Monday, August 18, 2008

Los Angeles Airways Helicopter Service

Los Angeles Airways was a helicopter airline that was based in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Airways offered services to area airports as well as Disneyland from Los Angeles International Airport. LAA is noted for several first including the first regularly scheduled helicopter mail service on October 1, 1947.

In addition LAA was the first civil operator of the Sikorsky S-61 introducing them on March 1, 1962. Los Angeles Airways ceased operations in 1971 after being purchased by Golden West Airlines.

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-51 (N92813) at LAX November 1959. (Photo by Mel Lawrence)

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-55 (N416A) at LAX June 1959. (Photo by Mel Lawrence)

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-61L (N302Y) at LAX February 1962. (Photo by Mel Lawrence)

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-55 (N736A) at LAX February 1962. (Photo by Mel Lawrence)

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-55 (N736A) landing at the Disneyland Heliport in 1956. Note: This is the same helicopter shown in the 1962 LAX image above.

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-61L (N300Y) lifting off from the Disneyland Hotel Heliport in 1963. (Photo by Robert J. Boser)

This same aircraft (N300Y - LAA Flight 417) crashed on August 14, 1968 in the city of Compton, California. All eighteen passengers and three crewmembers were fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and fire. The probable cause of the accident was the fatigue failure of the main rotor blade.

LAA Info for Disneyland Fans: From 1955 to 1968 Los Angeles Airways provided regularly scheduled helicopter passenger service between Disneyland and Los Angeles International Airport and other cities in the area. The helicopters initially operated from Disneyland Heliport, located behind Tomorrowland. Service later moved, in 1960, to a new heliport north of the Disneyland Hotel. Arriving guests were transported to the Disneyland Hotel via tram. LAA helicopter service to Disneyland was discontinued after the tragic accident in 1968.


outsidetheberm said...

Love those Disneyland ground shots. One day we'll have to dig out the old aerial shots we have here. Thanks!

walterworld said...

Great article on the helicopter service to the Disneyland Hotel---

One thing: I thought that there were actually two seperate crashes before the service was stopped?

Check out this link regarding the first crash:


sswcharlie said...

Wow what great photos. I need a photo of the REA (Railway Express Agency) logo showing clearly or better still REA loading a helicoptor .
charles7 at

I am a REA raialroad fan and would love a photo of this service