A list of memorable prison escapes when the inmate and those aiding them used a helicopter as part of the getaway plan. Often, helicopters are used when planning prison breaks, as their ability to take off vertically makes them perfect for getting in and out of a penitentiary area quickly. The list contains notable escapes from prisons, jails, correctional facilities and penitentiaries around the world, listed in chronological order.
The earliest helicopter prison break on the list dates back to August of 1971, when a man named Joel David Kaplan managed to get away from Mexico's Santa Martha Acatitla prison in a helicopter. Kaplan not only succeeded in getting away, but escaped to Guatemala permanently and later wrote a book about his experience.
A number of books, TV shows and films have included daring prison escapes involving helicopters. These include "Breakout" (loosely based on the Kaplan case), "Spy Game" and the TV series "Prison Break."
Santa Martha Acatitla August 19, 1971 in Mexico. Escapee Joel David Kaplan. Successful.
Mountjoy Jail October 31, 1973 in Ireland. Escapees JB O'Hagan, Seamus Twomey and Kevin Mallon. Successful.
United States Penitentiary, MarionIllinois, USA - May 24, 1978 in United States. Escapees Garrett Brock Trapnell, Martin Joseph McNally and James Kenneth Johnson. Failed.
Pentridge (HM Prison) January, 1983 in Australia. Escapee David McMillan. Failed.
Perry Correctional Institution, Pelzer, South Carolina December 19, 1985 in United States. Successful.
Prison de la Santé May 26, 1986 in France. Escapee Michel Vaujour. Successful.