I have done extensive research on the helicopters used on Magnum P.I.
There were a total of four different helicopters that depicted T. C.’s helicopter:
N58243 - S1
N1095A - S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6
N4943T - S6, S7, S8
N9267F (500C with fake registration as N58243)
N1095A was THE most used 500D on the show, going into use after N58243 crashed during Season One.
At one point, a 500C with the Y tail, was painted up, with N58243’s (the crashed 500D’s) registration number, after the crash. I have not been able to find this 500C’s real registration number yet. It is possible that it could have been N9267F, in temporary peel paint, until they got N1095A, as a permanent replacement.
N1095A was the most prolific helicopter used on the show, with a tenure that spanned S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, and part of S6.
Towards the end of S6, N4943T (with the white window vent, on the back door) took over and was used for S6, S7 and S8. N4943T was the only Island Hopper Helicopter that had its registration number, on the tail boom.
The Second Crash
One week after Magnum P.I. ended, on Friday, May 13, 1988, N4943T, crashed into a drainage ditch, because of a runaway trim motor.
Former Magnum pilot, Steve Kux was seriously injured. and would have drowned, if a man nicknamed, “Tiny”, hadn’t lifted the helicopter.
The N58428 Myth
There has been an erroneous myth going around that N58428 depicted T.C.’s Island Hopper Helicopter!
Apparently that myth has been propagated because people have misconstrued notations in its log book which says, “Mag PI film work” and “MPI equipment trans.”
It was owned by Jetcopters Incorporated, based at Van Nuys Airport, in California.
N58428 was too busy being used extensively in Hollywood, on virtually every t.v. show from the 1980’s (ie. Knight Rider, AIRWOLF, Streethawk, The A-Team, T.J. Hooker, Hardcastle and McCormick, The Fall Guy, Simon & Simon etc.)!
It most famously portrayed the bad guy helicopter flown by Malcom McDowell’s character in Columbia Pictures movie, Blue Thunder.
The Magnum P.I. episode, “Two Birds of a Feather” was mostly filmed in California, and N58428 was used as a camera ship, for that episode and possibly some others. Hence; “Mag PI film work and MPI equipment trans", in its logbook, indicating its use as a camera ship, that people have misconstrued.
But the bottom line is, N58428 never depicted T.C.’s helicopter with the famous orange, yellow and brown, bands. It was just used on Magnum as a camera helicopter and to haul equipment around.
If you don’t believe me, borrow the DVD’s from the library, and watch all 8 seasons, (fast forwarding) to the helicopter scenes, a majority of the time, you can clearly see the registration numbers when they show the various helicopters... and N58428 was never one of them.
It is unfortunate that people presumed, and assumed that N58428 depicted T. C.’s Helicopter, on Magnum just from the camera ship references in its logbooks.
People who owned it mistakenly told people, without doing any research, that it was used as T.C.’s helicopter when in reality it was NOT. It was just a camera helicopter and used to haul equipment around.
Furthermore they ignore its famous use on AIRWOLF and Blue Thunder, and dozens of other, stateside 80’s tv shows.
N58428 is a very famous Hollywood helicopter, but contrary to popular misconception, it was never used as T.C.’s helicopter.
Other research references that back up my research:https://books.google.com/books?id=N...%20500d&f=falsehttp://magnum-mania.com/Articles/The_Chopper.html