If a man is in need of rescue, an airplane can come in and throw flowers on him, and that’s just about all. But a direct lift aircraft could come in and save his life.
—Helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky

Aviation Facts

First Helicopter Civilian Rescue

On November 29, 1945, a Sikorsky R-5 hovers over a grounded oil barge in Long Island Sound off Fairfield, CT, to perform the first helicopter hoist rescues in aviation history. The rescue site was a short flight from the Sikorsky factory in Connecticut.

First Helicopter Civilian Rescue November 29, 1945

It was over half a century ago, the last week of November, 1945, and the East Coast of the United States was besieged by a violent storm, of rain and snow and exceptionally high tides, all whipped into a frenzy by near hurricane force winds.

And near Fairfield, Connecticut, on a bleak and wind-tortured reef in Long Island Sound, something wonderful happened.

Two men stranded on an oil barge and in peril of being washed overboard were lifted to safety by a hoist on a Sikorsky helicopter. On that day, Thursday, November 29, 1945, the helicopter entered a new and promising age. Read the entire First Civilian Rescue story

Learn more about the world of aviation with the links below: