Chopper Squad

Chopper Squad is an Australian television series produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the 0-10 Network (as it was then known).[1]

Chopper Squad
GenreDrama
Written byEverett De Roche (pilot only)
Denise Morgan
Don Battye
and others
Directed bySimon Wincer
Rod Hardy
Graeme Arthur
and others
StarringDennis Grosvenor
Robert Coleby
Eric Oldfield
Graham Rouse
Theme music composerMike Perjanik
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Production
ProducerDon Battye
CinematographyPaul Onorato
Running time50 minutes
Production companiesReg Grundy Organisation (series)
Network Ten (pilot)
Release
Original networkNetwork Ten
Original release5 November 1976 (1976-11-05) –
18 February 1979 (1979-02-18)

The series recounted the work of a helicopter rescue team operating on Dee Why beach in Sydney.

ProductionEdit

PilotEdit

The original pilot was made in 1976, airing in Melbourne in November 1976 and Newcastle (NSW) in August 1977. There was quite a time lag between the pilot and the series going to air in May 1978.

As with many series there were changes between the initial pilot and the series. Three actors from the pilot did not continue into the series - Rebecca Gilling, Max Osbiston and Tony Bonner. Additionally, the surnames of characters Phil and Tim were changed.

SeriesEdit

The pilot was followed by two series with a total of 26 episodes airing between 1978 and 1979. Shortly after the show began, the " rescue helicopter base" moved its operations from Dee Why Beach Surf Life Saving Club to Palm Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.

CastEdit

Main castEdit

The leading cast members included Dennis Grosvenor who played rescuer Jebbie Best, Robert Coleby, Eric Oldfield, Jeanie Drynan and Tony Hughes.

Guest actorsEdit

Notable guest actors included Tom Richards, Rebecca Gilling, Vincent Ball, Christine Amor, Alwyn Kurts, Anne Haddy, Joanna Lockwood, Zoe Bertram, John Clayton, Lucky Grills, Adrian Wright, Normie Rowe, Carmen Duncan, Candy Raymond, Peter Bensley, Don Barker, Brian Wenzel, Belinda Giblin, Tina Bursill, John Fegan, Serge Lazareff, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Ian Gilmour, Vince Martin, Delvene Delaney, Patsy King, James Condon, Chris Orchard, Gordon Piper, Abigail, Nick Tate, Richard Moir, Vincent Gil, Elizabeth Alexander, George Spartels, Shane Porteous, Gerda Nicolson, Sigrid Thornton, Sean Scully, Briony Behets, Alan Cinis and Diane Craig.

The helicoptersEdit

VH-UCHEdit

VH-UCH, a Bell 206A, only appeared in the pilot.

VH-FHFEdit

VH-FHF was used for the main series. In real life VH-FHF a Bell 206B "Jet Ranger II" was initially used from approximately 1977 by Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service, that was established by Surf Life Saving Australia in 1973 on an initial sponsorship of $25 000 from the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac).

After serving the Wales rescue team, VH-FHF was bought by PHS, professional helicopter services. It's still in operations serving the Government of Victoria as Firebird 301 and does tourist flights at Uluru.[2] The JetRanger VH-FHF became registered VH-PHF.

VH-FHF registration number was given to a MBB Kawasaki BK-117B-2. The "new" VH-FHF is operated by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Home mediaEdit

As of 5 June 2019 there is no DVD Release of the series.

DVD name Format Ep # Discs/Tapes Region 4 (Australia) Special Features Distributors
Chopper Squad (Season 01) N/A 13 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Chopper Squad (Season 02) N/A 13 N/A N/A N/A N/A

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Albert Moran, Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, AFTRS 1993 p 115
  2. ^ "Uluru Helicopter Tours | PHS | Tourism, Training and More".

External linksEdit