Rescue Airman Respond to Helicopter Crash


Verified SOF
Aug 18, 2007
San Antonio Texas
Good job by all involved. This story also illustrates why the PJ's (and others) train so hard.
From the AF Page:

2/1/2011 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz (AFNS) -- Air Force reservists from the 943rd Rescue Group here responded to a Department of Public Safety helicopter crash in a rugged valley northwest of Tucson Jan. 31.

Around noon, 943rd RQG Airmen were conducting two rescue helicopter training missions in the local area when they heard radio chatter indicating there had been an accident.

"We are an Air Force rescue helicopter with a hoist. Do you need our help?" the aircraft commander asked.

The 943rd RQG is an Air Force combat-search-and-rescue unit which trains to rescue downed or injured service members from combat situations.

The distressed helicopter crew responded yes and, the Airmen immediately returned to Davis-Monthan AFB and picked up pararescuemen to assist with the rescue.

Due to the rough terrain in the Avra valley, local rescuers had difficulty hiking to the accident. The PJs are highly-skilled personnel recovery specialists trained to perform rescues in all types of environments, to include mountain, cold-weather, water, etc.

There were four people on board, two were able to escape, and two were trapped in the helicopter.

"We were very concerned that our rotor wash would cause the wreckage to tumble down the cliff," said Capt. Brough McDonald, HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot, 943rd RQG.

The helicopter below was teetering so the aircrew put the helo's main gear in contact with the ground while three pararescuemen jumped out and secured the wreckage with ropes.

The PJs are also trained trauma specialist. In addition to getting to the victims in this hard-to-reach spot, they provided immediate medical aid.

Two of the survivors were able to walk and could board the aircraft with some assistance, while the other two had to be hoisted with litters. The survivors were transported to local medical facilities.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
Let's not get too dramatic here- a crew of grown ass men refused to let other humans go for wanting, and they put themselves out there for the good of those around them.

The sheepdog cares not about the sheep; only that that sheep is part of the flock. Hoooyah, brother sheepdogs. Good fucking work.
Captain McDonald is one of the best damn helicopter pilots I ever went into combat with and a lot of people owe their lives to him. It is not a surprise to me that he, his crew and the J's pulled it off...I wouldn't expect any less.
Nothing like good news on what otherwise could have had a bad ending. Lots of hurdles involved in this one and all were overcome by solid professionals.
I completely agree with justanother, CPT McDonald is a BAMF and I thouroghly enjoyed my time with him on my last deployment. Great job to those involved.