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NBC Action News -- In the Air!

May 24, 2005

NBC Action News/KSHB-TV announces the latest addition to its arsenal of newsgathering tools – NBC Action News SkyTracker - A Bell Jet Ranger 206B helicopter capable of cruising at over 100 miles per hour. KSHB-TV is covering Kansas City like never before. SkyTracker features state-of-the-art of technology and is outfitted with three cameras, including the latest gyro stabilized, high-resolution camera available anywhere. Mounted under the nose of SkyTracker, this camera is able to reveal a 360-degree view of the ground.

"We are thrilled to add SkyTracker to our news coverage. It will allow us to better serve our growing audience," says NBC Action News Director Debbie Bush. "Our chopper will allow us to strengthen our position as Kansas City’s SOURCE FOR BREAKING NEWS."

SkyTracker will also allow Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak to show real-time pictures of severe weather with crystal clarity, and be the centerpiece of NBC Action News Today’s "Triple Action Traffic."

Captain Gregg Bourdon will pilot "SkyTracker" and photographer Tom Babb will capture all the action from above Kansas City. Gregg has over 7,000 hours of flying experience under a variety of conditions. Prior to joining NBC Action News, Gregg was a full time staff pilot for LifeNet Air Medical Services, and an Intelligence Analyst for the US Army in the 82nd Airborne Division. Bourden was also logistics manager and full time regional pilot for KMBC-TV, and a part time staff pilot for WDAF-TV.

Jim Swinehart, Vice President and General Manager of KSHB-TV and KMCI-TV emphasized, "We’re excited to be able to add this new piece of technology to our newscasting capabilities. This will be an amazing tool to track severe weather, breaking news, and Triple Action Traffic Coverage in our morning news."