Pic of the Day: Apache Rescue

Happy Friday, given the amount of attention we’ve given to helicopters this week, I thougt I’d give you a killer helo image. This great picture from a few years ago shows an AH-64 Apache crew practicing a rescue technique where a soldier rides shotgun aboard the aircraft’s side sponson. It’s similar to a method AH-1 Cobra crews have used since the Vietnam war to rescue troops who can’t wait for a transport chopper. Basically, the passenger sits on the Cobra’s open ammo bay door and clings to anything he can while he’s whisked away. This method was famously used in 1968 to rescue future USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Ron Fogleman from capture by the Viet Cong when his F-100 was shot down in Vietnam.

  • 4FingersOfBourbon


  • McPosterdoor

    From what I’ve heard the injured party usually gets to ride inside and the Apache non-pilot (help me out here, gunner or navigator or both?) rides on the outside. I guess that makes sense, he’s not injured and can get a harness on quicker if he doesn’t have it on already. Optional one-side fire support when taking off as well! XD I wonder what kind of pressure he gets from the engine intake directly behind him.

  • brianckramer

    let’s call them a navigunner

  • TLAM Strike

    The Russians got a better system, their Mi-28 helicopter has a cargo compartment in the back of the aircraft that you can cram a person or two in to if you had to pick up a down aircrew.

  • Lance

    Looks fun in the summer very cold in the winter to come home that way LOL.

  • JRL

    A couple of packed adjustable fall arrest harnesses like we use in the construction business would take up hardly any room at all, and could be stored either inside the crew compartment, or on, or near the sponsons. Takes about a minute to put on, and then you wouldn’t have to worry about a wounded passenger possibly losing their grip.

    BTW, I’m pretty sure that the Apache can be flown, if not fought, by either of the two pilots.

  • flybratb52

    We love our CH47 pilot……he gave me the best gift in the world….our daughter..love you Col. Jim Reynolds……hookers rock !!!!!!!!

    • blight


    • Mark

      So, you are saying that basically “your” CH47 pilot delivered his load and got you pregnant? Does your husband or whoever know this? Or are you a crew member? Sounds like trouble!

  • Clifton B. Sommer

    That’s wild! Reminds me of when I was coming out of the field to go home from Vietnam. I hopped a ride on a Loach (the LOH-1) that was crammed with mail, thus no room for me inside, so I rode from Quang Tri to Camp Evans riding on the right skid!

  • Adam

    its amazing what the human mind can come up with when your ass is on the line, maybe next time someone will land a jet on a freeway and pick up another pilot just as some european countries are trained to do

  • Lynda

    God Bless the brave pilots. My late husband was a Cobra pilot in Vietnam, all of our military are hero’s. They sometimes work for days with little sleep, they don’t punch a time clock and a good thing, we couldn’t afford the overtime. It makes me mad when civilians talk about what the government “gives” military retirees. They deserve EVERYTHING they get and so much more.

  • Steve

    Actually, the first time this technique was ever used in combat was to pick up a 1st Cav Apache crew during Desert Storm.

  • pedestrian

    Can some one tell the Army simply to get an AH-60 for both attack and transport (assault/rescue) mission instead?

    • blight

      Mmm. There’s a degree of benefit that a platform optimized for a mission gets versus taking a common platform and commissioning it to do other things.

      For instance, the Vietnam era Hueys were modified into ARA variants. However, there was still a pressing need for more durable support, which became the AH-1.

  • Dvldg84

    It’s called a “Spur Ride” the first time I heard someone do it a Kiowa was shot down, both pilots were okay but banged and bruised. First on seen was an apache who saw a mob of men near the crash site. The Apache found the pilots off in the distance hiding in ditches. Instead of waiting for an evac they landed and loaded the two pilots. The gunner got out and the the more injured pilot in his gunner seat inside the Apache. He crossed two ratchet straps over the second injured pilot to the armament wing and got on the other wing and held on to the canopy handle and braced his feet against the engine panels. You typically in a pretty bad situation if you need to resort to this.