From weather to a fuel truck accident, this television news flight crew keeps busy, despite being grounded for most of the week in Houston, Texas. Join Helicopter Reporter Tammy Rose, Pilot Samantha Fisher and Mechanics, Todd Pierpoint & Sergio Martinez as they navigate issues that arise from up in the air and on the ground.
From a hydraulics failure to routine maintenance, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a television news flight crew. Helicopter Reporter Tammy Rose & Pilot Samantha Fisher are the only female flight crew in their company across the country, taking aviation to new heights.
An Arizona couple is moving ahead with their plans to marry this week despite having no wedding party or guests. Their videographer from Texas rallied the troops from across several states to wish the Bride & Groom the very best from thier homes via video. And needless to say, the little ring girl from Atlanta, Georgia stole the show!
Check out John & Maria’s love story below.
This little ring girl from Atlanta, Georgia stole the show! Click on link below to see this adorable video.
Update: After a year of negotiating with lawyers, a 100,000 lawsuit is finally dropped but not without many scars. The Tadema’s decided to sell and move out of the neighborhood.
Update: Despite dozens of landscapers offering to help an elderly couple following a $100,000 lawsuit filed by Land Tejas over flower beds, the property developer refuses to back down. Click link below.
After weathering many storms over their 52 years of marriage including losing a home during Hurricane Harvey, Klaas & Dorothy Tadema never imagined flower beds could force them to potentially lose everything again including their health. Click on link below to view full story.
(Tammy Rose) After working hard and raising five children, retired math teacher Klaas Tadema & his wife Dorothy, a former nurse were excited about spending the rest of their lives in their Dickinson, Texas home. But that dream would soon be shattered after Hurricane Harvey came knocking on their door in 2017.
(Dorothy Tadema) “Almost up to what, 29 inches of water and it was rising and I said to my husband we need to get some help, we need to get out.”
(Tammy Rose) The Tadema’s like so many other families in Houston lost just about everything they owned.
(Tammy Rose) That’s what led the married couple of almost 52 years to buy a home in the Texas City Lago Mar Community.
(Klaas Tadema) “We had shopped a bit with the help of some friends for a good place to live and thought we might be happy in a small house in a development like this.”
(Tammy Rose) Known as ‘Dotty’ to her friends and family, gardening has always been this nurse’s passion and is a stress reliever in her life.
(Dorothy Tadema) “The roses are my favorite.”
(Tammy Rose) After living in the Lago Mar community for almost 2 years, the Tadema’s received a notice that they were in violation of the HOA rules because they had not filled out the proper paperwork concerning the layout of their front yard.
(Klaas Tadema) “I understood that if you wanted to add something to your house, put up some sort of building that an architectural approval would be needed and I can find with that kind of thing, yes. I hardly thought that would be applicable to flower beds.”
(Tammy Rose) After paying a $25 application fee and submitting their proposal, Klaas & Dotty received a rejection letter.
(Tammy Rose) While Klaas and his wife thought they were trying to reach a compromise with the HOA, they received an unwelcome gift this Holiday Season, a lawsuit seeking up to 100,000 in damages, citing a 200 dollar a day fine.
(Dorothy Tadema) “As far as fines go, $20,000 maybe, $200 dollars a day so that’s pretty horrific.”
(Klaas Tadema) “If flower beds were really the issue I would say this is a great big laugh but it’s pretty clear that the flower beds are not the issue. These people are simply after one thing and that is money.”
(Tammy Rose) Dotty who just had back surgery and is now disabled, faces another frightening reality, losing another home.
(Dorothy Tadema) “This lawsuit is emotional, something we don’t need in our lives. This is not retirement for me.”
(Tammy Rose) The HOA who has also filed a motion to put a lien on the Tadema’s home have not responded to my request for an interview.
Helicopters Incorporated has always set the bar high leading the industry with safety and service. From pilots and photojournalists to mechanics, it takes a team effort to stay above the competition. This month we fly to Houston, Texas to meet part of the crew who helps make that happen. Click on link below to view full story.
(Tammy Rose) As Pilot James Thomas preflights News 3, a shared helicopter between multiple television stations in Houston, Texas, he says he’s always on the move.
(Pilot James Thomas) “I’ll go from one station to another station in a matter of minutes and they want a different perspective, they want a different take on the scene or a different angle and so I’m constantly on my toes.”
(Tammy Rose) Thomas spent 29 years with the Houston Police Department, 17 of which he was a pilot. His time on the force no doubt helping him cover whatever breaking news may come his way.
(Pilot James Thomas) “Really, the advantages are tremendous, I’ve been very familiar with the city of Houston and the surrounding areas.”
(Tammy Rose) Helicopters Incorporated dominates the market with two contracts in Houston, Texas, News 3 and SkyEye 13.
(Tammy Rose) With a backup helicopter and two full time mechanics, both contracts are rarely ever out of service despite required routine inspections.
(Todd Pierpoint) “Our helicopters require maintenance that is done on a routine basis and we have to have a backup in order to assure our clientele that neither one of their ships will be out of service without adequate coverage. Safety is always our highest priority so we work diligently towards that end to make sure our clients have a safe ship to operate in.”
( Matt England) Photojournalist Matt England who started his career flying in Chicago has covered just about everything from protests to high speed chases and even had a scare himself along with me when we both worked for another company in 1997.
(Matt England) “We did auto rotate down. We had the one last bump where the piston went out on the end of the report, that actually did make it on air.”
(Tammy Rose) It was the first time Matt England and myself flew together but it wouldn’t be the last. Both of us now working for Helicopters Incorporated, we couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
(Matt England) “I couldn’t sit in an office all day doing something else. I love doing this and it’s a creative outlet for myself. I enjoy shooting, I love telling the story from the picture.”
As Helicopters Incorporated continues to grow, so does its staff adding a new Flight Instructor Check Airman. This month we feature Pilot Dale Pike who comes with an abundance of experience that once again puts the company above the competiton. Click on link below to view the full story.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “I am checking the tail rotor blades.”
(Tammy Rose) Pilot Dale Pike preflights one of the latest aircraft added to the Helicopters Incorporated fleet, a Bell 505, the first and only ENG aircraft in the country.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “Because it’s new, there is a great deal of training that is involved with new pilot staff.”
(Tammy Rose) The Bell 505, leased by KTRK in Houston, Texas is one of the most advanced ENG helicopters with Churchill Navigation.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “The Churchill system really gives the pilot an immediate visual referance to be able to identify streets without having to take hands off controls and utilize a hard map.”
(Tammy Rose) Pike who is Heli Inc’s new Flight Instructor Check Airman will fly to different bases across the country. Even though pilots are required to train every two years, the company’s goal is to offer instruction annually.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “And really we are looking at qualification, currency, proficiency and review of regulations and operational aspects of all the aircraft.”
(Tammy Rose) Pike started flying at the age of 14, his professional career taking off after joining the U.S. Army.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “I’m currently qualified in 54 makes, models, different types of aircraft with over 17,000 hours of total flight time.”
(Tammy Rose) Pike has had a lot of adventures over his career flying air attack in California, then working for U.S. Customs.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “We would take off in the middle of the night, chase a direct smuggler if he didn’t comply we vectored the host nation aircraft into that. They would do international interception procedures and if the pilot didn’t comply, they would shoot them down.”
(Tammy Rose) When Pike isn’t flying he enjoys playing the guitar and of course catching his favorite fish.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “I play a little bit of everything from classic rock, blues, country, pop. None of it very well. And my business card says, music you know by heart and in parenthesis underneath it says, the more you drink, the better I sound, so that’s my philosophy about music.”
It may be hot and humid in Miami but breaking news is even hotter. Helicopter views often lead the newscast with above the scene storytelling. This month we feature Robin Russell with Helicopters Incorporated who is in charge of over 75 reporters and photojournalists across the country. Click on link below to view the full story.
Lead Photojournalist Robin Russell is always on the move, in the air flying for Helicopters Incorporated and on the ground volunteering her time with the Plantation Fire and Rescue Department.
(Robin Russell/Lead Photojournalist)
“I’ve flown for many years and still continue to, even with my supervisor duties. Because of that, I can relate to our crews as a part of the team. I know what it’s like to be in the air, over the scene and communicating with our customers, as well as any issues that may arise. I use the word “team” a lot because that’s what we are. No matter where your base is located or what your responsibilities are, we are ALL a part of the Heli Inc. Team and family, and as we all know there is no “I” in “team”.
(Tammy Rose) Russell’s first responder knowledge often puts her above the competition like it did the day an explosion shattered parts of the Market on University Shopping Plaza injuring at least 20 people.
(Tammy Rose) And the nation will never forget when a gunman opened fire inside Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 people. Robin was one of the first responders above that scene as well as flying over the FIU Bridge collapse.
(Tammy Rose) Robin has won numerous awards during her career, including volunteer firefighter of the year. Russell earned an Emmy in 2005 for her covereage of more than a dozen refugees who converted a vintage blue taxi into a boat to escape Cuba.
(Tammy Rose) From flying to firefighting, Robin who also supervises 75 people says her additional duties help her relate to other ENG crews across the country. She knows what it’s like to be in the air, over the scene and can troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
What it takes to stay above your competition in a fast, paced media environment. Click on link below to see story.
Helicopters Incorporated employees across the country continue to knock it out of the park by winning numerous Emmy Awards. This month we feature Helicopter Reporter and Camera Operator Dennis Protsko out of New York who helped develop state of the art equipment including Churchill Navagation used on many ENG aircraft across the world.
(Dennis Protsko) “A suspect being reported as a person with a long gun.”
(Tammy Rose) It’s a fast, pace news market but Dennis Protsko is not only able to keep up but often first on scene and on-air, like he was the day a mass shooting broke out at a New York Hospital on June 30th 2017.
(Dennis Protsko) “A lot of times we are like the firetruck that gets sent to a scene so we are the first called and a lot of times the first there.”
(Tammy Rose) Protsko has worked for Helicopters Incorporated for 10 years and reports and runs the camera for WNBC-TV 4 in New York.
(Dennis Protsko) “I never thought that I would actually be on television and actually fly an aircraft, two things that I always dreamed about but never put the two together. I got the best job in the world.”
(Tammy Rose) Dennis’ expertise in breaking news coverage, earned him his second Emmy covering a deadly Isis Terror Attack in lower Manhattan.
(Dennis Protsko ) “As we pull up, I’m looking at it for the first time and it’s just go time, you just go into it.”
(Tammy Rose) With more than 22 thousand flight hours…Dennis has covered everything imaginable including being part of a news story when he captured this blinding laser that lit up the cockpit.
(Dennis Protsko )”I see the people involved right now they are walking in and out of the building.”
“It’s unfortuanate because people get in big trouble doing this and I don’t think they really know the ramifications of how dangerous it is to the crews that are up in the air.”
(Tammy Rose) Dennis was instrumental in designing a number of cutting edge innovations including real time graphic mapping video overlays that other news markets across the country now use.
(Dennis Protsko ) “I quickly found out that if our equipment broke, I wasn’t flying so I kind of learned really quick how to start trouble shooting some problems, fixing some problems.”
(Tammy Rose) This Bell 407 is by far the most capable, flexible and advanced ENG chopper flying today….another powerful tool keeping Helicopters Incorporated employees above the rest.
During his one year tour of duty in Vietnam, Senior Warrant Officer Kim Page would survive numerous helicopter crashes while his flight crew ultimately saved countless lives. After more than 50 years of flight experience, I am blessed to be working with one of the best in the industry. Click on link below to see Kim’s story.