Hickory-based reporter Dave Faherty was following the search in a rugged area of the foothills when authorities asked for assistance from Chopper 9 overhead. “They asked us for help because they couldn’t locate the suspect,” says news director Julie Szulczewski. “We wanted to help them because it was a public safety threat.”
Andy Holt, who has been flying Chopper 9 for nearly two decades, was focusing on officers in the woods when he got the call. He landed nearby and two Burke deputies climbed aboard his six-seat helicopter. An officer on the ground reached the slain Forest Service officer and signaled his position to the helicopter with a strobe flashlight, allowing deputies to direct others to the scene. After about 30 minutes, the State Highway Patrol helicopter arrived to continue the search for the suspect, who was ultimately killed.
“Over the years, we have helped out law enforcement as needed,” says Holt, who flew H-53 Sea Dragons while he was in the Navy.
Albuquerque police have arrested two men for shooting at the KOAT helicopter and satellite truck. Joshua Sullivan, 23, and Robert Rand, 24, “plotted and executed a plan to shoot up Sky 7 last week,” according to the Albuquerque ABC affiliate.
A KOAT photographer was able to get video of the suspects’ car as they fled the scene after the shooting. Last week, police apprehended a shoplifting suspect in the same car, finding shotgun shells that matched those found at KOAT. The men have admitted to both shootings, according to the station’s report on the arrest.
“The community support for Sky 7 and trying to find who did this has been great. Now, I just hope the DA’s office can effectively and quickly prosecute these guys,” KOAT general manager Mary Lynn Roper said. [h/t NewsBlues]
Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT says a man in a gold Nissan Maxima opened fire at the station’s helicopter last week. The chopper is currently disabled and estimated to have more than $100,000 worth of damage.
The gunman is believed to have also shot at a KOAT satellite truck, which was parked nearby, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Police say they have a “very strong” lead in the case.
“We appreciate the efforts of APD to find who is responsible for this,” KOAT president and general manager Mary Lynn Roper said in a statement. “Sky 7 is a tool we use to serve the public interest. It has saved individuals and gives officials a bird’s eye view when residents, communities or pueblos are in trouble.”
In the release, KTVU noted they were first on the air and first with a reporter from the scene. The station also noted that KTVU’s aerial coverage was used by ABC News in its national report, since KGO’s chopper was not yet in the air by the time David Muir‘s special report began:
KTVU’s coverage was even picked up by the ABC National News – instead of their own affiliate (KGO). The ABC National News repeatedly used aerial footage from KTVU NewsChopper 2 during their 30 minute Special Report. KGO didn’t hit the air with local coverage until 1:11pm – 58 minutes later than KTVU.
ABC News, CBS News and Fox are members of Network News Service, a partnership that allows all three networks to pool coverage from their local affiliates. KTVU’s live pictures were fed to ABC News through NNS.
- Related, TVNewser: ABC News and SF Fox Affiliate In Flap Over Plane Crash Coverage
In contrast to the local coverage, ABC’s national coverage was the most extensive of the broadcast networks. Muir anchored an 45-minute special report that preempted the network’s coverage of Wimbledon, while NBC and CBS offered only brief updates.
KGO news director Tracey Watkowski did not immediately respond to TVSpy’s request for comment.
The Philadelphia Daily News takes a look at the different approaches to aerial coverage for the market’s local stations. The piece examines local news service (LNS) agreements, which allow stations to pool helicopter resources. In Philly, NBC O&O WCAU used to share a helicopter with Fox O&O WTXF, an agreement that expired last year:
“We believe we should look to differentiate ourselves from other television stations in the market,” [WCAU vice president of news Anzio] Williams said. “It was hard to differentiate ourselves when we were using the same pictures.”
He added, “We wanted to make sure that everything we do is better. And by getting SKYFORCE 10, we now have the opportunity to have closer images, and we can take viewers where we want to. We wanted to have the best possible tool we could put in the air.”
An Oakland man has been arrested for allegedly shining a laser at two aircraft –a KGO news helicopter and a California highway patrol plane — hovering over the scene of a shooting Monday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
The 40-year-old man, whose name was not immediately released, aimed a red laser several times at the TV station’s helicopter Monday night as it flew about 1,000 feet over the scene of the incident on the 1700 block of Seminary Avenue in East Oakland, in which an undercover Oakland officer was shot in the arm.
The man also shined the laser at a CHP Cessna 206 airplane that was circling at about 3,500 feet, said CHP Officer Tom Lipsey, who was on board.
Shining a laser an an plane is a felony, the Chronicle reports. No one aboard either aircraft was injured.
Los Angeles is gearing up for another “Carmageddon,” a weekend closure of a 10-mile strech of the 405 Freeway. One of the major complaints during the last Carmageddon weekend was the helicopter noise from the media’s aerial coverage, so LA stations are pooling resources this time around to keep things quiet. Rick Terrell, executive director of the RTNA of Southern California, shares details on the “unprecedented” arrangement with the Los Angeles Times:
Rather than sending up a helicopter from each station for each news broadcast, Terrell said, pilots will fly in shifts. Only one helicopter from member stations — including KABC, KCBS/KCAL, KMEX, KNBC/KVEA, KTLA and KTTV –- will go up at a time. He said the pool plan calls for three flights per night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings prior to each major newscast at 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively. He said one helicopter will also be sent out about 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
KTLA’s chopper had to make an emergency landing in a Hollywood parking lot Monday after smoke began pouring from the rear of its engine, all while being trailed by the chopper from KCBS/KCAL. The emergency was first noticed by SKY2 pilot Dan Catalano as both choppers were covering reports of a gunman on the loose.
KTLA pilot Tim Lynn declared an emergency on the radio as Catalano could be heard declaring, “5′s got trouble! I don’t know what’s wrong… Dude he’s on fire!”
Lynn made an emergency landing in an empty parking lot at Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue. Lynn and KTLA photographer Jeff Laabs got out, uninjured.
“You never know, you never know when your time is going to come,” Laabs says. “And, thankfully, today was not mine. But, thank you to Tim, the Lord, and just everyone for looking out. I’m glad we made it down safely.”
Fire officials said a crack in the engine caused an oil leak leading to the thick smoke.
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