Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Broken Arrow poster art

Broken Arrow (1996) - John Woo's action thriller about stolen nukes has a few rescue helicopters searching for a couple of lost pilots after a USAF stealth bomber crashes in Utah.

rescue Huey in Broken Arrow

A military Bell UH-1 Huey drops troops into the desert scenery where soldiers search the plane crash site and locate two missing nuclear weapons.
Huey hovers in Broken Arrow

Huey landing in Broken Arrow

villains Huey in Broken Arrow
A park ranger's truck is destroyed by airborne thieves, in another UH-1, who then strafe the canyon floor, from where the fleeing hero (Christian Slater) shoots at their Huey gunship so it crashes, but the chopper flips over so its whirling tail rotor nearly kills the fallen heroine (Samantha Mathis).

Huey attacks heroes in Broken Arrow

Huey attacks in Broken Arrow
first Huey crash in Broken Arrow

Agusta A-109 in Broken Arrow
Federal agents fly in an Agusta A-109 Hirundo to the crash site where they chase a gang of thieves and terrorists away from a disused mine.

The A-109 is zapped by electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) waves from the buried nuke's detonation, causing the stricken helicopter's slow-motion crash as it nose-dives into the ground.

Hirundo flies in Broken Arrow
A-109 helicopter crash in Broken Arrow

Hueys on riverbank in Broken Arrow

Three more Huey transports, including one in camouflage paint, bring troops to land on a riverbank and secure the blast area, where the hero is rescued by his USAF boss.

hero rescued in Broken Arrow

behind the scenes in Broken Arrow
Huey catches train in Broken Arrow

[Thanks to Robin Petgrave at Celebrity Helicopters for 2 pictures above.]

The hero pilots pursue the villains to a hi-jacked freight train on its way to Denver. In a digitally enhanced scene, a bad guy standing atop the moving train is sliced in half by the rotor blades of a low-flying chopper (pun intended). There are decapitation-by-helicopter scenes in various movies, but this marks first time a human torso is struck on-screen.

helicopter stunt flying in Broken Arrow
second Huey crash in Broken Arrow

Our hero fires at the villains (who are led by John Travolta) from the airborne command Huey as it follows the train, and hero shoots into a freight carriage before he jumps down on top of train to rescue the endangered heroine. A third helicopter crash 'n' burn scene occurs when the camo Huey pilot is killed and his chopper veers into the hillside of a railway tunnel entrance.

A final helicopter (a Bell 206 JetRanger), stashed away on a flatbed train carriage all ready for the villain's escape, is sabotaged by the hero so that it leaks fuel, and explodes before take-off when its engine is started.

This movie holds the record for the most spectacular destruction of helicopters!

As is usual nowadays, the helicopters appearing on screen have fake registration numbers.
Bell 206 burns in Broken Arrow