Segments in this Video

Flying Doctor (02:34)


Reverend John Flynn first provided medical services to Australian outback ranchers in 1928, using a DH-50 airplane. He equipped cattle stations with radio communication.

Military Evacuation (09:54)

During World War II, the Stinson O-49 flew injured American soldiers to safety. In Vietnam, the Bell UH-1 Huey and Galaxy C-5 Transport shuttled troops while under fire. Scott O’ Grady was rescued in Bosnia after being shot down by Serbs; CH Super Stallions and a Huey Cobra Attack Helicopter escorted him to the USS Kearsarge.

Marine Rescue (05:08)

During World War II, helicopters were experimented with for water rescues; the Sikorsky CH-53 could land at sea. During the 1982 Falklands War, helicopters used their propellers to move life rafts into place; in 1991, all crew and passengers were evacuated from the Oceanos just before it sank.

Mountain Rescue (02:42)

A Bell Huey evacuated Philippine residents during a 1993 eruption. In October 1972, a plane transporting the Uruguay rugby team crashed in the Andes; Chilean Army helicopters saved survivors.

Humanitarian Aid (04:59)

Lockheed C-130 Hercules transported food to the famine-stricken Horn of Africa; in Somalia, UN troops and supplies were flown in amidst conflict. Aircraft delivered aid to Yugoslavia, parachuting goods at night. Kurds fled into the mountains after the 1991 Gulf War.

Political Evacuations (05:14)

In 1929, Vickers Victorias and a Handley Page rescued British diplomats from Kabul after extremists rebelled against the King. During the 1990s, American CH 53 Sea Stallions transported Liberian Civil War refugees to safety. Ethiopian Felashas were delivered to Israel in Boeing 747 jets and C-130 Transports.

Aerial Diversity (04:49)

In 1979, Three Mile Island residents were evacuated by helicopter after a nuclear meltdown; aircraft monitored radiation. In 1986, an explosion and fire at Chernobyl released radioactive materials; helicopters rounded reindeer, while the Red Army dropped bags of sand and cement to put out the blaze and cap the reactor.

Firefighters: Rural (03:10)

Forest and bush fires are put out by aircraft deploying flame retardants. The Canadair CL-415 carries 1200 gallons of water; helicopters employ buckets filled from nearby water bodies. Aircraft locate crisis points, protecting and communicating with ground fighters.

Firefighters: Urban (09:18)

In Sao Paulo, 85 residents of a 25 story building were rescued from fire off balconies and rooftop on February 1st, 1974. In 1986, Bell Model 206 Jet Rangers, a Sikorsky S-61, a McDonnell Douglas Model 500, and HH-65 Dolphins saved tourists from the upper floors of a Puerto Rican hotel.

Credits: Angels of Mercy (00:43)

Credits: Angels of Mercy

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Century of Flight: Angels of Mercy

Part of the Series : Century of Flight
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this episode of Century of Flight, we explore humanitarian missions employing aircraft. Learn about Reverend John Flynn's Flying Doctor Service, military evacuations, and rescue of political refugees. Experience the dark and happy moments of the Uruguay rugby team stranded in the Andes Mountains. Watch Scott O'Grady be transported to the USS Kearsarge in hostile territory.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL185481

ISBN: 978-1-64623-956-6

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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