While mounting a mountain rescue in dicey conditions in the French Alps, members of the French Mountain Police (PGHM) put their helicopter in a position that seemingly defies physics.
The video of the intense rescue mission, undertaken to save a young man injured on the side of a mountain on January 2, smacks of an action-movie scene. The injured man named Bruno clutches his knee as a helicopter digs its landing skid into the snowy facade, its propellers cutting through the clouds and nearly scraping the mountain with each rotation. Nicolas Derely posted the video to Facebook, explaining the hair-raising incident in detail.
The rescue happened near the Anterne Pass at an altitude of 7,000 feet. Bruno had twisted his knee during an arduous skiing trek through the mountains. Despite standing above cloud level, Derely still had a miraculous phone signal. He called the authorities, who soon swooped in to perform the heroic feat.
Not only was the maneuver executed to a perfect degree, but authorities only had a fleeting window to get the job done. Lt. Jean-Francois Martin told the BBC about the maneuver, which he said is called a “skate support”:
“It gained us some time because the weather in the mountains was extremely changeable, the level of cloud on the pass would have stopped us from intervening just a moment later.”
After pulling off the incredible stunt, medics tended to the injured skier’s leg and ferried him to safety on board the helicopter. Bruno was later taken to a hospital, not only thanks to the piloting prowess of the French Mountain Police, but his skiing buddy’s improbable cell service.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics