The Large Air Tanker based at Bundaberg Airport was deployed for the first time in an operational capacity to help fire fighters battle a blaze at Lowmead on Thursday, 8 October.
It was reported the Large Air Tanker, Bomber 141, performed multiple drops of retardant, to help battle the Lowmead blaze, the first taking place at 2pm.
As Queensland Fire Emergency Service’s newest aerial firefighting appliance, the Large Air Tanker, Conair Q400MR, is one of the most advanced air tankers available today and is capable of dropping 10,000 litres of water, along with retardant and firefighting foam.
The $15 million dollar aircraft was flown in from overseas in August and will be based at Bundaberg Airport this fire season to help protect communities along eastern Australia.
QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the LAT would support crews on the ground by providing fast and effective firefighting options throughout bushfire season.
“The LAT enhances Queensland’s already effective response and firefighting efforts,” Mr Leach said.
“The LAT travels at about 670km/hr and can reach many parts of Queensland in quick time as well as operating at many regional airports throughout the state.
“Within one hour of receiving a call out, the aircraft can travel from Bundaberg, north to Proserpine, south to the Queensland-New South Wales border or west to Tambo.”
Facts about the Large Air Tanker:
- Two pilot crew
- 10,000 litre retardant capacity
- Gross weight: 31,000 kg
- Cruise speed (loaded) up to 670km/h
- Typical runway required 1,500m
- Can land with 80% of its load on board