May want to avoid news choppers crashing into each other. Happened in Phoenix a year or two ago
posted on 05/06/2010 4:12:05 PM PDT
re: news choppers crashing into each other
Happens all too often. My son is a helicopter pilot for a sheriff's office here in Florida. He's in a relatively small community, Naples, but even there they a have a news crew in nearby Ft. Myers and they come over from Palm Beach or down from Tampa.
Here in Tampa all the pilots know each other and they have understandings at to who will fly at what altitude. And each one has a unique transponder code that lets ATC offer them some assistance. ATC would just as soon not mess with them though. Tampa is busy airspace and they have their hands full! Five or six controlled airports with 30 miles or so. It can get crowded.
I fly with one of the EMS helicopters from time to time. It's hard to know when they will have something worth going on, but if you hang out with them for a day or two you stand a good chance of getting some nice shots. Worst thing is when you get bumped by someone and have to find your own way back to your car! Happens for instance when they transport someone who's been injured by police and then an officer has to go with them. There goes your ride back! I got a nice shot last week when I was a the scene of where an officer had shot a bank robbery suspect. I was left behind but got a good shot of them rotating to leave the area:
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