Black Hawk Down
(2001) - excellent aerial stunts and careful use of digital effects give Ridley Scott's superb drama (based on a true story about the Battle of
Mogadishu) a chaotic sense of realism that's lacking in most historical war films. During the deployment of US forces on a special mission to
arrest one of the corrupt locals, two Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by the heavily-armed Somali militia, leaving an injured pilot and
soldiers at the mercy of the angry natives...
The Boeing (MD) AH-64 Apaches and the Cayuses (or MD-500s) were on loan from the 160th Special
Operations Aviation Regiment, and several of the helicopter pilots were involved in the actual battle of 1993. - NATHAN DECKER
Later, Hughes 500 "little bird" choppers make strafing runs throughout the night, against the numerous enemy groups, to provide close
air support for the American troops who are surrounded by rooftop snipers. A brilliant film about a terrifying siege situation in a war zone,
this has spectacular rotary action scenes that rival the all-time classic Apocalypse Now.
There are no AH-64 Apaches in the movie, and they're not operated by 160th SOAR (US Army special ops command). There were MH-60L Black Hawks
flying around... All filming was done in Morocco, the US Department of Defense lent Hollywood the Nighstalkers' regiment for filming, and got
permission from the Moroccans to base these aircraft and military units in the country. - IAN VINCENT FRAIN
It's rather curious to note that, despite this film's title and obviously spectacular aerial scenes, not all of the DVD and bly-ray disc releases
make prominent use of helicopter imagery on their box art.
Black Hawk Down: The True Story (2003) -
this 60-minute made-for-TV documentary is about the Battle of Mogadishu, in October 1993, which
saw 15 American servicemen killed by Somalian rebels. It's only a standard nonfiction cash-in programme that feeds upon the commercial success
of Ridley Scott's brilliant war movie. You can buy this on disc only because it's included in the 'special edition' DVD package of Black Hawk
Down. - STEVEN HAMPTON