A remarkable helicopter pilot performed a maneuver — normally only used during combat missions in Afghanistan — to rescue a climber in Oregon.
The moment the “pinnacle landing” at the peak of an 11,000-foot mountain took place was even captured on video.
The special maneuver involved balancing the rear end of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter on the side of Oregon’s Mount Hood — about an hour’s drive from Portland.
When the rescue mission began Thursday afternoon, the mountain was snowy and conditions were described as “treacherous.”
Phil Cole was part of the 304th Rescue Squadron that saved the 27-year-old climber the following morning.
He said: “This time of day, the mountain just starts to fall apart.”
“Everything is melting, ice and rock are coming off the mountain. A good analogy is like a bowling alley.”
Despite this, rescuers managed to crawl out on all fours, while the tandem rotors were still spinning, to bring the 27-year-old Texan climber back to safety.
They initially were called to the scene at 2:30 p.m. Thursday after the climber called to say he was planning to end his life.
On Friday morning, the rescue team had found him and were able to escort him from the mountain — uninjured.