A while ago, we received a request from a village called Sahanavo in Madagascar to fly an elderly lady to hospital. The pilot scheduled to fly was sick, so our chief pilot Nick stepped in to do this mission and he invited me to come along so I could build up my flying experience.
We combined this medical emergency with Sedera’s week-long mission. After a 40 minute flight, we dropped Sedera and his team in the village of Morafeno in the rain forest. It was decided that Nick would come back the following day to fly them to the next village. But now we were looking for the village of Sahanavo. Unfortunately, we had slightly inaccurate coordinates and landed in a field close by. What was more unfortunate was the grass covered field was quite wet, and though it looked good at first, after shut-down the skid on my side started to sink leaving the tail rotor quite low. Some spectators with shovels quickly came from the surrounding fields and lent us a couple of their shovels. They thought it was a lot of fun, but we did not. By lifting the tail and putting shovels under the aft part of the skid, the tail could be lifted some. Nick could then take off without danger of the tail touching the ground. We also took a couple of the helpers as passengers to show us the way to the actual village, which turned out to be less than a mile away. The villagers in Sahanavo awaited us. They escorted the sick lady to the helicopter. We brought her and an accompanying family member back to Antananarivo for treatment at the hospital.
All in all, the unfortunate circumstances turned out good in the end.