CALIFORNIA: In a strange incident, an owl caught a lift in a fire-fighting helicopter mid-flight to escape the California wildfires.
According to the details, the bird swooped into the helicopter around 12.30pm on Sunday to escape the Creek fire in the Sierra National Forest.
The owl squeezed through a small window of the UH-1 Huey Helicopter piloted by Sky Aviation’s Dan Alpiner and sat with him for several water drops as its home burnt below, before flying away to safety after about ten minutes.
Firefighters took pictures of the bird after it boarded the helicopter. A photo shows the owl perched on a seat inside the helicopter, but Alpiner was only able to get one shot of the bird because ‘it’s not easy to fly a mission and be a photographer at the same time’.
He said, “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”.
Flight instructor Matthew Dowdy said that the owl and the helicopter must have been traveling at the same speed for the bird to land safely in the aircraft, Mail Online reported.
He said, “It would have to be perfect timing. As far as the bird going in there, it seems crazy. I guess it is just a daring bird.”
The company said the wind created by the blade of the helicopter is enough to knock a grown man to the ground.
Sky Aviation said, “It’s odd to have an owl enter an aircraft. It’s unheard of to have it enter while the helo is in-flight.”
The Creek Fire started on September 4 and has spread over more than 337,655 acres, making it the largest single wildfire in California’s recorded history. It is currently 55 per cent contained and is spread over Fresno County in the south and Madera County in the north.