Terrifying video shows hiker windmilling in dramatic spiral as she's hoisted from a helicopter
Dramatic footage has emerged of a 75-year-old hiker - who was injured from a fall in Phoenix, Arizona - spinning wildly out of control as she is hoisted upwards to safety as part of a routine helicopter rescue.
The woman's terrifying ride, which took place yesterday morning at Piestewa Peak - a popular hiking location in Phoenix - was captured by local TV station Fox 10.
Take a look at the alarming footage:
Emergency responders were called after the woman hurt her head as a result of the fall. The Phoenix Police Department arrived at the scene with a helicopter to hoist the woman up to safety while strapped in a Bauman bag and basket.
According to Phoenix Police lead air unit pilot Paul Apolinar, such out-of-control spinning incidents have only occurred twice in 210 rescues over the last six years.
"Sometimes if we’re in a canyon, it’s a strong windy day, it will spin on us," he said. "It’s not something that happens very often, but sometimes it just does. And when it does, we’re trained to take care of it."
A line attached to the hoist is responsible for preventing the basket from erratic spinning as it's brought into the helicopter's rotor wash.
Unfortunately, the line broke, pilot Derek Geisel told reporters, which caused the terrifying windmilling incident.
"So we brought it down again, brought it back up, hoping some of the spin would lessen, which it didn't, obviously," he said.
Eventually, the spin did lessen and the firefighters were able to hoist the woman up with a great deal more ease.
"We were at least able to make some eye contact, and I could tell she was doing okay," Phoenix Fire Capt. Bobby Dubnow told reporters.
"The helicopter was the correct decision," he added while confirming that "reports from the hospital are that she had no ill effects from the spin."
The woman has not been identified but is believed to be recovering well after the dizzying ride.