New York Army National Guard helicopter crews conduct firefighting training Wednesday afternoon at Round Lake

Related Media

A New York Army National Guard UH-60 helicopter based in Latham drops water into Round Lake during fire bucket training in 2016.

LATHAM, NY (05/30/2017) (readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crews will be conducting water bucket training at Round Lake on Wednesday, May 31.

The training will be conducted between 3 and 7 p.m. if weather conditions permit.

Two UH-60 helicopters will be involved in the training mission.

The helicopter crews, which are based at the Albany International Airport in Latham, will use the buckets, known by the trademarked name of Bambi Bucket, to scoop up water from the lake and drop it. This allows them to practice the same techniques used to extinguish wildfires.

The collapsible buckets, which are hung underneath the helicopters, can dump 560 gallons of water on a fire each time they are used.

Each year as summer begins Army National Guard helicopter crew members and maintenance personnel retrain on how to attach the buckets to Black Hawk helicopters and then practice picking up water and dumping it.

The training is necessary because a bucket full of water weights two tons and helicopter pilots need to practice flying with that additional weight hanging under their aircraft in order to fly safely in an emergency.

The New York Army National Guard employs helicopter firefighting equipment when requested by state officials. Most firefighting is conducted by New York State Police helicopters.

In May 2015 two New York Army National Guard UH-60 helicopters assisted the Department of Environmental Conservation in fighting a fire in Ulster County.