NY Army Guard Helicopter crews conduct fire bucket training over Lake Ontario

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HAMLIN, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Army Guard helicopter crews Wednesday conducted fire-fighting training at Hamlin Beach State Park.

Ch-47 helicopters will be scooping up mass amounts of water in specially designed water buckets and dumping it back into Lake Ontario at marked points.

The training will start back up Thursday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The helicopter crews, which are based at the Patriot Way Flight Facility in Rochester, will use specially designed water buckets outfitted for the aircraft, known by the trademarked name of "Bambi Bucket," to scoop up 1,500 gallons of water from the lake and practice dropping the water back into the lake at marked points.

The training is necessary because a bucket full of water weighs approximately 12,500-13,000lbs and helicopter pilots need to practice flying with that additional weight and rapidly losing it when dropping the water in order to fly safely during firefighting operations and in an emergency.

The aircrews train each spring to be ready for any potential missions.