DPS rescue helicopter plucks stranded hikers off Peralta Trail

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The pilot delicately balanced his aircraft with one skid on rock, a maneuver called a one skid ingress. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety) The pilot delicately balanced his aircraft with one skid on rock, a maneuver called a one skid ingress. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
Four Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers helped the hikers to a less steep area where the helicopter could pick them up. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety) Four Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers helped the hikers to a less steep area where the helicopter could pick them up. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
The hikers were 'cliffed out,' meaning they could not climb up for descend from where they were. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety) The hikers were 'cliffed out,' meaning they could not climb up for descend from where they were. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
After flying the hikers down, the Ranger helicopter returned for the rescue team. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety) After flying the hikers down, the Ranger helicopter returned for the rescue team. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
PINAL COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Department of Public Safety on Wednesday released stunning video of its Ranger helicopter crew coming to the rescue of a pair of hikers who found themselves “cliffed out” on a bluff on the Peralta Trail.

It happened the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 11. The hikers were stuck on the face of the bluff – unable to climb or descend.

The rescue was a two-part operation. The hikers had to relocated to a less steep area before the Ranger team could pick them up.

“Four Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers with special equipment were flown by the DPS Ranger helicopter and inserted into the canyon near the location where the hikers were stranded,” according to a DPS news release.

Those volunteers helped the hikers to an area where they could board the helicopter while the pilot delicately balanced his aircraft with one skid on rock, a maneuver called a one skid ingress.

After the first hiker was aboard, the helicopter hovered a short distance away while the second hiker got into position. The pilot then repeated the one ski ingress to let the hiker climb aboard.

Once both hikers were safely aboard, the chopper flew them down to the command post set up by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and then returned for the rescue team.

“This is truly a great example of the professional working relationship between AZDPS and the specially trained rescue personnel from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department. In this case the combined effort between both agencies made for a safe resolution in this risky situation,” Terence Miyauchi, the aviation commander for DPS, said in a news release.

The DPS Aviation Bureau is comprised of four rescue helicopter units, an air support unit of four fixed-wing planes, an aircraft maintenance unit and administrative staff. The rescue helicopters are strategically based throughout the state “to provide the most efficient and effective service.” The air support and maintenance units are housed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport where the DPS Aviation Bureau is headquartered.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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