Yes, helicopters are expensive to operate for TV stations.
But, when a crisis strikes, they can deliver the news in a very dramatic fashion that no other source can match.
That was certainly the case Tueday night when a massive gas explosion and fire broke out on the Country Club Plaza around J.J.’s Restaurant.
KCTV and KSHB, which share a single copter, had to vie for shots of the horrendous fire.
Fox 4 had no helicopter coverage and almost delivered the news remotely–and it showed.
Veteran KMBC copter pilot Johnny Rowlands not only delivered the first and best shots of the fire with his HD camera, but he is also a pro at reporting the news. He showed why the ABC affiliate is the one viewers turn to for news for major events such as fires and severe weather.
It was all hands on board at KMBC with Cliff Judy, Haley Harrison and veteran Micheal Mahoney providing on-site reports. Even sports anchor Johnny Kane delivered updates from St. Luke’s Hospital.
With veteran Larry Moore and Lara Moritz at the anchor desk (for the entire evening) when the crisis hit the KMBC coverage was unsurpassed.