Thursday, August 03, 2006

Los Angeles Airways Helicopter at Disneyland

What a great way to get to Disneyland: fly into Los Angeles Airport, walk to the Los Angeles Airways Helicopter pad and be flown to Disneyland. The overhead view of the park must have been great to see. And landing at the back of Tomorrowland would have been one of the best experiences of a trip. Walt was definitely thinking about transportation of the future when he created a Helicopter landing pad. At this time, helicopters were still being tested and in limited use in the Military. It was not until the Vietnam war that helicopters were used with any great frequency for transport. And now every news channel has their own. I kind of wish that this service was still available rather than trying to fight the California traffic to get to Disneyland.

19 comments:

Tangaroa said...

The helicopter trips seem so surreal to me...

Major Pepperidge said...

In early Viewmaster images (and some postcards) you can see a helicopter in the sky. Can you imagine how much this service would cost today? Yikes.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Pretty pricey. The company I work for had to use helicopters for an emergency situation and it was quite a cost (tens of thousands of dollars for 2 weeks worth of helicopter rental.) I still think it would be a blast to chopper into Disneyland.

Of course if you are Tommy Lee, you can get a helicopter to come to your house to pick you up to fly down to a Nine Inch Nails concert at Irvine Meadows and fly back. The only drawback, the fine and jail time for the pilot for flying unsafe and landing a helicopter in a residential area without a permit.

Major Pepperidge said...

I would prefer to fly in like the famous Rocket Man! Too bad the fuel only lasted something like 20 seconds.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I rode that helicopter service around 1958 from North Hollywood (the pad was in the old Tujunga wash where the 170 Hollywood freeway is now south and west of the UA theater).
My mother and relatives met us at LAX and we went to... Marineland not The Magic Kingdom.
Then I got to ride all the helicopters I wanted (at treetop level) in Vietnam for FREE!

carrienews said...

My dad used to take me to see the take offs and landings. What a thrill for a kid!

Kelly M. Bray said...

When I was in second grade I had a girlfriend. On her birthday her parents drove us to LAX, and we all flew to Disneyland on the LA Airways S-61 helicopter. It was totally cool, we landed on the helipad at the old Disneyland Hotel. We flew back to LAX that night and the city lights were amazing. I have never forgotten it.

Steve said...

Steve's Memories: L.A. Airways flew large S-65 twin turbo jet helicopters, which they owned about 6, and they also flew at least two S-55 piston copters which were smaller and where painted green and yellow. When I was around 12-years-old I would ride my bike to Otsego St. & Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks (there is a L.A. City Fire Station and Training area there now) where L.A. Airways had one of their many heliports. They offered shuttle service for airline passengers or even if you just wanted to go for a ride, to and from LAX, back in the days when L.A. really didn't even have traffic problems. They also transported small cargo (packages) being sent to the airport (airmail?) by R.E.A. (Railway Express), a company which has long been out of business. A child's fare was under $4.00 per round-trip, which would include a ride from Sherman Oaks to the old Burbank Airport, then on to Glendale Heliport next to Griffith Park, and for a nice ride over L.A. and Baldwin Hills to LAX where I would spend an afternoon walking around the airport and where more then one airline would aloud me access to board commercial jets to look at their cockpits and take photos! Security was very relaxed back in the sixties. L.A. Airways had other heliports including one located next to the Disneyland Hotel. I flew most of their routes and I took many black and white photos of their helicopters when they were coming in for landings and also from the windows when I was flying around the city. I did use their service with another young friend to visit Disneyland for a day. L.A. Airways went out of business after the two accidents occurred. As I recall, the first accident was when one of their emergency doors fell off one of their S-65 copters and it landed in someone's backyard in. The second accident was much worse, when metal fatigue of one or more of the main rotors on one of their S-65 copters resulted in the disintegration of the main rotor(s) and the 28 passenger/3 crew S-65 fell from the sky. There were no survivors. If you pull up the following link (copy and paste), it mentions a second fatal crash which I don't recall, however, nothing about the door which fell off which I do clearly remember.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Airways_Flight_417

I loved flying with them when I was a kid and I loved riding by bike over to their Sherman Oaks heliport, usually more then once a day just to watch the larger S-65 come in for a landing and then take off. Lots of wind from the rotors and jet fuel fumes which I seemed to love. To board the aircraft you would have to approach it with the rotors turning. It was like the president of the U.S.A. boarding Air Force One (helicopter) when it's props are turning. You would duck you head out of fear that if you didn't duck, the main rotors would kill you. Those were the days!

Anonymous said...

I too remember riding my bike over to the Downey heliport to watch LAA in operation, and often sat in my treehouse watching them fly in and out of the same place. Twice took their 'excursion fare' to Disneyland with a friend. I remember both accidents (Paramount and Compton)and the companies subsequent demise.

John said...

I remember the crash in Compton. I was living on Palm Avenue in Lynwood and playing hide and seek with my friends. I heard the explosion, looked up, saw the rear rotor flying off and the helicopter crashing to the ground.

I also seem to recall a bit of a smoke trail coming from the helicopter as it was falling.

We all jumped on our bikes to ride to the area of the crash, but there were lots of cars, lots of people and it was so far from home we eventually just turned around.

Barry Winkler said...

I worked as a flight attendant at the time of the crash, and was on the flight on a regular basis, I am typing this and could have easily have died that day. Jim Black, who sort of took me under his wing at work died and I didn't. I feel so sorry for his family and the families of the pilot and co pilot, we were all pretty close. It was a great place to work. The accidents were so sad. Barry Winkler, e-address justbarry60@excite.com

Los Angeles Defense Attorneys said...

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Cheers,
Haley

Anonymous said...

I was in the park when the one crashed in compton,cant remember the name of the park but heard the crunching sound and we all looked up as it was spinning down, came down right on the fistbase line of the ball field in that park just across a small street from houses, think I was 8 or 9, very sad day I still remember

Anonymous said...

My parents died in the helicopter crash in compton. i was 9 yrs old.i can remember it like it was yesterday...

Helicopter Tours said...

Agree. “What a great way to get to Disneyland: fly into Los Angeles Airport, walk to the Los Angeles Airways Helicopter pad and be flown to Disneyland.”

hawaii volcano helicopter tours said...

It requires skill to do that. I admire these men.

Anonymous said...

My Dad was a flight dispatcher back then. I was 6 when he would take me to work with him and I would get to play in the cockpits and run all around in the hangers. We knew all four pilots that went down with their aircraft. RIP.

Anonymous said...

The LAA Helicopters were Sikorski S-61L's. I worked for SFO Helicopter Airlines and we flew the S-61N's. Later worked for Golden West Airlines who used a S-61L to DisneyLand from LAX for a short time in the 1980's. Both accidents were very sad. RIP.

Lawrence Stice - CMFD/Ret. said...

I rode the L A Airways Helicopter from Disneyland Hotel Heliport to Los Angeles Int. Airport in June1968 , after the first crash in May , and about a month later,in August , the second crash occured ! I was very sad to hear about the crash of the second Helicopter and loss of lives in both crashes has been in my memories over the past 45 years , since both helicopters went down ! patriot_19@yahoo.com