SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Officials say a 22-year-old man is lucky to be alive and it’s all thanks to highly trained pilots and crew from the Utah National Guard.
In video captured by the Department of Public Safety helicopter and released Thursday, you can see the hoist go down and crews rescue the hiker.
The hiker was found about a third of the way up the north face of the mountain at the bottom of Anderson Pass at Henry Fork. Medics say the Lehi man tumbled 200 yards head over feet and suffered critical head and chest injuries.
Because the Black Hawk is the only helicopter in Utah certified to fly at night, the experienced pilots of the 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were called out.
While they’re trained for war, this is rare instance pilots help a hurt hiker under some “extremely difficult” circumstances.
“They had 3 percent of their available power left before they couldn’t fly. Either they would have to lose altitude or gain some air speed. These guys are experts at what they do and they train for it. And it paid off,” said 97th Aviation Troop Commander Lt. Col. Ricky Smith.
The patient was then flown on the Black Hawk to a nearby meadow used as a landing zone. He was transferred onto a Life Flight helicopter and taken to the hospital.
As of Thursday evening, he was reported as being in serious, but stable condition.