Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Climbing

Mountain-Rescue Helicopter Crash on Austria’s Highest Peak

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

On August 1, 2017, a mountain-rescue helicopter attempted an extraction on the Adlersruhe (3,450 meters) below the summit of Großglockner (3,798 meters),
Austria’s highest peak. Shortly after the helicopter picked up a patient, it lost control and crashed on the edge of the 300-meter cliff. The cause
of the accident is still under investigation.

According to local news sources, the pilot, flight technician, paramedic and patient survived the crash with only minor injuries. Toni Riepler, the hut
warden at the nearby Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte who helped the patient into the heli, managed to escape the helicopter’s rotor.

In an interview with planetmountain.com, Vittorio Messini, a mountain guide and member of the Austrian Mountain Rescue Squad who was on scene,
said, “It was absolutely incredible, just like a horror film. Those involved had THE luck of their lives and thank God we can say that in the end ‘nothing
happened’.

“The patient needed to be flown down and so he was transported north of Adlersruhe, circa 50 vertical meters higher, and picked up about 30 minutes later
by another helicopter. There’s a safer landing place up there, but quite far away…”

Also read When a Rescue Needed a Rescue, by John Cleare