Fri, Feb 27, 2004
Association Honors Laurence Perry, Rick Harmon
Laurence Perry of
Classic Helicopters and Rick Harmon of Hawkins and Powers Aviation,
Wyoming, are the recipients of Helicopter Association
International's (HAI) Pilot of the Year Award. This award will be
presented March 16, 2004, at HELI-EXPO in Las Vegas, Nevada, during
HAI's 43rd annual "Salute to Excellence" award ceremony.
After a bolt of lightning struck six of thirteen hikers, Aug.
23, 2003, at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Perry and Harmon
flew to the rescue. Cell phone calls were placed to 911 by the
injured hikers and a magnificently planned and implemented
two-helicopter rescue relay followed."
The Teton rangers needed to reach Friction Pitch, tend to the
injured in one area, rescue a dangling climber, and get to three
more hikers who were injured, huddling 200 feet below on narrow
ledges in just four and a half hours. Perry needed to use a
long-line rescue system to transport injured climbers off the peak.
Much thought was given to working on the downwind side of a
13,770-foot mountain with winds from 15 to 115 miles per hour.
One by one, the injured were attached by climbing harnesses to
the rope, secured with an extrication suit, and whisked down to the
Lower Saddle. Harmon then loaded patients inside his airship from
the Lower Saddle and transported them to Lukpine Meadows. "Without
them (Perry and Harmon) and their expertise, I probably wouldn't be
here. The people who do that are true heroes," said Rodrigo
Liberal, one of the 13 hikers.
For performing one of the most spectacular rescues in the
history of American mountaineering, HAI says it is proud to present
Perry and Harmon the Pilot of the Year Award.
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