Watch: Helicopter drags body of foreign national in Drakensberg

A video of a helicopter pilot evacuating the body of a foreign national that shows the cargo being bashed about on a Drakensberg hilltop has attracted the ire of the flying community after it was posted on Facebook.

The video, which has been shared on Facebook and WhatsApp shows the helicopter taking off with the body being transported as a sling load. The circumstances surrounding the death of the person are unknown at this stage.

Facebook posters criticised the helicopter pilot for the Drakensberg evacuation citing his apparent lack of skill and experience, although it is not clear to the layman exactly what went wrong. Others said the evacuation displayed a lack of respect to the deceased. Watch the video here:

Billy Bokdrol posted on Facebook after watching the video: 

“Im sorry, I had to watch that twice as I could not believe what I saw. Not because it was a body but that pilot must know ****’all about slingloading anything. Guarantee whoever signed him off should also go through some training.”

“If that load was on cable and he caught it, it could have jerked his ass out of the sky or snapped and gone through the rotor system.

Someone should follow up on this.”

Slade Healy replied: “Billy Bokdrol, terrible airmanship. I was kakking myself just watching this amateur circus.”

Vernon Knoetze posted: Billy Bokdrol agreed. It was hard to watch that. Any other terrain and loads, he would have been on his roof….Terrible slinging and very disrespectful to the deceased.”

Billy Bokdrol then responded with “Vernon Knoetze disrespect? I didnt get that far but I dont think that was intentional. I just don’t think the pilot is qualified.”

Adrian David Parker quipped in:  “Well if he wasn’t dead before the heli took off then he sure as **** is post the drag and drop exercise.”

Angelo Manuel Picoto added a more technical explanation for the poor lift: “Wow. looks like a typical case of the pilot not doing his performance calculations at high altitude + zero care for the load.”

Nigel Wilkinson also had some advice: “No one asked at what altitude this happened. To get out of ground effect up at a high altitude you can’t just climb. You will need forward momentum or fly straight off the mountains edge. Why sling it? Why not strap it to the belly?”

Adri Deysel posted that the incident was “very upsetting”.

“When slinging a body you have to ensure that you cause no further damage. The family can sue you for that “professional” sling….. Yes, you are taught to respect the dead and not to cause damage to the body when slinging.”


Presh JM Reporter

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