Large Air Tanker 141 goes through its paces in Bundaberg on Wednesday (Photo: State Government)

September 16, 2020

A Large Air Tanker (LAT) water bomber has arrived in Queensland to be on call during the 2020 bushfire season.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in previous years Queensland had borrowed a large bomber from southern States but it had to turn back when they battled their own bushfires.

“It was important to get resources based in Queensland that we can deploy at a moment’s notice,” she said.

The Premier said the $15 million aircraft would bolster the State’s aerial firefighting capabilities for the next five years.

LAT 141 will be based at Bundaberg.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said $40,000 would be spent installing critical water and electrical infrastructure at the plane’s new base.

“The water supply will fill foam/retardant mixing tanks from which the Large Air Tanker is filled and the electrical supply will service a demountable base office,” he said.

“Together, these measures will provide seamless firefighting resupply services.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the could 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-NSW border or west to Tambo.”

Facts about the LAT:

  • Two pilot crew
  • 10,000 litre retardant capacity
  • Gross weight: 31,000 kg
  • Cruise speed (loaded) up to 670km/h
  • Typical runway required 1500m
  • Can land with 80 per cent of its load on board
Large Air Tanker 141 lands at Bundaberg (Photo: State Government)
A view from the cockpit (Photo: State Government)
New infrastructure at Bundaberg will allow the water bomber to be refilled quickly (Photo: State Government)

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