Originally Posted By: hikermor
Too rough for helicopter extraction, but they were able to carry her (less than a mile). Probably the helo did not have hoist capability?? (seems odd for a working chopper...)

Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Agreed, no problem with lift/hoist capacity. These guys are yoinking all sorts of equipment and materials to their work sites.

My thinking was about appropriate training/certification for lifting out a prone casualty (esp. a non-employee), appropriate equipment for the same, company policy for such situations, liability, etc. It's a different calculus than a SAR or military crew would face.

Winches are pretty much only on dedicated SAR helos. They have a relatively small weight capacity (perhaps 300-350 kg ?), which is adequate to lift a rescuer and victim, but not near enough for industrial loads. Winches require a dedicated winch operator, and a great deal of specialized and dangerous training for pilot, winch operator, and rescuer.

Helicopters used in industrial work typically do not have a winch for hoisting. While they can lift quite big loads, they generally use the cargo hook on the bottom of the helicopter. The cargo hook could be used for rescue work, this would be the "short haul" technique (sometimes also called "long line"). However, using this to lift a living person (as opposed to a piece of industrial kit) again requires a high level of very specialized training. Also some specialized gear to attach the victim. This isn't something that one would want to improvise on the spot.

Given the limited information available on this incident, it sounds to me that opting to carry her out to where they could rendezvous with a ground vehicle appears to be absolutely the wisest option.
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