Huge water-bombing helicopter 'Mad Max' arrives to help fight fires
It can carry up to five tonnes of water at a time."Mad Max", a Mil Mi-8 MTV helicopter, can carry up to five tonnes of water at a time, twice as much as any other aerial fire-fighting helicopter outside the military.
Aerial firefighting is the use of aircraft and other aerial resources to combat wildfires. The types of aircraft used include fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
Water bombers were delayed the following day in attempts to bring the fire burning in swampland to the south west of Port Macquarie under control. Firefighters on the ground assisted by numerous waterbombing aircraft held the fire south of the motorway and prevented any property losses
Richard Alder, general manager of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), which manages the procurement and coordination of firefighting aircraft for the states and territories, told the ABC the first two — a DC-10 and an MD-87 — were now expected to arrive later this week.
Waterbombing aircraft arrives from US to help combat fire crisis
A water-bombing aircraft has arrived from the United States to help combat Australia's ongoing bushfire crisis, which has now burnt out almost 11 million hectares. An Erickson Aero MD 87 has touched down at Adelaide's RAAF Base at Edinburgh, bringing with it the ability to drop more than 11,000 litres of fire retardant in a matter of seconds.It's the first of four water-bombing aircraft coming from the US to help with the firefight. Three more will soon be spread across Sydney, Canberra and Perth, with another MD 87 and two McDonnell Douglas DC-10s arriving soon.
Fires are also thought to have destroyed up to a third of the vines that provide grapes for the Adelaide Hills wine industry. An emergency warning was also issued in Western Australia on Thursday for several suburbs in the south of Perth. Residents were told they "are in danger and need to act
Indonesia: 2 australian A-02 water bombers arrive to fight fires . The fires have spread thick smog which has pushed pollution levels throughout Malaysia and parts of Indonesia to hazardous levels - and sent thousands of people in the region to hospitals and clinics with respiratory
Mr Alder said the DC-10 had been undergoing maintenance in Alabama when the area was hit by an extreme weather event.
"Somewhat ironically, the DC-10 which was due to depart from the United States around now has been delayed by tornadoes in the Gulf Coast area of the US and the first MD-87 aircraft has been delayed by a volcanic ash cloud along the route," Mr Adler said.
Pictures: Australia's bushfire emergency
The first two aircraft are expected to arrive later this week, while the other two should touch down in Australia next week.
The delays come as the Japanese Government prepares to send two C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft from its Self Defence Force to Australia to help with bushfire relief operations.
Already Australia has received military assistance from neighbours such as Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand.
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$15 million can buy you a star-studded advertising campaign, but as Tourism Australia has learned, it can't give you control over the timing of natural disasters. $15 million can buy you a star-studded advertising campaign, but as Tourism Australia has learned, it can't give you control over th The advertising body has "paused" parts of its 'Matesong' campaign amid the devastation of Australia's bushfire crisis, scenes of which have been broadcast to horrified onlookers around the world.
Fighting the fires is a huge task. Bushfire conditions eased over the weekend, giving fire crews a Thousands of firefighters are still battling blazes across large swathes of Australia While they have managed to contain some within a matter of days, the biggest blazes have been burning for months.
Water bombing aircraft are also beloved of the uniformed firemen who dominate our emergency Indeed, the calls for investment in more and bigger aerial water bombers rather than in effective Every experienced fire fighter in Australia (and in the USA and Canada) knows that water bombers
The Royal Australian Air Force flew urban search and rescue crews to Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Aircraft to touch down imminently
Mr Morrison announced on January 4 that the Federal Government would provide $20 million for the NAFC to lease four aircraft for the fire season with the first two to be available by January 11 and the others by January 18.
Mr Alder said the procurement of the aircraft was already taking longer than initially suggested.
"Once we had engaged and confirmed the funding and engaged the aircraft, we were hoping that the first tranche would be here the middle of this week," he said.
"It looks like being delayed really by … one to two days from that, so long as the weather does allow that departure to happen in Alabama."
Premium for short notice
Mr Adler also conceded that leasing the aircraft at short notice meant they were more expensive than they would have been otherwise.
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The Boeing 767-200ER was hijacked on 23rd November 1996 en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on a At the time this incident took place, it was the deadliest hijacking involving a single aircraft . The incident is one of the only documented water landing attempts of a wide-body airliner with survivors.
Commercial passenger airliners and cargo aircraft have been the subject of plots or attacks by bombs and fire since the near the start of air travel. Many early bombings were suicides or schemes for insurance money, but in the latter part of the 20th century
"That's part of the job of juggling risk versus the financial costs of the arrangement, but it is certainly true that there is some premium for short notice," he said.
However, he could not quantify how much extra it was costing taxpayers.
"I couldn't really compare them because the other planes that we lease are different sort of aircraft on different arrangements and for different periods of time," he said.
"It's very difficult to compare, but I can say that the prices that we do pay for these aircraft are still very reasonable in a competitive market."
A boost to our firefighting fleet
The addition of the four new aircraft to Australia's 150-strong firefighting air fleet will bring the total number of large or very large air tankers available this fire season to 11.
Mr Alder said the large and very large tankers were capable of dumping a huge amount of fire retardant, foam or gel on a fire in a short space of time.
The DC-10s are capable of dropping about 30,000 litres along a fire control line of about 1 kilometre while the MD-87s can drop about 11,000 litres over about 400 metres.
Fears town's drinking water is contaminated after firefighting helicopter crashes
Fears town's drinking water is contaminated after firefighting helicopter crashesLachie Onslow was flying the helicopter above the Ben Boyd Reservoir in the Ben Boyd National Park at Edrom just after 4pm when it lost power.
The Dromader is a Polish aircraft that was built in the 1970s with the help of US manufacturer When it's not helping build skyscrapers, the Skycrane is hauling 2,650 gallons of water to fight fires . The 'SuperScooper' is one of the few aircraft built specifically for water bombing , and it's the big brother
This is a list of disasters and tragic events in modern Australia sorted by death toll. Excludes deaths attributable to war. Lists of shipwrecks. Timeline of major crimes in Australia .
"Because of their speed, they can go back to a base, reload and quite quickly be on scene again," Mr Alder said.
"So they can build quite a long control line in a relatively short space of time."
The plan is to initially base the aircraft at Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and move them around according to need.
"This will be the first time we've had the capacity to position large air tankers in South Australia and West Australia on an ongoing basis," he said.
"Previously, we've only been able to sort of shift them there on a short-term basis according to the risk at the time, so that will provide a significant increase in capability.
"One of the greatest benefits from using aircraft is to use them in rapid initial attack and to shorten the attack time. So spreading them around the country certainly enhances the ability to do that."
Mr Alder said the aircraft were initially being leased for 50 days with the option of extending until the end of the fire season, which could be as late as May.
"The contracts are flexible so that we can make sure we've got the right number of aircraft in the country according to the conditions at the time," he said.
At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity tofor Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army; these organisations are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires. You can help these organisations by and for the latest news and RFS links visit
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