Total Pro: Helicopter Pilot's Skills Help Rescue Climbers Trapped On Mountaintop

July 17, 2018


This is a video of a mountaintop rescue operation conducted by the Oregon Army National Guard, who sent personnel in a tandem-rotor Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter to retrieve a man who climbed to the summit of Mount Hood with the intention of taking his own life by overdosing on pills, as well as the six rescue climbers who were sent to bring him back down alive. By the time the climbers reached the man, warmer temperatures and melting ice preventing a safe return down the mountain, resulting in this helicopter rescue, in which the pilot backs the ass of the massive copter right into the side of the mountain. I can't even imagine what it must be like walking around with balls that big. Also, provided those steel grapefruits don't get in the way, I bet he can parallel park a car with the precision of a watchmaker.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Marc B, who agrees ten people risking their lives to save a man who was considering ending his is a testament to humanity.

  • TheQiwiMan

    There's a worthwhile debate to be had when it comes to the inherent value in all human life vs respecting the consent/will of the Individual. Guess a lot of it depends on how we perceive liability of our actions when in an altered mental state, and whether we accept that severe Depression and its accompanying suicidal impulses justify a special case wherein the desire of others to respect/save life morally supersedes the individual's desire to take their own.

    Seeing as how I always feel uplifted by stories like this, my gut tells me they did the right thing. And according to a study done by Harvard, the overwhelming majority of people who have attempted suicide and then gotten help, never attempt it again and are glad they didn't go through with it. So saving a suicidal life is still saving a life.

  • GeneralDisorder

    The Chinook only burns about 360 gallons of fuel per hour. It'll run Jet A in most cases (which has been below $2 a gallon for the past year or so).

    If it costs $1600 in fuel plus pay for the crew... it's really not that expensive.

    Edit: I say they pay for it out of the US military budget. Doesn't seem like any egregious amounts of stupidity led to this happening and keeping troops employed keeps the economy up.

  • Bling Nye

    It is an interesting topic for sure. Recognizing that the majority of suicide attempts are just desperate actions taken in moments of despair, saving someone can (as you cited the 'study done by Harvard') definitely give them a new lease on life, which is a very, very good thing in almost all cases.

    If they are truly suicidal, they will persist and off themselves eventually as it's only a matter of time.

    As a rescuer, you never know which you're getting. So acting to save everyone is the best action. I agree, they did do the right thing.

    Hopefully they won't bill the person for the rescue costs and it can be covered or written off.

    Now dumbshits that get themselves stuck on a mountain due to poor planning and carelessness, that need to have their stupid asses helivac'd out, should be liable for every fucking penny if you want to talk personal liability and responsibility for choices.

    Just my two cents, since I do enjoy worthwhile debate/discussion.


  • The_Wretched

    Or maybe they should have let the guy off himself the way he wanted to. I mean, did anyone check to see if he has student loan debt? That'd be about the only thing someone is utterly required to pay off before dying.

  • Mark

    He's going to wish he died when he gets the bill for this rescue operation.

  • TheQiwiMan

    Yeah but heavily indebted life is still > death.

  • Bigfoot

    Dude, SOP for dropping off/picking up troops in hostile areas is backing the chopper up and letting them out/in. In Afghanistan there were crashes because they had to do it in tight, rocky areas. This was certainly hard, but not the worst these guys have to train for.

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