I've been on a helicopter rescue reading binge lately. In fact, I've always been fascinated by those flying machines, though I never realized just how difficult they are to fly, even in ideal conditions, until reading Heart of the Storm: My Adventures as a Helicopter Rescue Pilot and Commander by Colonel Edward Fleming. Needless to say, most of the author's missions were in anything but ideal conditions.
During his 30-year career, the author participated in and led countless rescue operations, including the 1991 Halloween mission detailed in the book The Perfect Stormand movie of the same name. He also orchestrated the successful rescue of Dr. Jerri Nielsen from Antarctica. Remember that one? She was the woman diagnosed with breast cancer, whose health was rapidly deteriorating during the long Antarctic winter, necessitating a ground-breaking, daring mission to save her life.
"Heart of the Storm" also recounts dramatic jungle rescues, the longest helicopter rescue mission in history to save crew members of a Ukrainian freighter 840 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, desert operations in Iraq, and a nearly disastrous rescue of crew from a sinking schooner during an Atlantic winter storm.
I found this to be a well-written firsthand account and enjoyed the time I spent "flying" with Colonel Fleming.
Also, if you're interested in helicoputer rescue videos, there are a number of them on our website. Browse through our videos starting here.