Pilot error to blame for missing Bambi Bucket

Pilot error to blame for missing Bambi Bucket

09 April 2011

published by www.abc-7.com

USA — Last month, crews sifted through the murky waters of a pond in Charlotte County for more than 24 hours in hopes of finding a missing bucket.

The $20,000 Bambi Bucket fell into the pond while dumping water on a brush fire.

Today it was revealed that pilot error is to blame for the costly mishap.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office handed over a four-page inter-office investigative report detailing what happened the day the bucket went missing, and who is responsible for it.

The report shows that the pilot, Deputy 1st Class Mark Brownie, accidentally released the bucket into the pond while trying to fill it with water. The bucket was intended to put out a brush fire near Bermont Road.

The report also states that strong winds, combined with water spraying the helicopter, and the sun shining directly into Brownie’s face creating a strobe effect from the sun bouncing off the water, caused him to accidentally press the release button on the Bambi Bucket.

The department says they aren’t taking the matter lightly. A written reprimand has been placed in Brownie’s personnel file for what the Sheriff’s office calls a violation.

Deputies say Brownie will continue to assist in putting out fires, as long as something like this doesn’t happen again.

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