Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Aerial Gunnery - Shooting from a Helicopter

Paradise Helicopters and AR15Target.com bring together Aerial Gunnery where shooters get to fly in an MD-500 Helicopter. For my experience I drove to Temple Texas and got to ride in the front of the Helicopter with the pilot for 15 minutes while another shooter sat in one of the rear seats and engaged steel targets while we flew. After 15 minutes had passed it was my turn to take the gunners seat. My son was lucky enough to take a spot in the front seat while I shot. A forth person occupied the other rear seat and served as a safety officer and kept a close eye on the shooter to keep everyone safe. Shooting from a moving vehicle is difficult. Shooting from a helicopter is very difficult. The difficulty is compounded with the anxiety of actually flying in a helicopter, dealing with wired communication, wind, rain, etc... It adds a level of stress that I have not ever encountered. BUT the fun factor is so worth it. Shooting in stressful situations shows your weaknesses for sure. As I always say, "get out of your comfort zone and do a shooting match sometime". You will find shortcomings you never knew you had.

Sitting in the "observer seat"

The gunner sits in the rear behind the pilot

Using a brass deflector is needed to keep flying brass to a minimum inside the aircraft

door gunner vietnam machinegun shooting targets moving
Rearward gun view while performing a mag change

Forward gun view while engaging targets

10 steel targets sit in an open field waiting for a low level pass

Soldiers of Fortune?  Nah, just a whole lot of fun!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. AWESOME write up!
    Glad you could come out and have fun with us! Always appreciate your perspective and insight, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with the rest of the shooting community.

  3. Shooting from Helicopter is a challenging thing to do. It shakes a lot which makes you difficult to aim your target. Plus, you need to be careful that you don't fall down from the Helicopter.

    Arnold Brame
    Health And Safety Consultant Peterborough