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'One in a Million Shot': Pilot Battling Wildfires
Shocked When Owl Lands in Helicopter

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Posted By: Imright, 10/19/2020 7:03:13 PM

Pilot Dan Alpiner started his flight on Oct. 11 without a co-pilot, gained one mid-air for about 10 minutes, and then completed the rest of his flight alone.Sound odd? Alpiner thought so, too.Alpiner was helping drop water on the Creek Fire in Fresno, California, when an owl somehow flew in a 16-inch square open window in the side of the helicopter and landed on the co-pilot seatback.The pilot’s first thought was that the owl might go after him. If it was gutsy enough to fly into a helicopter mid-air, taking on a human pilot would be child’s play.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Dodge Boy 10/19/2020 7:07:54 PM (No. 577694)
Alpiner and the owl will be the best of friends forever now. An animal finds salvation with a human being. I'd call this Divine Intervention. How cool is that.
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Reply 2 - Posted by: Mushroom 10/19/2020 7:12:51 PM (No. 577704)
Owl:"Stop staring at me and fly...typical human.."
7 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: DVC 10/19/2020 7:23:00 PM (No. 577716)
He's a predator....decided to see if those BIG ONES are any good to eat. Turns out that they aren't. So he left. 🙂 Glad he got in an out safely...missed the large blenderators up top and in back. I picked up an owl about that size standing stunned, eyes closed on the double yellow line of a rural road near my home. He had probably been hit by a car windshield hard enough to push his reset button, but not really hurt him. Wrapped a jacket around him, put him in the passenger floor of my Accord and called my wife to look for 'raptor rescue'. In about 10 minutes of driving...he woke up, hopped up onto the seat and gave me that exact same look. Uh-OH! I was a bit worried, like the pilot....yikes not a lot of maneuvering room if he goes after me with that beak and talons! I then drove to a side road with a pull off area, stopped the car, and he decided to leave via that giant "hole" in front......covered with glass. He sprawled (not hard) on the instrument cluster against the windshield, but his taloned feet were exposed, so I grabbed them and gently pulled him out, worried about harming him.....or ME. He didn't flap or fight, just looked at me. After about 20 seconds of this, I tossed him upwards and he took off flying perfectly, nary a wobble, straight course at about 10 ft altitude. Flew gracefully out of sight. He did forget his mouse which he had in his talons. I put it out in case he wanted it back for a snack. He had earned that mouse the hard way. Fortunately, he seemed to be perfectly fine after resetting his gyros and a reboot. Owls are amazing. Twice while hunting I have had one fly a couple of feet away and make NO SOUND with large wings flapping.
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Reply 4 - Posted by: Maggie2u 10/19/2020 7:48:35 PM (No. 577743)
Owl to his friends...'hey, hold my mouse and watch this.
22 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: ramona 10/19/2020 8:24:41 PM (No. 577781)
Great story -thanks for posting! Ramona (the Pest)
5 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: 4Justice 10/20/2020 1:58:45 AM (No. 578085)
He probably needed a rest somewhere safe for a few minutes. He wasn't going to hurt anyone. He just needed to catch his breath so he could find a safe place to resettle.
1 person likes this.

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