Yosemite’s primary chopper is known as #551. You might have seen it after a pickup off Half Dome or other sites that tend to have accidents.
The usual landing spot is in the Ahwahnee meadow. Victims are often “long lined” there, then placed into ambulances to take them to local hospitals – often in Modesto or Merced. Sometimes the victim is transferred to another chopper for faster delivery to an ER.
As the season settled down, the helicopter departed the park for its home base in Nampa, Idaho. It will return in May. Heavy duty maintenance and crew training will take place.
The craft was on contract for a total of 172 days. It’s parked up in the greater Crane Flat area. There is actually a helipad at the Fire lookout higher up. A dirt access road leads up to it and it’s not restricted. There are a few buildings and a training site for rapellers. Keep off the helipad!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody. Help, you know I need someone, help.” – The Beatles
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com