scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pilot battling California wildfires is joined by unusual co-pilot; netizens amused

The pilot's company charters aircraft that help with the West Coast wildfires, and he was making “water drops” over the raging Creek Fire in Fresno County at the time when the owl came in.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | October 17, 2020 1:35:18 pm
california wildfire, creek fire, owl helicopter wildfire, owl helicopter water drops, West Coast wildfires, animals wildfires, viral news, odd news, indian expressThe pilot said the bird flew away from the same window after resting in the aircraft for about 10 minutes.

Amid firefighters across California battle to control wildfires, a pilot on a water drops mission was joined by an unusual co-pilot — an owl. A photo of the bird has left firefighters and netizens amused alike.

The bird recently caught a lift in a helicopter mid-flight to escape the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest. The owl squeezed its way through a a small window of the UH-1 Huey Helicopter piloted by Sky Aviation’s Dan Alpiner, who snapped the picture of his companion.

“It’s odd to have an owl enter an aircraft. It’s unheard of to have it enter while the helo is in-flight,” Sky Aviation wrote on Facebook while sharing the image.

“It’s an unexplainable and magical miracle for it to stay with you for several water drops, then leave just as it arrived – safe and unannounced,” the post added.

“One in a million shot,” said Fresno Sheriff’s Office Pilot Johnny Reyes. “That guy should buy a lottery ticket,” he told Your Central Valley news.

“Please don’t attack me,” Alpiner told the local outlet. “It kind of spooked me for a second there and we locked eyes. The thing looked around and was chill, and then I was like, okay, then you are going to work with me,” he added.

“I mean we get to see a lot of cool things, but that is something that I will take with me for a long time,” he said about the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Many wondered how the bird managed to land inside the aircraft as strong wind power generated by the helicopter’s blade is enough to knock a grown man to the ground. American Helicopter Flight instructor Matthew Dowdy told KMPH the bird and the chopper must have been traveling at the same speed.

While several people agreed that it was a miracle, and said it was nature’s way of saying thank you to the firefighters for saving the forest areas, others said it must have been very hot for the poor animal to survive, so it hitched a ride. Few joked saying the pilot must have been anxious to land with an “expert in the field”, especially owing to the look of the bird which many described as “judgmental”.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Trending News, download Indian Express App.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement