Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bring It On!

The skies over Vancouver are about to get a bit more crowded. That's right Chopper 9 will be getting some company when flying over breaking news stories or special events.
We learned Thursday that our rivals are getting into the ENG helicopter game. Canwest Global inked a deal with Global Traffic Networks to provide air cover in the on going battle for TV sets. Our competitor will be in the sky shortly with an R44 Raven ENG package.

The announcement came as really no surprise. What is interesting is Canwest plans to launch air operations in 5 markets with this deal. Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Hamilton are the Global stations to which air operations will be a new thing. Toronto already has an ENG copter, but is either adding a second machine or the flight arangement for the current machine ( an A- Starr) has expired and the capability is being replace with an R-44. In any event, the news wars just got more interesting.

Before this announcement, there were only 4 dedicated ENG helicopters in the whole country. There were 2 in Toronto CTV( CFTO), and Global, one in Montreal TVA and one in Vancouver CTV.

I am looking forward to the competition. Competition always make teams, in this case news gathering teams, play better, play smarter. Bring it on.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ka Boom!

Everyone loves fireworks. Explosions and Implosions. At least once a month the network news casts have video of Buildings coming down to make way for a new development. I have had such assignments before. But until this weekend I had not experienced an implosion from the air.
There is a block on the down town east side of Vancouver that at one time used to be the center of the retail business here. It was the Woodward's buildings. The department store was long gone before I moved here. But folks who remember have fond memories of the place. The buildings have been vacant for some years and the area has become well, run down is a bit of an understatement. The long and short of it is the buildings are on valuable real estate and developers want to build new.
Saturday was the big day and I wanted to share some frame grabs of the Implosion.

A shot from Chopper 9 moments before the plunger

This shot is at the exact moment the first of a series of detonations took out the supports of the main structure, If you look closely you can see the orange glow of the blast in the right middle of the frame.

The two buildings begin their collapse

With the two nearly down, the third begins its destruction

Clearly in this frame grab, you can see the third building taking it's final bow

A curtain of dust and debris rise up from the blast site

In this final shot, the dust cloud begins to move to the west and with that the buildings are now a memory