Noland met Articuno when he was flying his plane and seeing that it had been injured he helped Articuno land safely. After that Articuno frequently visited him.
During Articuno's first appearance, Ash Ketchum had arrived to challenge Noland and was lucky enough to arrive while Articuno was visiting Noland. Articuno was used to defeat Team Rocket. Eager to test his skill against the Legendary Pokémon, Ash called Liza in the Characific Valley and asked her to send over his Charizard.
The next day, Charizard battled Articuno. Despite Charizards type advantage, Articuno almost defeated the Fire type using speed, power and the super effective Water Pulse. However when it tried to finish Charizard with Steel Wing, Charizard grabbed Articuno and then smashed it into the ground with a devastating Seismic Toss. Articuno managed to stand up but then it collapsed making Charizard the first Pokémon in the anime to have defeated a Legendary Pokémon. After its defeat, Noland comforted Articuno by saying that there was no shame in losing to a Pokémon as powerful as Ash's Charizard. Articuno then flew away.