can news helicopters rescue a couple people?

I know nothing about helicopters. Does anyone know if the news people dropping in have room in their helicopters for a couple stranded folks?

If so, what bastards. If not, oh okay.

They don’t have the lift equipment and they have been directing police to victims and in many cases providing bottle water.

Landing could be much too dangerous.

well, they might have room for a couple of people, but that is not the problem.

The problem is landing:

A-They need a good place to land. The more dire the situation of whoever they need to rescue is, the less likely they can land.

B-IF they have a place to land, they risk being mobbed. Desperate laypeople are unlikely to appreciate or respect the load limitations of the aircraft.

Note that the SAR choppers do not land. They lower a basket, breeches bouy, or an assistant on a cable. They can cut that cable loose if the basket is mobbed, and anyway, it is specifically designed to be difficult to overload.

News choppers don’t have the winches, nor even the “hard points” needed to mount such.

News helicopters I’ve seen carry a lot of equipment, so they don’t have as much room as a normal helicopter of the type. But the larger issue is how Kevbo said: Most people don’t know how to behave around aircraft in the best of times, and a desparate mob would definitely cause safety issues.

This was an “orderly” evacuation. Now imagine a panic-driven one.

Perfect example of a picture is worth a thousand words.

Damn right.

Yesterday I saw footage of one of those big cargo helicopters (Chinooks?) trying to drop off water. The crowd kept milling around under the helicopter. Unable to land, the Guardsmen on the helicopter just pushed the palate of water out the door, on top of the waiting crowd, and left.

That sounds terrible, I saw Helo’s dropping a few bottles at a time and people catching them and handing them off.
I am assuming palate = pallet. That could really hurt.

The choppers also wouldn’t have medical equipment, and at this point I’m sure anybody they pick up would need it.

I’ll tell you this, though- if I was sent down there to report this, I’d pack all the free space in my car or helicopter or what have you with food and water and give that to the people I spoke to. The last thing I’d want to do as a journalist is be one more drain on their resources. I read on CNN that Sanjay Gupta is in Charity Hospital, where they have no water, and I sure hope he brought whatever he could when he came in.

Indeed. If I had my own helicopter (preferably a UH-1, since they’re relatively inexpensive, burn the same fuel as the Black Hawks and JetRangers, and have a good payload capacity) I’d volunteer to help out. Just keep it gassed up. By using it for logistical support – taking supplies to places that need them – the winch-equipped helicopters would be freed to rescue people.

Last I heard was Charity was evacuated. My BIL & SIL were airlifted out last night.
All patients & Staff were evac’d.

I found a CNN story that said evacuations had resumed, but you may be privy to more current info if you have family there. I do stand by what I said; Gupta was there for at least part of the day and I hope he did whatever he could.

Not a critique. My BIL called 3am last night. The News has been very jumbled and there were definitely lots of people still stuck in Charity until late last night.
I fully agree with what you said.

At the beginning of the Iraq war, Dr. Gupta was an embed with the Devil Docs. His specialty is neurosurgery, and he took off his reporter’s hat a couple of times and helped out in the OR when they had head wounds that needed his expertise. Given that I’m sure he would be doing the same in NOLA if called on, but I expect there’s little likelihood of running across head trauma cases at this point, plus anyone who needs surgery is going to get medevaced out to someplace with power and running water.

IIRC, wasn’t there a news helicopter covering the crash of an airliner in the Potomac in '82, that saw a survivor in the icy water and dipped down so she could try to reach the skid?

Tripler
I’m pretty sure I remember seeing a video to that effect.

Sounds great, but it was only one person and it is still dangerous. If you’re talking about rescue from rooftop, you could blow the person off the roof top instead.
If you’re not a skilled pilot a wind gust while that low to a house could be catastrophic.

There was indeed, although I can’t recall if it was a news helo or a police helo or what. I think it was a news helo. They were trying to save a stewardess who was desperately trying to cling onto a life ring. The helo was trying to pull her to the shore, but her injuries, the oil in her eyes and the hypothermia were preventing her from holding on. That’s when the good samaritin on shore jumped in and pulled her the rest of the way.

Scratch that - it was a US Park Police helo.

This, I know. Having been literally blown on my arse from downwash before, I know it’s a risky maneuver. But it does not preclude the possibility of a daring helo-driver from doing it. It’s still possible to accomplish.

Tripler
There’s a reason they tell ya to keep your head down. :smack:

Possible yes, but if you’re just a traffic copter pilot, would you risk it.? You could actually make things worse.