Anyone that knows anything about flying helicopters will be wowed by the skill of this Gendarmerie rescue in the French Alps:
Amazing skill and courage from those helio pilots. Able to gauge the correct angle to put the chopper's nose in the snow to hold it steady briefly in the high mountain winds, yet able to keep the rotors from hitting the snow. Then a quick lift by wire of the injured skier into the helicopter and off they went to safety.
Extremely difficult, tricky maneuver, but very well done.
Hello @7whales it’s when you stop to think about the relationship between the complex controls and down force from the rotors that you realise that the slightest error would be disastrous for all.
The other thing I want to know is was this an on the spot decision or has the pilot trained to do this. It looked like such a smooth manoeuvre that the pilot surely must have done this before.
Hi @andyslc. Andy I don't know how they could train for something like this. Each flight whether in a chopper or fixed wing aircraft, is completely different, and in this case there are so many variables that any such prior training would have been made useless.
Loosely packed snow on the mountainside could have moved from the rotor blast or just the nudge of the helio's nose when it briefly touched the snow. Frequent shifts in wind direction and speeds contributed to the difficulty of their mission, yet they were able to accomplish it with much skill and some enginuity thrown in.
When I used to practice on my Microsoft Flight Sim 98 a few years ago, I had no trouble with the usual takeoffs and landings at different airports (excuse some bumps please on landings), while flying some of the fixed wing aircraft, a including B737 type, but when I tried the heliochopper aircraft I couldn't even get it to fly in a straight line for any distance, or bring it gently down for a landing, if I even got that far. Too much eyes, hands, and feet coordination, I think, and harder in my opinion to control then most fixed wing craft.
Which makes it all the more a "WOW" situation when you think of what those helio pilots accomplished in a tough situation. While I guess they may train for mountain rescues in general, I doubt that something like this feat is in the training manuals.