This is from many years ago, could be 70’s or 80’s, probably a made-for-TV movie. I think the basic plot is that a helicopter traffic reporter (flying the copter himself) sees some sort of crime and the bad guys escape in a helicopter (or maybe a small plane), and he chases them. The one scene that stands out in my memory and that might help ID it is that at one point he “flags down” (forces to stop) a gasoline tanker truck on a relatively desolate road, lands next to it and refuels his copter. He’s telling the truck driver about what he’s doing and the truck driver says something like, “Do these things take regular car gas?” I think it may have starred Dennis Weaver as the copter pilot (but I could be wrong about that).
David Janssen was the helicopter pilot. I remember really enjoying that movie. I probably don’t want to see it again for fear of being horribly disappointed.
I remember he used to play “Three Little Fishes” while flying.
YES, David Janssen! Thank you!
I haven’t seen it in decades but I still think it would hold up. It was a TV movie but an exemplary one. Here it is on YouTube, you be the judge. It was just a really cool story and had surprisingly good flying scenes for the time. In regards to the scene where he stops for fuel, his helicopter was actually a turbo-shaft so it would use diesel/kerosene, but maybe gasoline would have worked. It was '73, fanboys didn’t exist yet…
Great movie. Still holds up.
And yes, the 500 can run on gas. Turboshaft engines will run on pretty much anything. Using leaded gas means you have to worry about vapor lock, and you have to rebuild the engine to get the lead deposits off the turbine blades, but you can use it in an emergency. In this case, there was no need to rebuild the engine. (“Dammit, Walker, nobody asked you to do that!”).
The real problem was, large tank trucks not only don’t have convenient nozzles to fill cars (or helicopters) they don’t have pumps, either. They should have just used a local delivery truck. They would have had to rig up the fake hose anyway, so they knew it wasn’t realistic.
Personal connection: my aunt worked at the bank that got robbed, so they all got to watch the filming.
Another movie worth checking out is Deadly Encounter, where Larry Hagman has to fly another 500 into Mexico and bring back The Girl. Even more awesome flying, plus a visit to Pima Air Museum, where he tries to hide from the bad guys by parking the chopper in the open and putting a plaque in front of it! I don’t think it is on DVD, but it is complete on youtube AFAIK.
A really excellent movie.