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Los Angeles Airways

Los Angeles Airways (LAA) was a helicopter airline based in Westchester, Los Angeles, California.[1] Los Angeles Airways offered services to area airports, as well as Disneyland[2] from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the heliport at the Newporter Resort, Newport Beach, California, now the Hyatt Regency. LAA had several firsts, including the first regularly scheduled helicopter mail service on October 1, 1947.[3] Service to Ontario and San Bernardino was initiated on December 17, 1953.[4][5]

Los Angeles Airways
LAAirways logo.svg
Commenced operations 1947
Ceased operations 1971
Hubs Westchester, Los Angeles, California
Destinations Disneyland, Newporter Resort, Newport Beach, California, Los Angeles area airports
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Key people Clarence Belinn (president)
Los Angeles Airways helicopter taking off from the roof of the Terminal Annex Post office to inaugurate helicopter air-mail service, 1947.
Los Angeles Airways helicopter service at the Orange County Airport in 1960.

In April 1957 they scheduled 17 weekday departures from LAX to 11 heliports from North Hollywood to San Bernardino to Santa Ana to Long Beach; they didn't fly to downtown Los Angeles. The OAG doesn't say what helicopter, but the drawing shows an S-55.

LAA was the first civil operator of the Sikorsky S-61, introducing it on March 1, 1962, purchased at a price of $650,000 each.[6]

Los Angeles Airways ceased operations in 1971 after failure to consummate a contract in which it would have been purchased by Golden West Airlines.[7]

Passengers boarded, in thousands, scheduled flights only: 30 in 1957, 39 in 1960, 396 in 1967, and 62 in 1970.


Aircraft operatedEdit


Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-61L helicopter, lifting off from the Disneyland Heliport, 1963. This is the aircraft that crashed in August, 1968, killing all on board. Note the Matterhorn Mountain in the background.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. April 10, 1969. 581.
  2. ^ Freeman, Paul. "Disneyland Heliport, Anaheim, CA". Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. 
  3. ^ Airmail and the Growth of the Airlines Archived 2012-10-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Staff, "First Helicopter Express Lands At Ontario Field", San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Friday 18 December 1953, Volume LX, Number 94, page 19.
  5. ^ Staff, "S.B. Terminal For 'Copter Air Express in U.S.", San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Friday 18 December 1953, Volume LX, Number 94, page 13.
  6. ^ "The Self-Supporting Helicopter" Time Magazine December 26, 1960
  7. ^ Ed Coates Collection

External linksEdit