Firefighting plane in ‘mid-air emergency’
A LARGE firefighting aircraft returning to Dubbo last Friday has reportedly been involved in a mid-air emergency.
Mildura’s Sunraysia Daily newspaper reported the RJ-85 aircraft had been in that region preparing for catastrophic fire conditions in South Australia.
The Large Air Tanker (LAT) had taken off from Mildura Airport to return to Dubbo on Friday night but had to turn back.
“Mildura Airport chief executive Bill Burke said an emergency was declared when the plane’s undercarriage malfunctioned on take-off and would not raise,” the newspaper said.
“It was declared an emergency at the time it happened – about 6 or 6.30 in the evening – but that was more of a formality,” he said.
The aircraft later returned to Dubbo.
The LAT can dump more than 11,300 litres of water or fire retardant at a time, and is being used by the NSW Rural Fire Service.