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Helicopter Search and Rescue Crews Save Lives

What if your were stranded, lost, injured, or all of these?  What would you wish for?  Food, water, or perhaps the beating blades of a Search and Rescue helicopter?  Based on these stats and stories, I’d be wishing for those sweet beating blades yelling to me, “I got you.”

Below is a snippet for the USCG’s Search and Rescue Statistics 2000 – 2011.  And, although these sorties were not all helicopters, it does show the significance of what these Search and Rescue (SAR) missions accomplish and the incredible number of lives they save.

YR      Cases   Responses  Sorties   Lives Saved    
2000 40,214 48,226 57,697   3,400  
2001 39,457 49,502 59,015   4,010  
2002 36,763 46,643 54,609   3,661  
2003 31,562 51,391 36,471   5,104  
2004 32,511 59,998 33,107   6,530  
2005 29,785 52,742 29,841   6,294  
2006 28,288 45,900 28,595   4,403  
2007 26,926 47,512 26,555   5,200  
2008 24,211 44,927 25,479   4,898  
2009 23,541 47,468 24,633   4,882  
2010 22,226 46,370 23,194   4,348  
2011 20,510 43,698 21,522   3,781
Guidance Aviation Instructor Pilots and YCSO Search and Rescue Pilots
Adding to the importance of helicopters, these stats do not reflect the thousands of helicopter SARs that take place yearly which are not accomplished by the US Coast Guard, but by local law enforcement and EMS helicopter crews.  Most recent examples include the recent helicopter rescue that took place off of Piestewa Peak on February 22, 2013   
Of course, we can’t forget about our own hero and former Guidance Aviation employee, Hunter French, a DPS helicopter pilot who rescued three hikers in two days off of mountain tops in 2012:
Finally, if your luck is like that of Jeff Boatman, professional helicopter pilot, odds are it will be a helicopter flight training crew that just may find you and radio an EMS crew to save your life. See: 
Special thanks to ALL our Search and Rescue crews!
Guidance Aviation provides high altitude helicopter and fixed wing flight training utilizing the newest aircraft and best equipment available. For more information, go to or

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