A few interesting airframes, and a special visitor
With the second Link Airways flight to Hobart and one of the first QantasLink services since the resumption of flights last week, I decided to head over to the airport for a bit of planespotting last Sunday. All photos unless stated otherwise were taken from the hill up near the control tower.
Soon after I arrived, the distinctive outline of a QantasLink Boeing 717 came into view, before making a faultless touchdown. and taxying in beside VH-XJE.
As with most of QantasLink’s Boeing 717-200s, VH-YQX has had a fairly interesting history. Originally delivered to the now defunct Olympic Aviation in December 1999 as SX-BOB, the 717-2BL then spent three years jetting around the Iberian peninsula with Spanair, before arriving in Helsinki in late 2010 for a five year stint with Blue1, and finally began flying for QantasLink in February 2016.
Just as VH-YQX taxied in, fifteen year old Robinson R44 II passed overhead before landing at the golf course nearby.
Soon afterwards, Jetstar Airbus A320-200, VH-XJE pushed back and made a short takeoff towards the south. Despite being Jetstar Australia’s most recently delivered airframe, -XJE is actually one of the oldest. Initially delivered to Atlasjet of Turkey as TC-OJO in 2005, it then spent nine months with Saudi Arabian Airlines, before being delivered to Jetstar Australia for the first time, as VH-JQW in November 2007. In June 2010, -JQW became 9V-JSE, and transferred to Jetstar Asia, flying out of Singapore Changi. Finally, in March of 2018, it arrived in Australia once again, as VH-XJE, and has been operating here ever since.
All of a sudden a number of cars appeared across the tarmac and pulled up alongside an RAAF Dassault Falcon 7X that had been obscured behind a building, so I went higher up the hill to get some better views. However, before the Falcon could leave, there were a few other aircraft movements.
Finally, the aircraft I had been waiting for arrived, VH-VEB, a 23 year old SAAB 340B of Link Airways flew in from Canberra. VH-VEB is yet another aircraft with an interesting history, only being delivered to Link Airways (at the time, Fly Corporate) in October 2018. It had first been delivered to Mesaba Airlines in the US in 1997, operating on behalf of Northwest Airlines, and then Delta Airlines, before a three year stint with Eznis Airways of Mongolia. In December 2013 JU-9907 became N352AG and returned to the US to operate for Silver Airways, ahead of its delivery to Australia as VH-VEB.
Fairchild SA227DC Metroliner, VH-HWR then pushed back to operate Sharp Airlines flight SH863 to Whitemark Aerodrome, Flinders Island. VH-HWR rolled off the Fairchild production line in December 1993, and has spent its entire life operating in Australia for a variety of airlines, including Hazelton Airlines, Ansett and Skippers Aviation, before delivery to Sharp Airlines in 2008.
Just prior to the Dassault leaving, a few light aircraft came over, these being Par Avion Cessna 172M, VH-LGE, Cessna U206G, VH-MRK, and an unidentifiable aircraft, probably a locally owned Victa Airtourer.
After a long wait, RAAF Dassault Falcon 7X, A56-002, (possibly with the PM on board) taxied round and took of straight away, from the taxiway turnoff. To my disappointment, I realised this was the sole RAAF Falcon I had already photographed, early last month. My disappointment was shortlived, however, as when we headed down to the cargo apron for a quick look, I noticed that it was QantasFreight Boeing 737-300SF, VH-XMO parked outside the hangar, the last QF 733 I hadn’t photographed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, I’d love some feedback on this format, as I hope to start posting a trip report every Sunday, and a spotting report each Wednesday.