New Mexico Flood Victims Look To Skies for Help | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-
Monday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-
Tuesday

Airborne Unlimited-
Wednesday

AMA Drone Report-
Thursday

Airborne Unlimited-
Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 12.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17

Airborne 12.13.17

AMA Drone Report 12.14.17

Airborne 12.08.17

Airborne-YouTube

Airborne 12.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17

Airborne 12.13.17

AMA Drone Report 12.14.17

Airborne 12.08.17

Fri, Aug 01, 2008

New Mexico Flood Victims Look To Skies for Help

Over 250 Residents, Vactioners Rescued From Dolly's Wrath

New Mexico Army National Guard aviators put their hoist training to the test not once, not twice, but 57 times July 27 after Tropical Depression Dolly caused flooding in the high desert resort community of Ruidoso, NM. By the end of the mission, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crews had picked up more than 250 residents and vacationers.

This feat set a state record for the number of victims rescued in two days. "[The Black Hawk] kind of looked like Noah's Ark in the back," said Army Staff Sgt. Ian Weiger.

Army Capt. Daniel Purcell said the effort was a record-breaker. "There is no way in our aviation history in this state that we've saved or rescued that many people at once," he said. "Certainly a record, as far as rescues go. We were just doing what we were trained to do."

The July 27 helicopter crew consisted of pilots Purcell and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles Boehler, along with their flight crew, Weiger and Sgt. 1st Class Greg Holmes.

Hundreds of residents and vacationers were stranded due to the swift rise of the Rio Ruidoso, which runs through the town of Ruidoso, southeast of Albuquerque. The rushing river tore through 14 bridges, engulfed roadways and continued to create more rivers, all of which prevented people from escaping.

Crossing the river was impossible, as even the trees cut down by rescue workers to act as bridges were unsafe to use. The high waters completely encircled one campground, creating an island that was the only dry ground for the vacationers.

Before the campers had a chance to panic, the Black Hawks were hovering overhead and lowering a hoist and crew to help transport them to safety.

This mission was performed by using a jungle penetrator, which is a seat suspended from the helicopter by a sturdy cable. Crew members strapped in victims one at a time for the ride of their life from the ground up to the hovering aircraft. Crews were then able to lift them into the safety of the helicopter.

Some of the 57 people hoisted from the ground on July 27 were picked up well after sunset, but the helicopter crews are well versed in night operations with the jungle penetrator. They have performed extensive training using night-vision goggles to see in the dark.

The focus, Purcell said, "was to get the elderly, women and children out first and then come back for the rest."

Over the next three days, crews would continue to airlift stranded residents and vacationers in addition to dropping water and food to those still on the ground.

(Aero-News salutes Army Staff Sgt. Anna Doo, with the New Mexico National Guard.)

FMI: www.nm.ngb.army.mil/

Advertisement

More News

President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1

Instructs NASA To Refocus On Manned Space Exploration President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon. The president Monday signed at the White House Space Policy Dir>[...]

AMA Drone Report 12.07.17: AMA Supports GoFly, ALPA v UAS, EU Drone Regs

Also: Drones Hunt Pythons, MI State Regs, Thanksgiving Drone Flying, Drone Collision Report A little outside our normal coverage responsibilities, nonetheless, we’re intrigue>[...]

Airborne 12.11.17: Pilatus PC-24 Cert, VerdeGo Aero, Canada Nixes Hornets

Also: Engine Coatings Facility, Wrong Runway At JFK, ATR 72-600 Flight Sim, Regional Airline Association Pilatus has obtained type certificates from the FAA and EASA for the first >[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17: ERAU Storm Chaser, USMC Drone Insignia, Malawian UAV

Also: NLR Signs Agreement, QinetiQ, Big Bend Community College, 2nd Annual UAS Conference, Tigershark UAS Kicking off a series of tests for its capstone project, the UAV Storm Chas>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17: ERAU Storm Chaser, USMC Drone Insignia, Malawian UAV

Also: NLR Signs Agreement, QinetiQ, Big Bend Community College, 2nd Annual UAS Conference, Tigershark UAS Kicking off a series of tests for its capstone project, the UAV Storm Chas>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC