1 May 2019
Christine the Aircrane is homeward bound, after a specialist team was able to lift the water-bombing aircraft out of an Upper Yarra dam to safety last night.
The Aircrane had been a part of firefighting operations over the Thompson Catchment Complex fires in Upper Yarra before it went down at around 7.30pm on 28 January. The three people aboard at the time escaped with minor injuries.
Christine has been submerged since then, with specialists from Parks Victoria, DELWP, Australian Aviation Salvage and Security, and Kestrel Aviation working over the last few months to retrieve the aircraft.
After being lifted from the dam Christine was dismantled onsite, and following a decontamination process, she will be transported back home to the United States, where she was leased from over summer.
Due to the limited space and remote location of the dam, and the size of the aircraft, a purpose-built lifting device was designed to remove Christine from the dam.
Prior to this, underwater divers surveyed the Aircrane and began disassembling it while it was still submerged underwater.
The dam where Christine was submerged was not the Thomson catchment that supplies Melbourne with drinking water, but a small dam nearby.
Christine will be further decontaminated and eventually reassembled.