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YMHB Spotting 2021 Week 1

Some really, really unexpected visitors

Welcome to the first spotting update of 2021! What a phenomenal week of spotting we’ve had at Hobart Airport to start off the year too! As well as the continuation of the Cathay Pacific cargo flights to Hong Kong, there have been a few surprising arrivals, although I didn’t catch all of them, so I’ve had some help from Hobart’s plane spotting community to fill in the gaps.

My first trip down to the airport started off with yet another Jetstar Airbus A320-200, by far the most common aircraft we get down here, VH-VQA is as standard as it gets.

VH-NEQ, this little Cessna 510 Citation Mustang slipped in just as the A320 taxied out, using just a fraction of the runway. Operated by Navair Jet Services, it has visited Hobart a few times previously.

The Boeing 717 in the new QantasLink livery is probably my favourite aircraft/livery combination out there, especially with the “eyebrow” cockpit windows. After originally been ordered by Trans World Airlines, and having a brief period of ownership under American Airlines, -NXQ didn’t operate a single service until two years after rolling off the production line, having being purchased by QantasLink/Impulse Airlines, as VH-VQK in 2002. After a period with Jetstar, and a rego change to VH-YQK, it then returned to service with QantasLink as VH-NXQ in 2007.

Sharp Airlines currently operate nightly freighter flights between Hobart and Launnie, -OZV operates SH188 HBA-LST in the evenings, occasionally continuing on to Melbourne, before operating SH189 LST-HBA early in the morning. However there must have been some kind of delay in Launceston, as SH188 arrived almost 12 hours late, and after a very short turn-around, they headed straight back up north.

Without a doubt the most unlikely arrival Hobart has had in a long time is this French Air Force Airbus A330, primarily used as the French President’s equivalent of Air Force One, although it uses the callsign “COTAM 1” with the president onboard. After arriving from the French Department of Reunion, very early Thursday morning, with 29 French Antarctic expeditioners onboard, it headed off to Noumea, New Caledonia at 5am on Friday. On Wednesday night there was another, most unexpected visitor, an Air Vanuatu Boeing 737-800, with a load of fruit pickers, however their late night arrival and early morning departure precluded me from photographing it.

Although I’ll continue with the Sunday spotting updates this year, I have a few projects in the works to change up the Wednesday posts, as well as the occasional trip report. I hope you’ve enjoyed this spotting update, see you next Wednesday, and don’t forget to chuck my Instagram a follow!

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