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The tanker was initially based at RAAF Richmond, north-west of Sydney.The aircraft has seen use across NSW and was also deployed on a drop on the Lancefield and Scotsburn fires near Ballarat in Victoria.Other fixed-wing assets include Rockwell Commanders, Cessna 208 Caravans and Cessna 337s.These aircraft have a range of roles such as guiding the LAT and VLATs in on a bombing run or acting as fire spotters or general transports.Four years of research and development, and approximately million dollars spent to design and modify the aircraft to make it suitable for the role.The DC-10 has a tank that can hold a massive 43,900 litres of retardant.N612AX was originally delivered to Thai Airways International as DC-10-30ER HS-TMB.After a long period of service the aircraft returned back to the United States and was operated by Northwest Airlines and then Omni Air International.


Aviation Spotters Online have been following these aerial fire fighting machines and monitoring the increasing numbers of varying types which are here this season.This role includes coordinating the spread of the drop, water drop rates, patterns and spread.The FE is also the person responsible for the release of the water or retardant drop and pushes the red button as shown below.The front and rear tanks are where it is attached via 14 hard points to the aircraft with the middle tank being linked to the afore-mentioned tanks.

This means that little modifications were done to compromise the airframe, which also means the aircraft can still fly pressurised with a zero load in the tanks.

Individual States and Territories are responsible for the management and overseeing of fires and emergencies.



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