Use of aircraft for rescue operations

It's rather hard to imagine a sport expedition to a remote region of the Pamir and Tien Shan, Altai without close cooperation with aviation. This solves a complex number of critical issues: quick delivery of the expedition to the mountain area, exploration flight over remote canyons and peaks, zabrosku goods to the upper base camp, the evacuation of the expedition, the provision of search and rescue operations. No exaggeration to say that only by aircraft in the 60-70's were held massive climbing mastering difficult mountainous regions of Central Asia.

Use of air power in mountaineering for transport and rescue work began in the USSR in the 30s. This mainly concerned the use of small aircraft such as the U-2, which were based on the upper broad gorges. Since then, the value of this form of transport for climbing has increased.

In mountaineering planes decide not only the general transport tasks, but also to transport the victim to a long distance. Their great importance in the preliminary exploration of large areas to drop a rescue needed supplies at altitudes above 6,000 meters, such as the Pamir plateau firn.

Abroad have a positive experience using small aircraft for rescue work directly in the highlands. They worked landing on snow and grassy slopes up to 25 °, the broad snow dome tops. It is necessary to pre-treatment of the runway width of 30 and a length of 300 m

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The main air vehicle for penetrating into the remotest corners of mountain, we are helicopters. They also bear the main burden of rescue operations, taking patients with small areas at a height of 5,000 m

Managers climbing activities and rescue teams should be aware that the use of helicopters in the mountains is limited to their technical capabilities (capacity, maximum altitude ceiling), weather conditions (fog, clouds, snow, wind). Night flights are possible only in exceptional cases, when the visibility is 8.5 km and a good knowledge of the terrain.

Particular attention is required to rescue the organization of the landing field. Its size, in general, should not be less than 35X35 m site should be level or with a slight slope and lie not in the trough and on the slope, and you may descending air. Preferred site on the slopes or on the top of the dome, which is possible with the so-called airplane taking off (with a run). The surface area must be firm. Snow on it to trample down to walking from failing legs. There should be no obstacles in the landing and take-off (trees, rocks, moraines, vertically protruding objects.) Rescuers take a helicopter at the site, be sure to indicate the direction of the wind with smoke bombs, flags. Signalman is conditionally backs to the wind. Light objects near the site must be secured so that they were not ripped off the air flow from the helicopter rotor.

In order to efficiently update the pilot during landing or flying around, and to communicate with them during loading and unloading operations, rescuers are at the bottom, should be familiar with and use the international signaling gestures (Fig. 42-44). The signalman must face the helicopter so that its signals are visible to the pilot.

To watch out for screws! By helicopter approach to a complete stop and tail rotor, after the crew of the signal. Approach to the helicopter should be within sight of the front pilot.

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