Chopper 10

Up, up and away to high school football games!

September 14th, 2010 at 12:15 pm by under Chopper 10, Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

It’s my favorite time of the year! I helped kickoff the 2010 season of Friday Night Flights on September 10. The weather was perfect!

Putting on the safety vest

Chopper 10 pilot John Massey helped me get safely buckled in which included putting on a new vest.

Aerial shot over Norfolk

I snapped some pictures from the sky with my camera and my phone. Photojournalist Tom Marks got gorgeous  video shots from the air and on the ground once we landed.  We tossed out little WAVY footballs to the crowds.

Look at that arm!

Young and old are always trying to catch the souvenirs or simply beg for us to hand them one on the sidelines. Our first stop this year was Bayside High School.

Chillin' with the Bayside kids

They were taking on Cox and the students wore their best red shirts to create a ‘red out’ kinda like the big colleges do on game day with their team color.

Proud Bayside HS Students

Lots of spirit from the cheerleaders, band and student council members who led the rest of the fans in cheering on the Marlins to a win at home.

Sunset over Virginia Beach from Chopper 10

Next stop, the Sportsplex for the Landstown game against Green Run. That place is so big it always looks somewhat empty even when there are a lot of folks there.

The Landstown cheerleaders told me about the great things happening in the school including it was ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of the best high schools in the nation.

Nicole with Landstown cheerleaders at the Sportsplex

They told me about Project Graduation and shared with me the special wristbands every student will receive this school year in honor of Landstown’s 10 year anniversary.

Landstown 10 year anniversary wristbands

Can you believe it’s been 10 years? Really makes me feel old considering that school didn’t even exist when I went to Kempsville.

Our final stop was the Tallwood at Ocean Lakes game.  I was really excited to land here because the school officials set me up with some awesome stories. First, I met Danny Alexander.

Danny Alexander, Ocean Lakes football manager

He’s been a manager for the Dolphins for a few years now and he takes his job very seriously keeping the players hydrated and with that million dollar smile-

Nicole with Danny Alexander, Ocean Lakes football manager

I’m sure he always keeps them in good spirits! One guy Danny helps on the sidelines is #50, Josh Mann.

Ocean Lakes football player Josh Mann with his winning shoe design

Josh just won a nationwide competition with Nike in its shoe design competition.  He’s started every game at Ocean Lakes and he has a 4.2 GPA! And get this- I remember when Josh’s dad, Brian, was a star athlete at Kellam High School back in the day.  His parents and his teachers and classmates sure are proud of him!

Check out all of my photos, WAVY’s photos and viewers photos from Friday Night Flights on our Flickr pages. Don’t forget to send us your pix from the games throughout the season by texting or emailing them to

It was great meeting new friends and seeing old friends on the sidelines at the season kickoff and co-hosting the show with Bruce Rader again!

Glimerton Bridge Remains Closed

August 19th, 2010 at 2:57 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Chopper 10, Traffic

The bridge has been closed beginning on Saturday Aug 14.
The latest as of this afternoon is VDOT and the City of Chesapeake will continue testing in order to restore the bridge and get it opened as soon as possible.
The problem is with the western span of the bridge system is not working properly.
This means that all the underwater cables that supply the bridge with power must be checked.
I will be over the bridge today at 5 & 6 with the latest.
Stay tuned and as soon as workers get the problem resolved you will be the first to know.

Chopper 10 @ Festival of Flight

May 17th, 2010 at 3:14 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Chopper 10, Personalities, Uncategorized

Chopper 10 will be at the Festival of Flight in Suffolk this weekend. So stop by and see me and get a close up look at Chopper 10.

The Festival of Flight will be run May 22 & 23 At the airport.

You can see everything from ultralight to miltiengine aircraft.

Fun for the whole family. Kids ages 8-17 have a chance to take their first flight with the Young Eagles.

So if you are looking for something to do this weekend stop by for two days of fun

I will be there with Chopper 10 on Saturday from 1100-1400 hours.

See you there.

Chopper 10 will return!!!

April 13th, 2010 at 4:31 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Chopper 10, Personalities

Chopper 10 is down this week for some camera tune up work. You may ask why all week?

It is not as simple as it sounds, you see the camera on Chopper 10 is a state of the art system. It is in fact a FLIR UM-III. That is made by FLIR Systems out of Portland OR.

They are the only ones that can service the camera. That means that as of this posting our camera is in OR.

After some checks are completed we will back up providing you our viewers the very best view from above.

Shoulld be back in the air by early next week.

Chopper John

Back from the Bell Training Academy

March 11th, 2010 at 2:26 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Chopper 10, Personalities

Last week I attended the Bell Training Academy in Texas. This is for my recurrent training in Chopper 10, instrument and night vision.

What does this involve?

During this training, I practiced all the emergency procedures that I must have committed to memory.  Because in the event of an in flight problem is not the time to break out the operator’s manual. I like to say this is the fun part. I go up with a flight instructor and do all the engine out maneuvers to the ground. That means that I will roll off the throttle and land the aircraft without power. Yes, the blades keep turning even when the engine quits; this happens much like a pinwheel, the air passing back up through the rotor system in decent keeps the rotor speed at operating speed until touchdown.

All current Federal Aviation Regulations are covered as well as weight and balance and performance. At the end of that phase of the training is a check ride in the aircraft and a written exam. Both were passed without a problem. After thirty years of flying you might think I would have it down pat.

The next phase is an instrument refresher. This training is so that if necessary I am able to fly Chopper 10 without being able to see outside the cockpit.

Then, a Night Vision Goggles training refresher. Chopper 10 is the only TV News with this technology in the U.S.

That gives me the ability to conduct flights at night under the safest manner possible. The NVG are same type that the military uses and allows me to see at night under conditions that to fly unaided would not be possible.

Then two more check rides with instructors and a final course exam.

I completed all this in the time span of only one week with the best instructors and at the best training academy in the world, Bell Helicopters.

Now that I am back, look for Chopper 10 in the skies over Hampton Roads to help guide you through your morning commute and covering breaking news faster than anyone else.

See you in the sky..

Chopper John

Chopper 10 has new floats

February 10th, 2010 at 5:35 pm by under Chopper 10, Personalities

Chopper 10 has a new set of pop out floats. What does that mean? That is the float system that will allow me to land on the water in case of emergency. Always a nice option.

Coming soon at the first of the month I will be headed to Texas. I will be at the Bell Helicopter factory for training during the first week of March. There I will be doing all that pilot stuff that the FAA requires that I do in order to remain current.

I do enjoy the training because I get the latest updated information on all aircraft operations, from paperwork to Night Vision Systems.

Chopper 10 is the only TV Helicopter in the country that has Night Vision Systems that give me the ability to operate day or night in the safest manner possible.

Stay tuned for updates…….