Phoenix Fire Department was rescuing an injured 74-year-old woman from Piestewa Peak in Phoenix this summer when the rescue basket began to spin out of control. The downwash from the aircraft increased the spinning which continued for about 40 seconds as the crew tried several times to raise and lower the basket.
“Sometimes when we bring the helicopter up from the ground, [the basket] will start to spin,” said Paul Apolinar, chief pilot of the police department’s aviation unit. “We have a line attached to the basket that’s supposed to prevent that. Today it didn’t.”
Katalin Metro, 74, “thought she was going to die” during the harrowing rescue, her husband said.
Metro was hiking at Piestewa Peak in Arizona with her husband, George Metro, on when she tripped and fell onto a rock, breaking her nose and injuring her hand and leg, her husband told NBC affiliate KPNX in Arizona.
Rescue crews decided to airlift her to avoid her potentially exacerbating her injuries.
Katalin was still feeling nauseated and dizzy two days after the ordeal, her husband said but has made a full recovery.