapore. The aircraft is photographed here as it's soon to grease onto runway 19, Brisbane (YBBN) ...

... and about 3 hours later the same jetliner taxies past us at the Acacia Street roundabout.
With the south to south-east windflow the active runway was One-Niner. The trip home to Changi airport, Singapore as Flight SQ256 was estimated to be 7 hours 48 minutes ...

Tigerair Australia

Posted by Bill on May 15, 2014 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Tigerair Australia's Airbus A320, VH-VNQ named "Sarah" spent most of today flying back and forth between Brisbane and Melbourne with the exception of a drop in & out of the Gold Coast (Coolangatta). Shown here in the new livery she's heading towards the end of YBBN's runway 19. Tigerair Australia are now flying 13 of these Airbus A320's. Tigerair Australia is now 60% owned by Virgin Australia with the remainder owned by Singapore based company, Tiger Airways Holdings which is partially owned by Singapore Airlines.

Dream news for Brisbane!

Posted by Bill on May 15, 2014 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

It's very cool to have a Dreamliner service for Brisbane with Jetstar's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner now offering flights out of Brisbane to Denpasar, Bali. A photo of one (VH-VKB) was captured today as it waited for it's turn to use the runway after a QantasLink Dash8 on final approach. Jetstar now have 4 B787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and this will grow to 11 of the type by mid 2016.

Fokker 50

Posted by Bill on May 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I always like to see a Fokker 50 as per this example, VH-FKV operating with Alliance Airlines. A big reason for this is that they bring back my first memories of flight onboard Air Queensland Fokker F27 Friendships, VH-FNU and VH-FNM. The F50 was derived from the F27 and it's appearance remains reasonably similar :)

Qantas Boeing 747 (VH-OJT)

Posted by Bill on May 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A Qantas Boeing 747 is a sight which is always welcome. Here Boeing 747-400 VH-OJT is operating as Flight QF15 to Los Angeles, USA. This flight duration was estimated at 12 hours 22 minutes. Qantas will unfortunately be retiring some more of their Boeing 747's by mid 2016 and at that time it is planned that the airline will retain 9 B747's which are aircraft re-configured with upgraded seating in business and economy class plus enhanced entertainment systems.

United Airlines Boeing 747 (N179UA)

Posted by Bill on April 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Arriving into Melbourne\Tullamarine airport is Boeing 747-400, N179UA of United Airlines. Melbourne marks the final destination for route UAL839 which travels Los Angeles - Sydney - Melbourne. The homeward flight for this aircraft then being in reverse as UAL840. Seen is the new livery of United Airlines after its merge with Continental Airlines. United was retained as the name branding and the Continental globe logo adorns the tailplane. United Airlines has 24 of these Boeing 747's remaining in their fleet. A major American airline which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and a member of the Star Alliance. United is the only American airline flying directly into Australia. A website visit can be made at 
Photograph taken on the 28th of February 2014.


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