NUNLEY #10 TT V2R and helo crash update

bajaford

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Back from 3 days of fun racing and a sureal event. Our Geiser truck finished 9th in class (not bad considering the event that happened to us). Day 1 was smooth and consistent other than a few flats and some fuel pump issues. Day 2 was going extremely well when right before our eyes we watched our friends go down in a chopper. We immediately turned hard off course radioed our chase crews and ran to the wreckage. There wasn't too much left that resembled a helicopter. Myself and Co-Dog Tom O, hekped load the 3 occupants into a Dodge Durango from the BITD checkpoint. Tomo took the TT to the next pit and I rode down a gravel road with the injured toward the highway, in the vehicle the 3 were talking but in extreme pain. All 3 ended up in a Las Vegas hospital. At this point it is not clear exactly why the helo went down. The injury report is something like 2 broken backs, 3 broken ankles, broken hand, broken shoulder, lacerated liver, concusions.

Gregs wife Michelle was 1 of the occupants of the helicopter. As she was being loaded into the ambulance at the highway, she told one of our pit crew to tell the 2 Toms to drive fast and finish the race.

The rest of day 2 was kind of a blur considering what we just saw happen. Tom and I were having a fast day 3 untill a big rock got in our way and ended up taking out our power steering for the last 200 miles of the race.

thanks to all our chase crews, motorhome movers and cooks for making this race possible. Thanks also for the phone calls, thoughts and prayers for the injured.
 

Tipracer

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good to hear that they made it out alive...btw what type of helo was it?
 

PAB

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robinson r-44
Ohh man here it comes....this is the helo that everyone hates on right?

Thank goodness all is well with everyone on board! I was really bummed when I heard about this crash while I was in London.
 

Tipracer

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just a question...not hating, he!! I would love to have ANY chopper
 

Mcarlson1

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Glad to hear everyone made it out, really lucky thats all what happened. I couldnt imagine what it would be like watching that happen in front of my eyes. Good thing you guys were right there.

Thanks,
Mike
 

Chase 2

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Ohh man here it comes....this is the helo that everyone hates on right?
Its actually a great chopper, Arciero/Miller Racing has been using the R-44 for race support for years. Most crashes with them are directly attributed to pilot error, and its pretty rare for a catastrophic failure to cause a crash of an R-44. High Density Altitude in hilly terrain close to the deck is pretty unforgiving of even slight mistakes. The FAA will make a determination as to the cause of the crash.

Again, glad no one was killed.
 

Broncodawg

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Very impressed with how cool Greg and the 10 team stayed while waiting at pit 5 for word. Felt terrible not being able to find out more for them, but the incident moved to the medic channel as it should. Truly a class team and praise God that a miracle happened for them out there in the dezert. Speedy recovery to all.
 

TARHEEL

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Gregs wife Michelle was 1 of the occupants of the helicopter. As she was being loaded into the ambulance at the highway, she told one of our pit crew to tell the 2 Toms to drive fast and finish the race.
That's an amazing spirit & we should all be so lucky to have that kind of support and passion! We were so glad to hear everyone survived that crash.
 

Cinco-B

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Let me first give an update on the most important thing. My wife Michelle, Dooley, and Victor are all doing extremely well and expected to go home very soon. I have been with them all since taking the ride with them in the ambulance. They are all now at UMC Las Vegas doors away from each other.
Luckily for the three, Tom & Tom in the #10 along with the people at the check point(not sure of their names but would love to know and praise them for the great efforts and all the help) seen the heli go down. They were over 400'-500' in the air at the time of the crash (as three witnesses explain) so I dont think flying to low was the problem, they all say the heli lost all power. Dooley is a great pilot and has flown over races many times and I have no problem with him flying over me again, especially when he is doing this just as a friend. For those of you not aware there is NO emergency air support from Tonopah area to Dayton area AT ALL! So having a few helis in the air for support (especially with an emt on board) makes me drive with a little more ease. I have noticed a little bashing on the pilot, who are we to criticize without knowing the facts. OH, and where are there slaps on the back for the helis that landed in Parker for the Danzio crash - Dooley was there very quickly to give any and all assistance needed.
My take on this whole almost catasrophe is we are not lucky but very blessed that GOD had an angel flying in that fouth seat. Miracles do happen and we all have GOD to thank for this one!!
One more note, I wouldn't be opposed at all if Casey raised entry fees to supply a medical heli for all races, in fact I would strongly support this. Accidents are going to happen regardless of precaution and imagine being hurt very badly where cars cant go or take long times to get there and out. SCORE has one at every race for this reason.
 

BoothPacific Films

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man it really is good to hear that everyone is going to be ok. this kinda thing is a heart wrencher. i have several friends that have been in 3 separate helicopter crashes and they are all alive today. it's hard not to get upset when you hear something like this.

Helicopter crashes happen. but i think the good far outweighs the bad. there is a reason why this event happened and the FAA/NTSB will do it's best to find out why. Density Altitude was an issue that day.
 

Jerry Zaiden

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My take on this whole almost catasrophe is we are not lucky but very blessed that GOD had an angel flying in that fouth seat. Miracles do happen and we all have GOD to thank for this one!!
One more note, I wouldn't be opposed at all if Casey raised entry fees to supply a medical heli for all races, in fact I would strongly support this. Accidents are going to happen regardless of precaution and imagine being hurt very badly where cars cant go or take long times to get there and out. SCORE has one at every race for this reason.

Very well said and I agree 110% on the BITD Emergency Helicopter support! I think for the extra $100 or less per racer this would be very good. Not only for our team but if my $100 per race gave another person a chance at life then it is money well spent!
 

Chase 2

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I'm sorry if my post was taken as a pilot bash, that was not my intent, it was more of a statement from me of what I've learned as a n00bie pilot that total loss of power is rare but does happen.. I wish everyone a speedy and complete recovery.
 

kim

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We are so glad to hear that the three on board will be fine. Truly a miracle. When I first heard from Chappy of the helo crash, my heart just sank. Michelle is a trooper, that's for sure. Greg - remember we are all your desert family - don't hesitate to call on us if anyone needs anthing.
 

InDaShop

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Glad to here they lived.

I was northbound coming into Pit 4 when we heard the intial on BITD, "Red Helo down RM530" then the followup about the incident was "Its Bad". I said a prayer to myself for you guys , don't know ya, but racers none the less. Glad everyone is alive, and congrats on the finish.
 

BoothPacific Films

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I'm sorry if my post was taken as a pilot bash, that was not my intent, it was more of a statement from me of what I've learned as a n00bie pilot that total loss of power is rare but does happen.. I wish everyone a speedy and complete recovery.
It's really good to talk about these things so that they can be prevented in the future. The FAA sets rules to follow but when you are doing something specific with an aircraft ( following an off-road race ) there should be some specific thinking about how that is done.

Helicopters are designed for total power loss. But the design includes flying at an altitude that allows the time to do the emergency procedures. I know that is what makes a r-22/r-44 a bit different from other helicopters. Without speculating too much it sounds like the pilot had just enough time to do some of those procedures and it helped prevent an even worse accident. Thank god.

It will probably take a year or so for the official conclusions but that doesn't mean the conversation to make everybody safer has to wait.

I hope this doesn't seem disrespectful to the parties involved, i don't mean any. I just spent too much time in my life discussing helicopter crashes and i would like the conversation to include how to prevent them from happening.
 

s@ndm@n

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When I read the title my heart sank, but I'm glad to read everyone made it.
 

Cinco-B

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If there is anything from this situation that can prevent future disasters like this than by all means everyone lets hear comments. My biggest concern is right after the crash no medical response team could get to the site. Two of the passengers were laid down in the back of a Dodge durango and the other laid over the console in the front seat. (no medical backboards). The ambulances had to wait at the highway nearly 5 miles away for the durango to arrive. I believe everyone did a GREAT job under these circumstances, but why be in the situation again where no professional medical team can get to a crash site. That is why Dooley volunteered to fly this race, to help my team and other teams if something like this happened. Just never imagined we needed a rescue heli for a heli crash. I believe Herbst and McBeath offered air support (thanks to Joe Biro and Bobby Baldwin making phone calls for me) and thankful for that but special heli's and planes need to be equiped to receive people that need to lay flat. Racers are doing well over 100 mph out there in the middle of nowhere and like I said accidents will happen lets just be prepared to respond the BEST and FASTEST anyone can.
 

450grl

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Very well said and I agree 110% on the BITD Emergency Helicopter support! I think for the extra $100 or less per racer this would be very good. Not only for our team but if my $100 per race gave another person a chance at life then it is money well spent!
It shouldn't cost that much, actually - Whiplash has a chopper as well as an Ambulance on hand for the two-day Snowflake race......I don't think the fees for that race are much more than normal.

This story is amazing - I was online following the race when Pete mentioned a helo went down....my heart just sank.....it was SO AMAZING to hear that everyone was going to be OK!! I wish a speedy recovery to everyone involved!!!
 
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