Wild owl rides shotgun as helicopter pilot fights Creek Fire in Sierra National Forest

okikuma

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The owl looks like a typical check airman to me with that type of glare!

Wayne

https://ktla.com/news/california/un...-fights-creek-fire-in-sierra-national-forest/

Wild owl rides shotgun as helicopter pilot fights Creek Fire in Sierra National Forest

by: Nexstar Media Wire

Posted: Oct 14, 2020 / 11:34 AM PDT / Updated: Oct 14, 2020 / 02:21 PM PDT


Photo courtesy of Sky Aviation

An owl joined a helicopter pilot mid-flight while crews worked to help extinguish the Creek Fire burning in the Sierra National Forest, according to KTLA sister station KSEE/KGPE in Fresno.

“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 said.

In what Sky Aviation is calling “an unexplainable and magical miracle,” the owl sat with the pilot for several water drops as the Creek Fire ravaged the owl’s home below.

Then, just as it had arrived — “safe and unannounced” — the owl parted company with pilot Dan Alpiner, who flies the helicopter for the Wyoming-based charter company.

There’s only one photo of the owl, because “it’s not easy to fly a mission and be a photographer at the same time,” Sky Aviation explained.

As of Wednesday, the Creek Fire has scorched more than 525 square miles in Madera and Fresno counties since igniting on Sept. 4. The blaze, which has destroyed more than 850 structures and injured 22 people, is 55% contained, according to Cal Fire
 

okikuma

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In my younger (and lighter) days when I flew sailplanes, I often thermaled with hawks and vultures with at least one bird maneuvering up close to take look at me in the cockpit.

This particular UH-1 was being flown single pilot from the left seat. That's why the owl is sitting on the seat back of the right seat.

The restricted placard on the right door would signify this airframe is a UH-1 and not a normal category B-205

Wayne
 

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hillberg

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Modified for left pilot station - old armored seat back - well nuts for the 1st aid kit. UH1 - Black rechell web seat screams Air Force or Special forces
 

okikuma

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Hillberg, the seat at least is AF or SF.

I realized the reason why this UH-1 is being from the left seat. It would be easier to lean over the collective to look down at the bambi bucked through a bubble window on the left side than accidentally pulling up on the collective while leaning over to the right.

Wayne
 

hillberg

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My favorite helicopter to work on and fly.
the S-58 too in my mid life crisis

our B-205 & 212 had placards in the windows RESTRICTED for out of county fires but not the HH1H or UH 1 H . . . That's public service for you 🤗
We'd add the potato roasting kits & placards for the fires and EMS gear removed. We had Simplex tanks and snorkels for all four, EMS for two
 

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WaspAir

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Long ago, one of my glider club members took up a friend and his pet red tailed hawk in a Schweizer 2-32 glider, so the hawk was riding inside the whole time, perched on a bar between the front and rear seats. The hawk apparently got airsick with somebody else at the controls, because he barfed all over the pilot's shoulder.
 

okikuma

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I never really thought that a bird can barf, but then again, many types of mother birds do regurgitate their food for their chicks to eat, so why not barf?

I once had a Siberian Husky/German Shepard mix named Duke that absolutely enjoy flying with me in my Pacer. Sitting in the right seat, we would attentatively watch my take off and then watch for other aircraft during climb out letting out a bark when he saw traffic close by (really, no lie). When I establish a cruise setting, Duke would lay down and nap. During decent near my desitnation, up he would sit and watch for and point out traffic all the way to landing. One time when Duke and I were going flying, I ran into a friend that asked if he could go. Duke jumps into his usual seat and I tell him he has to get in the back seat. Reluctantly he does under full protest by wimpering and whining. During rotation, Duke decided that his place is in the right seat and tried to get into my friend's lap, much to friend's displeasure. I yell at Duke to stay in the back. In the same manner as a child pouts, Duke gets onto the floor and somehow positions hemself agaist one of the rudder pedal cables, locking it in place, and I have no rudder control (to this day I KNOW on purpose). I look at my friend and tell him that he just will have to climb into the back seat and let Duke sit up front for me to have rudder control. My friend very angerly complies, pissing and moaning, and Duke take his place up front; all happy. I cut the flight short by just returing back to the airport.

Duke also love chasing balls and playing catch. He was very good at catching fly balls (old tennis balls for safety). When I was dating my wife, she was over at my house one time for dinner. As we were in my kitchen, we kept hearing a regular thump agaist the side of the house. She asks me what is that thump and I tell her that Duke is playing catch with himself. I then tell her that he takes his tennis ball and throws it against the side of the house and then catches it. She absolutely didn't believe me so we snuck around the side yard and she watches Duke do just that. With the tennis ball in his mouth, he flings his head sideward letting go of the ball and then catch the ball is it reboulds off the side of the house. He figured that one out himself.

LOL I hijacked my own thread

Wayne
 

wolfy

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I used to fly hangliders, I remember one eagle encounter when I first started thermalling where a wedge tail eagle was watching me try to center in a thermal. He would go and find the center then look at me as if to say it's over here, being green and concentrating on what I was doing I didn't realize what he was up to. When I come to my sense's I followed him on his third attempt where we both cored the thermal with him flying right in front of my eyes with his wing tip only about 3-5' from me. He stayed there like that for about three turns and then out climbed me and headed on his was. He new I was a green fledgling pilot and did everything he could to help. Something I will never forget.

wolfy
 

okikuma

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Over the years, I've heard similar stores from hang glider pilots as yours Wolfy.

Birds will always continue to fascinate me. As long as I live, I will always admire birds in flight and how intelligent they are.

My wife and I keep several Hummingbird feeders in our back yard. I enjoy sitting in my back yard watching the humming birds compete for a drink and the aerobatic show as they try to chase another away performing Split "S", Chandells, Immelmanns, and low level tail chases.

One time I was in my garage whereas a large male humming bird flew in and started to hover in front of my face chirping away. He just wouldn't let up. Finally I realized he was trying to tell me that the hummingbird feeder was empty. I walk out into the backyard and he flies over to the feeder hovers but doesn't drink, then flies back at me chirping, then back to the feeder. I said, "OK,OK I get the hint." I take down the feeder and bring it into the house. As I'm at the kitchen sink cleaning and replenishing the feeder with food, that hummingbird is hovering at the kitchen window watching me. He meets me at the door and follows me to the place where I rehang the feeder. After taking a very long drink, he looks at me for a moment without chirping, then flies away.

I have two simple three channel, 2 meter RC sailplanes with electric motors that I fly from time to time. The one area I fly (a secret place outside of town where there are no houses), I often see a red tailed hawk soaring. I'll climb up, shut off the motor, and circle with the hawk. He knows my two sailplanes and is not threated so I just follow him in the thermals.

Wayne
 

gyrodude

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I have a problem with a red tail hawk at my strip. It's his territory. He has dive bombed close enough that it's a concern.
 

WaspAir

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I used to have nesting redtails in tall redwood trees in my backyard in northern California but once the fledglings left the nest, they didn't care about territory until the next mating season.
 

Martin W.

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In my spare time I would operate a swather cutting white beans on a relatives farm ..... Hawks circling overhead .... when a mouse would run ahead of the machine the hawks would dive bomb to the ground and snatch it up right in front of me .... exciting to watch all within 6 feet of me and 2 feet from the cutting bar .... split second timing.

I got to watching first for mice ... then would look overhead and watch the hawk come straight down ... but had to stop looking up all the time because my windrows were crooked with gaps and misses and the farmer was not happy.

Love the animal stories here .... on the subject of barfing birds .... a Great Blue Heron will swallow large live fish .... partly digest it ... and barf it back up to feed its young ..... the kids love it.
 

GyrOZprey

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Back in the day when Jim's Dad - Herman was a young KS wheat farmer ...open tractors ...no cabs ...there were swarms of seagulls ( I KNOW ...seagulls in the KS wheat-fields!!!) ... I was amazed to see seagulls so far from the ocean - in the early years farming here ... not many recently!!!
Anyway these bold seagulls were flying very close to the tractor scooping up bugs & stuff being flushed out during the tillage operation ... Herman could not resist reaching up to grab one by the legs as it flew by ...BAD IDEA !!!! It retaliated by barfing disgusting 1/2 digested bug-stew all over him ...and he reeked of seagull vomit the rest of the day!:eek::sick::ROFLMAO:
 

Martin W.

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Back in the day when Jim's Dad - Herman was a young KS wheat farmer ...open tractors ...no cabs ...there were swarms of seagulls ( I KNOW ...seagulls in the KS wheat-fields!!!) ... I was amazed to see seagulls so far from the ocean - in the early years farming here ... not many recently!!!
Anyway these bold seagulls were flying very close to the tractor scooping up bugs & stuff being flushed out during the tillage operation ... Herman could not resist reaching up to grab one by the legs as it flew by ...BAD IDEA !!!! It retaliated by barfing disgusting 1/2 digested bug-stew all over him ...and he reeked of seagull vomit the rest of the day!:eek::sick::ROFLMAO:

HAAAA .... more proof that birds barf

Interesting what you say about seagulls showing up in Kansas ...... I live on similar open Prairies .... far away from oceans and lakes ..... never see even a hint of a seagull ..... but if the farmers cultivate the soil those seagulls somehow know it and within a few minutes the field is swarming with them .... they eat the worms and bugs turned up by the equipment.
 

Martin W.

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I thought I was done with this topic but google had its own ideas ...... I always thought Seagulls had a very nice aerodynamic shape when wings are spread and they are gliding .... decided to look up some pictures .... here is what came up ....

A number of people have taken to Twitter to claim they’ve spotted seagulls falling off rooftops, vomiting on people and even flying into cars after drinking their beer and wine

 

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okikuma

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Here are birds of a different non-feather from a previous post of mine five years ago.

Wayne

 

okikuma

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Seagulls transverse the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans behind ships all the time. Flying to the middle of the Continental United States (CONUS) is not a problem.

Wayne
 
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