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M*A*S*H - Where's the Rearview Mirror?
Just watch the opening titles carefully. Notice that during the in-flight closeups of the "choppers", they are flying backwards, briefly.
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Rated 3.4/10 (77 ratings) Your opinion?
Special Requirements: Just watch the opening titles very closely.
Contributed By: Badger Bill on 12-02-1999 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
If something isn't right, please Correct this Slip-Up

CanopyDave writes:
The effect that you are referring too, is strictly caused by the camera zooming in on the helicopters. They are not flying backwards. I am a skydiver and fly camera for my dropzone. The number one myth that I have to dispell, is that when the canopy...err, parachute is deployed, skydivers go back up... And yes it looks that way, but what is actually happening, is the filmed jumper deploys, slows from 120mph to 10mph, however I am still doing 120mph. So the jumpers appear to to go "up" through the top of the frame. Actually, they are just slowing and I am continuing on at 120mph. It is a similar effect that you are viewing in the beginning of MASH. When the camera zooms, the perspective changes making the helicopters APPEAR to move backwards. However, they are still moving forward at speeds from 50 to 80mph. (That is if the old Bell 47's could go that fast. ;)
30 of 31 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Bogeyman writes:
The backwards-flying choppers bugged me for years, but I now think they are just an illusion. Instead of the choppers flying backwards, I think maybe the camera is zooming in on them, so they appear to be getting closer. Does that sound plausible to others?
6 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Requiem writes:
Excuse me, but being after working on helicopters for over 13 years, I can tell you that they don't need to 'pop a clutch' to fly backwards. Helicopter flight is not as restrictive as fixed-wing (my previous profession, by the way)flight. The helicopter is not limited simply to pitch, roll, and yaw control, they also have fore/aft control in flight.
4 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
captain simian writes:
A helicopter might be moving backwards to precision land on a landing zone or somthing like that, just like a car would go in reverse when its going to parrallel park.
3 of 3 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Ska man writes:
My father fought in Korea and when my brothers and I questioned this element of the title sequence, he said that they did it to keep their eyes on the front lines... which the MASH units were close to.
4 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
mobley writes:
That used to bug me when I was really young watching the show. But the view you are getting is from another helicopter coming in closer on the entire pack. No one is going backwards.
3 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Nathan writes:
You all missed the point of this one Canopy guy was right
3 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
TGR writes:
Another thing about the choppers is in the opening sequence they all have doors, yet in the actuall episodes they don't.
3 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Bigeye writes:
It would not make a difference how the choppers would fly. It is perfectly within the capabilities of the chopper, and within a war zone, any manner of flight may be needed to avoid being shot at. This is a fake slipup.
3 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Knucklehead writes:
So what? Almost all helicopters can fly backwards. About the only reason this would count is if there were other clues that the scene was played in reverse. (Whether accidentally or on purpose.)
3 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Badger Bill writes:
You're missing the point by a country mile. There's no conceivable reason for them to carry wounded backwards. And they couldn't just pop the clutch and change gears while in mid flight. Besides, remember how they always talked about how dangerous it was to fly a chopper. Or maybe they were talking about how dangerous it is to add a slip up these days !
2 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Badger Bill writes:
You're still missing the point ! WHY fly the wounded backwards !!!
1 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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