Owl boards helicopter fighting California wildfire

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Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A helicopter pilot helping to fight the Creek Fire in California snapped a photo of an "unheard of" scene -- an owl that boarded the chopper mid-flight.

Dan Alpiner, a pilot with aircraft charter company Sky Aviation, said he was helping conduct water drops over the Creek Fire in Fresno and Medera counties when an owl flew in through the window and perched calmly inside his helicopter.


"It's odd to have an owl enter an aircraft," Sky Aviation said in a Facebook post. "It's unheard of to have it enter while the helo is in-flight. 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."

Alpiner said he was initially concerned the owl would fly dangerously around the cockpit, but it rode with him calmly for several minutes before flying back out the window.

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