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wxman11
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Helicopter Service To SFO

Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:16 pm

so I have a question. first, I was watching an episode from "The Streets of San Francisco, S2E18." although I'm a history major, I found it rather interesting to see that back in those days, early 70's, that there was helicopter service from San Francisco to SFO. And despite that I'm a young guy, late 20's, I'm seeing how aviation has changed over the years, more in particularly, SFO. Therefore, I want to know for those who were born before me, how was this service using a helicopter to get from the city to SFO? why would such service exist? was getting from downtown that difficult to get to the airport? etc, etc,.
 
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ua900
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:25 pm

Convenience. SF wasn't always about militants protesting against and puking on Google/Yahoo buses, at one point it was more widely accepted to do helicopter transfers in SF, much like in LA and NY it was something execs appreciated and some circles half expected. If you look at some of the routes still flown today in NY you'll also see plenty of alternatives available and distances involved only make for a 10 minute flight as well: http://www.newyorkhelicopter.com/airport-transfers/
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macsog6
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:11 am

If you'll check Wikipedia (I know, I know) for San Francisco and Oakland Helicopter Airlines, you'll see you could go to SFO, OAK, Berkeley, Marin, Emeryville, SJC and Palo Alto at various times. I once took them (circa 1970) from SFO to OAK and as I recall, it took about five minutes. I've wished I could do it again several times since then as I paid a taxi to get me across the Bay when I couldn't make the connection using BART.
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RWA380
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:11 am

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 2):

If you'll check Wikipedia (I know, I know) for San Francisco and Oakland Helicopter Airlines, you'll see you could go to SFO, OAK, Berkeley, Marin, Emeryville, SJC and Palo Alto at various times. I once took them (circa 1970) from SFO to OAK and as I recall, it took about five minutes

IIRC, it was called something very original    SFO Helicopters. Below is a list of places they serviced, that I found on Wikipedia, here is that wikipedia link. They used big old Sikorskys. I never flew in a helicopter that was just transportation, but I've always enjoyed the ones that do Island tours in Hawaii, next year we do Ni'ihau.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Fra...co_and_Oakland_Helicopter_Airlines

here is a link to a 1962 timetable with a route map - http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/oh62/oh62-3.jpg

Same 1962 timetable w/pics of stations they served - http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/oh62/oh62-4.jpg
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
AA AC AQ AS BA BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HG HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN WP YS 8M
 
DesertAir
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:42 pm

When I was a freshman at Saint Mary´s College in 1972 I remember going with friends to the Oakland Airport and seeing these noisy sikorsky´s come and go. I can imagine the great Bay Areas views during the ride across the bay.
 
dfwjim1
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:44 pm

I remember this service when I was growing up in Marin and the SFO helicopters would fly out of Sausalito. I didn't they flew out of
Lafayette, where they did they land and take off at?
 
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ua900
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:58 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (Reply 5):
I didn't they flew out of
Lafayette, where they did they land and take off at?

Looks like it was between the 24 and the reservoir:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/37°53'25.8"N+122°07'58.8"W/@37.8905,-122.133,56279m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=e
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timz
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:54 pm

Flickr has a Bill Larkins pic of an S-61 landing at Lafayette-- probably not enough to recognize the location tho. The Wikipedia article has a link to it.

[Edited 2014-04-16 11:57:05]
 
eastern747
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:13 pm

There was also helicopter service in NYC from JFK to the top of the Pan Am building, and if my memory is correct, from JFK-LGA. Not to sure about EWR, which is the closest to NYC. I also remember taking a helicopter from BWI to IAD to catch my AF flight to Paris. It was so COOL as I got to sit next to the Captain. What a view.
 
jcavinato
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:51 pm

IIRC there was service to EWR but it didn't last long. Back in the 60s and 70s EWR didn't have the long distance flights that are common today. Most of the flights were within 500-700 miles and Florida. I never remember an international flights except perhaps Toronto. JFK and LGA got the bulk of the travel demand.
 
timz
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:24 pm

Scheduled helicopters to EWR didn't last centuries, but they started in the 50s and continued into the 1970s. Flickr has a great aerial pic of the terminal with a Vertol 44-- don't recall if the S-58s flew to EWR, but suspect they did.
 
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Tomassjc
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:52 pm

SFO Helicopter had a special "Flight Seeing" fare of around $8 in the 70s. I remember taking the S-61 around 1975 from SFO to Emeryville to the Marin Heliport (Sausalito) and back to SFO on a beautiful clear day.

LA also had passenger helicopter service via LA Airways in the 50s and 60s. When I was a kid in the South Bay LA, the S-61s were a frequent sight heading low (and loudly) over what is now the 405 towards Disneyland and Newport Beach I do recall they had a couple of tragic accidents in the late 60s that I believe lead to their demise.

Tomas SJC
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AirFiero
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:38 am

Why did helicopter service like this die out?
 
modesto2
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:09 pm

I don't want to take the thread off course, but on the topic of New York, "US Helicopter" operated Sikorsky helicopter flights among the NY airports and Manhattan, as recently as 2007. Of course, they succumbed to the financial crisis and the inherently difficult nature of this business and ceased operations around 2007 or 2008 (IIRC).
 
Viscount724
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:33 pm

Quoting AirFiero (Reply 12):
Why did helicopter service like this die out?

Helicopter operating and maintenance costs are very high. I expect none of them were profitable.
 
AirFiero
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:31 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 14):
Helicopter operating and maintenance costs are very high. I expect none of them were profitable.

I figured that, but there was helo service as mentioned above for *years*, and in many markets. Then it all died out. I was wondering what changed.
 
timz
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:02 pm

Some helicopter airlines were government subsidized-- that ended in 1965, maybe. Seems a good bet that after that the fixed-wing airlines subsidized the helicopter airlines until they got tired of it.

The Wikipedia articles give a couple of example fares-- you can guess the fares the passengers paid couldn't cover helicopter costs.

In December 1965 when flights started from the Pan Am building in Manhattan to JFK, one-way fare was $7 at most. (Except for US tax, maybe.)

[Edited 2014-04-21 15:35:36]

[Edited 2014-04-21 15:37:04]
 
cedarjet
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RE: Helicopter Service To SFO

Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:23 pm

Quoting UA900 (Reply 1):
SF wasn't always about militants protesting against and puking on Google/Yahoo buses, at one point it was more widely accepted to do helicopter transfers in SF, much like in LA and NY it was something execs appreciated and some circles half expected.

This just doesn't make any sense at all. Yes locals are very upset at being priced out of their homes by dot.com millionaires who aren't even from SF, but it's a very recent phenomenon, we're talking about a helicopter operation in the 70s, when actually the people who are upset about the Google buses nowadays made up the majority of the population, when SF was about something other than just money money money. You've got it all upside down. As for me, I think I finally learned what a "troll" is.
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