Man, these things were low and loud over the freeway.
I’m thinking this is something in the Sikorsky MH-60K or L or M part of the alphabet, owing to the refueling probe, but it’s very possible that Wiki isn’t up-to-date on this topic:
These tourist choppers sometimes conk out near the Golden Gate Bridge and when that happens then only thing for the pilot to do is pop open the compressed gas container you can see there in order to inflate the six airbags you can also see there.
Then a call to the Coast Guard, which will give you a friendly tow to land, hurray!
It happens sometimes
Well, here it is, from FukushimaResponse.Org.
And this is what Ocean Beach will look like come October 19th, maybe:
All the deets:
“WHAT TO EXPECT:
On October 19th, hundreds of people will align their bodies to create a human mural spelling out “FUKUSHIMA IS HERE” and then be photographed from the air. We want you with us.
Please arrive in the vicinity by 10:45 a.m. Helicopter overhead at noon sharp. Event finished by approx 12:15.
We will arrange ourselves in 100-foot tall lettering. Our aim is to bring awareness to the continuing damage and mismanagement of Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Ocean Beach is a one-mile stretch of sand located at the west end of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The closest intersection is Fulton Street and The Great Highway.
The message will be centered approximately 200 yards north of the intersection of Fulton and the Great Highway, halfway between the Cliff House and the Beach Chalet restaurant (public bathroom in the Beach Chalet’s public lobby). A concrete sea wall runs along the beach, with short, numbered stairways leading down to the sand. The event will be centered near Stairway 12, and will stretch out from there, both north and south.
– If you can, please walk or ride your bike.
– PUBLIC — San Francisco’s MUNI system serves Ocean Beach very well. Fares, routes, and schedules at www.sfmuni.com. The #5, #18, and #31 buses all stop within five minutes walk (level) of the event site. The “N-Judah” streetcar line terminates a fifteen minute walk (level) from the site.
– BY CAR – Ocean Beach has a huge parking area. There is plenty of parking in the nearby areas — up the hill toward the Cliff House, and also in the western part of Golden Gate Park. Parking should not be a big problem early on a Saturday.
A blanket or tarp to lie down on while we await the helicopter. Water to drink. All of your friends and family (friendly dogs are also welcomed). October weather is usually great, but you never know. Check the forecast and dress appropriately. (CAUTION: This forecast is for “inland” San Francisco. Conditions at Ocean Beach can be quite a bit colder and breezier.)
Rented porta-potties will be positioned along the sea wall at the event site. The lobby of the Beach Chalet building has great bathrooms. The nearby Safeway store has one small bathroom.
Several restaurants lie within easy walk of Ocean Beach. The Beach Chalet is a five-minute walk, the Cliff House is plainly visible up the hill north of the event site. Louie’s Diner is a 60-second walk beyond the Cliff House. A large Safeway store is a five-minute walk from the site.
IMPORTANT DAY-OF-EVENT INFORMATION
A group of volunteers (at least twenty needed, please & thank you) will spend the morning outlining the message into the sand. The letters will probably be about 100 ft tall and 10 ft wide.
Please arrive in the vicinity of Ocean Beach by 10:45 A.M. This will allow you half an hour to find parking (if you are driving), use a bathroom, reach the site, and pick your spot in the lettering. Volunteers will be handing out flyers with more specific, updated, day-of-event instructions. Please take a flyer, read it, and follow any instructions from volunteers.
Please be ON THE BEACH NO LATER THAN 11:15 A.M. This will give us time to make sure the lettering is filled in evenly, so that images taken from above will look crisp and clean. Pick any spot you’d like (it’s fun to sit with family and friends), but if one of the volunteers asks for people to fill in a “thin” area, please be as cooperative as you can. We’re all in this together.
Our (rented) helicopter and photographer are due overhead at noon sharp. Often, in the past, they have shown up on the dot – other times, a few minutes late. Please be patient. The actual photography portion will take approximately fifteen minutes. At past events, people showing up half an hour late have been shocked to find that the event has ended and everyone has disappeared. Tardiness is not recommended.
One image from the event will be made into a large-sized postcard. If you would like one of these postcards mailed to you, you MUST print your address onto a mailing label (provided at the event) and drop it into one of the POSTCARD ADDRESSES buckets that volunteers will be holding. We hope to have the postcards in your mailbox within a week.
Participation in the event is free, but it costs approximately $1,500 – $2,000 to put it all together (helicopter, porta-potties, postcards, postage, printing, etc). Costs for the San Francisco mural action are being fronted by cab driver Brad Newsham, who has organized numerous successful murals at Ocean Beach. At past events, people have generously dropped enough money into the POSTCARD ADDRESSES buckets so that Brad has been able to break even. He greatly appreciates this.
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A wheelie bike, also called a muscle bike, high-riser, or banana bike, is a type of stylized children’s bicycle designed in the 1960s to resemble a chopper motorcycle and characterized by ape hanger handlebars, a banana seat with sissy bar, and small (16-to-20-inch (410 to 510 mm)) wheels. Notable examples include the Schwinn Sting-Ray and Krate lines and the Raleigh Chopper line. Other notable manufacturers and retailers that offered models include AMF, CCM, Columbia, Huffy, Iverson, J. C. Penney, Malvern Star, Monark, Murray, Ross, Sears, and Vindec.
After 9/11, FEMA needed somebody to go up in a chopper every day for nine months to document recovery and removal. A certain Mr. Brown was the man for the job.
“Do you do aerial photography?” the caller asked.
“Sure,” Mr. Brown said. “If you have a plane or a helicopter.”
“We have planes and helicopters,” the caller replied.
But, “The truth was, he had never done aerial work.” Uh oh.
Nevertheless, it was all good, and the rest is history.
From before the time the telephone book industry got demolished by the Internet:
Cameras sure were big back then, huh?
I don’t know, the FAA doesn’t seem to mind this kind of hot dogging so who am I to complain:
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Sometimes these birds land in the water due to engine trouble and then the Coast Guard tows them to shore.
It’s a living, I s’pose…