Eight hours on a Saab, am I crazy? You bet! – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
On my last trip to Australia, I was fortunate enough to experience the “Centre Run” with Airnorth; a series of flights through the centre of the country. Now while this was an exciting adventure, there is an even more crazy series of flights that can be done in outback Australia. I am referring to the Regional Express (Rex) Milk Run.
This milk run serves a series of remote communities in the Australian state of Queensland. In total, it is a series of seven flights — yes you read correctly, seven. It originates in the capital of Queensland, Brisbane, and flies all the way up to Mount Isa, a major resource town in northwestern Queensland.
Record rainfall made for an interesting flight in more way than one – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
The flights are operated by a Saab 340 turbo-prop, and it is possible to book a ticket from Brisbane-Mount Isa. The price is approximately US$300, which is very affordable given that it includes seven flight sectors and close to nine hours of flying. So on my most recent trip “down-under” I was once again questioning my sanity when I booked this trip (something that is becoming a frequent occurrence on my trips to Australia of late).
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the G20 in Brisbane aboard a C-32
The annual G20 (group of twenty) Summit is the gathering of the world’s 20 most powerful and influential nations to discuss various political and economic issues facing the world. As with any gathering of major international powers, there was a vast array of interesting and unique aircraft on show.
This year’s summit was held in Brisbane, Australia, during the weekend from November 14th – 16th. As I was in Brisbane during this time, I was very fortunate to partake in some good old plane-spotting.
Over 40 aircraft part took in the G20 Summit; this ranged not only from the various head of state VIP aircraft but also the countless support aircraft. These aircraft carried everything from advance teams to motorcade vehicles, right through to food for the various world leaders and dignitaries attending the summit.
Additionally, the US delegation also brought with them a number of helicopters including “Marine One” and V-22 Ospreys to assist in the transfer of POTUS from the military base where he landed into the city.
The dedicated media/spotters area for the event allowed for some great views of the three IL-96 aircraft from the Russian delegation
As with any major event of this nature security was very tight. There were over 6,000 additional police on duty for the weekend. Now, most would expect that the airport would be completely off-limits to spotters. But thanks to some outstanding work by the local plane-spotting community, in particular the work of YBBN Spotters Group together with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), there was a dedicated area set up on airport property for registered spotters and media.
Unfortunately, due to the prevailing winds and runway configuration, the area was only really suitable for afternoon and evening movements. Even so, there was plenty of other locations off-airport to get some spectacular images.
Below is a selection of images that I have taken during the event showcasing the vast array of different and unique aircraft used for the event by the various visiting nations. Unfortunately, due to the timings of some arrivals, it was not possible for me to capture all of the visiting aircraft, but I feel I was able to capture quite a few special aircraft.