Alissa Rubin's account of her helicopter crash

alissa-rubin-hurt-ferguson.jpgNew York Times Paris bureau chief Alissa J. Rubin, a former LA Times correspondent, dictated a reporter's notebook from her Istanbul hospital bed about the Iraq crash in which she was injured. The story runs with a graphic photograph of a bloodied Rubin by Adam Ferguson, the freelance photographer who was on assignment with her when their helicopter crashed last week. Rubin suffered broken wrists, a fractured skull and other injuries when the aid helicopter flown by the Iraqi military went down in the mountains of Kurdistan. The pilot died and several other passengers were injured.

From Rubin's piece:

When we finally got in the helicopter, it was 3:45 p.m., not a lot of daylight left. I had a seat on a load of bread, behind one of the door gunners. Otherwise, there were no seats, no seatbelts; it was the kind of flight the United States military would never have allowed....

I felt the helicopter hit something; later, someone said it was a rock. I thought the pilot would right it, but then I saw the ground come up. I didn’t know what would happen, but I knew it was bad.

Later, someone told me the co-pilot shut off the fuel when they lost control, which made us stall. Otherwise, it might have caught fire and exploded.

When we went down, I thought, all right, we’re on a mountain, it’ll slide a long way before it stops. Stuff fell on me; I didn’t know if they were people or things. Then Ms. Dakhil landed on top of me.

Everyone was groaning. There were no screams, but everyone was groaning. Adam was great. He dragged me out of the helicopter, as I couldn’t possibly walk. Adam wrapped his scarf around my head to stop the bleeding.

A pesh merga soldier took off his kaffiyeh and wrapped my arms together so that they wouldn’t flap around. I thought it was really sweet at the time, but then I realized how sensible it was: He was immobilizing my arms because both my wrists were broken.

Photo of Rubin, left, and Vian Dakhil, a member of Iraq's Parliament by Adam Ferguson/NYT

More by Kevin Roderick:
Bat watching in Hemet
Alissa Rubin's account of her helicopter crash
Gary Leonard will talk about LA for a change
End of week news and notes: Friday 8.15.14
Robin Williams' daughter quits social media over the trolls
Recent Media people stories on LA Observed:
Alissa Rubin's account of her helicopter crash
NYT's Alissa Rubin hurt in Iraq helicopter crash
Austin Beutner goes from potential buyer to publisher of LA Times
Time to say goodbye to a climate of ease in LA?
Financial Times' man in LA looks back on eight years

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook