Govt dumps DC-10 water bomber

09 September 2010

published by www.abc.net.au/   

Australia: Fire authorities will trial two new faster water bombing aeroplane during the upcoming bushfire season.

The Convair 580 planes have the ability to drop up to 8,000 litres of water or fire retardant and will be boosted by the use of night vision helicopter goggles and infrared imaging technology.

The Government will invest $12 million for the two new fire bombers, a new Erikson aircrane and four extra fixed-wing aircraft for the upcoming fire season.

That brings to 48 the number of aircraft in the state’s firefighting arsenal, with another 170 aircraft on stand-by.

The Convair planes will replace the trial of the DC-10 water bomber, which was on loan from California.

Environment Minister Gavin Jennings says the DC-10 was not ideal for Victorian terrain particularly in the areas where forest meets relatively high populations.

“Because [it] can carry more than 40 tonnes of water retardant [it] was found to have the potential for serious injury should the load fall on a person,” he said.

“There was also the potential for the aircraft to destroy the property it was attempting to protect.”


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