Pilot Ejection, Parachute, and Helicopter Crash Injuries

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McBratney CM, Rush SC, Kharod C 14(4). 92 - 94 (Journal Article)

USAF Pararescuemen (PJs) respond to downed aircrew as a fundamental mission for personnel recovery (PR), one of the Air Force's core functions. In addition to responding to these in Military settings, the PJs from the 212 Rescue Squadron routinely respond to small plane crashes in remote regions of Alaska. While there is a paucity of information on the latter, there have been articles detailing injuries sustained from helicopter crashes and while ejecting or parachuting from fixed wing aircraft. The following represents a new chapter added to the Pararescue Medical Operations Handbook, Sixth Edition (2014, editors Matt Wolf, MD, and Stephen Rush, MD, in press). It was designed to be a quick reference for PJs and their Special Operations flight surgeons to help with understanding of mechanism of injury with regard to pilot ejection, parachute, and helicopter accident injuries. It outlines the nature of the injuries sustained in such mishaps and provides an epidemiologic framework from which to approach the problem.

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