The value of a good “wall climber” on operations like this was clear.
Paul Neal did an excellent job of leading, rappelling, jumaring, etc. – well done Paul. 82-13 7/17 Alert Calaveras County Harris At 0015 I was called by Arnold Gaffery, Sierra Madre.
There was a region callout for a 54 year old man and son missing in Calaveras County near Arnold on Highway 4.
Air transport was being arranged.
Called Janet Westbrook to start callout.
She got Dave Brown, Bob Joy, Tom Stogsdill, and Rod Willer.
At 0830 operation was called off when subjects were found. 82-14 7/18 Rescue Mirror Lake Green A phone call from Janet Westbrook at 0900 offered me another helo ride.
A hiker was stranded on a rock ledge hear Mirror Lake.
Because of the early hour and the fact that LCDR Dieckman was ready to fly, it promised to be and was – a piece of cake.
Dave Brown was the other half of our climbing team. A quick flight to Lone Pine, check with the Deputy and then to Mirror Lake.
Another hiker directed us to an LZ then pointed out the stranded hiker. Dieckman suggested that we hoist him with a horse collar.
It worked beautifully.
They lowered me to the ledge, I traded places with our victim (George O’Connor) and they hoisted him into the helo.
The horse collar came back down and up I went.
Modern technology is great, with a super pilot and the experienced crewmen: A03 Hill, AMS3 Clenney and HM3 Buckelew. George O’Connor had got himself in trouble by glissading down from Trail Crest Saturday afternoon.
He picked every promising looking patch of snow and slid to its end.
The last one led him to some very steep rock.
Traversing and climbing around completed his entrapment.
George had shorts, tee shirt and camera.
I believe he is lucky to be still alive. 82-15 7/19-20 Search Morris Peak Heller A Cessna Skymaster crashed at about 1800 on Monday 19 July 1982.
The pilot was able to report the crash but his radio soon went out while the ELT was left on.
CAP (George Turner and Leon Ammerman) got airborne, but were turned back by an AF helo from Edwards AFB who circled the crash, but departed without loading or reporting a location useful to ground crews.
Burge) had been on standby and was also turned off by NWC control tower.
The IWV SAR team then was given the job to rescue the injured pilot and passenger, but without good location. November 1982 Page 8 At 2254 CLMRG assistance was requested by Kim W., Sheriff’s office, since the terrain was proving not as flat as expected.
At 2326 the first team under Al Green (radio 21) was enroute and other teams were sent as people arrived at the Base camp at the hut.
At 1139 contact with IWV base in Indian Wells Canyon gave indication that this was still a search and that the Elper would help.
We sent our Elper and contacted Phelps TerHeun of CAP to join one of our teams with his Elper.
Rlee Peters, CAP, joined based and we began a telephone search for Turner, Ammerman or the AF helo pilots to help us fix the crash location.
The Elpers gave confused signals from outside the Indian Wells Canyon, but eventually pointed into the gully descending east from the saddle north of Morris Peak.
We broadcast this info at the same time one Elper team was trying to direct teams into the correct gully in the dark.
Some teams moved into incorrect gullies but at 0307 team 21 (four man) located the crashed aircraft.
The story from here belongs to the ground team’s efforts to get first aid and stretchers to the victims, to haul the stretchers uphill to a road and the pickup by a helo from Lemoore.
At 0652 the victims were delivered to Ridgecrest Hospital and Don Harris with Rlee Peters went out to pickup our gear.
Some teams stopped for breakfast others were back at 0800. COMMENTS: This successful search helps justify our theory of Elper searches.
Rather than Elper teams conducting individual searches we ran a combined operation with the Elper teams sending locations and directions, the base camp staff making predictions of the ELT location and fast field teams with voice radios proceeding to the ELT location.
In this type of operation, the Elper teams must be unselfish, moving even away from the ELT to give good readings.
They must also be precise about their locations.
Base staff must be strong with good map handling.
In this case Don Harris drew a circle very close to the actual spot.
Any team, IWV or CLMRG, could have found the victims if they had a map.
One CLMRG team was close but did not have a map – a bad mistake. After the search phase, the rescue phase involved getting stretchers and warm bags to the victim’s location.
Here I wish Don Glennon had been at base camp to help direct operations.
Twice stretcher teams were directed away from the correct location by deputies in the field while base camp was trying to get them together.
When finally the victims were reasonably comfortable and warm in stretchers a similar problem occurred with the helo.
Al Green who has been working in the Sierra with Navy helos regularly wanted the stretchers on an open ridge, but the actual pickup was on a crowded hillside.
The best operation is run with the director in base camp and experienced SAR leaders in the field. DESCRIPTION OF ELT SEARCH Our first readings were from the highways outside Indian Wells Canyon.
These gave what proved to be erroneous locations due to wave bounce.
One Elper in Freeman Canyon gave no signal telling us the aircraft was not on or over the crest in Indian Wells Canyon.
From Powers Well (the windmill) our two Elper teams gave very different readings one of which was correct and one wrong as shown later.
We do not know exactly where each team stood to take the readings. From up canyon we had trouble getting exact locations, but soon had a few readings pointing up the gully leading to the saddle north of Morris Peak.
TerHeun used his Elper vertically and suggested an elevation between 6000′ and 6500′.
The oval we drew was fairly large from a ground team’s viewpoint November 1982 Page 9 but the aircraft was inside it.
With the victims alive and vocal, there was no problem once the team got within 1/4 mile. Once again Elper team location is very important and in any practice this should be stressed.
As evidenced from the Powers Wells readings it can be useful if a team takes readings from two or three spots within 50′ of their nominal location.
If these are not nearly equal there may be radio or compass anomalies suspected. 82-16 7/23 Rescue Trail Crest Renta At approximately 1400 hours July 22, Paul Nakamoto, 20 years old, took a missed step and either broke or badly sprained his right foot.
The location of the accident was between Trail Camp and Trail Crest on the Mt.
One of Paul’s two companions, Michael Legg, went for help at 1500.
The second companion, Jeff Bender, stayed with Paul on the trail.
Legg took about three hours to get back to his truck at Whitney Portals.
CLMRG was contacted by Dan Lucas of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department at approximately 2230 hours. A team of me (Renta), Adams, Stogsdill and Brown was formed.
Lucas arranged for the China Lake helo with a crew of pilot LCDR Dieckman, co-pilot LT COL Smith, ADAA Clark, HM3 Harrington, and A03 Schatz to fly us to the location of the accident.
Take-off was to be at 0700 hours, July 23.
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