October 15, 1969 I was injuried in a CH-3 helicopter incident while performing duty as a USAF Pararescue Tech (PJ) with the 605th Special Operations Squadron, Howard AFB, CZ. Details of the incident are related by my team mate, Larry Austin, in attachment # 1.
I credit the sudden stopping of the hoist cable with saving my life.. That ripped two of the three pulleys and their rigging from the floor and wall of the helicopter and broke the 5,000 pound test cable in two different places. This slowed me down enough to keep from being killed. Tremendous stress was put on my body. I do not know how far I was from the ground when the cable broke but I hit the ground very hard. After hitting the ground I was conscious and could breathe after a few seconds. The only parts of my body I could feel or move were my eyelids. There was no pain which made me think I had broken my spine. I lay there for some time after the helicopter departed the area thinking about what had happened and not being able to move. A short time before the helicopter returned I regained full mobility of my body. The mobility also brought severe pain to my chest, back, hips and legs. Oddly, the pain put a big grin on my face for I knew my spine was not broken. - Randy Pikelseimer