Monday, December 3, 2012

The Year in Review: Landing zone

Standing on the edge of a dirt field I turn my head to avoid the dust kicked up from the rotor wash as the air ambulance settles in for a landing at of the many crashes I covered in the Tracy area. This is a scene it seems I have witnessed too many times this year.

It feels like I have been to more horrible crashes this year than in the past.  Listening to the dispatch come across the scanner I can hear the call for an air ambulance and the reply for their helicopter's estimated time of arrival to the scene.

They usually pick a spot nearby for the landing zone also known as the LZ to set the helicopter.  Sometimes I park as far away from the crash as I can only to see my car in the viewfinder as I frame the picture of the helicopter  at the accident scene.
But in the end the thing I remember the most from some of the accident scenes is the whine of the engines and that thump of the rotors as they increase the pitch and bite into the air for takeoff.  The helicopter slips into the sky and I head back to the office to wait for the next call.