A Utah helicopter crash has prompted some unusual rescue maneuvers after the aircraft crashed into the La Sal Mountains. According to reports, the helicopter was flying people who are working on a wildlife project when it careened into the mountain. The responding officials had to maneuver a steep peak to rescue those involved in the crash.
Search And Rescue Crews Are Tested When Responding To The Helicopter Crash
The Utah-based search and rescue crews from Utah’s San Juan County and officers from Utah’s Grand County sheriff’s office responded to the incident earlier this month. According to reports, the aircraft was transporting three crew members. These crew members were all from the state’s Department of Natural resources. The group was working to find and tag mountain goats within the La Sal Mountain range when the crash occurred. Officials note that the aircraft went down on a mountain peak during this journey.
According to one Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman, the helicopter wildlife service crews are “highly trained”. However, that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen, especially when operating aircraft in mountainous areas.
“Helicopter Wildlife Services is operated by highly trained and responsible professionals,” notes Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Aaron Bott in a recent statement. The wildlife official adds that these trained professionals “understand the risks” that come along with the job.
“Unfortunately, accidents occasionally happen despite the best efforts to avoid them,” the statement continues.
Rescue Crews Brave Dangerous Cliffs And Drops From The Mountains During The Amazing Rescue
According to reports, the Utah Division of Wildlife officials crashed on top of a steep peak located within the La Sal mountain range. This made rescue efforts quite difficult for the first responders. The search and rescue crews continued to rely on a helicopter that was provided by the state’s Department of Public Transportation throughout the efforts. The responding rescuers worked diligently to find their way to the downed aircraft and rescue three of the Department of Wildlife members from the stuck helicopter.
According to one of the rescue pilots bringing aid to the helicopter passengers, the officials were facing a “steep snowfield” as they approached the downed aircraft.
“It was a really steep snowfield kind of leading up to the aircraft,” notes rescue pilot Luke Bowman.
“[And] then cliff for about five thousand feet above that,” Bowman continues.
“They were very fortunate that the helicopter kind of stayed where it was,” the rescue pilot continues. “They could have slid a lot longer or tumbled a lot farther.”