US military helo pilot helps fight blaze near Seoul housing area

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A UH-60 Blackhawk dumps a Bambi Bucket full of water on a fire March 23, 2013, that broke out in the woods near a residential area west of Seoul Air Base in South Korea. (Courtesy of the 2nd Infantry Division)
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A UH-60 Blackhawk dumps a Bambi Bucket full of water on a fire March 23, 2013, that broke out in the woods near a residential area west of Seoul Air Base in South Korea. (Courtesy of the 2nd Infantry Division)

US military helo pilot helps fight blaze near Seoul housing area

by: Stars and Stripes | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: March 26, 2013

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.

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