VSP Med-Flight crew rescues elderly Richmond hiker lost on Appalachian Trail

VSP Med-Flight crew rescues elderly Richmond hiker lost on Appalachian Trail
VSP Med-Flight 2 Flight Nurse Carl Harrison, Trooper-Pilot Ben Farmer and Flight Medic Earl Carter (not pictured) rescued a hiker. (Source: Virginia State Police - Facebook)

TAZEWELL Co., Va. (WWBT) - A Virginia State Police Med-Flight crew rescued an elderly Richmond hiker, who was lost on the Appalachian Trail, on Oct. 23.

Flight Nurse Carl Harrison, Trooper-Pilot Ben Farmer and Flight Medic Earl Carter were called to assist the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office with finding the Richmond hiker who was unable to find his way out of the mountainous terrain.

When Med-Flight arrived, there were about 30 minutes of daylight left and near-freezing temperatures left on top of the mountain.

The Med-Flight immediately spotted the hiker, but it would have taken ground crews about five to six hours to reach the mountain top where the hiker was.

The flight crew examined the clearing and decided to rescue the hiker themselves.

“But as the helo made the approach, they found the surface was too steep to fully land the aircraft. Instead, they decided to do a right-front skid-touching pickup, just as they’d practiced at their Aviation Base in #Abingdon,” Virginia State Police posted on Facebook.

While Farmer kept the helicopter steady, Harrison jumped out and helped bring the hiker to safety.

Police said the man was affected by the cold temperatures but did not have any series injuries.

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