There’s a distinctive “whub, whub, whub” sound that signals the approach of a Bell helicopter. Whether the pilot is speeding at more than 120 miles an hour, or slowed and hovering six feet off the ground, it’s hard to mistake the sound.
“Anybody that was in Vietnam or anybody that was in a war knows that sound and usually it’s somebody coming to help them, so it’s a neat feeling,” said Ken Carlton, contract helicopter pilot for the Division of Forestry in Soldotna, Alaska.
The Bell, more commonly known as a Huey, is parked in front of the Division of Forestry office in Soldotna where Carlton spends his summer — or fire season in Alaska, from April-August 31 — covering the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak as a helicopter pilot who flies firefighters and their equipment into remote areas that cannot be reached by traditional firefighting equipment.
For the complete story by Rashah McChesney of the Peninsula (Kenai, Alaska) Clarion, click here.
Photo by Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion