Footage released on January 3 shows a pilot performing a dramatic manoeuvre to rescue an injured skier from the Pass of Anterne in the French Alps.
One of the skiers reportedly suffered a knee injury during a ski trip near the Anterne Pass. Members of his party were able to call for help, despite being at a reported altitude of 2,200 metres (7,200 feet).
The rescue was carried out by the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne (PGHM), a specialised unit of the French National Gendarmerie tasked with aiding victims in mountain ranges.
Footage shows a helicopter planting its landing skid into the steep slope, with the aircraft's rotor blades just inches away from the snow. The pilot keeps the helicopter in position long enough to allow rescuers to disembark and attend to the injured skier, before winching him away to a local hospital.
The pilot who carried out the rescue, Jean-Francois Martin, said that he had chosen to perform the manoeuvre, dubbed a 'skate support', to save time due to the changeable weather conditions at the time.
Mandatory Credit: Nicolas Derely