Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Tactical Assault (1998) - this preposterous revenge thriller, concerning a deadly feud between two USAF pilots (played by B-movie stalwarts Rutger Hauer and Robert Patrick), features three Russian helicopters on a NATO supply mission over Croatia. Their flight should have been a 'milk run', but the transports are attacked from the ground by baddies armed with machine guns and rocket launchers. Luckily, there's an F-15 jet fighter escort available to save the day.

What's very odd is why American pilots are flying Mil Mi-17 Hip choppers, and how do a couple of the Mi-17s suddenly change into Mil Mi-24 Hind gunships when the shooting starts? Not only is this an obvious and quite unforgivable continuity error, it's a serious insult to show a weapons-laden Hind as apparently unable to defend itself from enemy fire from ground forces!

Tactical Assault helicopter

Hind gunship in Tactical Assault

Taken 3 (2015) - the action in this movie sequel includes a police helicopter (a Eurocopter AS-355F2 TwinStar) that follows an urban chase when the hero escapes in a stolen cop car.

The same TwinStar re-appears later, during the climax at an airfield, where the helicopter circles a damaged plane on the runway, just after the final showdown.

The Taking Of Pelham 123 (2009) - Tony Scott's remake, of the thriller about a Manhattan subway train hijacking, features NYPD helicopters, including an Aerospatiale AS355-F1, which flies across the city with a ransom demand. There's also a Eurocopter EC130-B4 seen landing at heliport. An AS-355 reappears in final scenes, circling above the Brooklyn Bridge, where leader of the bad guys fails to escape.

Sikorsky UH-60 in Tank movie
Black Hawk in Tank movie

Tank (1984) - this comedy drama, about a disgruntled US army soldier (James Garner) using a veteran Sherman tank to break his unfairly-convicted son out of prison, features an early screen appearance for a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, used in the movie to bring a general officer to the final showdown scenes on the state border between verdana and Tennessee.
[Thanks to Matthew Simmons for this info and 2 pictures above.]

Huey hoist in Taxi 3
Taxi 3 (2003) - after the pre-credits chase sequence, there's a cameo appearance for Sylvester Stallone, who gets winched into the air by a Huey. The finale has a shiny black Eurocopter AS-350 parked on snow at the ski resort.

  AS350 in Taxi 3

fly with Team America World Police
cheapo model work in Team America

Team America: World Police (2004) - Trey Parker's wacky puppet show mixes the ribald humour of cult cartoon South Park with Thunderbirds aesthetics, and delivers a biting satire on US foreign policy and Hollywood action movies.

The gung-ho super-cops operate a couple of helicopters, one based on a Black Hawk design and another that looks like the Osprey tilt-rotor, both emerge from their base inside the Mount Rushmore monument. Unfortunately, the 'aerial' sequences use cheap model effects on purpose, without even trying to seem vaguely realistic (in the manner of Derek Meddings' effects work on the Gerry Anderson puppet shows), and this obvious ploy just isn't particularly funny.

military Sikorsky flight in Tears Of The Sun
Sea Hawk helicopters in Tears Of The Sun

Tears Of The Sun (2003) - Antonie Fuqua's military action drama stars Bruce Willis as leader of a US Navy S.E.A.L team sent into Nigerian jungle to rescue a female doctor (Monica Bellucci) before her aid hospital is overrun by rebels. There's extensive use of Sikorsky helicopters... including SH-60F Ocean Hawk, and SH-60B and HH-60H Sea Hawks - from the US Navy 'Easyriders' HSL-37 (Helicopter anti-submarine Squadron Light).
Tears Of The Sun helicopters

Techno Sapiens (aka: Shadow Warriors, 1994) - this fairly low-budget sci-fi actioner, concerning a runaway cyborg bodyguard, features some Russian helicopters.

A PZL (Mil) Mi-2 Hoplite is used for transport or pursuit during various scenes. The American hero jumps to the ground from this low-flying helicopter, and it picks him up later from a dirt road without the chopper actually landing or even stopping to hover.

After one lengthy chase, there's a Kamov Ka-126 Hoodlum used by the hero as a getaway vehicle, and then a Mil Mi-24 Hind arrives to pursue the speedboats.

Finally, the Hoplite returns to reunite our hero and heroine, just before the Hind gunship is ordered to fire rockets that destroy both cyborgs. Although the British VHS box art features an Apache, that particular military chopper does not appear in the movie.

Twin-Star in Teen Agent
helicopter escape in Teen Agent
Teen Agent shoots helicopter

Teen Agent (aka: If Looks Could Kill, 1991) - at the end of this spy thriller, main villain Steranko attempts to escape in a Eurocopter AS-355 Twin-Star with his supply of gold, but it is weighed down with too much gold; the movie's hero (Richard Grieco), shoots at the bottom of the helicopter, and the weight of all the gold causes the perforated metal to buckle and finally give, and before Steranko realises what is happening gold coins are raining from the sky.

Steranko, during a desperate attempt to save his gold, falls out of the helicopter, lands on a roof and is buried under the coins. The pilotless chopper then proceeds to drop down and land on top of the villain, crushing him. Not satisfied with this, the film then has the chopper turn over on its side, and the still-spinning rotor blades cause the chopper to do a ridiculous-looking flip, whereupon the entire rotor section, blades and all, detaches and 'chases' the hero, and his love interest, across the rooftop. They narrowly escape! - BILL HIERS

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) - this comicbook remake of the franchised parody, about vigilante superheroes, features a Eurocopter AS-355 TwinStar, that's used by the bad guy for his escape to New York.

Telefon (1977) - this Cold War thriller stars Charles Bronson as a KGB agent. It features two helicopters. The first is a Bell 206 JetRanger with pontoons, flown by one of the brainwashed men. He tries to use it for a suicide attack against a US Navy radar installation, but is blown out of the sky. The other machine is a 'Soviet' Aerospatiale SA-313 Alouette II, appearing in one scene, briefly, to pick up the agent for his mission. - BILL HIERS

The Terminal Man (1974) - "in this sci-fi thriller (based on the novel by Michael Crichton), the cybernetically altered protagonist (George Segal) is killed by a sharpshooter leaning out of a police helicopter (a Bell 47G)." - NATHAN DECKER

Terminal Velocity (1994) - in this mystery thriller, a sky-diving stunt-man (Charlie Sheen) jumps out of a plane, on his way down to deliver a party-gram, and he falls passed a TV news chopper (a Bell 206B JetRanger).
Bell 206 in Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity helicopter

Later, in the desert at night, a Bell 206L-1 LongRanger searches for the elusive heroes.
LongRanger in Terminal Velocity


Terminator Genisys helicopter


Terminator Salvation

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - in James Cameron's blockbuster sequel, the shapeshifting killer-android (Robert Patrick) jumps through an office block window on a motorbike to crash against the police chopper (a Bell 206 JetRanger) hovering outside. The T-1000 terminator pours its liquid metal form into the co-pilot's seat, orders the pilot to leap out, and then takes over the helicopter's controls to pursue the heroes' stolen SWAT van - in an excellent low-flying stunt.
helicopter shooter in Terminator 2

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003) - Arnie said he'd be back, and here he is again playing his most iconic screen character, travelling in time from the future to guide present-day individuals (Nick Stahl, Claire Danes) towards a destiny that saves mankind from extinction when rogue computers takeover US nuclear weaponry, and start World War III. The finale at a disused military bunker features a couple of variably spectacular air crashes, as first Arnie's cyborg, then a hi-tech female robot (Kristanna Loken), pilot different helicopters (a JetRanger and a Sea King) straight into the underground base's entrance tunnel.

Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975) - in this direct sequel to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Japanese Interpol agents use a Bell 204 to deploy their sonic weapon (fixed under the helicopter) that disrupts a mad scientist's control over the giant dinosaur Titanosaurus. - BILL HIERS Bell 204 in Terror Of Mechagodzilla

T-Force (1994) - the first part of this wholly derivative sci-fi actioner combines Die Hard (1988) with Universal Soldier, as terrorists use a Bell JetRanger to help them seize an embassy in Los Angeles, spraying bullets into the building and then landing on the rooftop. The bad guys' leader (Vernon Wells) uses the chopper to escape from robot stormtroopers (the so-called 'terminal force') that are sent to deal mercilessly with the ruthless villains, but one of the T-force destroys the airborne JetRanger with a grenade, killing some hostages in the process.

While on the rampage following their homicidal response to a program conflict, the android 'cybernauts' of T-force steal a red Hughes 500 from a police station (after a shooting spree that blatantly imitates The Terminator) to flee the scene. Later, the same helicopter is used for air support during T-force's botched attempt to assassinate the mayor (Erin Gray), who had ordered their destruction.

That Man From Rio (1964) - a Brazilian built Bell 47J helicopter makes several brief appearances midway through this influential action thriller, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. - NATHAN DECKER

Thelma & Louise (1991) - Ridley Scott's feminist thriller (with Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon) has a police helicopter chasing the heroines' car through the desert.

Sikorsky S-51 helicopter in Them!
helicopter finds ants in Them!

Them! (1954) - in this classic monster movie by Gordon Douglas, a Sikorsky S-51 (HOS2-1) flies over giant ants found in the New Mexico desert.

They All Laughed (1981) - in Peter Bogdanovich's romantic comedy, Audrey Hepburn is ferried around Manhattan in a Sikorsky S-76 VIP transport. - NATHAN DECKER


helicopter in They Live

The Thing (1982) - John Carpenter's creepy remake of Howard Hawks' 1950s' monster movie opens with the sequence of a Norwegian helicopter shooting at a fleeing sled dog. Later, Kurt Russell's pilot character, MacReady, flies a team of American scientists to investigate some mysterious deaths at an Antarctic research station. In the tense finale, it's amusing to see that parts from the chopper are used to build the alien's spacecraft!

helicopter chases dog in The Thing
John Carpenter's The Thing

The Thing (2011) - this CGI prequel to the classic SF-horror of 1982 features a big military transport 'H3 Sea King' (a Sikorsky S-61R / HH-3E 'jolly green giant') flying to the Norwegian camp, Thule Station in Antarctica. Later, the helicopter takes off to medevac an injured man to McMurdo base, but when the suspicious heroine flags them back down, the alien's transformation onboard causes the chopper to spin out of control and crash (off-screen).

During the final credits, a Bell 206 with pontoons lands at the burning camp, and a survivor with a rifle orders the pilot to fly the JetRanger in pursuit of an escaping dog...


Things To Come

Thirst (1979) - this sci-fi vampire film has a Bell 206 Jet Ranger that lands on a golf course. Later, a deceitful doctor (David Hemmings) pilots the helicopter to enable the heroine's apparent 'escape' from captivity. Another mad scientist (Henry Silva) hangs onto the landing skids as the chopper gets airborne, but then he falls into power lines, and is electrocuted.

XIII: The Conspiracy (2008) - this two-part TV mini-series is a spy actioner about uncovering the plot behind a presidential assassination. An A-Star helicopter picks up the hero when he escapes, helped by a CIA girl, from a secret government base near the VLA radio telescopes in New Mexico.

autogyro in The 39 Steps
The 39 Steps (1935) - this classic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock features one brief shot (possibly stock footage) of an autogyro, supposedly helping police search for the fugitive who is on the run from a conspiracy of spies. The plot hinges upon a theft of secret plans for a stealth aircraft.

31 North 62 East (2009) - this political thriller about exposing a British government cover-up features a couple of low-flying scenes.

An Agusta Westland A-109, with its doors removed, is used for hedge-hopping by the SAS team raiding a supposed terrorist's hideout in a barn, but the commando unit are misled by a decoy at the farm.

Eventually, authorities track down the source of a pirate broadcast signal and use the same helicopter to help rescue a kidnapping victim.
31 North 62 East helicopter

Agusta A-109 in 31 N 62 E movie

31 North 62 East on DVD
There is no Huey, as pictured on the DVD box art, in this movie.

This Means War (2012) - a romantic comedy actioner directed by McG, this features a Eurocopter AS355-F2 TwinStar that flies the bad guys to Hong Kong and lands on a rooftop helipad, at the beginning of the movie. The pilot is shot during the ensuing gun battle, so the helicopter does not take off again.

In the climactic sequence, there is an AS355 TV news chopper with a video camera to televise the car chase along a stretch of unfinished elevated freeway. In the closing scene, the two CIA buddies on a mission get ready for a parachute drop from the cabin's open rear door of a Boeing MH-47 Chinook flying over the ocean.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) - John McTiernan's updated remake of Norman Jewison's glossy romantic caper movie, features a Sikorsky S-76A used as the getaway vehicle during a museum heist.

There is also a Eurocopter AS-355 TwinStar seen at the heli-port on Manhattan island.
S-76 helicopter in Thomas Crown Affair

Sikorsky S-76A in Thomas Crown Affair
TwinStar in Thomas Crown Affair

Thomas The Tank Engine (1984-?) - "Harold the helicopter is a model, of course, but a regular cast member of this TV series. He looks to represent a 1950s' British Westland Whirlwind helicopter, except with a cheery face and the pontoon skids. Harold and his railway friends are wonderful at teaching children lessons of friendship and kindness, as well as taking outrageous amounts of money from my wallet to feed my son's insatiable need for more and more engines and cars." - NATHAN DECKER
Harold from Thomas the Tank Engine

Three Days Of The Condor (1975) - in this classic spy drama, there's a Bell 206 that landing in a car park near twin towers of the World Trade Centre. Just before the JetRanger arrives, an MBB Bo-105 is visible in the background.

The JetRanger also flies to an airfield spot where a car waits for the helicopter's only passenger.

Later in the movie, the same helicopter takes a night flight.
Bell 206 in 3 days of the Condor

3 Days To Kill on DVD
3 Days To Kill (2014) - this action movie stars Kevin Costner, but it features no helicopters at all.

And yet... there's an A-Star gunship on the DVD cover. It's become a frequent device of artistic licence to jazz up otherwise boring sky-lines in the background details of such promotional artwork.

There were no helicopters depicted on the movie poster, so we must assume the DVD box sleeve was made by people that had never seen the movie. So, it's another entry into Rotary Action's HALL OF SHAME!

Hughes 500C in 3 Kings

Three Kings (2000) - in this 'Desert Storm' heist adventure, set just after the 1st Gulf War, there's an Iraqi helicopter (actually a Hughes 500C with prop guns) that attacks an old fort held by US troops.

One soldier throws a bomb attached to a football at the low-hovering gunship, which explodes above the desert fort.
Iraqi gunship in 3 Kings

exploding helicopter in 3 Kings

The movie also features Bell UH-1H Hueys in some scenes.

[Thanks for Hegyi Istvan for these pictures.]
Hueys in 3 Kings

Bell 206 helicopter in 3 Ninja Kids
3 Ninja Kids (aka: 3 Ninjas, 1992) - early in this action comedy, aimed at children, the film's villain uses a Bell 206B JetRanger III, piloted by his ninjas, to escape from the FBI.

3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain (1998) - this sequel adventure features a Eurocopter AS-355 Twin-Star that lands on a roof-top.
AS-355 helicopter in 3 Ninjas sequel

The Three Stooges In Orbit (1962) - "in this slapstick sci-fi comedy, a Bell 47G-2 helicopter assists Moe, Joe and Larry in making a studio appointment." - NATHAN DECKER

Threshold (2005-6) - this sci-fi TV series has a Eurocopter AS-350 airlift a scientist advisor (Carla Gugino) to Washington D.C. to investigate a first contact scenario. Later, two Hueys fly a team of Navy SEALs to a stricken ship.

Through A Glass Darkly (1962) - "this Ingmar Bergman classic features a Swedish rescue Bell 47G with pontoons. The helicopter saves a young woman who wanted to search for God through death." - NATHAN DECKER

Thunderball (1965) - in this fourth James Bond movie, our British spy uses a Bell 47-J to search the ocean in the Bahamas for a missing Vulcan bomber. At one point, the helicopter lands on the water and floats in a shark-infested grotto while 007 goes scuba diving.

Before the climax, a US Coast Guard HH-52A (Sikorsky S-62) Seaguard rescues Bond (Sean Connery), from the secret cavern where the villain stranded him to die, and flies him join in the final underwater battle against SPECTRE henchmen.

Thunderball helicopter

Bell 47-J in Thunderball
Sikorsky Seaguard in Thunderball

helicopter in Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds (1965-6) - this British children's TV series was the most popular of Gerry Anderson's adventures with puppets. It included some 'heli-jet' designs, usually more like VTOL jets than actual rotorcraft. Second episode, Pit Of Peril, features a US Army twin-rotor helicopter (possibly modelled from a Chinook toy) that's used as mobile command ops 'Watchdog', and later for a rescue attempt, but it fails to drag the gigantic nuclear-powered 'Sidewinder' machine from the bottom of a 300-feet deep sinkhole. After the heroic 'International Rescue' team have saved the day, there's one brief shot of a flying medevac ambulance (that resembles a Sea King model).

heli-jet in Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds helijet

Ticker (2001) - Albert Pyun's terrorist thriller stars Tom Sizemore as a cop, Steven Seagal as the bomb disposal expert, and Dennis Hopper as leader of the bad guys. During the opening siege sequence, a SWAT team descend on ropes from a hovering Bell 230. Later, a Bell 206 JetRanger pursues the main villain's BMW car through streets to the docks. And, before the climactic scenes, some airborne cops (in a Eurocopter AS350) shoot at Hopper's bunch of henchmen while they set a huge bomb on the roof of city hall.

Tidal Wave (aka: Haeundae, 2009) - this Korean disaster movie features a rescue, on stormy seas, by a Eurocopter (MBB) BK 117 which is troubled with a faulty winch cable, as the SAR lifeguard saves one survivor from drowning. After the tsunami strikes, there are some brief shots (possibly CGI) of Chinook helicopters on evacuation flights over a flooded cityscape.
Tidal Wave

Tightrope (1984) - this Clint Eastwood thriller features a police helicopter, equipped with searchlight, during the nighttime finale's chase sequence, through a cemetery in New Orleans.

Time Lapse (2001) - this dreary spy thriller stars William McNamara, Roy Scheider and Dina Meyer, and re-uses footage of the helicopter crash during an air strike on a hillside cabin from the remake of Narrow Margin.

Time Lock (1957) - when a young boy is accidentally trapped inside a bank vault, a radio station helicopter (a Bell 47D-1, with enclosed tail boom) is despatched to pickup security engineer Dawson (Robert Beatty) to help with the rescue effort.

Timerider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann (1982) - a Bell 206 JetRanger makes a grand entrance at the very end of this sci-fi western about a motocross champion who travels back in time - but, alas, the DVD was made from the watered-down TV or airline version of the film, so we don't see Peter Coyote's smoking boots left behind in the aftermath of his implicit 'death by tail rotor'! Of course, the haunting rotor sound effect as the chopper is pulling away from the cliff more than makes up for it! - CHRIS JOHNSTON

Time Wars (1983) - a helicopter gunship blasts the legion of samurai warriors in this offbeat sci-fi adventure from Japan.

Titanic (1997) - James Cameron's multi-Oscar-winning romantic adventure movie features a modern-day prologue, during which a Sikorsky S-61N brings an elderly survivor of the 1912 disaster out to a research ship, where she recounts the tragic story to the crew, including a team of salvage divers hunting for lost treasure in the wrecked liner.

Today You Die (2005) - this Steven Seagal action movie, features a county sheriff's Eurocopter AS-350, that's hijacked for successful use in a Nevada prison break. Later, our hero prevents the bad guy's escape by using a remote controlled bomb to destroy a Bell 430 getaway helicopter (this machine wobbles on 'takeoff' - and is obviously a full-size mock-up, hoisted up by crane beside the hanger).

Tokyo Tribe (2014) - this hip-hop musical fantasy features a helicopter (mocked up, on the studio set with a crane and wind machines) that drops leaflets onto city streets in a night scene.

Tokyo Zombie (2005) - a comedy horror, set in a post-apocalypse Japan, this mainly live-action film includes one brief anime sequence, that features a helicopter rescue.


Tomorrow Never Dies

The Tomorrow People (1992-5) - this sci-fi show, a short-lived reboot of a classic British TV series of the same title, concerns kids with a variety of powers.

At the end of the first season's story-arc, the female villain arrives in a sleek black Bell 206B JetRanger II. She attempts to shoot Megabyte and his father from the helicopter, but Megabyte uses his powers to teleport himself and his father to safety. - BILL HIERS
Tomorrow People helicopter

Tomorrow, When The War Began (2010) - this action movie about an invasion of Australia features only one aerial sequence of much interest. There's a single helicopter (unidentifiable, possibly CGI, though it's mostly just lights in the night sky, anyway), circling the house where a bunch of teenage rebels are hiding from enemy troops.

Top Gun (1986) - best viewed for its quite stunning aerial photography, and not the insipid and predictable plot - tall blonde (Kelly McGillis) falls for short fighter-pilot (Tom Cruise) - this gung-ho military action movie about elite US Navy aviators includes a rescue helicopter - a Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican (on loan from the US Coast Guard Station in San Diego) - that picks up ditched pilot Maverick (Cruise) from the sea after he's forced to eject from his plane.
Top Gun washout

Pelican helicopter in Top Gun

Top Of The World (1997) - as the robbers of a casino make their getaway in a helicopter from the building's rooftop, the hero (Peter Weller) grabs onto the outside and climbs into the chopper for an aerial showdown. One of the thieves is thrown out during the flight and, when the shooting starts, the airborne chopper is so badly damaged it is forced to land at a nearby dam.

Torchwood: Children of Earth
Torchwood: Children Of Earth (2009) - series three of this sci-fi TV show features a Eurocopter AS-355F1 Ecureuil II used to fly heroine Gwen (Eve Myles) from London back home to Cardiff.


Torchwood: Miracle Day


Total Recall copter

Tour Of Duty (aka: Painkillers, 2015) - this movie is yet another entry for Rotary Action's HALL OF SHAME!

Although half a dozen Black Hawks appear on the DVD box, there are no helicopters in this silly sci-fi actioner.

To re-phrase that blurb tag-line: 'the final DVD marketing is always the dumbest'
Tour of Duty DVD

The Tower (Ta-weo, 2012) - this Korean disaster/ action movie about urban fire-fighters has a mix of real and CGI rotorcraft.

A squadron of Puma SAR helicopters haul boxy containers across the city at night, flying to bring an artificial white Xmas to Seoul skies. But, in sudden turbulence, the weather-maker mecha hits one of a pair of towers, and one of the big transport choppers spins out of control before crashing into the side of the building and starting a blaze.

After one life-saving air-lift, smoke prevents further use of rescue flights.
The Tower poster


Towering Inferno helicopter

Toy Soldiers (1991) - in this action movie, starring Sean Astin and Louis Gossett Jr, terrorists seize a prep school and the US army attempts to rescue the students. The production received Department of Defence support, so they were able to use actual Black Hawk and Apache helicopters during the filming, with aerial stunts by Jim Gavin.

Black Hawk in Toy Soldiers
air cavalry arrive in Toy Soldiers

Traffic (2000) - Steven Soderburgh's drugs-related drama features one quirky view of a helicopter landing (a Eurocopter As-350 A-Star), filmed with an upside-down camera.
A-Star helicopter in Traffic

Trancers III (1991) - in this sci-fi actioner about the further adventures of time-travelling cop Jack Deth, there is a Bell 206 JetRanger seen landing at a government lab - in 2005 on the sequel's timeline, bringing a US senator to inspect the bad guy's super-soldiers project.


Transformers - Osprey


Transformers: Age of Extinction


Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transporter 2 (2005) - after the carjacked hero (Jason Statham) evades pursuit by Miami cops, and jumps his vehicle between buildings, a police chopper (a Bell 206-B JetRanger) spots the car, but the helicopter is blown up by one shot from a female assassin.

Later, the villain uses an Aerospatiale AS355-F1 TwinStar for his getaway to a jet plane waiting at the airport.
Transporter 2 helicopter

JetRanger in Transporter 2
TwinStar in Transporter 2

Trapped (2002) - this kidnap thriller features a Eurocopter AS-350 used for pursuit by FBI agents who land at the climactic scene's road carnage. There's also a Bell 206 JetRanger that circles the crash area, just before the film's ending.

Treacherous (1993) - this thriller features an Enstrom F-28C light helicopter in a short scene. Tia Carrere waits on the helipad while the pilot is unloading her luggage. When a car arrives, the pilot climbs back into the cockpit and prepares for take-off in the background. - HEGYI ISTVAN

Suzi Perry in Treasure Hunt 2003
Treasure Hunt (1982-9 / 2002-3) - unaccountably popular and successful TV game show (reportedly based on the French series, La Chasse aux Trésors), this had studio contestants giving directions to a 'sky-runner', helicopter girl Anneka Rice (replaced for closing 1980s' season by Annabel Croft), who flew around a 50-mile course following cryptic clues so that players could win £1,000 prizes.

Following its hiatus thoughout the 1990s, a new 'pilot' in November 2002, led to a brief revival of Treasure Hunt for a week in April 2003, boasting international travel with Suzi Perry getting airborne to help studio-bound contestants follow cryptic clues...

I really hate game-shows, and found even this one boring. In my opinion, this is the worst and dullest use of a helicopter ever seen on TV.

The Triangle (2005) - this TV mini-series offers routine sci-fi adventure, centred on solving the mysteries behind the Bermuda triangle, with plenty of digital visual effects work. The heroine is transported from an offshore oilrig to Miami airport by a Sikorsky Sea King helicopter, and the assembled team of experts are delivered via Bell 222 to a US Coast Guard ship.

In the powerboat chase sequence, three Bell/ Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors are blown up by a mysterious EMP yet, in the time-warp replay of events, the Ospreys are armed with torpedoes and they attack and sink the heroes' powerboat, hovering at the scene to watch the US Navy's rescue operation.

Tron (1982) - Steven Lisberger's visually impressive virtual reality adventure features helicopters used as air-taxis to bring the film's stars (Jeff Bridges and David Warner) to their corporate office building.

Tropic Thunder (2008) - Ben Stiller's action spoof is a parody of Apocalypse Now and Platoon, that opens with three Hueys swooping over jungle in Vietnam. During filming of the 'rescue' mission, one Huey crashes and explodes, and a second helicopter is nearly brought down by a hand grenade. Later, another Huey flies movie stars from the main set to a jungle-location shoot, and this machine is hijacked by a drug baron's henchmen. In the climactic escape sequence, an enemy's rocket attack nearly hits the getaway helicopter.
Hueys in Tropic Thunder

True Detective (2014) - this crime drama TV series is about cops tracking down a serial killer in Louisiana. Episode four has a brief appearance by a Robinson R-44 Raven on night patrol over housing estates during a police raid.


helicopters in True Lies

12 Rounds (2008) - this standard American action movie includes a medevac Huey used by the villain for a getaway vehicle, from hospital's rooftop helipad, with a female hostage as his pilot, held at gunpoint. When a hero cop (John Cena) jumps off the roof and grabs onto this helicopter's landing skids, there's a climactic fight sequence inside the airborne chopper, before both our hero and the plucky heroine leap - from altitude over New Orleans, falling into a rooftop swimming pool, seconds before the helicopter (still with a terrorist's bomb on countdown, of course!) explodes in midair. Job done...
12 Rounds

zombie slayer in 28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later (2007) - the guerrilla style documentary camerawork of this zombie horror sequel helps to disguise CGI helicopters (Boeing's CH-47 Chinook, and MD AH-64 Apache), including one scene where the Apache shoots at a moving car on the streets of London.

The main actual chopper appearing here is a Eurocopter SA-341 Gazelle, involved in chase sequences during its observation and recon flights, and it even hacks up the bodies of infected attackers like a hover mower on the killing fields of Regents Park.

The closing sequence has the Gazelle picking up two surviving children from Wembley Stadium and then flying them across the English Channel.
rescue flight in 28 Weeks Later

21st Century War Machines (2005) - chapter two of this TV series - available from Alba Home Vision, as a three-disc DVD package - is titled Hellfire & Brimstone: The Helicopter Gunship, and it traces the history of military choppers, from the modified Hueys used during the Vietnam War, to 1965's innovative Bell Huey Cobra AH-1, and today's dedicated attack helicopter, the AH-64 Apache, "an icon of modern warfare."

Narrated by Simon Pearson, the programme interviews pilots, strategists, academics, and flying instructors. The show takes a look at Russian machines, including the Kamov Ka-50 Hokum, and the formidable Mil Mi-24 Hind (featured here in dramatic footage from the Afghan battlefields, where Hinds were shot down by Stinger missiles).

Closing with a section about the RAH-66, this excellent documentary examines the changing role of rotorcraft in warfare and provides a convincing explanation of why development of the Comanche was abruptly cancelled.
presenting the Hind helicopter in 21st Century War Machines


Apache in 24 TV series

helicopter in 20 Million Miles To Earth
20 Million Miles To Earth (1957) - a pair of US Marine Corps helicopters (two Sikorsky S-55 / H-19 Chickasaw machines) fight a losing battle against the slimy alien (not named on screen, but called 'Ymir' by genre fans) from Venus in this B-movie classic, based on a story by Ray Bradbury.

The b&w movie is a showcase for stop-motion animation work by special effects artist Ray Harryhausen, who later supervised a colourised version.

Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) - this Cold War drama is about a disillusioned patriot who threatens to start World War III, as USAF helicopters (all painted blue) buzz around the missile silo from where he's holding the world to ransom.

After the USAF general (Burt Lancaster) takes over the military base, a pair of Agusta A-109 helicopters arrive at the site.

Later, commandos and special equipment are secretly lowered from an MBB Bo-105 helicopter onto the silo. The whole operation is filmed from a Bell 206 JetRanger hovering above the Bolkow.
A-109 helicopter in Twilight's Last Gleaming

Bo-105 in Twilight's Last Gleaming
Bell 206 in Twilight's Last Gleaming

The Twilight Zone (1959-64) - this original and celebrated TV sci-fi anthology series was created by Rod Serling. Season five's episode, A Kind Of Stopwatch (1963), features a US Coast Guard H-19B Chickasaw helicopter (a Sikorsky S-55D) in a stock footage shot which demos a time freeze magic trick.
US Coast Guard helicopter in The Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) - director John Landis was embroiled in a legal battle over the tragic deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children - during the filming of this remake tribute to Rod Serling's classic TV show. A flying stunt went fatally wrong when a Huey helicopter was caught in a special effects' explosion.

This is probably the most widely publicised helicopter crash in cinema history, although filmmakers Boris Sagal and William Girdler also died in accidents involving helicopters.
Huey crash in Twilight Zone movie

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) - there are three helicopters involved in the climactic chase sequence of this illegal street car racing movie: one is from US Customs outfitted for aerial surveillance, another is a Miami Police airborne unit, and there's a low-flying SWAT chopper with two cops who fire Tazer harpoons at the undercover hero's speeding car to short-circuit its electronics.


Hughes 500 in 240-Robert

 2  GUNS

Huey in 2 Guns

Two-Minute Warning (1976) - SWAT teams call in a chopper to monitor the sniper at a Los Angeles stadium during a football game, and an airborne police marksman shoots at the killer while the crowds panic.

2009: Lost Memories (2002) - in this Korean sci-fi actioner, a night-flight of CGI Black Hawks bring SWAT to attend the shootout finale on a cargo ship, where energy from the ancient 'Temple Stone' time portal zaps one airborne troop carrier, making the helicopter fall out of the sky, crash into the ship's hull, and explode spectacularly.

helicopters airlift in 2012
2012 (2009) - this epic disaster movie about end of the world features many scenes with helicopters. Three Black Hawk type military choppers fly towards Yellowstone in the 'family outing' sequence, before a Huey provides army escort for 'tourists' arrested by soldiers in restricted area. Black Hawks and a Chinook fly over a government camp site at dusk. Various helicopters (mostly CGI) fill the sky over Las Vegas before it disappears.

A group of five or six Mil Mi-26 Halo transports (world's largest production helicopter) are used to airlift big animals (giraffe, elephant, rhino) across a glacier to a secret base. Then, a Black Hawk is used by the Chinese army to pick-up fare-paying passengers for the ark-ship. Five Chinooks transport Americans to their designated ark.

In the closing scene, helicopters are visible circling arks to give the gigantic ships a sense of scale against of featureless ocean backdrop.

ready for action in Typhoon Typhoon (aka: Taepung, 2005) - this Korean action thriller features two Sikorsky S-70 Seahawks (or Jayhawks?) used to carry security troops during the airborne raid on a hijacked ship. There are CGI visuals of the helicopters flying through stormy skies.