I fly a helicopter, not a chopper.
When people find out I’m involved with helicopters, they often make comments about choppers. I often get the feeling they’re doing it to make themselves sound knowledgeable or cool. Like they’re in on the industry slang.
But when I hear the word chopper, I think of a ridiculously proportioned, terribly uncomfortable, likely loud motorcycle. Something from Easy Rider. I don’t think of anything that flies.
I don’t use the words helicopter and chopper interchangeably. I fly helicopters. I might see a chopper parked in front of a biker bar or tattoo parlor. I wouldn’t ride one, though. I have two motorcycles I occasionally ride.
I’ve been told that folks who live in San Francisco hate to hear their city referred to as Frisco. I don’t know if it’s true, but I suspect my feelings about the word chopper are similar.
Are you a helicopter pilot or someone who works with helicopters? If so, please do leave a comment letting us know which you prefer. I have to admit that I don’t know any helicopter pilots who call their rides choppers — unless they have two wheels and a kickstand. If you’re one who does, speak up!