This probably isn’t the worst helicopter rescue of all time, but it’s enough to make a person consider whether it wouldn’t be preferable to die of exposure on a desert mountain, slowly baking to death under a relentless sun.
The setting is Piestewa Peak, a peak in the Phoenix Mountains, in, well, Phoenix. Firefighters were called to help a 74-year-old hiker who’d suffered an injury on the mountain Tuesday morning. According to a FOX 10 Phoenix report, firefighters determined that “the best course of action” would be to airlift the woman to an area trauma center, which in this case apparently required strapping her to a gurney dangling from the bottom of a helicopter and towing her out of there. This either did not go as planned, or the way they plan things in Phoenix is designed to discourage anyone from ever climbing mountains within city limits ever again.
The violent spinning experienced by the poor woman was reportedly caused by air turbulence from the helicopter’s rotor, and not by rescuers tying the line directly to the rotor as a form of sadistic punishment. However bad the injury was, this was worse!