For about five minutes today our news room held its collective breath.  We had no idea what was going on with our helicopter.  The word in master control was there was a problem with the chopper, but we lost contact.  Then it came over the scanner “helicopter down at Whiteman Airport.”  I’ve been in the news business for a while, and I instantly thought the worst.  I will tell you, I am a fan of the folks over at Sky-9 and Sky-2.  In fact I remember my first day on the air at KCAL 9 News back in 1996.  Shortly after my shift, the pilots of Sky-9 asked me if I wanted to come out for a ride.  I’ll never forget that day.  It was exhilarating being on television in Los Angeles and than flying across the city in our station helicopter.  I created a great bond with the guys out at the hangar.  They are some of the most experienced and dedicated pilots and journalists in the business.  They constantly train and never take for granted what a dangerous job it is flying and reporting the news.

I was able to breathe again when I found out all was well.  Derek Bell one of our senior pilots brought the ship down just as he had been trained.  Aside from a banged up helicopter no one even had a scratch.  I can’t tell you how much I respect all of the fine people who work here at CBS and KCAL.  They are my family, and I am proud to work side-by-side with these folks.  Do me a favor if you have a chance this weekend…be sure to appreciate all the people in your circle, and let them know about it.

Comments (2)
  1. krg says:

    I have spent a lot of time out at Whiteman since I have friends with planes there and I see the Sky-9 copter take off and come in a lot. I too held my breath when I saw the news report and was almost afraid to look. So very glad to hear that Derek did exactly what a trained pilot should do. I’ve had friends from Whiteman (and other airports) go down with much more tragic results so I understand the dangers involved. I’m glad your friends are okay.

  2. Sang Nam says:

    You guys need to sign up Deb Henke and Victoria Johnson. They need some experiences flying with Justin Jaegar.

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