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Arizona National Guard makes complex landing to rescue injured hiker

Superstition Mountains rescue
Posted at 2:09 PM, Nov 25, 2021

APACHE JUNCTION, AZ — New video shows members of the Arizona National Guard rescuing an injured hiker over the weekend by making a landing on the side of the Superstition Mountains with only the two front wheels of the aircraft.

ABC15 is told that a flight crew was dispatched on Sunday to assist the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office with an injured hiker who could not get down the mountain.

The sheriff’s office was unable to reach the hiker with their aircraft because of high winds.

The guardsmen, with a medic on board, were able to use a Blackhawk helicopter to make a complex two-wheel landing on the side of a sloping ridge that was more than 5,000 feet in elevation.

“It’s a little more stressful than a usual landing, but for us, I think it's something we practice enough,” said CW2 Corey McCarthy.

The injured hiker was unable to make it down the mountain because of a back injury, but he was able to make it to the chopper himself.

“At risk of sounding corny, this is kind of what we live for,” said James Reed, a pilot with the Arizona National Guard.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office was unable to share the name of the injured hiker, because he is considered a victim.