Helicopter rooftop evacuation in Afganistan by the badass pilot Larry Murphy

A badass photo was taken by a soldier in Afghanistan of a helicopter rescue mission. Here is the photo:

Helicopter rooftop evacuation in Afganistan by the badass pilot Larry Murphy 1
The Afganistan Heli Rooftop Evacuation © defrance.org

The pilot is a PA Guard guy who flies EMS choppers in civilian life. Now how many people on the planet you reckon could set the ass end of a chopper down on the roof top of a shack on a steep mountain cliff and hold it there while soldiers load persons in the rear?

Operating choppers in a war zone is probably one of the toughest jobs on the planet that requires immense skill and control. Therefore, this particular photograph of an amazing rooftop landing in Afghanistan is considered to be a master class in dealing with difficult operating environment.

All you need to understand in order to appreciate what the Chinook pilot achieved here is this – the CH 47 helicopter is a 50,000 pound beast that is as difficult to operate as it looks in the picture.

The pilot, Larry Murphy, landed the tail end of the helicopter on a little shack perched atop a steep mountain to pick up “Persons under control”. Even a small lapse in concentration could have had disastrous consequences and therefore the whole operation required nerves of steel.

Helicopter rooftop evacuation in Afganistan by the badass pilot Larry Murphy 2
© defrance.org

Keystone Helicopter, populated heavily with ex-military personnel, honors and supports all its reservists who have been activated to serve the country in challenging and dangerous locations throughout the world. In addition to Larry Murphy, the following employees have been called to serve:

John Cox
Tony McDowell
Kevin Dillingham
Kurt McGrath
Mike Frey
Ed Martin
Karl Jolly
Bob Wilcox

Steve Townes, CEO of Keystone Helicopter and founder of Ranger Aerospace, said:

“We are extremely proud of these employees and the sacrifices they have made in order to serve in the defense of our country at this time. We wish them well and we look forward to the day when they will be back home and once again part of the Keystone Helicopter workforce. In Larry Murphy’s case, the skill and daring he showed on this mission were exemplary and inspiring.”

The proper description of the whole incident as published on defrance.org is this:

“Keystone Helicopter, an industry leader in helicopter services for 50 years, gave special recognition last week to pilot Larry Murphy for his recent skillful rooftop landing of his CH-47 helicopter to pick up Afghan Persons Under Custody during Operation Mountain Resolve in Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province. Murphy, a 10-year Keystone Helicopter EMS pilot at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is currently on active duty with Company G, 104th Aviation Regiment.”

While many descriptions of the photograph firstly claim that the chopper was evacuating wounded coalition soldier, it was later confirmed that the photo actually captures the Chinook helicopter touching down to receive Afghan Persons Under Control (APUC) captured by members of the U.S. 10th Mountain Division. While it is not everyday that you see such heroic acts, this rooftop retrieval remains one of the most skilful chopper landings you’ll ever witness.