US military helo pilot helps fight blaze near Seoul housing area
SEOUL — A U.S. military helicopter turned into a sort of firetruck in the sky to help put out a blaze threatening a housing area.
Capt. Jesus Maldonado, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot with the 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, was returning to Seoul Air Base after a training mission Saturday when he noticed a lone South Korean aircraft attempting to extinguish a fire in the woods near a residential area just west of the base.
Maldonado called the operations tower to offer his crew’s assistance. The helicopter then used a Bambi Bucket — a specialised bucket suspended on a cable carried by a helicopter to deliver water — to collect water from a nearby reservoir and drop it onto the blaze until the fire was out, according to a 2ID statement.
“I was worried, and I didn’t want the fire to spread to the housing area because both local Koreans and U.S. servicemembers and their families live there,” Maldonado was quoted as saying.