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Turboprop airliner services for Bundaberg (YBUD)

Posted by Bill on December 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Growing up I would look skyward from my parents house, thrilled to view the various aircraft as they flew directly overhead. This stage of flight was approximately a mid base position for Bundaberg's runway 14. Over the years from the 80's the following types have operated as regular public transport airliners to and from Bundaberg -

TAA - Fokker F27 Friendship
Air Queensland - Fokker F27 Friendship & ATR 42
Sunstate - Short 360, Short 330 & DeHavilland Dash 8's
Flight West - Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia, Embraer EMB-110 Bandierante & DeHavilland Dash 8's
QantasLink - Bombardier\DeHavilland Dash 8's (up to Q400)
Virgin Australia - ATR 72-500

Bundaberg was also a base for operations to Lady Elliot Island, the southern-most island of the Great Barrier Reef. Aircraft to fly this route were DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter's, nowadays flown by Cessna Caravan's. Although not a turboprop, the twin piston-engined Britten-Norman Islander regularly flew to Lady Elliot Island during my time in Bundaberg.

Today, Bundaberg regional airport is still serviced by turboprop airliners with QantasLink Dash 8's and Virgin Australia ATR 72's. Bundaberg council has upgraded the airport infrastructure significantly including terminal building, car-parking and navigation aid improvements. Also a runway extension has been completed with runway 14/32 now at 2000 metres for jet airliners such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Despite the expense for this work there is no airline prepared to commit any jet airline services to Bundaberg. We'll see what the future is for Bundy but I cannot see things changing from the turboprops which offer predominately a connection to Brisbane where any onward flights can then be accessed if required.

Pictured are two classic aircraft from days gone by. Sunstate, Short 360 & 330 turboprop airliners VH-FCU & VH-KNQ respectively. (Photo's sourced from ...

Bathurst Aero Club, Cessna 172S, VH-BAC

Posted by Bill on December 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Next 'Aviate Downunder' videos, 043 - 057 ...

Flight One: Bathurst - Mount Panorama racetrack - Orange - Parkes - Narromine - Dubbo - Mudgee - Rylstone - Kandos - Bathurst & Flight Two: Bathurst - Katoomba - Prospect Reservoir - Narrabeen Lakes - Sydney coastal (Victor One: Long Reef to Jibbon Point) - Kiama - Wollongong - Camden (abeam) - Katoomba - Bathurst.

* With special thanks to Mr Jerry Trevor-Jones, he's such a great face for the Bathurst Aero Club. A genuine man whose support is greatly appreciated towards making this flying a reality ;) & to my co-pilot, as her planning (during my birthday week) made damn sure we got back to Bathurst again to have another crack at some scenic flying from this location :) Our first attempt a few months earlier had encountered quite disappointing weather with low pressure systems moving through the area. 

Fond Memories :) My first Turbofan and Turboprop passenger flights

Posted by Bill on December 17, 2013 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)

My first airliner (turbofan) passenger ride was with this aircraft on the 24th of April 2004, onboard a Qantas Boeing 737-400 VH-TJG, the flight was from Brisbane to Townsville. Qantas have only a few Boeing 737-400's remaining in service, the airline has transitioned to flying -800's of the 737 type.

My first airliner (turboprop) passenger flight was with a Fokker F27 Friendship on the 22nd of January 1985. This flight was with the airline Air Queensland (no longer in existence) and from Bundaberg to Brisbane. The experience was my first memory of flying and it totally captured me! ... the desire for flight then certainly became a life-long passion.

Pterodactyl Helicopters

Posted by Bill on December 6, 2013 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The Emu Gully Air & Land Spectacular was held this year over the weekend 18th & 19th of May. It's the largest annual re-enactment of Australia's wartime history and certainly a great day out. A high level of detail goes into reproducing the battles staged throughout the day. Arriving at the event on Sunday, I soon heard a helicopter flying around overhead and that reminded me that i've never yet taken a helicopter ride. I'd often thought of taking a flight with Seaworld Helicopters when visiting the Gold Coast but it hadn't eventuated. Maybe helicopter joyrides were available today?

My aviation background has really revolved around flying single piston engine, fixed-wing aircraft and largely the hours accrued were in various Cessna models. The only other form of flight i'd tried was way back on the 29th of July 1995, this being a glider flight in a Twin Astir. It was with the Bundaberg Gliding Club located near the Elliott River Forestry Tower on Childers Road.

I made a decision that if helicopter rides were available on this day then my friend and I were going to do it! It turned out that we were in luck, :) as we approached the Pterodactyl Helicopters stand tickets were available to purchase. The pilot was Captain Mike Jarvis who has accrued a vast amount of helicopter experience, acquiring ratings to fly many types of these rotary-wing machines. A totally enjoyable flight was had by each of us and it was comforting to observe the flight and ground crew display a high regard for safety. On the day the helicopter in use was a Bell 47G-2A which was cool as it looks just like those in the 'MASH' TV series. After the flight my friend and I were taking turns at a photo of each other standing by the helicopter. Noticing this the staff were more than happy to offer taking the camera and snapping some photos of us both together by their helicopter, a great team of proficient and friendly staff at Pterodactyl Helicopters. A big thank you for the experience ...

If you'd also like to experience a helicopter flight this aviation business can be contacted by -

Phone: 3201 0005 or 0417 727 532

Happy to be flying :))

Posted by Bill on December 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

This is how happy a pair of aviators look when about to go flying in a Cessna 182 Skylane with brand new Sennheiser S1 Digital headsets ... Modelled by Mr Happy & Little Miss Naughty.

Fiji Airways Boeing 737-800 DQ-FJH

Posted by Bill on December 3, 2013 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Fiji Airways Boeing 737-800 DQ-FJH out of Brisbane and on the way to Nadi, Fiji. This is a South Pacific Ocean holiday location i'm yet to visit and will into the future. Other scenic island locations close to Fiji are Vanuatu, serviced by Air Vanuatu from Port Vila and also New Caledonia, serviced by Air Calin from Noumea.

Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJT

Posted by Bill on December 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Boeing 747-400, VH-OJT as Qantas flight 15 on climb out of Brisbane, 12 hours and 40 minutes later this aircraft had landed at Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX), USA.

Qantas B747-400 VH-OJU

Posted by Bill on December 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Qantas flight 51 airborne off runway 01 Brisbane and commencing a 7 hour flight to Singapore. This Boeing 747-400, VH-OJU features a special livery which was for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. An additional title "Spirit of the Australian Team" is seen and the boxing kangaroos upon the fuselage and tailplane.

China Airlines B747 services for Brisbane

Posted by Bill on December 3, 2013 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Who doesn't love seeing a Boeing 747 and now there's another in and out of Brisbane with China Airlines operating the route Tapei Taoyuan - Brisbane - Auckland, then the same route in reverse. Previously China Airlines used Airbus A330's to\from Brisbane but now the Boeing 747 services will be here until the 28th of February 2014. Today China Airlines B747-400 registered B-18251 was observed.

QantasLink Boeing 717-200's

Posted by Bill on December 2, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Boeing 717-200, VH-NXR climbing out from Brisbane commencing QantasLink flight 1736 to Rockhampton.

Boeing 717-200, VH-YQS on short final into Brisbane during the last stages of QantasLink flight 1550 from Canberra.

Emirates A6-EDO

Posted by Bill on December 2, 2013 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Emirates flight EK435 on short final into Brisbane after a trip from Auckland. Photo taken at 6:33pm showing the highly curved structure of an Airbus A380's wing. EK434 (Dubai - Brisbane - Auckland) & EK435 (Auckland - Brisbane - Dubai) are Brisbane's only scheduled A380 services. I wonder, when will Qantas include Brisbane to their A380 scheduled services? ... not likely for quite some time since the new Qantas\Emirates partnership and Emirates now committing A380's daily to Brisbane.

Late afternoon contrails ,,, ,,,

Posted by Bill on December 2, 2013 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

With the help of this aircraft was identified as Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200, 9V-SVO. Tracking across the sky south-east of Brisbane, it was SIA281 enroute from Singapore to Auckland. The photo was taken at 6:14pm whilst the aircraft was cruising at 500 knots and at 37,000 feet AMSL.

Virgin Australia's fleet

Posted by Bill on November 28, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

It's good to see other aircraft operating within Virgin Australia, the Boeing 737-800 is definately by fleet numbers the typical aircraft to board when taking a flight with this airline. However, here is something different and an Airbus A330-200 VH-XFB, named 'Cable Beach' (a beach near Broome, Western Australia). Virgin Australia also operate some Boeing 777-300ER's and quite a few Embraer 190's. Virgin Australia has previously operated Boeing 737-300, -400 & 700's and Embraer 170's which have been phased out of the fleet structure. New aircraft on order by Virgin Australia include many more Boeing 737-800's and Boeing 737 MAX 8's.

VH-VUA 'Bondi Babe' & VH-VOM 'Little Blue Peep'

Posted by Bill on November 28, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Virgin Australia's Boeing 737-800's, VH-VUA 'Bondi Babe' and VH-VOM 'Little Blue Peep' both adorned with white nose cones. Some other 737's of this airline retaining the original red fuselage feature a white nose cone as well. Virgin Australia's new scheme is a white fuselage and some of these 737-800's feature red nose cones.

VH-DZJ SIAI-Marchetti S.211

Posted by Bill on November 27, 2013 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Wouldn't it be great to fly around Australia privately in an aircraft like this. Seen at Dubbo airport and then again at Narromine for Ausfly '13. Cheers to the competent flight crew ... enjoy ;)

Sennheiser S1 Digital Aviation Headset

Posted by Bill on November 26, 2013 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

WOW!!! .... pictured left hand side is a brand new Sennheiser S1 Digital headset, on the right hand side is the headset i've been using up until now which is a Peltor, model 8006. The new Sennheiser set has many adjustments to make it feel totally comfortable, it's designed specifically for use in noisy single and multi-engine propeller aircraft and helicopters to enable a superb level of flight crew communications. I'm yet to try them out but will later in the week, thanks to my fabulous flying companion who made the decision that they would be a worthwhile investment towards the future decades of private flying.

Future details to be published on this website at - Recreational Flying > Pilot Supplies > Aviation Headsets.

SENNHEISER ... The Pursuit of Perfect Sound ... Made in Germany.

VH-VXB Yananyi Dreaming

Posted by Bill on November 26, 2013 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

It was a treat today to see this B737-800 in the Qantas special livery "Yananyi Dreaming". Qantas has also featured aboriginal paintwork on another three aircraft over time, "Wunala Dreaming" and "Nalanji Dreaming" upon Boeing 747's. More recently a scheme titled "Mendoowoorrji" was painted to the fuselage of another B737-800 VH-XZJ.

Virgin Australia

Posted by Bill on November 26, 2013 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Boeing 737-800, VH-YIO named "Lameroo Beach" about to depart Brisbane for the scenic holiday location of Hamilton Island (YBHM). * Lameroo Beach is near Darwin, NT ** At this time Virgin Australia, our second largest airline is two-thirds foreign owned by three major airlines - Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines.


Etihad "Abu Dhabi to the World"

Posted by Bill on November 26, 2013 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Etihad, Airbus A330-200 heading for Brisbane's runway One-Niner. A6-EYD was the equipment today, flight EY473 tracked outbound for Singapore. * Etihad Airways now own 19.9% of Virgin Australia.

Black Beauty

Posted by Bill on November 26, 2013 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Air New Zealand, Boeing 777-300ER looking superb in the "All Blacks" livery. ZK-OKQ operating out of Brisbane today as NZ136 and on her way home to Auckland.


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