Helicopter combat adventure

An abandonded heliport

Mandy discovered this block of concrete demarcating the location of an old heliport close to the breakwater, just behind the V&A Waterfront parking area. The photo reminded me of an adventure helicopter trip offered by the Huey Club in one of their famous Huey HU-1 military choppers - which we often first hear (they have a distinctive sound), and then see flying over the city. You may remember these helicopters from movies like Full Metal Jacket or serials like M.A.S.H.

Quite some time ago a friend told me of an adventure helicopter trip, called the "Combat Mission", that he went on in one of these choppers. What they do is take passengers on a trip that involves low-flying over the city, Waterfront and up the West Coast. Pilots put the choppers into steep climbs and hard banks... WITH THE DOORS OPEN, to simulate a real combat situation. Thankfully there's nobody shooting rockets or machine-guns at this joyride!

The Huey Club lists the cost of the trip as R1500... but I haven't been able to find out how long the flight-time is. At that price, I can't believe that it's more than about 30 minutes, though.

I need to do this! :D

9 thoughts on “Helicopter combat adventure

  1. Daniel

    I did the Huey “Combat Mission” with my brother for my birthday almost 2 years ago now. It was R1000.00 each then, so prices have predictably increased. It was around 30-35 minutes then. And it was great! You DO need to do it.

  2. Paul

    Post author

    Ha, thanks for that Daniel. Imagine, two teams, two helicopters, paintball guns. Both teams dropped off at a remote location up the West Coast somewhere for a few hours of paintball wars, returning to base as the sun sets. Awesome stuff!

    I will do the Combat Mission, but these guys have to start paintball games! :)

  3. Paul

    Post author

    Hi Steve, thanks for the info. Perhaps I was too young to remember the exact helicopters used in M.A.S.H. What’s strange is that the Huey Club’s website mentions M.A.S.H. as one of the programs in which the Huey was used. The dates that you mention look correct, so I’m left wondering whether or not Huey’s were used in M.A.S.H. due to unavailablity of the actual choppers used in the Korean War.

    Do you think the Huey Club website is wrong?

  4. Steve Crane

    Yes, their web site is probably wrong. From my memories of watching M.A.S.H. I only recall them using the Bell 47. The book Bell UH-1 Huey ‘Slicks’ 1962-75 says “As millions know thanks to the long-running M.A.S.H. TV series, Bell Helicopter was in on the ground floor with this work with its Bell 47”.

    I don’t know if any of the movies were set in a post-Korean war era, as some of the books were, but I’m pretty sure the Huey never featured in the TV series.

  5. mjw

    I’m not so sure that a heliport was necessarily near the breakwater. I got the impression that they had just grabbed a few chunks of concrete from somewhere to make the “fortifications” near the breakwater wall.

  6. Paul

    Post author

    Thanks for clearing that up Steve. I’m fairly sure you’re correct. The only M.A.S.H. photos that I saw online was of the Bell 47.

    Ah, yes, thanks Mandy. Although… the area has changed so much in the last few years that it’s possible that the heliport was close to this area.

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