The Conair Q400AT landed in Bundaberg on Monday ready to fight fires from the air this bushfire season. Photo: Dan Beck Photography
The Conair Q400AT landed in Bundaberg on Monday ready to fight fires from the air this bushfire season. Photo: Dan Beck Photography

Special plane arrives in Bundy ready to prevent disaster

A PLANE has landed in Bundaberg ready to help fight fires from the air this bushfire season.

The Conair Q400AT airtanker arrived at Bundaberg Airport on Monday.

The plane is the most advanced emergency response aircraft's available and is ideally suited for crisis operations because of its size, speed, safety and performance.

It can hold up to 10,000 litres of water and is also certified for use on unpaved airport.

The Q400AT is designed for aerial firefighting missions and can drop retardant, water and foam.

Local photographer and aviation enthusiast Dan Beck said he had never seen a plane like it in Bundaberg before.

"It was really good and exciting to see it fly in and know we have that capability on our side," he said.

"We haven't had an aerial bomber like that in Queensland … it's quite an amazing aircraft and it's one of the most advanced firebombers in the world at the moment."

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed the arrival of the air tanker in Bundaberg to assist with firefighting efforts across Queensland.

"Bundaberg is an ideal location to base an aircraft with capability to carry 10,000 litres of water," he said.

"Earlier this month I called on the government to implement this project, which was being discussed among emergency services.

"I thank the government for choosing Bundaberg as the base.

"Bundaberg has a proven record of supporting aerial firefighting efforts when crews working from the area set a record for the most water bombers filled in one day.

"At the height of the Gregory River fires, a total of 114 plane-loads of water and foam left the airport in December last year.

"The large air tanker could reach Proserpine in Northern Queensland, Tambo in Western Queensland and right down to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales within an hour of leaving the Bundaberg Airport."

The pilot is carrying out routine quarantine.