Gives a hoot: Owl hitches ride on helicopter fighting California fires

In Fresno County, California an owl hitched a ride on a helicopter while firemen worked to put out the Creek Fire on Tuesday.

According to News WCTI12, the bird landed on the helicopter during midflight as the pilot dropped water on the fire. The owl flew into the aircraft through an open 16 inches by 16 inches window. For the next ten minutes, the owl stared at the pilot.

“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,” said helicopter pilot Dan Alpiner.

“I said please don’t attack me. It kind of spooked me for a second there and we kind of locked eyes and the thing looked around and was chill.

And then I was like, ‘OK then, you are going to work with me.'”

 

Alpiner had been flying water drops in a UH-1 Huey helicopter for Sky Aviation Corporation and was able to get one photo of the owl. Startled, to say the least, it wasn’t easy for the pilot to fly a helicopter and take photos at the same time.

The bird and the helicopter likely were going the same speed, and in a million to one shot, the brave bird caught a quick ride and an experience likely few other owls could even imagine. (or pilots too)

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