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'Unheard of': Owl joins pilot helping fight California wildfires in rare mid-flight moment

"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.
Credit: Sky Aviation/Dan Alpiner

AUBERRY, Calif. — A pilot working to help fight fires in California got quite the surprise this week when an owl flew into his helicopter mid-flight.

Sky Aviation pilot Dan Alpiner caught the rare moment while dumping buckets of water on the Creek Fire Tuesday in California. 

"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.

The "unexplainable" and "magical miracle" of the owl's appearance was not short-lived either. The aviation company said that it stayed with the pilot, riding shotgun, for several water drops. 

Then it left just as it arrived, "safe and sound."

Capturing the moment was a feat of its own as the company said it isn't easy to fly a mission and be a photographer at the same time.

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