Two weeks ago, I returned from leading a 4-man Air Force training team to Colombia to teach high angle rescue techniques to Colombian Air Force helicopter crews and para-rescue personnel. This is Part 6 of the chronicles of my adventurous trip to Colombia…
Day 9 … Snatch-and-grab
The first technique we practiced today is called a “snatch-and-grab.” Its purpose is to pick up a single survivor as quickly as possible without landing the helicopter.
The basic idea is for a helicopter crew to make an approach while lowering a para-rescue jumper (PJ) down towards the ground so the aircraft stops descending at the same time the PJ hits the ground. The PJ then runs forward to the survivor, wraps a “survival collar” around him, secures the survivor to the collar, and prepares for liftoff while the helicopter slowly hovers forward and then takes off.
Since we trained several crews I had the opportunity to take pictures from inside the helicopter and from the ground. In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words so here’s the action in sequence:
We actually flew again in the afternoon and completed some more training, but I’ll have to break this post into 2 pieces since there are so many pictures. I’ll post more tomorrow… fast rope, special purpose insertion extraction systems, etc.
What an awesome trip!
1. A Night in Orlando – Colombia Chronicles
2. Arriving in Bogota - Colombia Chronicles
3. SECDEF, the FARC, and Palanquero - Colombia Chronicles
4. Helicopter Academics - Colombia Chronicles
5. Urban Rescue Ops – Colombia Chronicles
6. Free Fall Skydiving – Colombia Chronicles