Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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The Jackal (1997) - this uninspired action thriller, seemingly an updated and Americanised remake of The Day Of The Jackal (1973, based upon Frederick Forsyth's best-seller), features a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion. The big helicopter is used for transport during the story's assassination attempt and subsequent hunt for a hit-man known as the Jackal (Bruce Willis).

Sikorsky CH-53E
The Jackal helicopter

Huey helicopters in Jack Hunter

Jack Hunter And The Quest For Akhenaten's Tomb (2008) - this sequel follows after Jack Hunter And The Lost Treasure Of Ugarit. It's about the fantasy adventures of a modern archaeologist (basically, a copycat of 'Indiana Jones' set in the present), and this TV movie features a pair of Huey gunship helicopters flying over a desert in Turkey.

Jack Hunter And The Star Of Heaven (2009) - the last a trilogy, this TV movie has a Eurocopter EC-145 bringing some bad guys to a meeting in the desert.

During the action-packed finale, the hero shoots at the helicopter where it has landed and it explodes.
EC-145 helicopter in Jack Hunter

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit helicopter

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) - this fresh start for the action franchise, based upon Tom Clancy's novels, begins in 2003 with a US military Bell UH-1N Twin Huey in Afghanistan, where the helicopter is shot down by a rocket.

For the New York sequence, the CIA heroes use a Eurocopter SA-365N2 Dauphin 2 to reach the city threatened by a terrorism.
Dauphin helicopter in Jack Ryan movie

JAG (1995 - 2005) - Donald Bellisario's action drama TV series, about US Navy lawyers from the Judge Advocate General office, is basically Top Gun (1987), meets A Few Good Men (1992). The American production frequently relied on stock footage of military aircraft, with recycled studio assets, developed outtakes, and stunt works culled from various Hollywood blockbusters. The two-part first episode has a Sikorsky S-61 Sea King used as ship-to-shore transport for lawyers to reach the aircraft carrier. Another Sea King appears in next episode Shadow, where the helicopter picks up hero Lieutenant Rabb (David James Elliott) from a park in Washington D.C. and flies him to rendezvous with a submarine in stormy seas.

Desert Son has an Apache and two Cobra gunships, and the General arrives at the US Marines base in a Bell 205 Huey. There are Hueys in Vietnam flashback scenes for Déjà Vu, and a Huey takes our heroic lawyers to a jet crash site in Pilot Error. There's a big Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion in Brig Break, which sees the helicopter in pursuit of escaped prisoners, and its machine guns are used to overturn a hijacked bus on a road through woodlands. The bad guys return fire with a Stinger missile, which does not explode but damages the Sea Stallion's main rotors so it has to leave the area. Iraqi court-room dramas in Scimitar end with a spy chase and the airborne confrontation of Hind versus Apache - in which, unsurprisingly, the American gunship destroys the bigger Russian helicopter.

Mid-season episode Sightings, finds our heroes investigating a UFO hoax, which is revealed to be a Boeing OH-6 Cayuse (custom fitted with a lighting rig and sonic weapons), operating from an underground hanger on a disused airbase. The Bosnian crisis plotline of Defensive Action, anticipates Behind Enemy Lines (2001), with helicopters rescuing the pilot of a fighter plane shot down by a Hind gunship. There's a Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk used for travel to the aircraft carrier, and an MH-60 Black Hawk launching a search-and-rescue mission. A Sikorsky CH-53 carries US Marines into the combat zone, but this episode is marred by a stupid continuity error when obvious stock footage of Bell AH-1 SuperCobra helicopters in edited together with shots of an Apache firing its guns to provide close air support for the US ground troops.

In Hemlock, a Bell 206L-1 Long Ranger medevac flight carries the wounded heroine to a military hospital. US Army and Marines Huey transports are involved in a manhunt for the rogue USMC sniper (Stephen McHattie) in High Ground, and the climactic sequence has three helicopters on screen at once. Survivors has a Boeing/ MD500 used to search for a fugitive colonel. After the roadside confrontation, the runaways evade the sheriff to escape in the same helicopter. War-game scenario Ares, has a couple of Seahawks used for transport to a sabotaged warship, where hacked computers of auto-defence systems being tested by US Navy experts target American helicopters as enemy aircraft, until when instructed to "make like a boat" the pilot flies just above the waves to fool radar into identifying the Seahawk as a ship.
JAG - Brig Break

JAG - Defensive Action

JAG - season 2 (1997) - features helicopters in eight episodes. We The People begins with a hi-jacked Huey dropping smoke bombs to stop a delivery van (actually a covert FBI ops). After the theft, an FBI A-Star flies over Yuma, searching for bad guys in the red rock mesa. This AS-350D is also used as transport by SWAT and JAG investigators. When the stolen Huey finally leaves its hideaway, the hero leaps onto its landing skids, hanging on while the heroine fights against baddies aboard the helicopter.

Episode Jinx has a US marines Sea Knight landing at Miramar, and our navy heroes walk down the rear loading ramp. Crossing The Line features a couple of Sea Kings flying lawyers and then a congresswoman onto an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. A hostage rescue in The Game Of Go includes an A-Star used by a drug lord. Force Recon has a Huey and a Cobra parked in the airfield background when lawyers arrive, while a training exercise for marines has a Sea Knight used to drop troops onto a rooftop.

Guardian has stock footage of a Bell Long Ranger inserted by matte into the church siege. Code Blue sees a Bell 206L-1 Long Ranger air ambulance used for a heart-transplant patient, while a Bell 206L-3 Long Ranger III 'Care-Flite' organ-transport chopper arrives at the hospital during a hostage crisis (no pressure, though!). Lastly, Cowboys & Cossacks has a Seahawk landing on the warship.

Jane Doe (aka: Runaway Jane, 2001) - this kidnap thriller features a couple of standard Bell 206 JetRanger helicopters, one used by the heroes (including Teri Hatcher and Rob Lowe) as their getaway vehicle, while another is flown by the bad guys to prevent any escape. However, the chopper that's used in the film is definitely not the US Army OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, as pictured on the DVD artwork (see below right).

Teri Hatcher with helicopter in Jane Doe
Jane Doe artwork

Jarhead (2005) - this drama of a young marine corps' sniper, in training for Gulf War operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, only features a couple of brief helicopter scenes, most notably the Bell UH-1 Hueys that circle or hover around the airport where US troops arrive in Saudi Arabia.
Huey in Jarhead

Hughes 269 in Jaws 2
helicopter in Jaws 2

Jaws 2 (1978) - the unintentionally funny climax of this sequel to Steven Spielberg's monster shark horror adventure sees a man-eating fish attack the Hughes 269B (Schweizer 300) rescue helicopter that's floating at sea, in the most ludicrous rotary action scene ever filmed (before the advent of cheap CGI!).

Eurocopter AS350 in Jericho

Jericho (2006) - this TV series, about a small town that survives nuclear attacks on the USA, has rotary action featuring a Eurocopter AS-350 A-star.
[Thanks to pilots Craig Dyer and John Tamburro, of Blackstar Helicopters, for these behind-the-scenes pictures.]
A-Star extras in Jericho

The Jewel Of The Nile (1985) - Lewis Teague's sequel to Romancing The Stone, features an A-Star helicopter that belongs to the villain. When the escaping heroes commandeer a fighter jet plane at the palace, but are unable to take off, they begin shooting their way out, and the A-Star, parked nearby, is damaged.


Johnny English Reborn

Piasecki flying banana in Johnny Cool

Johnny Cool (1963) - this crime drama features a Piasecki H-21 'flying banana' Shawnee (alias, Workhorse). There is also a Bell 47-J Ranger in the movie.
Johnny Cool helicopters

Journey to the Centre of the Planet helicopter
Richard Hammond's Journey To The Centre Of The Planet (2011) - in the first episode of this science documentary series, an Agusta A-109S takes off from middle of a Berkeley football stadium to fly over California while tracking the San Andreas fault system.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) - this movie is a comedy-fantasy sequel to Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (2008). The adventure begins as an old helicopter (a Bell 206B JetRanger) flies from a Polynesian fishing port in search of a mythical place in the Pacific Ocean. The chopper is caught in a heavy storm, and it soon crashes (off-screen) on the shore of an uncharted island.
Bell 206 in Journey 2

Jungle Warriors (aka: Euer Weg führt durch die Hölle, 1983) - this action thriller, about fashion models who survive a plane crash in South America, was shot in Mexico. There's a Eurocopter AS 550 in grey camouflage colours, used by the local cocaine baron and his mafia cohorts.

The climactic shootout sees three police choppers (also 550s) bringing US federal agents to the villain's home base (an old Spanish fortress), from where the bad guys try to escape with a stash of drugs. When it's hit by gunfire, the camo-paint helicopter explodes in mid-air.

Jurassic Attack (2013) - in this monster movie about a lost world of dinosaurs on a jungle island, the featured helicopter is a Bell 206B JetRanger III.
Bell 206 JetRanger in Jurassic Attack

Agusta helicopter in Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park (1993) - in Spielberg's monster movie, an Agusta A-109A helicopter flies a team of scientists to the island of CGI dinosaurs. There's also a Bell 206L LongRanger II used for transport in an early scene.
Bell Long Ranger in Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park III (2001) - Joe Johnston's efficiently paced, but largely unimaginative, sequel to Spielberg's blockbuster has impressive visual effects scenes of flying dinosaurs (obvious CGI pterodactyls) alongside US Navy SH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
helicopters in Jurassic Park 3

Seahawk helicopters in Jurassic Park 3


Jurassic World helicopter

Just Visiting (2001) - this comedy adventure, about a time-travelling knight, is an American remake of French movie Les Visiteurs (1993). The scenes in a US city feature a police Bell 206L-1 LongRanger helicopter.
Just Visiting helicopter