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Military denies accusation that pilot who conducted rescue mission was chided

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Air Force yesterday denied a local media report that said a rescue pilot was blasted by his superior for failing to gain approval before carrying out a rescue mission earlier this month.

An S-70C helicopter assigned to the Air Force's Chiayi Air Base rescue team was being piloted on a regular training mission over a mountainous area in central Nantou County on Dec. 7. Before concluding the training session, the pilot of the helicopter was informed that three forest rangers were calling for help near the training site. One of them was bleeding badly, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday.

The pilot immediately reported the incident to Air Force Combatant Command and requested that a rescue mission be conducted as soon as possible.

However, the pilot did not receive a timely response to his request, receiving only an order to wait for approval.

Under the pilot's insistence, the command ultimately approved the mission.

The pilot successfully concluded the rescue mission, and the injured forest ranger was transported back to Chiayi Air Base, before being hospitalized at a hospital in Taichung.

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