Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Miami Vice (1984-9) - this popular cop drama, starring Don Johnson and Edward James Olmos, favours Bell 47, Bell 206 JetRanger, or LongRanger helicopters for transport, surveillance, and pursuit.

In one episode there is even a police Bell 222 helicopter (the same model as used in Airwolf).
Bell 222 in Miami Vice

In season one's episode Calderone's Return: part 2, an unmarked white Bell 206-L LongRanger is seen briefly at the end, following the killing of Crockett and Tubbs' nemesis Calderone, from the show first episode. - BILL HIERS

Season two premiere, The Prodigal Son, sees the evil drug dealer of the week attempting to get away in a Eurocopter AS-355E Twin Star following a shootout at the World Trade Centre. Crockett shoots at it, and either hits the pilot, the engine, the controls or... something, causing it to start to threaten to crash. In a single-minded final attempt to kill Crockett, the pilot turns the copter around and attempts to land on top of him, but over-shoots and crashes some distance away off-screen. - BILL HIERS
Twin Star helicopter in Miami Vice

The original TV series made extensive use of choppers, most noticably the Bell 412 EMS helicopters of the Metro Dade fire department. Emergency services helicopters were even once used for an aerial assault on a bridge in the Florida Keys (not prototypical usage). - BERND BIEGE

In the second season episode Definitely Miami, two helicopters appear. Firstly, when a meeting with a drug dealer turns sour and he flees in his limo, a police Bell 412 pursues him for some distance before being called off by Castillo. At the end of the episode, a police Bell 206 JetRanger lands on the beach and two officers get out to arrest the female villain, flying away with her in the helicopter. - BILL HIERS

Bell 412 in Miami Vice

Bell 206 JetRanger in Miami Vice

Fifth season episode Line Of Fire sees airborne gunmen using an Aérospatiale SA 341 Gazelle to shoot-up a boat where a federal witness is under police protection. When the hero shoots it down with a flare gun, the burning chopper that falls to the ground is obviously a Hughes 500 model (stock footage?).

When another detective flies in a Bell 47 to search for his missing partner, the shadow of his helicopter on the greenery below is clearly that of a Bell 206 silhouette.

Gazelle helicopter in Miami Vice



helicopter pursuit in Miami Vice Miami Vice (2006) - this big screen version of the cult 1980s' TV series was directed by Michael Mann, and features a couple of police AS-350 A-Star helicopters, one during the highway chase sequence, another in some later action scenes, hovering above the finale's dramatic shootout.

Also, there are other Miami-Dade police helicopters (including a Bell 206L-4 Long Ranger IV) visible in the background of an aircraft hanger for the end-game mission prep scene. The credited pilots are Kevin LaRosa, Al Guthery, Rick Shuster, and Dan Rudert.

Lieutenant Castillo rides in a police helicopter (probably a JetRanger type) orbiting the city as an aid to Crockett and Tubbs' current mission. - WINNIE LEUNG


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