Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

The Forests Department of the government of Western Australia was first formed in 1919. In 1975 the first aircraft were obtained for use in fire spotting. By 1990 these aircraft were getting old, and an attempt was made to help local industry by buying MAC Mamba light aircraft as replacements. This order was never fulfilled. Another attempt to boost local industry resulted in 6 Eagle Aircraft XT-S Very Light Aircraft being used for 3 fire seasons from 1995. In 1995 a more permament solution was reached when the American Champion 8GCBC Scout was selected as the new spotter aircraft. These aircraft are still in service.

In addition to it’s own aircraft the DPaW also contracts fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft from various civilian operators for aerial fire-fighting operations.

Key Dates

1 January 1919 Forests Department created.
1975 Spotter aircraft first acquired.
22 March 1985 Forests Department becomes Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM).
1 July 2006 CALM becomes Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).
1 July 2013 DEC becomes Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW).

Current Status

The DPaW aircraft are fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

The DPaW aircraft appear to fly in the standard factory colour scheme, with the addition of the departmental logo and the ‘Spotter’ identity number 64x on the fin. No service titles are carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The DPaW aircraft carry Australian civil aircraft registrations, e.g. American Champion 8GCBC Scout VH-DXZ.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
American Champion 8GCBC Scout ? 10 Fire Spotting USA

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
American Champion 8GCBC Scout 10 1996 current USA
Eagle Aircraft XT-S 6 1995 1997 Australia
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub ? 1975 1995 USA

Aircraft NOT Used

Flight International 15-21 August 1990 page 21 mentions an order for three MAC Mamba light aircraft by the Department of Conservation and Land Management. They were due for delivery in October 1990 as spotters to replace the Piper Cubs. This delivery never took place.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.


Main Headquarters

Department of Parks and Wildlife, 17 Dick Perry Avenue, Technology Park, Western Precinct, KENSINGTON WA 6151.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The spotter aircraft are based at Jandakot, Bunbury, Dwellingup and Manjimup.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


None known.


None known.


Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia
Wikipedia:Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia
Aviation WA: Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.