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5 die in tragic rescue helicopter training flight

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sad day for the mountain rescue heroes....... Sad

A mountain rescue helicopter has crashed in the French Alps, killing five of the six people on board.

The helicopter was an Airbus Eurocopter EC135, and belonged to private rescue company le Service aérien français (SAF). It crashed at around 19:00 at an altitude of about 1,800 metres, in the Savoie department, during a training mission.

On board were four SAF employees, and two emergency rescue staff from police security force the CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité) Alpes.

All except the pilot died in the incident. The pilot - who was himself critically injured after managing to eject from the aircraft - raised the alarm after the crash.

Savoie prefect Pascal Bolot, said: “From that point on, we knew with certitude that there had been a crash and that there was at least one survivor.”

Three helicopters were unable to access the crash site as part of the rescue mission due to heavy fog. Eventually, the pilot was found at 21:15 by a Gendarmerie Nationale mountain team on foot. He was taken to hospital in Grenoble.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Were they on a live rescue mission? Very sad indeed.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

during a training mission.
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Some more details here:

https://www.ledauphine.com/faits-divers-justice/2020/12/08/savoie-bonvillard-un-helicoptere-du-saf-se-crashe-avec-six-personnes-a-bord

but nothing yet on the cause of the crash- truly unfortunate

"In all probability, the aircraft was completing a helicopter hoisting exercise when the accident occurred," Albertville prosecutor Anne Gaches said on Wednesday afternoon in a press release
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We forget how dangerous such rescue jobs are.

Beggars belief that in 21st century UK, mountain rescue n coastguard services are still wo/manned by unpaid volunteers.
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How awful. RIP Crying or Very sad
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hugely sad. Glad that the pilot got out (though he won’t have ‘ejected’ in the sense we know).
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Not all heroes wear capes, really sad. RIP Sad
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I think most coastguards are paid - but of course the RNLI crews are volunteers, as are their French equivalents.
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pam w wrote:
Were they on a live rescue mission? Very sad indeed.


No.

The pilot was a trainee rescue pilot who was killed in the crash.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Wed 9-12-20 23:47; edited 1 time in total
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Yes, sorry - should have read the report more carefully...
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AL9000 wrote:
We forget how dangerous such rescue jobs are.

Beggars belief that in 21st century UK, mountain rescue n coastguard services are still wo/manned by unpaid volunteers.


Whilst they are volunteers, they are still often experts (often ex-mil or similar). It's a sad reminder that mountain flying is a demanding and unforgiving activity in perfect weather: and that can change very quickly.

Edit: AL9000- I don't think you meant the aircrew?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
AL9000 wrote:
We forget how dangerous such rescue jobs are.
..
Beggars belief that in 21st century UK, mountain rescue n coastguard services are still wo/manned by unpaid volunteers.
Of course this wasn't in the UK, and it appears to be a commercial training flight. Helicopters are objectively dangerous, full stop.

On your second point, I have been paid to work with some coastal rescue services, which were privatised in relatively recent times
although they were never "volunteer" in the way you seem to think. There have been significant improvements in the safety of those
services in recent years, some of which are associated with the organisational changes.

I've personally been associated with cave and some mountain rescue services in the UK and I think you may benefit from
looking closer at how they work before getting into your beliefs.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@philwig, I’m glad to hear the ‘volunteers’ are paid and not reliant on charity. That wasn’t the case until the recent past, at least in the UK.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Charliegolf, All involved in these missions, not just the aircrew. All should be on retainers, at least, to reflect their critical function and the risk involved.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
AL9000 wrote:
@philwig, I’m glad to hear the ‘volunteers’ are paid and not reliant on charity. That wasn’t the case until the recent past, at least in the UK.


I think the RAF and Royal Navy helicopter rescue crews, who did such magnificent work over several decades until the rescue service was privatised, were paid!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
LOTA wrote:


I think the RAF and Royal Navy helicopter rescue crews, who did such magnificent work over several decades until the rescue service was privatised, were paid!


Thread creep. The private SAR service is almost exclusively crewed by recent ex mil. Remains to be seen where the next gen of aircrews will come from.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
LOTA wrote:
...I think the RAF and Royal Navy helicopter rescue crews, who did such magnificent work over several decades until the rescue service was privatised, were paid!
Correct.

The SAR stuff I am directly familiar with was all bought by ex military people, and is still managed by them.
Now they have an incentive to be efficient as they get to take home a share of the profits.

It's actually brilliant to see - capitalism at it's best, a true win/ win / win scenario. The tax payer gets a more efficient service;
the victims get a higher quality and safer service; the ex military people get to make more money.
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I would think Bristow would have their own, or access to, the equivalent of the RAF's SARTU for training new crews. And there are still plenty of helicopter pilots in all three branches of the military. (RAF crews still do search-and-rescue in their Griffins in Cyprus).

Very sad to read about the crash in France. Awful, awful thing to happen.
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When I said it remains to be seen where the next gen of aircrew will come from, there were two strands to my post. First, there's no SAR stream any more, so ex mill pilots will need further training. Second, all the contractors know that the ex mil guys are on good pensions, and pay poor as a result. When they need ab initio SAR crews, they'll have to pay more. The win win might not be so clear cut then.
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