During 18-23 July 1990, 31 smoke samples were collected from an aircraft flying at low altitudes through the plumes of tropical savanna fires in the Northern Territory, Australia. The excess (above background) mixing ratios of 17 different trace gases including CO2, CO, CH4, several non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), CH3CHO, NOx (- NO + NO2), NH3, N2O, HCN and total unspeciated NMHC and sulphur were measured. Emission ratios relative to excess CO2 and CO, and emission factors relative to the fuel carbon, nitrogen or sulphur content are determined for each measured species. The emission ratios and factors determined here for carbon-based gases, NOx, and N2O are in good agreement with those reported from other biomass burning studies. The ammonia data represent the first such measurements from savanna fires, and indicate that NH3 emissions are more than half the strength of NOx emissions. The emissions of NOx, NH3, N2O and HCN together represent only 27% of the volatilised fuel N, and are primarily NOx (16%) and NH3 (9%). Similarly, only 56% of the volatilised fuel S is accounted for by our measurements of total unspeciated sulphur. © 1994 Kluwer Academic Publishers.