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Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

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Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

Postby maverick » Tue May 10, 2016 3:45 pm

Video is in the link provided below.


A recently released video captures a dangerous recovery operation in Utah's Lone Peak Wilderness that nearly turned deadly for the rescuers tasked with the mission.

In September 2015, trooper helicopter pilot Kent Harrison of the Utah Department of Public Safety and a companion were sent to the area to help a Salt Lake County search and rescue team recover the body of a woman who had been hiking alone when she tragically fell 300 feet to her death.

"It was a very vertical area, very difficult to have people even in the area and we employed the helicopter as a means of reducing their risk," Harrison said today.

In the video, the helicopter can be seen hovering just feet from the face of a cliff as the rescue team prepares to load the hiker's body into the aircraft.

The team's members were using orange safety ropes. Harrison said that before the helicopter had arrived, one of the rescue team members had taken a rope used to lower the hiker's body to a rescue site and had tied it themselves as a safety harness.

"The rope was tied as they approached the cliff in order to enhance their safety," Harrison said.

But, as the video shows, when the rescuers move toward the helicopter to load the body into it, the rope gets caught on a main rotor blade. Harrison said the rope caused "catastrophic failure in one of the main rotor head components," causing the helicopter to immediately lose control.

The rescuers tumbled down the rocks as the tail of the helicopter flew over their heads.

Rescuer Ben Robertson told KSL that it sounded as if an explosion had gone off.

"The helicopter immediately became extremely violent in its vibration, up and down and left and right," Harrison said.

He said that the main rope did not break but was prevented from wrapping around the main rotor by a smaller, secondary rope that freed it.

"Within about two or three seconds, the helicopter would have crashed at 10,000 feet," he said.

Harrison was able to regain control of the helicopter, avoiding a crash landing, and the rescue team was able to complete their task. Harrison landed the badly damaged helicopter in a nearby field, saving all seven of the rescue crew.

"He saved everybody's life that day," Robertson said.


http://abcnews.go.com/US/helicopter-pil ... d=38886604
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Re: Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

Postby maiathebee » Wed May 11, 2016 11:35 pm

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Re: Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

Postby oldranger » Fri May 13, 2016 6:54 pm

Am I the only one that thinks that sometimes a body is best left alone? It is done all the time on Everest.

Mike
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Re: Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

Postby maverick » Fri May 13, 2016 6:56 pm

Am I the only one that thinks that sometimes a body is best left alone? It is done all the time on Everest.

Mike


Yeah, that's because of the altitude/weather Mike, otherwise the rescuers would end up as victims in most cases too.

PS These choppers can go up to 23000 ft.

Outside Magazine:
The best-performing single-engine helicopter in its class, the Eurocopter AS350 B3 has been the go-to mountain-rescue bird around the world since the late 1990s. Kathmandu-based Fishtail Air now operates several B3s in Nepal and has used them in more than a hundred evacuations. On Everest, pilots fly with minimal fuel—as little as eight gallons—to reduce weight, but that can limit flight times to less than 20 minutes. This spring, Swiss company Air Zermatt launched a five-year program to train Nepali pilots in advanced mountain-rescue techniques.

Max. Rescue Altitude: 23,000 ft.
Capacity: 4
Cost: $2 million

thttp://www.outsideonline.com/1898656/rise-machines
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Re: Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

Postby rlown » Sun May 15, 2016 12:06 pm

oldranger wrote:Am I the only one that thinks that sometimes a body is best left alone? It is done all the time on Everest.

Mike


I actually agree with you, but it depends on what you put on your form in terms of being "recovered" or not, and that your family agrees with it. I hear that insurance companies would like to see the body recovered before they pay out.

I've been thinking of just writing "DNR" or "Leave me here" on my chest with a sharpie, and of course, signing and dating it. Depends on the belief system of the individual I guess.

Everest is in a slightly different class than the States.
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Re: Utah SAR Helicopter Mishap

Postby oldranger » Sun May 15, 2016 9:11 pm

I just don't see the sense in a recovery that involves a high risk. Operating a helicopter in mountainous terrain, close to the ground and besides cliffs is an extremely high risk operation, regardless of the altitude capabilities of the ship. Winds can be unpredictable and boom now you have three additional bodies to recover. I've missed being in a helicopter accident 2 times by one flight and to me the risk is just too high if saving a life is not the goal of an extrication. Take a pic of the body for the insurance company.

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