DC-10 air tanker arrives in Australia

air tanker 910
T-910 prepares to depart Albuquerque for Australia. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier.

The second air tanker from North America has arrived in New South Wales for their summer bushfire season. Tanker 910, one of three DC-10s operated by 10 Tanker Air Carrier, arrived on September 28 after flying from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The aircraft flew at 28,000 feet and 512 mph in between stops for fuel at Hawaii and Pago Pago. It dropped into Brisbane, Australia to go through customs and is expected to arrive at RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney at 10:08 p.m. US Mountain Time on September 28.

Tanker 910 joins Tanker 132, an L-382 Hercules operated by Coulson, which has been down under since the first part of September. New South Wales has contracted for the two of them to help ground-based firefighters during the Australian summer. They will be stationed at RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney.

Coulson says the L-382 has their latest Coulson SMART 4,400-gallon (16,655 liter) retardant tank system. The DC-10 carries 11,600 gallons (44,000 liters).

Victoria will have two large air tankers under contract again this summer, beginning in November unless they are needed earlier. A year ago during Australia’s 2014-2015 summer two large air tankers from North America were under contract in the state, Coulson’s Tanker 131, a C-130Q, and Conair’s Tanker 162, an RJ-85. The two aircraft dropped more than a million liters (264,000 gallons) of fire retardant across the state, completing 81 drops across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Tanker 132
Leading Aircraftmen Lewis Holland and Brendan Donnelly of No 37 Squadron tow an Air Start Cart to Tanker 132 at RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney. Photo by CPL David Said.

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One thought on “DC-10 air tanker arrives in Australia”

  1. Gidday Bill, Do you know if the DC-10 was used on the Lancefield fires this last week or so?
    I heard on TV news last Tuesday (6th Oct) that Victorian authorities had asked NSW for it – but I never saw reports of its use.

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