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Terrifying Video Captures Injured Hiker’s Wild Helicopter Rescue From Hell

God forbid you ever need to to be rescued via helicopter from a remote area, but should it ever happen, you'd hope your ascent to the aircraft was the least terrifying part of the ordeal...

God forbid you ever need to to be rescued via helicopter from a remote area, but should it ever happen, you'd hope your ascent to the aircraft was the least terrifying part of the ordeal. You would not, for instance, want to be sent spinning at dizzying speeds mid air, like one unlucky injured hiker who was recently hoisted into a chopper in Arizona.

After falling and hitting her head while hiking near Piestewa Peak outside Phoenix on Tuesday, an as-yet-unidentified woman in her 70s called for help, and authorities determined the best way to rescue her was by air. However, when the helicopter crew arrived to load her into a basket to take her to safety, things went haywire.

The basket carrying the hiker began swaying, rotating, and ultimately spiraling at a seemingly insane speed for the better part of a minute. The nightmare rescue can be seen in a dramatic video (shown above) captured by a local news chopper. 

Incredibly, the woman was only left feeling dizzy and nauseated due to the wild spinning, according to local affiliate Fox10 Phoenix. She was transferred to a hospital by ambulance after the helicopter landed and was reportedly in stable condition. 

So what the hell happened? Well, typically there is a special line attached during hoist operations to prevent a basket from spinning like this. In this case, that line broke during the rescue, according to an official who spoke with reporters per ABC 15 Arizona. 

"Sometimes if we’re in a canyon, it’s a strong, windy day, it will spin on us," he said, explaining that something like this has only happened a couple times before. "It's not something that's inherent to the basket or inherent to the bag, it's just something that occurs every now and then and we train to deal with it."

Eventually, the chopper's forward motion was able to reduce the spinning enough to safely bring the basket into the aircraft. 

Fingers crossed, the rest of us will only ever experience this sort wild ride at Six Flags.

h/tFox10 Phoenix, Buzzfeed News
 


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.