Sunday, November 29, 2015

Volga Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82047 at Rockhampton

It has certainly been a hive of activity at Rockhampton Airport over the past two months with Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Aerospatiale AS-332M1 Super Puma, Boeing CH-47SD Chinook and Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, as well as General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16D Block 52+ Fighting Falcons and a Lockheed C-130H Hercules temporarily based at Rockhampton Airport / Camp Warrior for 'Exercise Wallaby 2015'.

Additionally, there has also been activity by a number of large commercial airliners from Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines transporting personnel and supporting equipment between Singapore and Rockhampton.

While the Super Puma choppers ferried themselves from and back to Oakey Army Aviation Centre near Toowoomba, and the F-16's flew from Singapore to Rockhampton via Darwin with assistance by an aerial refueller, it was the duty of Antonov AN-124-100's to transport the Apache and Chinook helicopters to and from Central Queensland.

Bringing the choppers to Rockhampton from Peya Lebar Air Base, Singapore back in September was Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) AN-124-100 UR-82008 and UR-82029.

However, Volga Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82047 was chartered to return the helicopters home after a busy few weeks in Central Queensland.

To begin, RA-82047 made an early morning arrival at Rockhampton from Cairns (where it had arrived from Guam a few days earlier) on Thursday, November 26 and after taking onboard five Apache helicopters, departed later that evening for Singapore via Darwin.

Upon offloading it's cargo at Peya Lebar Air Base, RA-82047 made a short hope to Johor Bahru in Malaysia before returning to Central Queensland and making an early evening arrival at the beef capital on Saturday, November 28.

After remaining parked overnight, a pair of Chinook helicopters were loaded onboard the strategic heavy airlift transporter on Sunday, November 29 before the aircraft was prepared from an evening departure back to Singapore via Darwin, thus bringing to a close 'Exercise Wallaby 2015'.