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Sunstate Airlines & The Nomad

Old 9th Sep 2021, 22:36
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Sunstate Airlines & The Nomad

I have a vague recollection of flying between Brisbane and Bundaberg on a Sunstate operated Nomad. This would be in the early to mid 1980s.

I was quite young so the route or the aircraft may be wrong. I know I did travel on that route in a Bandit as well.

Can anyone here recall if Sunstate operated Nomads between Brisbane and Bundy at that time?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 22:41
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Originally Posted by Flyer517 View Post
I have a vague recollection of flying between Brisbane and Bundaberg on a Sunstate operated Nomad. This would be in the early to mid 1980s.

I was quite young so the route or the aircraft may be wrong. I know I did travel on that route in a Bandit as well.

Can anyone here recall if Sunstate operated Nomads between Brisbane and Bundy at that time?

Thanks in advance.
maybe a Twin Otter?
in the 80ís Sunstate was owned by Bevan Whitaker, they did operate bandits, twin otters, shorts 360 and nomads for a short time. In the late 80ís when TAA bought a 1/3 share the fleet was rationalised and no more nomads.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 23:43
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Could very well be and I suspect I flew on most of these types. But I do seem to recall being asked what I thought of the Nomad by a family member though mentally I can't picture it.
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 02:22
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G'day Flyer517,
During my time in Sunstate the Nomad mostly did BNE-TWB-BNE and BNE-MCY-NSA returns, that's not to say it didn't operate to other destinations.
Sometimes in a pinch due to unserviceabilities or low loads another type would fly other routes so it's entirely possible that you did travel to Bundy on the "venerable" Nomad.

If your a fan of Sunnies, frigatebird posted this earlier this month,
When does something begin? With an idea, or the first action or acquisition, or when registering a name? For an airline, I believe it is when a pioneer acquires, and uses their first aircraft. Much has been written about the early pre-Qantas, when the founders were surveying landing strips in the Outback for an air race, and meeting a grazier who would back them to start an Outback air charter company, but Qantas did not start until their first aircraft flew.
50 years ago today, on 3rd. September 1971, Bevan Whitaker, an International Harvester truck and tractor dealer, acquired his first aircraft, a C182A Skylane, as an $8,ooo Trade-in on a truck and tractor deal with Peter Bambling. Since taking on the dealership in Rockhampton, together with the ones in Maryborough and Gympie, he would drive to Rockhampton on a Monday, spend a day there, and drive back to Maryborough with the truck delivery drivers. A day in the office in Maryborough, one in Gympie, and one taking the drivers to I.H. in Rocklea followed.
Then a truck owner, an Aero Club member, suggested he should fly in the Club's Cherokee 140 to Rockhampton and Archerfield instead of driving. He did that for six months before getting his first aircraft. Six months on, after the Chief Pilot's interview by his pilot, submitted Operations Manual and paperwork, and approval from D.C.A., Whitaker Air Charter began.
4 years later, (3 weeks after Gough's Dismissal !), after winning the race to build an airstrip at Noosa Heads against Snow Richards of UnionAir, the Commuter operation of morning and afternoon flights to and from Ansett Brisbane to bring in holidaymakers from the South, as NoosaAir commenced.
Later, with a change of Interline agreements to T.A.A., and a name change to Sunstate Airlines, that Queensland airline became well known.
Amalgamation with Murray Valley Airlines, another Shorts operator, gave them a southern operation, and the MVA became Sunstate Mildura.
After 15 or so years, in 1987, Bevan sold Sunstate to Australian Airlines, but kept the charter company, Whitaker Air Charter, to service his resort on Lady Elliot Island, off Bundaberg, until it was taken over by another operator hailing from the Gold Coast.
With the Australian Airlines name change to Qantas Domestic, and the Sunstate aircraft painted as QantasLink, they now fly Dash 8 throughout Queensland.
Bevan died last year. He won't be attending any anniversary celebrations, I wonder if any other old-timer pioneers of Whitaker Air Charter, NoosaAir, or Sunstate will get an invite to a Qantas do?
By the sound of it frigatebird pre-dates my tenure, most likely he employed me. Like many of my former Sunnies colleagues I have fond memories of my time there.

Very best...

Last edited by Qanchor; 10th Sep 2021 at 02:41.
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 03:00
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Speaking of the NomadÖ

I notice in the new RFDS series they have a Nomad in the hangar next to the Kingairs.

I assume this is for nostalgia purposes, however is this the one from the earlier series or the one from outside at Broken Hill? Itís been ages since Iíve been there.

Last edited by Squawk7700; 10th Sep 2021 at 08:11.
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 03:11
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Thanks Qanchor for that. If only my memory was not as fried...
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 03:31
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The Nomad they had outside the terminal is still there.

I think the one that was seen in the hangar is one that came from the RAAF (I recall someone saying it was used as a training aid at RAAF Wagga - ?!)

This is the one in the hangar when I was there last October.

This is the one outside the terminal.

Last edited by ThereISlifeafterQF; 10th Sep 2021 at 03:44.
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 09:41
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Was it Sunstate that had some Nords..??. Looked a bit like a Bandit? See at Bundaberg.
Or are some marbles missing from my bag.
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 11:14
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Noosa Air / Sunstate operated several N22 / N24 Nomads over different periods of time.

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Old 10th Sep 2021, 21:03
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Originally Posted by aroa View Post
Was it Sunstate that had some Nords..??. Looked a bit like a Bandit? See at Bundaberg.
Or are some marbles missing from my bag.
aroa
Sunstate was just about the only airline that didn't operate the Nord Mohawk. Lloyd, Queensland Pacific, Southern Pacific and Majestic are a few of them. All with similar outcomes.
Rgds
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 22:06
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The original ParAvion operated the Nords as well, running then across Bass Strait during the pilots dispute.

Sunstate also operated a Cessna 404 and a Shorts S330 out of Brisbane during the mid 1980’s.


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Old 11th Sep 2021, 00:59
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Circa 1985, Brisbane Airport
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 04:44
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Flew for Skywest for a number of years on different contracts. Being the, then, largest Nomad operator, l was lucky enough to have never set foot in one.

ParAvion. My first full time job in Arnhem land was in a 206 owned by PA

Learned to fly with Bevins son. 40yrs ago.

halas
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 10:40
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
Noosa Air / Sunstate operated several N22 / N24 Nomads over different periods of time.
Really? Canít remember them having any N22s. And I think they only had one N24.
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 10:45
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Originally Posted by TwoFiftyBelowTen View Post

Really? Canít remember them having any N22s. And I think they only had one N24.
I just made it all up!
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 10:47
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Originally Posted by Fris B. Fairing View Post
aroa
Sunstate was just about the only airline that didn't operate the Nord Mohawk. Lloyd, Queensland Pacific, Southern Pacific and Majestic are a few of them. All with similar outcomes.
Rgds
As I recall Comalco would give their business to an operator offering a pressurised turbine out of Gladstone.
The Mohawk fitted that specification. They were barely any faster than the Shorts and only settled just above the transition level anywayÖ FL110/120 ish
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 11:00
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
I just made it all up!
I stand corrected. Wiki says they did too!
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 20:46
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Thanks Fris. That straightens out a few crumpled neurons. How the years flick by and all these interesting aircraft come and go.
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Old 26th Sep 2021, 06:59
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Amazing isn't it when Noosa was this quiet little town they have an RPT service, now it's crazy busy with multi millionaires living up there, you have to fly up to MCY and drive up. Lots of airports similar to that now I guess. I remember as a kid driving up the dirt road and there was a Nomad parked up there, and TWB used to have a pretty regular service (by multiple operators over the years). I believe everyone up at Noosa hates the aircraft noise(as they all do)
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Old 26th Sep 2021, 07:58
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I learnt to fly in the early 80s at Suncoast flight training at Maroochy (was that the name? The Cessna flight training one owned and operated by Doug N). The twin Otters use to park out front the old terminal and it seemed like the dream job.
When I remember all the GA aircraft parked and flown from there back then, and see what is left today, it's very sad. Probably some of the same tails.
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