Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Pacific Rim helicopter

Pandemic (aka: Kansen retto, 2009) - this Japanese disaster movie features one A-Star (Aerospatiale 350B Ecureuil) medevac flight from a village in the Philippines where a WHO doctor and medical rescuers attend victims of a bird flu outbreak. Later, a trio of Hueys circle urban regions near Tokyo where a city is under quarantine.


Panic In The City helicopter

Panther Squad (1984) - this sci-fi actioner is a cheap B-movie starring Sybil Danning, who shoots down the bad guys' JetRanger, which crashes off-screen (of course) behind a hillside - in another example of the helicopter movie cliché.

Paperhouse helicopter
Paperhouse (1988) - in the final scenes of this British fantasy horror, there's a figurative 'ascension' scene with a helicopter (a Bell 206 JetRanger), that hovers above a cliff-top near the lighthouse. The unseen passenger drops a rope-ladder for the young heroine, but she cannot reach high enough to grab it and climb up.

Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966) - helicopters, Elvis style! Elvis Presley sings as he 'pilots' his Bell 47J around the islands of Hawaii. This movie will kill you if you try and watch it... - NATHAN DECKER

Paragraph 78 (2007) - this Russian sci-fi action thriller features a Mil Mi-8 Hip, which drops a team of commandos on a snowy landing site. Russian helicopter in Paragraph 78

Parasite Dolls (2002) - chapters of this sci-fi horror anime movie, about Japanese elite cops in conflict with rogue androids, feature armed patrol helicopters modelled after the Boeing (MD) Explorer NOTAR, including one flown by the heroine who swoops down to hover outside a big window and then shoots out the glass to reveal a group of cyber criminals inside. There's also a flight of similar police choppers with stub wings for extra weapons. The final chapter has a police car on the highway attacked by a Mil Mi-24 Hind (good artwork), which fires machine-guns, and then uses missiles to wreck the vehicle in an off-screen crash.

Parker (2013) - this action movie features a police helicopter (a Bell 206 JetRanger) circling over the night scene where a robbery occurs in Palm Beach.

Passenger 57 (1992) - a Bell 206 JetRanger is used as exec transport by an airline security officer (Tom Sizemore) in this enjoyably silly hi-jacking thriller.
Passenger 57 helicopter

The Patriot (1998) - Dean Semler's vaguely sci-fi thriller has Steven Seagal as a ranch owner fighting to preserve his land from being a testing ground for biological weapons. When a viral outbreak starts killing the local population, a US Army bio-war quarantine operation sends airborne troops and scientists into a small western town.

It looks as if the production only had a pair of Bell 206 machines, so the helicopters carrying soldiers and medical teams are re-used in different shots to give the illusion of many arrivals. In the closing sequence, a JetRanger flies the hero and his daughter to safety, and a 'hippie' Huey drops flower petals (which provide a cure for the disease!) all over the town.

JetRangers urban parking in The Patriot
hazmat guys from helicopter in The Patriot

Patriot Games (1992) - based on Tom Clancy's novel, this political thriller features a live-feed visual from an infrared spy-satellite that reveals a helicopter assault by commando troops on the terrorists' desert camp in north Africa, as American agents (including the hero played by Harrison Ford) watch the operation in real-time from their CIA base.

Sikorsky S-55 in Patriot Games

Patriot Games features an EMS BK-117 (Lifeline?) medevacing Ryan's wife following the highway attack. The bad guys use a Sikorsky S-55 to get to their training camp in the desert, while the SAS attack the camp with a Huey and a Bell 212. And at the end of the movie, an FBI JetRanger appears after the attack on Ryan's house. - ALEX YOUNGS
Sean Bean and helicopter in Patriot Games

Paycheck (2003) - this SF mystery-thriller by John Woo features one rotary action sequence where federal agents use a low-flying MD-600N helicopter to chase the antihero (Ben Affleck), who makes good his escape from trouble on a stolen motorbike. An earlier scene features a Eurcopter EC-130B, transporting the hero to work.
Paycheck pursuit

The Peacemaker (1997) - George Clooney's US agent leads three military helicopters into Russian airspace, while in pursuit of a truckload of stolen nukes. One chopper is destroyed in the air by a Soviet missile, before the remaining machines intercept their target and force the lorry to crash on a river bridge.

Later, another chopper scans the streets of New York for the radiation leak from a backpack atomic bomb being carried by the villain.

Pepper Dennis (2006) - this TV series of 13 episodes is about a TV news reporter (Rebecca Romijn) in Chicago. The show featured a Bell 206 JetRanger.
Pepper Dennis helicopter

A Perfect Getaway (2009) - this Hawaiian psycho thriller features a Eurocopter A-star on a tourist flight over an island shoreline. The same helicopter passes over hikers on a narrow coastal pathway and its rotor downdraft nearly forces a woman off the side of a cliff. Later, a police chopper arrives searching for some murderers and the cops arrest a couple of suspects. This same A-star returns, during the climactic fight scenes, with a sharpshooter aboard and the gunman kills the villain.
A Perfect Getaway

rescue helicopter in Perfect Storm
The Perfect Storm (2000) - this fishing boat tragedy boasts a spectacular, but digitally generated, scene of a rescue helicopter ditching into the ocean, when it runs dry after failing to link-up with a tanker plane for midair refuelling. The whole sequence is stylishly done, but remains wholly unconvincing. Featured helicopter is the Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk (from 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard).

Bell 47-J in A Perfect World

A Perfect World (1993) - "as it's set in the 1960s, director Clint Eastwood employed a vintage Bell 47J-2 Ranger for his movie." - NATHAN DECKER

At the climax of a manhunt for an escaped convict, the helicopter arrives on the scene, bringing a kidnapped boy's mother to be reunited her son.
Ranger helicopter in A Perfect World

The Phantom (2009) - this two-part TV remake of a pulp superhero adventure was the pilot for a series that was not produced. In the second episode, an A-Star medevac helicopter is used to fly the wounded NYPD detective and his paramedic daughter out of the city, to safety, away from the assassins of a crime cartel.

Phantoms (1998) - "this sci-fi flick, based on Dean Koontz's novel of the same name, concerns a shape-shifting prehistoric self-aware oil spill (no, really) that creates havoc in a small Colorado mountain town. Helicopters are featured twice in the film; after Sheriff Hammond (Ben Affleck) radios for help from a nearby army base, a scout chopper doing infrared photography precedes the main force. At the end, an unseen helicopter (possibly the same one) can be heard coming in from off-screen to evacuate surviving heroes." - BILL HIERS

The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) - Stewart Raffill's time-travel odyssey has a couple of WWII sailors accidentally transported forward to the 1980s, where they are spooked by modern aircraft - including a helicopter, which emerges from the dark sky like a UFO but crashes off-screen and explodes, after the timewarp causes an electrical discharge.

Phoenix Incident (2015) - this sci-fi thriller features a Chinook landing in the first night-vision sequence. There's also a Bell HH-1H Huey appearing in the rescue scene.

Picasso Trigger (1988) - this action movie, directed by cult auteur Andy Sidaris, includes a chase scene, in Dallas, which ends when a rocket attack launched from the villains' helicopter (a Bell 206B) destroys the federal agents' car.
JetRanger in Picasso Trigger

The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) - a radar-equipped MBB Bo105 is used by crazed Chief Inspector Dreyfuss to free bank robber Jean Tournier, who jumps from it onto the roof of a moving train. - ALEX YOUNGS

Piranhaconda bites helicopter
Piranhaconda (2011) - in the first sequence of this TV movie, a Eurocopter AS350-B2 (Safari Helicopters) lands on location in Hawaii but, when it takes off, the part snake and part fish monster attacks, biting the helicopter's nose so that the A-Star crashes and scatters wreckage about.

The Mil Mi-26 'Heavycopter' (Halo), and the burning UH-1 Huey, used in DVD box artwork (see below), do not appear in this movie.

Piranhaconda artwork

The Plague Dogs (1982) - Richard Rosen's animated feature film (based on Richard Adams' novel) has images of a Sikorsky S-62.
Although sent to track the dogs, the helicopter finds the corpse of the bounty hunter (who fell off a cliff) hired by the lab to kill the escaped animals. Eventually the military is called in, and another S-62 chases our canine heroes down to the beach. - BILL HIERS

Planet 51 (2009) - this genre parody (a flipside of E.T. meets Shrek) offers just a batch of sci-fi in-jokes in a slapstick comedy, with unsubtle spoofs of Star Wars, Alien, and other SF films, which are all vastly superior entertainment compared to this wholly derivative, crudely moralistic, nonsense - delivered via glossy 3D CGI animation. The army on this alien world of little green men, stuck in 1950s' American culture, have a helicopter that's a cartoon style Bell 47.
Planet 51

escape from Planet Terror
mowing down zombies in Planet Terror

Planet Terror (2007) - Robert Rodriguez's campy gory sci-fi horror flick has a couple of Sikorsky S-65 transports used by survivors of the zombie plague to escape from an old army base. One of the big choppers gets airborne, turning its rotor blades to lawnmower mode, hacking up a cluster of the infected (similar to a sequence in 28 Weeks Later). Finally, the other helicopter whisks the gun-legged heroine away to safety on the end of a rope tether. Brief shots of helicopters in flight are obviously CGI work, with a stage prop appearing in raw footage.

behind the scenes on Planet Terror

Bell UH-1 helicopters in Platoon
hovering Huey in Platoon

Platoon (1986) - Oliver Stone's best Vietnam war movie features Bell UH-1 Huey helicopters in several key scenes, including a battlefield medevac operation.
medevac helicopter in Platoon

A-Star helicopter in Plato's Run
Plato's Run (1998) - this low-budget noir thriller about mercenaries has an arms dealer (Roy Scheider) enter his security compound via a private helicopter, and gunmen shooting from a chopper (a Eurocopter AS-350 A-Star) at the escaping heroes (led by Gary Busey), during a boat chase through the waterways of Florida.

Point Blank

Point Blank (1967) - this classic revenge thriller, directed by John Boorman, features a Hughes 269 (two different helicopters appear on screen) that arrives at, and later departs from, Alcatraz island prison, in night scenes that bookend the movie.

Point Break helicopter
Point Break (1991) - Kathryn Bigelow's action movie has a Bell 212 police helicopter.

Police Story 3: SuperCop (1994) - has a transport chopper land on a tennis court, and another one that flies out of the Thai jungle, before the film's main rotary action during a raid on the prison guards' van, with a hostage ploy.

The hero's girlfriend (Maggie Cheung) is thrown out of a low-flying helicopter into street traffic, and the airborne gunman shooting at the heroine (Michelle Yeoh, billed as Kahn), blows up a stunt car.

The 'supercop' hero (Jackie Chan) jumps off a roof to grab onto a helicopter's rope ladder for a hanging ride above Kuala Lumpur, and then the chopper is forced to land on a moving train, before it gets smashed from its perch by a bridge over the railway tracks.
Police Story 3 helicopter stunt

Ponyo (2008) - this Japanese animated film ends with lots of cartoon helicopters in the closing sequence, hovering around ships and the flooded island, presumably for a rescue and evacuation effort.

Poseidon (2006) - this remake of the disaster movie features a pair of Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk rescue helicopters that hover above the survivors' life-raft at the very end of the movie.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972) - in this famous disaster movie, a Sikorsky HO4S-1 (S-55) arrives in the closing scenes to airlift survivors of the tragedy off the overturned cruise ship. Poseidon Adventure

helicopter in Postman Pat
plastic toy of Pat 3
Postman Pat (1981-?) - even while post offices close around Britain, this animated TV series (originally sponsored, until year 2000, by the Royal Mail) for children just goes on and on... In the latest version of this long-running show, Postman Pat Special Delivery Service, there's a red helicopter which - quite inevitably - is also produced as an electronic toy.

Precious Cargo (2016) - the featured helicopter in this crime thriller is a Bell 206-L LongRanger.

The chopper first appears as a cartoon version during the caper movie's animated titles sequence.

Later, through binoculars, a Black Hawk is seen airborne when the gang of thieves spy on a private airfield.

Finally, the LongRanger arrives as the heroes' getaway vehicle from a hotel roof-top.

In the background of some poster artwork for this movie, there are two Russian Hind helicopters, but nothing like that appears on screen.
Precious Cargo helicopter


Hueys in Predator

Predator 2 (1990) - in this sci-fi action monster movie sequel, a Eurocopter AS-355 TwinStar brings agents of a federal task force into the city and lands near a crime scene in Los Angeles, signposted San Pedro St.

In later dialogue, the hero cop (Danny Glover) refers to the helicopter, mistakenly, as "a silver Alouette."

At the end of the movie, a different chopper (an AS-350) lands briefly at the night scene of scorched earth, where the alien spacecraft launched from, but the federal agent's A-Star takes off again, just as the cop cars arrive.
Predator 2 helicopter

The President's Last Bang (aka: Geuddae geusaramdeul, 2005) - this Korean black comedy mixes a true-story assassination plot with political farce, and features a trio of Huey helicopters (probably CGI work) flying over to city, in the film's opening scenes.

The Pretender (1996 - 2000) - a TV adventure series, about an escaped 'secret agent', this show mixes heroic tales like The Saint and The Fugitive. The first episode has a Bell 206B landing in Alaska. Second episode, Every Picture Tells A Story, features one Eurocopter AS-350 used by the US Coast Guard for search-and-rescue missions. Season one's episode #17, Keys, has an A-Star flight to Florida that's hi-jacked by hero Jarod (Michael T. Weiss), so he's able to escape from pursuing villains.

The Pretender (2001) - a TV movie spin-off from the above series, this features a Eurocopter AS-355F1 Ecureuil 2 ('Squirrel') with a gunman aboard who shoots into a hospital ward.

The Pretender: Island Of The Haunted (2001) - this follow-up TV movie also features the very same Ecureuil 2/ Twin Star helicopter as the previous film, but now the helicopter is painted with a logo for 'The Centre', and it's used to fly the anti-heroine Miss Parker to a remote Scottish island.

Primal Species (aka: Carnosaur 3, 1997) - an elite team of US Army commandos use a Bell UN-1N Twin Huey as transport to a terrorist hideout. Although the helicopter is not directly involved in the Special Forces' assault, the camera work and shots of its takeoff and landing are exemplary.

Primeval (2007-10) - this British sci-fi TV show is about dinosaurs and time travel. The 4th episode of season three features a Boeing (MD) 500E used by the hero to distract a 'G-Rex' monster from attacking people, and to lure the beast across the airfield into a hanger, then back home in time for tea. The presumably crash-landed helicopter is left behind, lost in prehistory, but the hero survives intact.
Primeval helicopter

chopper vs dinosaur in Primeval

medevac helicopter in Primeval: New World
Primeval: New World (2012) - this is a Canadian version of the British TV series.

In season one's sixth episode, Clean Up On Aisle Three, a Sikorsky S-76A flies over a river through the city at night, in the background of one scene in urban Vancouver.

In the season finale, The Sound Of Thunder - part one, there is a medevac chopper (a Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II) flying to the rescue of an injured scientist, who was stung by a giant scorpion, and the patient is flown away on a stretcher.


Alouette helicopter in The Prisoner

The Prize Of Peril (1983) - even before The Running Man, this clever French version of the manhunt TV gameshow idea features helicopter pursuit of the intended victims, so that viewers do not miss any of the violent action.

The Professional (aka: Le professionnel, 1981) - this action drama stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as a French secret agent out for revenge on the political masters who betrayed him. The climactic scenes have an Aerospatiale AS-350 helicopter landing on the front lawns of a castle. At the end, the A-Star chopper takes off (not shown on the screen) to provide aerial views while the final credits roll.
A-Star helicopter in Le professionnel


The Professionals helicopter

Proof Of Life (2000) - a timely chopper escape during the opening scene (supposedly in Czechnya) has the hostage-negotiator hero (Russell Crowe) picked up (by W-3A Sokol helicopter) just in time to avoid a dangerous shootout. Later, another helicopter drops the hero's team of mercenary soldiers into a Latin American jungle region, and then returns - when their mission is over - to airlift some rescued kidnap victims to safety.

The 'fictional' South American country was actually Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Air Force supplied the Eurocopter (Aerospatiale) Gazelle and AS-332 Super Puma helicopters for the production. - NATHAN DECKER / IAN VINCENT FRAIN

Bell 206 in Prophesy
Prophecy (1979) - hoping to prove his theory that pollution of the forest has created a mutated creature that's killing campers; a scientist, his wife, and a tagalong Indian, rent a Bell 206 JetRanger, to fly them out to where the latest attack happened.

They aren't there long before a storm kicks up, and the pilot (identified as 'Huntoon' in the movie's novelisation) says they can't fly again in such bad weather.

Thus our heroes are forced to hike for the nearest Indian village, and the helicopter is all but forgotten about (the fact the pilot soon becomes one of the monster's victims negates its use anyway). - BILL HIERS

The Protector (1985) - features an NYPD helicopter (an Aerospatiale 'A-Star' AS-350D, piloted by Al Cerullo of Island Helicopter) that flies under the Brooklyn Bridge during a chase on the East River, and airlifts the cop hero (Jackie Chan) from a speedboat just before it crashes into the bad guy's cruiser and causes an explosion in the city harbour.

In the finale at Hong Kong docks, the big villain attempts escape in an SA-315B Lama, and shoots at the hero fighting a henchman atop a shipyard crane, but Chan drops a cargo load onto the hovering chopper, resulting in spectacular crash and burn special effects.
A-Star boat chase in The Protector

The Protectors (1972-3) - this British TV series about crime-fighting adventurers features American star Robert Vaughn.

In season one's episode, The Bodyguards, there's a Hughes 269C helicopter, with police markings, that's used by the heroes.
Hughes 269 in The Protectors

Prototype (1983) - in this TV sci-fi movie, there's a US army Bell 206 JetRanger, which flies a general officer from the Pentagon, to visit a scientist's lab where an experimental humanoid robot, android Michael (David Morse), has been constructed.

The Puppet Masters (1994) - there's a Bell 206L-1 LongRanger on screen during the opening credits of this sci-fi conspiracy thriller about alien parasites taking over America.

In the movie's finale, the brawl between the hero and the chief villain takes place aboard a helicopter (a Bell 212 type Huey) providing an exciting aerial stunt for the climactic sequence.

Putney Swope (1969) - "this is a weird one, a tale of the swinging 1960s... We see a Bell 47J-2 helicopter owned by some cool hep cat, painted in two-tone, with a skull and crossbones, and a Confederate flag, adorning the sides." - NATHAN DECKER
Putney Swope airborne