The Oppenheimer Helicopter, a sight to see.

The name Oppenheimer is synonymous with “De Beers” although Nicky Oppenheimer has now sold all his 40% shares to Anglo American Co-operation. Nicky’s Grandfather, Ernest, was the first Oppenheimer to Chair the De Beers Diamond Mining company that was established by Cecil John Rhodes. His Father, Harry, was the chairman of Anglo American Corporation for a quarter of a century and chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines for 27 years.

Harry Oppenheimer spent some time as the Member of Parliament for Kimberley (1948 to 1957) and became the opposition spokesman on economics, finance and constitutional affairs. His opposition to apartheid was well known as were his philanthropy and business acumen. (Thank you Wikipedia)

But back to the helicopter of note.. “Anglo American’s AW139 is no toy. It is a helicopter so aeronautically spectacular that pilots hum when they look at it.” written in the Star News Paper. It is now used for Medical emergencies that require a long haul, even night time flight to save lives, all this through the kind donation of Nicky..

He is quoted as saying “ “I discussed the importance of doing something worthwhile with Netcare 911 that would benefit all South Africans. We thought that a long-range service, which could evacuate patients from remote areas would make a tangible difference when it comes to saving lives, we agreed to develop such a service jointly using the AW 139 and the medical expertise of Netcare 911. I am tremendously excited that the helicopter can now be used for the greater good of all South Africans in medical emergencies.”

This to me, is like a rich man turning around and saying “Here use my Ferrari to collect your KFC”  I think this is a most commendable donation by someone who cares…. I wonder if he would adopt me.???

I had the pleasure of seeing the  AgustaWestland 139 helicopter up close and talking to the pilots that were flying it… Damn they wouldn’t give me a quick spin but still, they were extremely interesting to talk to, specially me that loves anything that flies… here’s a few photos…

Len heli 001
Now that is some paint job… i love it…

Len heli 002

Len heli 003

Len heli 010

len 0910 2012 033

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78 thoughts on “The Oppenheimer Helicopter, a sight to see.

  1. So often those with money and position–power–aren’t commended for their philanthropy. This is really nice to hear, and to see, Rob! What an amazing paint job. You would certainly pick this one out from the crowd. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the informative post Bulldog and the colorful photos. I would be right there with you, pushing and shoving to make my way on! I was in love the first time I flew in a helicopter! 🙂

  3. Wonderful pictures. I can remember a time back in the early 1950s, when helicopters were new, at least to me, when it was thought that we would all travel by helicopter instead of buses, but I guess they became to expensive to operate.

    • They certainly are not cheap to operate… and at first I said, “you won’t get me in one of those”… now just hesitate when I ask for a ride and its too late I’m in…

  4. These helicopters play such an important role in emergencies, don’t they? What I love – apart from the bright whimsy of the paint job itself – is that this helicopter, though it bears the Oppenheimer name, isn’t blazoned with branding and advertising – true philanthropy. 🙂

    • Thanks Maralee… he is a Gentlemen and a Saint and a very good friend to South Africa… flies around a lot in England where he is the only private pilot allowed to fly in a certain zone in London…

    • I do agree Ronnie it is beautiful and the colour and design I searched for on request of Mrs. P. but I will share it here with you…
      after a rescue mission the AW139 got a facelift. Artist Pippa Skotnes designed a painting using Bushmen mythology, and the helicopter was transformed.

      Oppenheimer explains that the drawing is of Pate, a creature who sees Mrs Puff Adder lying on the sand. He jumps up and urinates on her. He finds this very funny, so he does it three times.

      Mrs Puff Adder is getting more and more angry, until she eventually bites Pate on his testicles. Burning and hot, Pate runs and buries his bits in the sand. This is how watering holes were formed in the Kalahari Desert, according to Bushman lore (extract from an article on the web…)

    • I found it after much searching…after a rescue mission the AW139 got a facelift. Artist Pippa Skotnes designed a painting using Bushmen mythology, and the helicopter was transformed.

      Oppenheimer explains that the drawing is of Pate, a creature who sees Mrs Puff Adder lying on the sand. He jumps up and urinates on her. He finds this very funny, so he does it three times.

      Mrs Puff Adder is getting more and more angry, until she eventually bites Pate on his testicles. Burning and hot, Pate runs and buries his bits in the sand. This is how watering holes were formed in the Kalahari Desert, according to Bushman lore (extract from an article on the web…)

    • I have flown so many hours in Choppers… too many to count… and even having had a windscreen blow out in my face once, they have all been marvelous flights…

        • There was actually a bit of structural damage to the chopper, which we only found out after landing a half hour later… when we hit the telephone wires the screen exploded, sitting in the co-pilots seat I was ready to take the controls if the pilot had been hurt too much… I don’t know what I would have done as I have no idea how the controls on them work…. but I would have given it a good go… he was bleeding less than I so there was no panic and we still enjoyed a good flight observing wild game…

  5. Wow! That is one amazing paint job for sure Rob and you’ve captured this beauty excellent! Yep, know the Oppenheimers and always wished they would adopt me as well. 😆 I would love to go for a fun ride in this chopper as well. Great share my friend. 😀 *big hugs*

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