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Cool video of B407 rescueing hiker in GA


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Wow, it looked like he was so close to the tops of the trees, could have just been hard to judge height from the video though. He kind of slammed him down on the ground though! Still great to see that helicopters can do what no other rescue system can!

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Nice video. If I had been filming it, I would have been on the helo! :) Great rescue on the part of the people involved. At the end his ground crew at the LZ sorta failed. The tag line is so they can grab it, stabilize it and ease him to the ground by hand. With as many people as they had, the litter shouldn't have even hit the ground like that. Keep it in a hover, let all your people get in place and then lower it the last few feet. But a rescue like that, all good stuff. Hey.... its a helicopter site..... watch and learn. Its great training for the rest of us. I can watch it and remind myself I need to remember that too. But still good stuff. The most delicate thing I've long lined is a pallet of Gatorade to a bunch of thirsty cops :D

Edited by Flying Pig
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Right, I get that. But muscle memory is just that. After lifting collective and applying left pedal without even thinking about it for a long time, it seems like it would take some getting used to.

 

In the days when I swapped back and forth between Aerospats and Bells, the only times yaw was an issue was advancing from ground to flight idle on a slick deck, and very, very occasionally on initial power application. Bigger issues were attitude breaking ground- Aerospats lift right side low, Bells, flatter but left side low; and Aerospat cyclic is uniform in response to both pitch and roll, the Bell is quicker in roll than pitch...

 

As to the video- remember that telephoto shortens ("foreshortens"?) perspective and was moving down a valley, the Stokes wasn't as low as it looks.

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Looks to me like the guy was hauling @$$!! I don't know about everyone else, and I obviously wasn't in this situation, but it seems that he should have maybe taken it a little slower... not to mention the rough set down. Glad everything worked out ok, but seems like it was a little too rushed on the DNR's part.

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Looks to me like the guy was hauling @$$!! I don't know about everyone else, and I obviously wasn't in this situation, but it seems that he should have maybe taken it a little slower... not to mention the rough set down. Glad everything worked out ok, but seems like it was a little too rushed on the DNR's part.

 

iam sure you would have done it perfectly AngleFire.....

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He kind of slammed him down on the ground though! Still great to see that helicopters can do that no other rescue system can!

 

 

not to mention the rough set down. Glad everything worked out ok, but seems like it was a little too rushed on the DNR's part.

 

 

 

Appears DNR may not use the vertical reference technique solely by the pilot. From the top down photo, it looks like they use spotters to direct the pilot in placing the longline. The spotter may have been slightly off timing. That may account for that landing.

 

NOTE: The photo is from a DNR Training exercise.

 

DNR’s Law Enforcement Section, members of DNR’s Search and Rescue team (SAR) and the Tallulah Falls Fire Department recently gathered at Tallulah Gorge State Park for a long-line rescue training exercise.

 

http://georgiawildli...09/dsc_0078.jpg

 

http://georgiawildli...dliferesources/

 

dsc_0078rrrrr.jpg

Edited by iChris
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Ok, So you guys are correct, I couldn't do any better myself, I was mearly stating something I noticed the first time I watched it and I was at work doing about 20 other things at the same time and I wasn't listening to the audio at all. I was basing my statement on the look of the trailing lines, the movement of the litter, and the setdown. I overstepped some, and for that, I'm sorry to the DNR pilot. It was a good job, and I'm happy it turned out well.

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Hhmm, I'm going to chime in here and give my 2 cents. 1st off, I don't like to hanger fly and tell people how to do things. That being said, if DNR really does short haul with a crew chief telling the pilot where the load is, I think it's a poor choice. The bell 407 is a great long line platform, largely in part due to the fact that the pilot seat is on the very edge of the helicopter, allowing an easy view of the load.

 

This is precision long line work and that type of flying can't be done any other way than the pilot doing all the VR on his or her own. If I'm ever a patient being short hauled, I want to be looking up at a confident pilot.....not a crew chief. Not trying to place blame on the pilot or crew but on the procedure in place.

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Hhmm, I'm going to chime in here and give my 2 cents. 1st off, I don't like to hanger fly and tell people how to do things. That being said, if DNR really does short haul with a crew chief telling the pilot where the load is, I think it's a poor choice. The bell 407 is a great long line platform, largely in part due to the fact that the pilot seat is on the very edge of the helicopter, allowing an easy view of the load.

 

This is precision long line work and that type of flying can't be done any other way than the pilot doing all the VR on his or her own. If I'm ever a patient being short hauled, I want to be looking up at a confident pilot.....not a crew chief. Not trying to place blame on the pilot or crew but on the procedure in place.

 

It’s just another method to get the job done. With good pilot and crew coordination, developed through training, it has proved to be very effective. Most all military hoist and long-line operations use this method. The Army and Coast Guard have racked-up a long history of very successful rescues using this technique.

 

There’s a lead-time factor in training a pilot to long-line proficiently by vertical reference (VR). It could take some time to train maybe one or two of your current pilots economically from zero-to-proficient in VR. In that same time frame, you could have trained up six or seven pilot/crew-chief combos that yield equally successful results.

 

In the commercial sector were speed, efficiency, precision, performance, and low aircraft operating weights are all major factors, pilot VR proficiency is required.

 

You must remember, in the public sector you’re normally working with career pilot staffs, you need to work and train within those staffs. In the commercial sector you just hire, layoff and fire until you find someone with the skills you need. Than that someone leaves, on short notice, for the next higher paycheck and the cycle starts over again. The public sector doesn’t function that way.

 

The pilot/crew-chief combo method of long lining is sound, and in this case with DNR, successful. The landing at the end of the video is a non-issue, red herring.

Edited by iChris
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The military is highly proficient with the crew-chief method of external load ops but this is because they have the budgets, time and resources to become highly proficient. Conversely, most of the run-of-the-mill public safety operators don’t. With that said, you’d think with career type pilots within the para-public sector, the investment in precision VR short haul training would be sensible. But for most, not so, hence the crew-chief default. And, for some, the level of experience of these crews would not even come close to commercial standards and if this is case, they are operating on a wing-and-a-prayer....

 

I too prefer not to criticize. How DNR operates is up to them. However, I’ll just add a few comments based on what I saw on the video..

.

It would appear, the helicopter has 4 occupants. Again, while crew-chief method of op’s has its place, given the situation, why do they have more than 1? Is it because they don’t routinely conduct this type of mission and therefore operating ad-hoc?

 

Why no rescuer with the victim? This is often debated amongst the helo-rescue community but for me, a victim alone in a stokes, hundreds of feet below a helicopter is not a best case scenario. Refer to the previously posted rescue video as an example of a best-case-scenario short haul.

 

I’m with AS350 pilot on this one. In short, just because you can, doesn’t necessary mean you should. That is, unless everyone is properly trained and proficient.

Edited by Spike
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Well Gentlemen.... I was hoping to stay out of this topic, but I guess at this point I am going to have to jump in. As you can see from my profile, I am the newest member of the forum. I did not even know about this site until someone told me about this thread. Also, as AngleFire correctly guessed, via a private message, I was the DNR pilot flying the aircraft in the video during the rescue at Cochran Falls on Sept 28th.

 

Chris, I think you pretty well summarized why we use the crew chief method.

 

Spike, I agree with some of what you said about the crew chief method. However, you did get a few things incorrect. First, the photo posted by Chris(he gets the google award for the day) is from a training exercise at Tallulah Gorge State Park. Click on the links supplied by Chris and look at all of the flicker photos. Pretty isn't it? We do about 4 rescues there a year, so we are very familiar with that area. Yes, there are two crew chiefs in that photo. One is very experinced, the other is not. They were conducting "over the shoulder" type of training. The second pilot... again training exercise. Pilot in the right seat is very experienced, the guy in the left is not. We were putting some "gorge time" on him. That is training.

 

The video of the actual rescue mostly shows the stokes litter. The only time they show they aircraft is from the rear, when they pan out the view. They never show a view of the cockpit during the actual rescue. This is because they are located high and to my 4 to 5 o'clock position throughout this event. I can assure you during the rescue, it is just me and a crew chief in the aircraft.

 

Secondly, putting a rescuer with the victim has been debated within the SAR community for years. What could the rescuer do.... CPR? Not really given the conditions. So the question always becomes, "why risk an additional life?" We choose not to do so under most conditions. We do have a procedure, if ventilation is required to sustain life, to put a rescuer with the victim. However, the circumstances on Sept 28th did not require the additional risk of life.

 

So, here is what I propose.... If we can discuss it in a mature and professional manner, I will answer all of your questions and tell you everything you don't see in the video. There is a lot more to this story and we can all learn from it. If you want to call me an idiot, tell me I need more training, tell me that I would never make it setting drills, etc, etc, that is fine. But be man enough to post your name and contact information. My name is all over this story, so I have nothing (or nowhere) to hide. So, please, show me the same courtesy.

 

I will be flying all day Friday and have a busy Saturday planned. It may be Sunday before I can post here again in great detail about this event. So post your questions and I will address them from my view - the cockpit.

 

Respectfully,

Steven Turner

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Well Gentlemen.... I was hoping to stay out of this topic, but I guess at this point I am going to have to jump in. As you can see from my profile, I am the newest member of the forum. I did not even know about this site until someone told me about this thread. Also, as AngleFire correctly guessed, via a private message, I was the DNR pilot flying the aircraft in the video during the rescue at Cochran Falls on Sept 28th.

 

Chris, I think you pretty well summarized why we use the crew chief method.

 

Spike, I agree with some of what you said about the crew chief method. However, you did get a few things incorrect. First, the photo posted by Chris(he gets the google award for the day) is from a training exercise at Tallulah Gorge State Park. Click on the links supplied by Chris and look at all of the flicker photos. Pretty isn't it? We do about 4 rescues there a year, so we are very familiar with that area. Yes, there are two crew chiefs in that photo. One is very experinced, the other is not. They were conducting "over the shoulder" type of training. The second pilot... again training exercise. Pilot in the right seat is very experienced, the guy in the left is not. We were putting some "gorge time" on him. That is training.

 

The video of the actual rescue mostly shows the stokes litter. The only time they show they aircraft is from the rear, when they pan out the view. They never show a view of the cockpit during the actual rescue. This is because they are located high and to my 4 to 5 o'clock position throughout this event. I can assure you during the rescue, it is just me and a crew chief in the aircraft.

 

Secondly, putting a rescuer with the victim has been debated within the SAR community for years. What could the rescuer do.... CPR? Not really given the conditions. So the question always becomes, "why risk an additional life?" We choose not to do so under most conditions. We do have a procedure, if ventilation is required to sustain life, to put a rescuer with the victim. However, the circumstances on Sept 28th did not require the additional risk of life.

 

So, here is what I propose.... If we can discuss it in a mature and professional manner, I will answer all of your questions and tell you everything you don't see in the video. There is a lot more to this story and we can all learn from it. If you want to call me an idiot, tell me I need more training, tell me that I would never make it setting drills, etc, etc, that is fine. But be man enough to post your name and contact information. My name is all over this story, so I have nothing (or nowhere) to hide. So, please, show me the same courtesy.

 

I will be flying all day Friday and have a busy Saturday planned. It may be Sunday before I can post here again in great detail about this event. So post your questions and I will address them from my view - the cockpit.

 

Respectfully,

Steven Turner

 

Steve,

 

Thank you for clarifying. Again, I wasn’t trying to criticize. It was an attempt to move the discussion along which it has. With that, I’ll reply to the rescuer comment but before I do, I’ll let you know, I’ve been attempting to convince my agency that short haul is a valid form of rescue technique but they balk at the idea claiming it’s too risky. For me, this claim has no merit because we already haul dope and I have previous short haul experience with another agency.

 

With that, the reason for the rescuer on the line is to monitor/comfort the victim while in transit. As you know, a head injury victim can be unpredictable. Plus, what about the scared or traumatized victim who needs to see a friendly face to prevent panic. Therefore, IMO, the rescuer on the bottom of the line is a method worth the risk by actually reducing the potential risk generated by the victim. Furthermore, if the need is there just once, then you should operate that way consistently thus reducing the risk as well.

 

Another hot topic within the community is the single hook with a back-up system, i.e. belly band. How does DNR mitigate this?

 

Lastly, as already stated, the 407 is a great Vref platform. When we discuss exposure to flight crewmembers, wouldn’t Vref techniques eliminate that additional risk exposure with the crew-chief method? I ask because flying Vref in a 407 is cake compared to a 350 which for me is/was a pain.

 

Welcome to the forum and I look forward to your contributions.

Edited by Spike
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Spike,

 

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. All are valid points and are debatable from now until I retire, with no real right or wrong answers.

 

I think you have a very good argument for putting a rescuer with the victim. Our Agency, however, has a policy that prevents it in most cases. Good, bad or otherwise our Mountain Search and Rescue Teams along with Aviation have to abide by that policy. The ground teams have told us for years that after they "package" the victim in the litter that we could, "stand them on their heads, turn them upside down and drop them and the only thing that will move is their eyeballs." I do have the dubious honor of being the only guy to lift a victim (high on meth) from Talluhla Gorge handcuffed to the litter!

 

We also use a Billy Pugh Net for ambulatory victims.

 

We use the single point cargo hook with the belly band back-up system. All of our techniques and procedures came from the National Park Service and their SOP. Also our external load operations manual closely mirrors the Interagency Helicopters Operations Guide (IHOG) produced by the alphabet soup of forestry government operators.

 

Vref.... I don't know what I don't know. I never have tired it. I think iChris summed it up very well above as to why most agencies use the crew chief method. If we were doing Vref long-line operations everyday then maybe we could get to that level of proficiency. But for now, the crew chief method works well for us. Personally, I like having the extra set of eyes in the rear of the aircraft to help clear the rotors, especially the tail rotor, when we get into some really tight spots. But again, that is just a personal opinion that the extra crew member is worth the risk.

 

Regards,

 

Steven

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Steven,

 

Nice to hear from you and some very good information you provided. I hope you stick around the forums here. This site is a great place for pilots to ask questions, share ideas and much more. We have a great mix of higher time pilots, CFIs and students. Welcome!

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Wow, more than 24 hours after my post and only Spike has asked a question. You guys are letting me off easy!

 

I would like to add that the landing in the video was, as Chris called it, a red herring. Yes our timing was a little off and and the crew chief was having problems with his mic, so commo was an issue. Additionally the A Team of the Mountain SAR guys were with the victim on the side of the mountain, not on the recieving end. Please do not misunderstand, I am not trying to pass responsibility or place blame on someone else. I was PIC so it was my responsibility and I sure would like to have those last 5 feet back. But there was no harm, no foul and the landing was certainly less traumatic than the 5 hour ground move the victim was facing. Approximately 4 hours after his fall, he was in a level 1 trauma center receiving care.

 

Wally- your location is Gainesville, GA. If you are the same "Wally" that used to fly the EC-365 for Stan Thomas- we have met.

 

Regards,

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Dnr032,

 

Let us not lose sight of the results!

 

A life was saved!

 

We do the best we can everyday and it is what it is.

 

Tomorrow brings us another opportunity to try again at doing our best.

 

Good job!

 

Mike

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Spike,

 

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. All are valid points and are debatable from now until I retire, with no real right or wrong answers.

 

I think you have a very good argument for putting a rescuer with the victim. Our Agency, however, has a policy that prevents it in most cases. Good, bad or otherwise our Mountain Search and Rescue Teams along with Aviation have to abide by that policy. The ground teams have told us for years that after they "package" the victim in the litter that we could, "stand them on their heads, turn them upside down and drop them and the only thing that will move is their eyeballs." I do have the dubious honor of being the only guy to lift a victim (high on meth) from Talluhla Gorge handcuffed to the litter!

 

We also use a Billy Pugh Net for ambulatory victims.

 

We use the single point cargo hook with the belly band back-up system. All of our techniques and procedures came from the National Park Service and their SOP. Also our external load operations manual closely mirrors the Interagency Helicopters Operations Guide (IHOG) produced by the alphabet soup of forestry government operators.

 

Vref.... I don't know what I don't know. I never have tired it. I think iChris summed it up very well above as to why most agencies use the crew chief method. If we were doing Vref long-line operations everyday then maybe we could get to that level of proficiency. But for now, the crew chief method works well for us. Personally, I like having the extra set of eyes in the rear of the aircraft to help clear the rotors, especially the tail rotor, when we get into some really tight spots. But again, that is just a personal opinion that the extra crew member is worth the risk.

 

 

Aaaah yes, government agency aviation policy written by non-aviators… I’m very familiar…

 

I’ve often been a critic of the bellyband back-up system all-the-while-knowing it’s the way the Feds want us public safety operators to go. However, I believe my criticisms are apparent and will be surly identified if things go bad. And, when they do go bad, we’re gonna have to answer some tough questions, possibly presented by a defendant’s attorney. Therefore, at my current agency and my former one, I simply asked the questions beforehand. Such as:

 

With regards to the bellyband back-up system; has it been tested? At my previous employer, they initially rigged the belly band through the rear cabin area with a flight crewmember sitting with a knife at the ready to cutaway the band if the situation demanded so. I simply asked; do we plan on testing this to identify the results? The agency said no, because the shock load may damage the airframe and while simulated on the ground, the cutaway was questionable considering the circumstance which would probably cause the crewmember to cutaway in the first place(like an engine failure). After some reconsidering, the bellyband and crewmember were removed....

 

At my current agency, the discussion revolves around a dual-hook system if we were to someday be approved to short haul. The argument is; we’d need to have a backup system in case of hook failure. Hook failure? Has anyone ever heard of a hook failure not caused by operator error? In any case, IF I ever thought the hook had a potential to fail, then when I conducted bucket operations (roughly 1800lbs) while fighting fire over the urban-interface (flying over homes) could be considered negligent. Therefore, my position is; the hook cannot fail -period. And, I believe the manufacture will also attest to as much as well.....

 

Either way, while the debate goes on and I agree with you there are no real right or wrong answers, I believe they just haven’t been tested yet….. yet, that is…….

 

Lastly, at the previous employer, they initially utilized the crew-chief method as well. Once I gained proficiency with Vref, even though he was good crew-chief and a great guy, the results were better with him on the ground……..

Edited by Spike
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Holly Cow!

 

Hook failure???? Really??? Hook failure??? How about a hoist? I guess, given the mindset of your agency you would have to have two independent hoists, sychronized to work in tandem with each other. Would you need to use two independent rope systems? Would two carabiners be OK, or would you need four? How about the spider rig? Two be sufficient? I can go on and on and on in this direction......Like you said, there is way more stress on the hook out fighting fires all day with the bambi bucket attached than a 200-300 pound victim in a litter. Has anybody ever heard of a hook failure? I will agree with you that a hook failure is a non-issue.

 

The bigger issue with the hook is an accidental release by the pilot. When I am doing short haul and bambi-bucket operations, I always pull my pinky-finger off the front of the cyclic and just rest it off to the side. I'm comfortable with the extra second it would take for me to reach back to the front of the cyclic and release the load in an emergency. I would rather have that extra second than an "oh s*#t" as I watch the load fall away from the aircraft in an un-anticipated release. I know of some pilots who will pull the hook circuit breaker to prevent an accidental release. This technique would require two actions by the pilot in an emergency situation which required the release of the load.

 

 

Agencies can "what if" things to the point that you just need to leave the aircraft parked in the hangar out of fear. We have good SOP's and we certainly don't operate on a wing-and-a-prayer. But, fortunately, we choose not to operate in that "fear" mindset that will cripple operations in most cases.

 

Good Luck in convincing your Agency heads to allow for shourt haul operations.

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Wally- your location is Gainesville, GA. If you are the same "Wally" that used to fly the EC-365 for Stan Thomas- we have met.

 

Regards,

 

That's not me.

I'm at another base of the program that transported this patient. There's another "Wally" with the program, but he's not as pretty as me.

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