New Chopper 5 Debuts

New Chopper 5 Debuts

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Keith McCord ReportingWe've seen a lot of pictures from Chopper 5 over the years, but from now on they’ll come from our new Chopper 5.

After 20 years it was time to get into something newer and fancier. The new chopper is a Bell Long Ranger and it'll fly higher than the old chopper, faster too --150 miles per hour, compared to 135. It well help us get to stories faster, and get on the air quicker.

Pilot Dan Brown gave us a quick tour of the new Chopper 5 today. It's loaded with all the equipment that we need to gather video pictures of news stories. On the front of the aircraft, a camera on a turret that can rotate 360 degrees. There are two other cameras on board too.

So what's the difference between the old Chopper Five and the new? It can carry a heavier load -- more people and equipment if needed, stay up the air for three hours at a time, and it can fly up to 20,000 feet!

Dan Brown, Chopper 5 Pilot: “Yeah, but we won’t go up there. At 13,000 I need oxygen up there anyway (Laugh).”

For the past 20 years, the previous Chopper 5 has helped us tell you about hundreds of news events from around our state, from traffic to the Olympics. Tonight a new era begins.

Dan Brown: “I love the aircraft. The first time I jumped in it, it felt good. And today flying in the wind we’re having, it feels great. It’s fun flying a new toy.”

Jokingly we call it a "toy", but it's an important tool for us here at Eyewitness News.

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