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Published on May 14, 2011
SKY 5 is the news helicopter owned and operated by WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C. This video, produced in 1982 for the WRAL-TV Public Affairs program "AWARE" with Waltye Rasulala, documents how the helicopter is used to cover news, either via live coverage or shooting the story to be edited later for a newscast.
The pilot/reporter at that time was Mike Allen, a veteran helicopter pilot with 12,000 hours flight time in helicopters. He served as a captain in the US Army flying Chinooks and flew in civilian helicopter aviation as well.
The video was produced, edited, written by Pam Parris. The Tar Heel Regatta sequence was edited by Jay Jennings.
The first SKY 5 was a Hughes 500 D model (N8624F). The second SKY 5 was also a Hughes 500 D model with updated navigation and updated microwave capabilites. The third and current SKY 5 is a Bell 407 with onboard editing, multi-camera setup.
During the early 1980s time period, there were only a few other stations using the helicopter/pilot model on air: WRAL, KPNX, WXIA, KUSA.