News copters and buff networks: the highlights

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n1zyy
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News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by n1zyy »

I've never paid a whole lot of attention in the past to the news helicopter frequencies, nor the fire buff/notification nets, both listed on https://www.snewiki.com/wiki/index.php/ ... _Fire_Buff

I've recently set up a zone with just the two of these things, and have found it's great to have on in the background when I'm working. I'm not distracted with area police traffic stops and fire departments responding to false alarms all day, but when something big happens it will typically come up on a few of them.

Kinda makes me wonder if the news stations have people monitoring the area scanners, too. (And also what the feedline loss is like on these... WHDH's license is for more than 1,000' up the tower.)
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by ScanBoston »

You can remove 460.9250 131.8 Total Traffic let the lease expire at the Hancock a couple of years back. They just have 450.1125R
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by n1zyy »

On that note -- does Fox 25 have a helicopter anymore? The frequency has been quiet. IIRC, there was a weird incident where they let a West-coast station borrow their helicopter a few years back and it crashed out there. Did they ever replace it?
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

The last I knew, they were sharing it with WBZ. They had one, but got rid of it along with their helicopter report. Doug something, I think. Someone else might have a better recollection.

If you really want to be a geek, you can track the news helos on globe.adsbexchange.com. Set the altitude max to 5,000 feet and you can see all of the low level traffic including helos.

Metro Networks helo is N8369F and is Route 1 up near Danvers.
N38BZ which I think it WBZ, is coming back from the Cape. As is N55SL. I don't know who that is, but it's up during the normal rush hour times as well as others.
I don't know if N617TV is a TV station or not.
Almost all of these, along with MedFlight and other airevac helicopters are leased and the pilots work for the actual owners, not the operators.

Helos that end in "NE" are Boston Medflight.

Helos that in "DH" are Dartmouth Hitchcock medevacs, "DHART."

Any that end in HH are Hartford Hospital out of CT. Any that end in "AM" are Air Methods which operates a number of medevac helos across the country, with some in CT.

"JM" and "MM" are MSP, and there are others I think.

Probably more than you wanted to know about helicopters in the area.


n1zyy wrote: 29 Nov 2022 16:06 On that note -- does Fox 25 have a helicopter anymore? The frequency has been quiet. IIRC, there was a weird incident where they let a West-coast station borrow their helicopter a few years back and it crashed out there. Did they ever replace it?
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by W1KNE »

n1zyy wrote: 29 Nov 2022 16:06 On that note -- does Fox 25 have a helicopter anymore? The frequency has been quiet. IIRC, there was a weird incident where they let a West-coast station borrow their helicopter a few years back and it crashed out there. Did they ever replace it?
So Fox25, like everyone in this market, leases their choppers. Fox's chopper was leased by a company called HeliInc out of St. Louis. When the lease expired on N250FB, the chopper went back to St. Louis but Heli Inc loaned it out to another station in Seattle, where it crashed on take off. That Seattle station's helicopter was in for long term maintenance at the time. I worked at Fox25 when they replaced it, and when the crash happened. But it was never Fox's helicopter, that was loaned out. Today, they do still have a helicopter. I believe they still fly it too. The repeater was having issues when I left there, it was not putting out full power. Those issues were likely never fixed. It was an old MTR2000 rig.

All the stations have choppers, and 4, 5, 7, and NBC all still use theirs. NBC is unusual in that they have a leased radio on the Hancock tower, and use what would be the UHF output as a IFB, and the input as a simplex channel to talk to their chopper.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by W1KNE »

garys wrote: 29 Nov 2022 16:26 The last I knew, they were sharing it with WBZ. They had one, but got rid of it along with their helicopter report. Doug something, I think. Someone else might have a better recollection.

Metro Networks helo is N8369F and is Route 1 up near Danvers.

N38BZ which I think it WBZ, is coming back from the Cape. As is N55SL. I don't know who that is, but it's up during the normal rush hour times as well as others.

I don't know if N617TV is a TV station or not.
The CBS news share ended in 2014. WBZ has had their own leased ship since then.

N55SL is WHDH's, and N617TV is WCVB-TV's.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by n1zyy »

This thread made me wonder if we wanted to start a page listing helicopter tail numbers and an ADS-B link. And then UMass's Life Flight N982LF took off headed into Lowell. N145HH, Hartford Hospital Life Star is up in Connecticut after leaving Boston, too.

I seem to recall what looked like a news helicopter (because it was joining other news helicopters over some incident) showing up as "Blocked" in my tracking app. I guess that's just a request they make to purveyors of the apps to not share their info online, rather than any sort of secretive black-ops thing, but I wonder if that could be Fox and that's why I don't usually see them showing up.

MTR2000s are built like tanks, though!
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by Lynskey 85 »

garys wrote: 29 Nov 2022 16:26
Any that end in HH are Hartford Hospital out of CT. Any that end in "AM" are Air Methods which operates a number of medevac helos across the country, with some in CT.

"JM" and "MM" are MSP, and there are others I think.

Probably more than you wanted to know about helicopters in the area.
Hartford has two that are HH and one that is BH (Bay State health).

MSP has PP JM MM and AH. each are the initials of the 4 killed in the 1995 MSP chopper crash in Cambridge.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by disp617 »

n1zyy wrote: 29 Nov 2022 18:27 This thread made me wonder if we wanted to start a page listing helicopter tail numbers and an ADS-B link. And then UMass's Life Flight N982LF took off headed into Lowell. N145HH, Hartford Hospital Life Star is up in Connecticut after leaving Boston, too.

Interestingly enough lifeflight's 982 in the tail number is the month and year the service opened. Sept of 82.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

Good information, Greg. Thanks.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by W1MTW »

n1zyy wrote: 29 Nov 2022 18:27 This thread made me wonder if we wanted to start a page listing helicopter tail numbers and an ADS-B link. And then UMass's Life Flight N982LF took off headed into Lowell. N145HH, Hartford Hospital Life Star is up in Connecticut after leaving Boston, too.
If you do, N901XM, LF, CM, and WM are LifeFlight Of Maine.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by KennyBlues »

A good helicopter to keep in your scan list us 123.025, where they all talk to one another to keep out of each other's way
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by W1KNE »

W1KNE wrote: 29 Nov 2022 17:33 Today, (WFXT does) still have a helicopter. I believe they still fly it too.
Well I stand corrected. They no longer have a helicopter. The only newsroom in this competitive five newsroom market without one.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by cuworc »

Interesting about Fox25. According to my notes, they had been using N50Q. ADSBexchange shows that it left the area in early May and is now operating out of the Van Nuys airport in CA after spending some time this summer in St. Louis.

I have N1231A listed as being used by NBC 10 Boston. ADSBexchange shows that it last flew on Nov. 17th out of Norwood Airport.

N933HD and N42F appear to have been rental/spare news helicopters. I see that N933HD is now in Chicago. It made its way there in September after spending the summer in Wingate, NC. N42F was being used for a while by WCVB until their new N617TV arrived. It appears to still be in use for Boston area news gathering on an intermittent basis. N95TV, WCVB's former helicopter, is now Sky 2 with CBS New York.

Filtering by type description "H" (without quotes) in globe.adsbexchange.com will display only helicopters.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

Thanks for the information. I never used any of the filters except altitude. Filtering by description type is very helpful.

There must be something going on in Cambridge as there are four news copters circling the area. Probably related to the President or those British people.


cuworc wrote: 02 Dec 2022 00:18 Interesting about Fox25. According to my notes, they had been using N50Q. ADSBexchange shows that it left the area in early May and is now operating out of the Van Nuys airport in CA after spending some time this summer in St. Louis.

I have N1231A listed as being used by NBC 10 Boston. ADSBexchange shows that it last flew on Nov. 17th out of Norwood Airport.

N933HD and N42F appear to have been rental/spare news helicopters. I see that N933HD is now in Chicago. It made its way there in September after spending the summer in Wingate, NC. N42F was being used for a while by WCVB until their new N617TV arrived. It appears to still be in use for Boston area news gathering on an intermittent basis. N95TV, WCVB's former helicopter, is now Sky 2 with CBS New York.

Filtering by type description "H" (without quotes) in globe.adsbexchange.com will display only helicopters.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by ecps92 »

Yes the Royals are visiting Harvard, as Kate has major interests with Child Development, you can then follow them to the NARA facility (JFK Library) area for a tour and meet with POTUS, before their major event at Fenway tonight
garys wrote: 02 Dec 2022 11:10 Thanks for the information. I never used any of the filters except altitude. Filtering by description type is very helpful.

There must be something going on in Cambridge as there are four news copters circling the area. Probably related to the President or those British people.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by jeffkett »

If we are going to list going forward....from asst notes

N824AH MSP Air 4
N617TV WCVB CH-5
N55SL WHDH CH-7
N38BZ WBZ CH-4

Sometime ago there was a list out there of all MSP Helos. Info may be dated now ?
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

The MSP list is somewhere in this thread.

Air 4 is over I-84 near the CT state line right now.

I think that the traffic on SOPS 7 is related to whatever it is.
jeffkett wrote: 02 Dec 2022 13:13 If we are going to list going forward....from asst notes

N824AH MSP Air 4
N617TV WCVB CH-5
N55SL WHDH CH-7
N38BZ WBZ CH-4

Sometime ago there was a list out there of all MSP Helos. Info may be dated now ?
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by ScanBoston »

Around 11am there was a 100MPH + chase on the Mass Pike on C-PTL-3 and they lost the car as they got on 84. The car was found near exit 3 unattended and there was a search on SOPS-7 for most of the day. They called it a while ago.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

I heard the call it and the helo departed shortly after.
ScanBoston wrote: 02 Dec 2022 14:40 There was a 100MPH + chase on the Mass Pike on C-PTL-3 and they lost the car as they got on 84. The car was found near exit 3 unattended and there was a search on SOPS-7 for most of the day. They called it a while ago.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

Is anyone following what sounds like a plane crash or incident on the Cape? Not sure of the town but MedFlight is on the ground and Life Star out of CT is inbound.

I've been hearing traffic on Mid Cape Fire, TG 37968.

It looks like the WCVB helo is heading that way as well.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by disp617 »

garys wrote: 02 Dec 2022 16:01 Is anyone following what sounds like a plane crash or incident on the Cape? Not sure of the town but MedFlight is on the ground and Life Star out of CT is inbound.

I've been hearing traffic on Mid Cape Fire, TG 37968.

It looks like the WCVB helo is heading that way as well.
falmouth Air Park. Single engine plane into the treeline.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by garys »

Thanks. I discovered that just about the time you posted this. WCVB helo circling the airport.
disp617 wrote: 02 Dec 2022 16:12 falmouth Air Park. Single engine plane into the treeline.
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by jeffkett »

ABS-B Channel 5 over the scene . and like a mouse to cheese..Ch 4 and Ch 7 on their way down !
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Re: News copters and buff networks: the highlights

Post by jeffkett »

3 med Flights up at same time...Looks like one of them left Falmouth towards Providence RI.
Wow more important than a President and a Prince.
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