10 Milestone Flights
You wouldn't have wanted to be along on most of them.
- By Perry Turner
- Air & Space magazine, March 2003
(Page 4 of 5)Sikorsky test pilot (and Igor Sikorsky’s cousin) Jimmy Viner and a friend, Jackson E. Beighle, climbed into a helicopter and quickly flew to the barge. When the pilots saw the problem, they returned to the plant and got into an R-5 that had been recently equipped with a hoist.
Once back over the barge, they dropped a note to the stranded men, telling them a harness was about to be dropped. Penninger donned the harness and was hoisted up quickly, but because the R-5’s cabin was so small, he had to be flown back while hanging half out of the craft, clinging to Beighle. Pawlik had an even worse time: As he was being lifted, the hoist stalled, so he had to be flown while hanging 30 feet below the helicopter, battered by high winds.
At the beach, a news photographer got a gripping shot of Pawlik dangling; the next day, it appeared in newspapers all over the country. From that day on, the helicopter enjoyed a reputation as the Good Samaritan of aircraft.