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Video of Helicopter rescue of injured skier in France

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They are going to need longer skid mounts to keep doing that sort of stuff! That had to be a 45deg slope.

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Custom very short blades for that sort of work.  And that's a problem at altitude too.  Balls of unobtanium.

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That pilot must have superhuman depth perception to be able to gauge his tip clearance like that.

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He's got a hoist on the door......why he would choose to helistep the crew instead of hoist with that kind of clearance.............stupid. Maybe the angle makes it look closer.

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The pilot compensated perfectly for the weight and CG shift as the crew re-boarded the helicopter.  When someone can balance balls and skill, amazing things can be done..... mountain helicopter pilots tend to be superior skilled aviators to successfully fly in those conditions and altitudes...not for the feint at heart... WFD gents... WFD

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I would guess a higher than average morality. 

"Pierre you are up, hope you last more than Francois ' week and a half "

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Like they say, " There are old pilots, and bold pilots but,  there are no old bold pilots.......!"

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Just curious. If a rotor blade hits powder snow may be "ok"? Of course that may be ice and rocks. I seem to remember reading, maybe in "Chickenhawk" of guys in Viet Nam enlarging the LZ with the overhead weedwhacker.

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called a "toe-in" - as an ex-exploration geologist, have spent many hours in the mtns of northern BC doing that - usually in Bell 206s, or the Hughes 500 - at the time most of the pilots were crazy Kiwis that would come over for the summer. 

Re the blades hitting the snow - "gentle" is the operative word - i remember a couple times hearing the tick tick tick of blades touching tree branches. Definately not something to be repeated too often.

Getting in/out the key was to be SLOW - weight transfer requires the pilot to adjust accordingly - they would always laugh though as our packs would usually start rolling down the hill.

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I thought that I noticed that the rotors were...... "tipped up" at the outer ends, perhaps allowing for closer approaches on steep slopes....

 Just an observation. I know nothing about helicopter rescues.

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1 hour ago, NaptimeAgain said:

Just curious. If a rotor blade hits powder snow may be "ok"? Of course that may be ice and rocks. I seem to remember reading, maybe in "Chickenhawk" of guys in Viet Nam enlarging the LZ with the overhead weedwhacker.

 

Late seventies, up in the Arctic, there were a fair number of ex-mil pilots with Vietnam experience flying 205s and 212s supporting the oilpatch... I once had the pleasure from the left seat of watching the rotor tips whipping up snow while pitching nose down for forward acceleration just after liftoff. The chopper was jammed full of people and luggage going out for days off, so I'm not sure if that practice was uh.. 'normal' or if the pilot just underestimated his gross weight a tad...

I later met a pilot working during that time up there and he said the with the high number of these  ex-mil pilots, maintenance was just crazy....

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33 minutes ago, oldgoatroper said:

 

Late seventies, up in the Arctic, there were a fair number of ex-mil pilots with Vietnam experience flying 205s and 212s supporting the oilpatch... I once had the pleasure from the left seat of watching the rotor tips whipping up snow while pitching nose down for forward acceleration just after liftoff. The chopper was jammed full of people and luggage going out for days off, so I'm not sure if that practice was uh.. 'normal' or if the pilot just underestimated his gross weight a tad...

I later met a pilot working during that time up there and he said the with the high number of these  ex-mil pilots, maintenance was just crazy....

Helicopters benefit from translational lift. Forward airspeed contributes greatly to lift, the relative wind sees the whole disc as a wing, like a frisbee. A heavily loaded bird will achieve much better climb rates with forward airspeed, and that’s what you need down low. Low, slow and heavy is bad juju in an emergency.

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4 minutes ago, chum said:

Helicopters benefit from translational lift. Forward airspeed contributes greatly to lift, the relative wind sees the whole disc as a wing, like a frisbee. A heavily loaded bird will achieve much better climb rates with forward airspeed, and that’s what you need down low. 

 

Thanks, I never knew that... so, the pilot wasn't just being a cowboy, then. Method in the madness... :lol:

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5 hours ago, Point Break said:

He's got a hoist on the door......why he would choose to helistep the crew instead of hoist with that kind of clearance.............stupid. Maybe the angle makes it look closer.

Well maybe the Froggies do things differently, but I would hazard a guess they're pretty clued up on the Alpine rescue side of things. 

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8 minutes ago, FinnFish said:

Well maybe the Froggies do things differently, but I would hazard a guess they're pretty clued up on the Alpine rescue side of things. 

Well......helo rescue operations everywhere share certain dangers, no matter how often an agency does them. Doing it for a living does not ensure good judgement or good outcomes in all circumstances. I’d be mildly curious what the rationale for that operational profile was. Still looks like a poor choice to me. 

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Maybe it’s easir for the crew to step inside than to get hoisted aboard?

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I would hope that the pilot knew what slope angle he could do this step off procedure, and what slope angle was too steep.

I guess that there would be ski patrol personnel on site who would have passed that info as part of their routine data when calling in a chopper.

All the above is my hopeful rationale for the pilot being a skilled professional, rather than a lunatic cowboy!

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40 minutes ago, chum said:

Maybe it’s easir for the crew to step inside than to get hoisted aboard?

Oh, helistep operations are infinitely safer/easier than hoist operations.......but only if the helistep operation is a reasonably safe one.

 

34 minutes ago, Tunnel Rat said:

I would hope that the pilot knew what slope angle he could do this step off procedure, and what slope angle was too steep.

I guess that there would be ski patrol personnel on site who would have passed that info as part of their routine data when calling in a chopper.

All the above is my hopeful rationale for the pilot being a skilled professional, rather than a lunatic cowboy!

One would hope.....but even skilled professionals sometimes err in judgement, especially in high risk operations. Ultimately the decision whether it’s safe is 100% the pilots. Usually lots of input from ground personnel and the crew chief, but the buck stops with the pilot. I’d be mildly interested in reading the post incident review but I’m sure that isn’t available even if I knew where to look. At any rate, it looks questionable to me.

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I don't recall who said it, but someone on here said that a friend described a helicopter as "hundreds of fast moving parts, each trying to destroy the others"?

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15 hours ago, Point Break said:

He's got a hoist on the door......why he would choose to helistep the crew instead of hoist with that kind of clearance.............stupid. Maybe the angle makes it look closer.

I used to drive Scout helicopters in the Army. It's a bit different than the S&R stuff, but, our primary mission profile was NOE flight, down in the trees. Our missions seemed "reckless" to the transport guys ( who didn't like to be closer than 500' to anything unless they were landing), but, we took great pains to avoid unnecessary risks.  

While I admire the pilot's skill and precision - I'm kinda w/PB on this - there were several extraction options that to me seemed less risky:  Hoist,  and putting the rescuers out at some of the much flatter ground in the immediate vicinity.  Makes me wonder whether we're seeing something like parallax error in the video, or if there's more to the story than is immediately apparent. 

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11 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

I thought that I noticed that the rotors were...... "tipped up" at the outer ends, perhaps allowing for closer approaches on steep slopes....

 Just an observation. I know nothing about helicopter rescues.

You were seeing the rotor flex - he was pulling pitch to hold the hover.   The rotor blades aren't really "rigid" - they flex like a diving board.  

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10 hours ago, Point Break said:

Well......helo rescue operations everywhere share certain dangers, no matter how often an agency does them. Doing it for a living does not ensure good judgement or good outcomes in all circumstances. I’d be mildly curious what the rationale for that operational profile was. Still looks like a poor choice to me. 

Cloud cover was going down rapidly, they needed the be quick. Source twitter of the mountain police.People asked there the same question.

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Not sure how many of you have seen this, but this is what happens if you are trying to hold a hover at very high altitude and it goes pear shaped.  Remarkably no one was killed in the crash.

 

MS

 

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pretty sure that's the PGHM chopper from Chamonix. they do multiple rescues a day all year long in a pretty small area (with a  big vertical drop)

avec-le-pghm-032.jpg

 

the rescue in the original video is probably at less than <9k feet altitude, dunno if thats high for a chopper or not.

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10 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

pretty sure that's the PGHM chopper from Chamonix. they do multiple rescues a day all year long in a pretty small area (with a  big vertical drop)

avec-le-pghm-032.jpg

 

the rescue in the original video is probably at less than <9k feet altitude, dunno if thats high for a chopper or not.

Anything above 6K is skinny air for a chopper.  At about 7K, your control inputs start to feel mushy, and you really have to anticipate their response, or you'll find yourself over-controlling.  

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Coincidentally, I was talking a couple of days ago with a friend who was a USAF H-53 driver a long time ago.  He was left seat (PIC flies right seat in a helo) when they took off from a mountainside landing.  Pilot at the controls used lots of forward stick so they didn't come off backwards and put the blades through the cockpit.  He was in the hospital for a while and had enough eye damage to one eye that he never flew again.  Still sails.  

Helos have their vices.

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On 1/10/2019 at 5:18 AM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I used to drive Scout helicopters in the Army. It's a bit different than the S&R stuff, but, our primary mission profile was NOE flight, down in the trees. Our missions seemed "reckless" to the transport guys ( who didn't like to be closer than 500' to anything unless they were landing), but, we took great pains to avoid unnecessary risks. 

You have my respect sir. Despite your understatement, some folks here know what that actually entails.

On balance you guys have a very warped sense of humor which is amplified by the knowledge someone who is aboard isn't fond of helicopters. I had to ride a lot in my job which I never looked forward to but its part of the professional landscape so I accepted it. However once our pilots discovered it wasn't high on my list they took great relish in knowing I was aboard. I swear when approaching the thing to board on a hot load and you make eye contact with the pilot before approaching, that one pilot in particular used to outright laugh with glee upon seeing me. We would often do recon flights with the doors pinned back and the worst thing I could say was "take me back for closer look at that piece of line".

Sons a bitches.........:lol:

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1 minute ago, Point Break said:

You have my respect sir. Despite your understatement, some folks here know what that actually entails.

On balance you guys have a very warped sense of humor which is amplified by the knowledge someone who is aboard isn't fond of helicopters. I had to ride a lot in my job which I never looked forward to but its part of the professional landscape so I accepted it. However once our pilots discovered it wasn't high on my list they took great relish in knowing I was aboard. I swear when approaching the thing to board on a hot load and you make eye contact with the pilot before approaching, that one pilot in particular used to outright laugh with glee upon seeing me. We would often do recon flights with the doors pinned back and the worst thing I could say was "take me back for closer look at that piece of line".

Sons a bitches.........:lol:

I actually LOVED flying with doors off - (unless it was wintertime, of course), and while I knew some guys who enjoyed scaring people?  I never wanted to worry about a big bucket of puke flying all over the cockpit if someone got really nervous and upset.  I loved taking our ground guys out for rides - they'd strap in, sit sideways so they could see better outside, and generally had a ball getting a close-up aerial view of where'd they'd been mucking about.  That's the best job I ever had - it was intense, we were constantly training in tactics and threat/friendly capability ID exercises ( I usually my flip cards cut out from the Jane's books stuck in the helmet bag), but, we liked it. 

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7 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I actually LOVED flying with doors off - (unless it was wintertime, of course), and while I knew some guys who enjoyed scaring people?  I never wanted to worry about a big bucket of puke flying all over the cockpit if someone got really nervous and upset.  I loved taking our ground guys out for rides - they'd strap in, sit sideways so they could see better outside, and generally had a ball getting a close-up aerial view of where'd they'd been mucking about.  That's the best job I ever had - it was intense, we were constantly training in tactics and threat/friendly capability ID exercises ( I usually my flip cards cut out from the Jane's books stuck in the helmet bag), but, we liked it. 

Most guys really liked it. Every year I'd take all my company officers on a preseason wildland and wildland interface flight. The purpose was to do exactly what you said which is get an aerial view of our initial attack area. I swear it was the highlight of their year!!

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31 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I actually LOVED flying with doors off - (unless it was wintertime, of course), and while I knew some guys who enjoyed scaring people?  I never wanted to worry about a big bucket of puke flying all over the cockpit if someone got really nervous and upset.  I loved taking our ground guys out for rides - they'd strap in, sit sideways so they could see better outside, and generally had a ball getting a close-up aerial view of where'd they'd been mucking about.  That's the best job I ever had - it was intense, we were constantly training in tactics and threat/friendly capability ID exercises ( I usually my flip cards cut out from the Jane's books stuck in the helmet bag), but, we liked it. 

Once you got used to it, strapping on a gunner's belt and sitting on the floor of a Huey with your feet on the skids was a great way to "meet the people" and see the wildlife. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 9:54 PM, chum said:

Helicopters benefit from translational lift. Forward airspeed contributes greatly to lift, the relative wind sees the whole disc as a wing, like a frisbee. A heavily loaded bird will achieve much better climb rates with forward airspeed, and that’s what you need down low. Low, slow and heavy is bad juju in an emergency.

To see the phenomenon of ETL at work - take a look at this: 

 

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6 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Once you got used to it, strapping on a gunner's belt and sitting on the floor of a Huey with your feet on the skids was a great way to "meet the people" and see the wildlife. 

Skid kids...

.99F729BC-0B22-4E42-AA6A-A0B4C9D09BB4.jpeg.a6fffd17a46f6229277a066f4bb19b20.jpeg

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11 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Meanwhile.....ouch. I ran on a woman who walked into a tail rotor. What a mess.....not just decapitated. What a mess. 

https://news.yahoo.com/brooksville-airport-person-apos-decapitated-215340649.html

From the comments in your cite:

NBC4 says: According to the sheriff’s office, a 911 caller stated he and another person were using a power cart to jumpstart a helicopter when, for an unknown reason, the helicopter suddenly jerked up and then came down. The motion caused the main rotor blades to strike one of the men in the head.

Ouch, I bet the other guy was close.  

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@ Hover the downward force is = to the weight of the Chopper

Additional risk of Blowing a huge chunk of snow/hillside away

Avalanche if you will

Yes the Pilot could adjust and remain in place

But if you were standing on the snow that gave out it's Kawabunga!!

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