Honeymooning in Oz
February 2008

Dubai Transit #1 | Melbourne | Sydney Part 1 | Sydney Part 2 | Perth | Dubai Transit #2

Sydney Part 1

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My hour long Jetstar experience - a carrier promoting themselves in true lo-cost style at present, having recently won a 'lo-cost airline of the year' award - was significantly un-impressive and involved the worst sandwich I have bought in years (but it was very reasonably priced !), never mind on an aeroplane. Arrival at Sydney was of course at the international terminal, and after entering Australia once again, the hire car was collected for another quick perimeter drive and initial acquaintance of some well-researched spots that would hopefully be well used during the coming week. The executive aircraft park here is very open - bear left immediately after turning off QANTAS drive towards the domestic terminal - and the lady showed great potential in scribbling down my phonetic utterings !.

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Mon 25/2/08 - YSSY/SYD - Sydney/Kingsford-Smith, NSW

VH-EBG* A.330-202 0887 Qantas
VH-EBH* A.330-202 0892 Qantas
VH-OGD 767-338ER 24407 247 Qantas
VH-PRX 340B 303 Australiawide Airlines
VH-QOC* DHC-8Q-402 4117 Sunstate Airlines
VH-TQS* DHC-8-202 418 Eastern Australia Airlines
VH-VQJ* A.320-232 2703 JetStar Airways
VH-VXF* 737-838 29553 1096 Qantas
VH-VXU* 737-838 33761 1420 Qantas
VH-ZHA* Emb.170-100LR 00180 Virgin Blue Airlines
VH-ZLC 340B 373 Australiawide Airlines

B-LAE* A.330-343E 0850 Cathay Pacific Airways
HL7462 747-4B5F SCD 26406 1123 Korean Air Lines

VH-KNU* Westwind-1124 317
VH-MGC Beech 400A RK-97
VH-VRC Citation VII 650-7089

N73M* Gulfstream V 547
N83M* Gulfstream V 557
N91LA* Gulfstream G550 5027
N900EX* Falcon 900EX 178
N7088S* Raytheon Premier IA RB-188
VP-CMR Gulfstream IV 1117
ZK-KFB Gulfstream IVSP 1362

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I had made the good move a few month's back during the honeymoon planning of agreeing to my then intended's wish of a return to her much-loved Australia, as long as I had a couple of full mornings 'away at the airport'. The first of these I took on the Wednesday morning, allowing me some rest before the second two days later, by which time enough of the domestic fleets would have hopefully swapped around. I was therefore up, and down the Eastern Distributor before sun-rise, heading for what promised to be one of my lucrative spotting periods, at least in relative terms, available anywhere in the world. There are a number of excellent web sites detailing the many viewing possibilities at Sydney-Kingsford Smith, notably www.16right.com and www.samchuiphotos.com/wheretospotsyd - as with any airport worth it's salt, Sydney has a 'mound', and this one with its central location, right at the heart of the airport and directly underneath the ATC tower, seemed the obvious first look. Sydney's mound is named the 'Shep Mound' after late local spotter Bruce Sheperd, who appeared to have been a great man indeed, owning surely the greatest on-line tribute afforded to any enthusiast anywhere (www.vpmag.com/yssy/shep.php).

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Nothing can be missed from this spot - although the views are actually quite restricted by adjacent trees, fences and new construction, everything has to pass in front of you at some point, and most parking stands at the international side and at the Virgin Blue terminal are easily visible. Similarly photographic opportunities here are limited by these obstructions, but the sun is on the right side during the morning .... if only it was out !.

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There was no need to move away from here, apart from a breakfast-time visit to an obviously recently built Macdonalds, a very convenient 2 minute drive away, and I had a great time up to mid-day. The morning is the main period for international arrivals, the A.380 coming and going before 0900 - the closest I had been previously to one of these was about 6 miles !. I finally came across a substantial part of the QANTAS 737-800 fleet, most impressive machines , while Virgin Blue's first three E-Jets were 'in and out' all the time. I was surprised by the amount of QANTAS 767-300s also coming and going, there being a surprising small number of 747-400 movements (I didn't log the OJ. series), while the A.330-300s were also rather scarce, the first not showing until late morning - as with other Far East operators of these babies, notably Cathay Pacific, these would appear to be difficult to fleet, being spread amongst the main QANTAS bases operating 'long' rotations to China/Japan. The selection of international carriers was rather mind-blowing however, and I drove away at lunch-time with the feeling that I had never seen such an exotic 'wide-body' range anywhere. But of course I probably had .....

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Wed 27/2/08 - YSSY/SYD - Sydney/Kingsford-Smith, NSW

QFA
734 TJI TJK TJL* TJU* TJX
738 VXB VXC VXF VXG* VXK* VXQ* VXS* VXT* VXU VYD* VYF* VYG* VYI* VYJ* VYK
763 OGA* OGC OGD OGF* OGG OGH OGI OGJ OGK* OGL* OGM OGQ OGR* OGS ZXA ZXC ZXE ZXF
332 EBG
333 QPC* QPD QPE* QPI*
744 OEH OEI

VOZ
737 VBA* VBL* VBM* VBO* VBP* VBS* VBU VBV
738 VOC* VOD* VOH* VON* VOQ* VOS VOT* VOX VUA* VUC* VUF* VUG* VUI VUJ VUK* VUL VUM VUN
170 ZHA ZHB* ZHC*

JST
320 JQX* VQG* VQJ VQM* VQO* VQR* VQV VQW* VQZ
332 EBC* EBF*

EAQ
DH8 SBI* TQD* TQE TQF TQG* TQH* TQL TQM TQR* TQS TQT TQX* TQZ*

SSQ
DH84 QOA* QOC

RXA
SF3 EKT EKX JRX NRX* OLL ORX PRX RXX SBA* TRX ZLA ZLG ZLQ

VH-NJF 146-300QT E3198 Transaustralian Air Express
VH-RUI* 1900D UE-395 Air Link

9M-MPO 747-4H6 28433 1290 Malaysian Airlines System
9V-SFJ 747-412F SCD 26559 1285 Singapore Cargo Airlines
9V-SKA* A.380-841 003 Singapore Airlines
9V-SPJ 747-412 26556 1084 Singapore Airlines
9V-SPL 747-412 26557 1101 Singapore Airlines
A6-EBJ* 777-36NER 32787 542 Emirates Airlines
A6-EHB* A.340-541 0757 Etihad Airways
A6-ERF A.340-541 0394 Emirates Airlines

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B-18311* A.330-302 0752 China Airlines
B-2058 777-21BER 27605 110 China Southern Airlines
B-6082* A.330-243 0821 China Eastern Airlines
B-6092* A.330-243 0873 Air China
B-HLP A.330-343X 0418 Cathay Pacific Airways
B-HUL 747-467F SCD 30804 1255 Cathay Pacific Airways
B-LAG* A.330-342 0895 Cathay Pacific Airways
C-FIUJ* 777-233LR 35244 679 Air Canada
CC-CQA A.340-313X 0359 LAN Airlines
F-OHZQ A.330-301 0189 Philippine Airlines
G-VSHY A.340-642 0383 Virgin Atlantic Airways
HL7607 747-4B5 24198 729 Korean Air Lines
HL7732* 777-28EER 29174 481 Asiana Airlines
HS-TJS* 777-2D7ER 34587 595 Thai Airways International
JA8086 747-446 25308 885 Japan Airlines
N120UA 747-422 29166 1209 United Air Lines
N193UA 747-422 26890 1085 United Air Lines
N412MC 747-47UF SCD 30559 1244 Atlas Air
PH-MPP 747-412 BCF 24061 717 Martinair
PK-GPE* A.330-341 0148 Garuda Indonesia Airways
VN-A145 777-26KER 33504 491 Vietnam Airlines
ZK-JTQ* 737-476 24442 2371 Jet Connect
ZK-NCG 767-319ER 26912 509 Air New Zealand
ZK-NCL 767-319ER 28745 677 Air New Zealand
ZK-OJA* A.320-232 2085 Freedom Air International
ZK-OJC* A.320-232 2112 Freedom Air International
ZK-OJG* A.320-232 2173 Air New Zealand
ZK-OJO* A.320-232 2663 Freedom Air International

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A36-001* 737-7DT BBJ 30829 738 Government/Air Force
N580ML* ERJ.135BJ 990 Private

VH-AJG Westwind-1124 281
VH-CRW* Falcon 2000EX 58
VH-FUM* Citation I 501-0189
VH-MGC Beech 400A RK-97
VH-NGA* Westwind-1124A 387
VH-SSZ Citation III 650-0158
VH-TGG* Global Express BD700 9143
VH-VRC Citation VII 650-7089
VH-YRC Beech 400A RK-222

N18WF* Global Express BD700 9128
N60LJ* Learjet 60 60-337
N73M Gulfstream V 547
N83M Gulfstream V 557
N91LA Gulfstream G550 5027
N534QS* Gulfstream G550 5103
N889CP Global Express BD700 9104
VP-CMR Gulfstream IV 1117
ZK-RGB* Gulfstream 200 158

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Thursday was back to a non-spotting day in theory, although I had always toyed with the idea of just 'coming across' the airport one afternoon during one of our planned drive outs. Our trip to the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney involved a short coffee stop at a Macdonalds on the drive out of the city - just under the approach to 16R allowing for another mouth-watering Chinese A.330-200 identified just hours later at an internet cafe 'in the mountains' by the excellent www.16right.com site !. The weather was sadly still very un-predictable (actually it was just 'English' poor) and ten minutes after arriving at the admittedly very impressive Echo Point viewpoint (like a much smaller, green Grand Canyon !) we were in cloud for what looked like the rest of the day.

Our return to Sydney was therefore taken on a more southerly routing, having noticed that the GA airfield at Bankstown was very close to the main highway heading towards the international airport from the south-west. In worsening weather a few exec jets were seen, although I just knew most would have been seen prior wearing N-regs in the USA, although the Cessna dealership did contain only my second Mustang ever. I introduced Ann to 'Shep' for 30 minutes on the way back to the hotel, and a few truly significant machines hit the log book - the Air China A.330-200 continues on elsewhere on certain days of the week, returning for an afternoon stop, so another was seen on the QANTAS base, while the new Vanuatu 737-800 was seen for the first time, as well as one I truly hoped I would bump into out here, EMB-170 VH-SWO at the executive terminal, still wearing a basic Solomon Islands livery.

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Thu 28/2/08 - YSSY/SYD - Sydney/Kingsford-Smith, NSW

B-6122* A.330-243 0732 China Eastern Airlines

Thu 28/2/08 - YSBK - Sydney/Bankstown, NSW

VH-KXL CitationJet 525-0100
VH-NEQ* Citation Mustang 510-0029
VH-SPJ Citation III 650-0101

N860CR Citation V Ultra 560-0500

Thu 28/2/08 - YSSY/SYD - Sydney/Kingsford-Smith, NSW

VH-TJH* 737-476 24433 1881 Qantas
VH-VBK* 737-7Q8 30648 1171 Virgin Blue Airlines
VH-VYL* 737-838 34184 1854 Qantas
VH-VZA* 737-838 34195 Qantas

VH-QOH* DHC-8Q-402 4132 Sunstate Airlines
VH-SWO* Emb.170-100LR 00081

A6-EHD* A.340-541 0783 Etihad Airways
B-6076* A.330-243 0797 Air China
B-LAG A.330-342 0895 Cathay Pacific Airways
CS-TMT A.330-322 0096 Hi Fly
G-VNAP A.340-642 0622 Virgin Atlantic Airways
HL7403 747-4B5F SCD 26408 1163 Korean Air Lines
YJ-AV1* 737-8Q8 30734 2477 Air Vanuatu
ZK-NCK 767-319ER 26971 663 Air New Zealand

VH-CGF Gulfstream IV 1083
VH-OCV* Challenger 604 5625
VH-YXY* Citation Bravo 550-1125

CS-DKC* Gulfstream G550 5057
N94ZZ* Global XRS 9215
N360SL Challenger 601-3A 5089

Dubai Transit #1 | Melbourne | Sydney Part 1 | Sydney Part 2 | Perth | Dubai Transit #2

Copyright on all text and images within this web site remains with AH (2008).