Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

West Australia wrestles with Water Bombers

West Australia has suffered recently with terrible bush fires. Aviation Journalist Geoffrey Thomas for the ‘The West Australian’ newspaper has been asking why an offer from NSW of the VLAT was refused prior to the most recent tragic events.

For in insight into the VLATs and LATs capabilities take a look at our article from November:

“First Look On The Inside … NSWRFS Airtankers”

For more background on the VLAT and the rest of the NSW fleet’s capabilities check out our article from October:

NSWRFS Aerial Fire Assets Ready for Action!

A number Aviation Spotters Online’s images have featured heavily in the articles in the West Australian that you can find by clicking the image below.


The West Australian 14 Jan 2016 snip 2
The VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) currently based in Richmond NSW.





  1. I find it unbelievable that Australia gave Indonesia surplus Hercules, and now we have to import Hercules tankers. The yearly fire situation is not going away, wouldn’t it be better to have our own VLATs. How much does it cost each year to import?
    Avalon and Richmond are now equipped to handle these aircraft, so just put the infrastructure into Pearce and Edinburgh. Surely this makes sense!

    1. Richard, given the increased use of large fire bombers it certainly presents an opportunity to an enthusiastic Australian company to aquire/build and base an LAT here. Addition benefit of that would be the opportunity to export it for the Northern hemisphere fire season.

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