I'm dizzy just watching the video.
Yesterday, a video of firefighters airlifting a 74-year-old hiker who had fallen went viral on Twitter, as users attached a clip of the stretcher wildly spinning out of control while rescuers attempted to load her into the helicopter. Today, the Phoenix Fire Department firefighters that took part in the rescue are explaining to the public just why the stretcher was uncontrollable, and to sum it up: it just happens sometimes.
“We were doing a hoist rescue — we do a lot of them,” Phoenix Fire Department lead pilot, Paul Apolinar, explained at a conference with Fox News about the rescue from Arizona's Piestewa Peak. “Sometimes when we bring the helicopter up from the ground it will start to spin, so we have a line attached to the basket to help prevent that. Today it didn’t.” PFD Helicopter commander, Derek Geisel, continued to detail that they had tried several techniques that had reduced spinning in the past, but they didn't help. “This has happened in the past, but it’s been quite a while,” Geisel said. “In the past, we’ve kind of learned some of the techniques to get rid of it...We brought it down again, brought it back up, hoping some of the spin would lessen — which it didn’t, obviously.”
Apolinar went on to break down how baskets tend to spin as they get closer to the helicopter and interact with the wind coming off of the helicopter's rotors. And while the hiker's spinning looked extreme (to say the least), authorities report that she suffered no adverse effects from the strange incident. “Reports from the hospital are that she is stable and suffered no effects from the spinning,” stated PFD Captain, Bobby Dubnow.