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Choppers

WNYW, WCBS to Share Helicopter in New York City

The CBS and Fox stations in New York City are teaming up to share aerial coverage. Effective today, WCBS and WNYW have entered into an agreement to share a helicopter in the nation’s top DMA, TVSpy has confirmed.

WNYW was previously part of a helicopter sharing agreement with WNBC, the NBC O&O. Fox and NBC ended their New York agreement, and a similar one with their respective stations in Los Angeles, earlier this year. WNBC and KNBC now have their own choppers.

WCBS ended a helicopter-sharing agreement with WPIX, the CW affiliate, earlier this year. Costs associated with news choppers run a station approximately $1 million per year.

LA Stations Pool Resources for Carmageddon II

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.

SKY2 Pilot about KTLA Chopper: ‘Dude He’s on Fire!’

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.

Police Credit WSOC’s Chopper 9 for Arrest

Chopper 9, the News Helicopter for ABC affiliate WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina, is being credited by police for helping to catch a motorcyclist who got away from them during an early morning high-speed chase.

The first video shows the WSOC news helicopter continuing to track the suspect, who reached a speed of 100 miles an hour, after police broke off the chase for safety reasons.

The Highway Patrol used information from WSOC’s broadcast to locate the suspect who had parked under a grove of trees at a construction site. After the jump, his arrest.

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KATU Chopper Helps Portland Police Catch Bank Robbery Suspect

Portland police arrested a suspected bank robber on Wednesday afternoon with a little help from the KATU news helicopter.

The suspect allegedly robbed a bank in Hazel Dell, WA, and drove a black Toyota Sequoia over the state line into Oregon. KATU, Portland’s ABC-affiliate, broadcast the car chase live. Read more

NYC’s WPIX, WCBS End Chopper-Sharing Agreement

WPIX and WCBS are no longer sharing aerial coverage in New York City, the New York Daily News reports.

WPIX, the CW-affiliate, and WCBS, the CBS O&O, teamed up in 2009 to share a helicopter as a way to cut expenses. WPIX has ended the deal and leased its own chopper.

The costs associated with leasing a helicopter can run a station about $1 million annually, according to the Daily News. New York’s WNBC, the NBC O&O, and WNYW, the Fox O&O, also recently ended a helicopter-sharing deal that was enacted in 2009.

KTLA Chopper Video: Texting Man Comes Face to Face with Bear

Los Angeles news helicopters were out in full force early this morning as police and animal rangers tried to track down a 600-pound bear who was roaming the city’s residential streets.  The bear was eventually contained in a backyard, but not before one unsuspecting man came face to face with the wild animal.

Tracking the bear’s movements throughout the morning, KTLA‘s news helicopter captured the chance encounter: the man was walking along an alleyway, texting, when he suddenly spotted the bear in front of him (video above). Read more

WESH Chopper Guides Rescuers to Stranded Kayakers

The WESH news chopper helped rescue two stranded kayakers who were lost in a maze of canals on the Halifax River this afternoon.

Dan McCarthy, who is the helicopter pilot for the Orlando NBC-affiliate, spotted the two kayakers and relayed their location to the authorities with the help of the WESH assignment desk.

The station reported on the stranded kayakers throughout the afternoon newscasts. “I don’t think I could talk a boat in,” McCarthy said. “It’s such a maze out here.”

The authorities were able to send a rescue boat to the women’s location using the latitude and longitude provided by McCarthy. Watch video of the rescue here (the WESH video player does not allow embedding).

NBC Owned Stations in NY and LA Get New Choppers

NBC O&Os on in the country’s two largest markets — New York and Los Angeles — are both getting new helicopters this year, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

KNBC in Los Angeles, which has been sharing aerial coverage with Fox O&O KTTV for the past two years, has already received a new helicopter. WNBC in New York will get its helicopter later this year.

B&C has details on the purchases fitting in to a larger strategy at the NBC O&Os:

Addressing the crowd at NATPE Jan. 23, Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, spoke about his desire to turn the owned stations around by investing big in news coverage. “We took $20 million, hired 130 people, bought helicopters in New York and Los Angeles, and put a lot of trucks on the ground,” he said.  Read more

After Noise Complaints, City Councilman Wants Bay Area Stations To Evaluate Use of News Helicopters

Berkeley city councilman Jesse Arreguin recommended yesterday that city officials and San Francisco local news stations come together to “work out a solution” to noise disruptions caused by news helicopters, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Arreguin, who likened the noise to that of “a war zone,” is planning on penning a letter to area stations, asking that they carefully evaluate whether aerial coverage is necessary for reporting and that they consider flying helicopters at 1,000 feet or higher.

Ed Chapuis, the news director at KTVU, told the Chronicle the decision to use a helicopter for aerial coverage is always a careful one. Read more

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