WLUK FOX 11 in Green Bay, Wisconsin is taking news to new heights the addition of its new drone "SkyFox."
"It's actually a very cool opportunity to take people to places that simply wouldn't be able to otherwise," said Jay Zollar, WLUK-TV’s General Manager, "we're one of the pioneers in the drone business in the country. There aren't a lot of stations that are actually using drones for news gathering purposes."
FOX 11 is one of six Sinclair Broadcast Group news stations with this technology. By the end of 2017, that number is expected to grow to 40.
"Sinclair sees the benefit of flying these aircraft and gathering news at the same time. It's going to provide the public with a new perspective they've never seen before of events that need to be seen," said Jeff Rose, Sinclair Broadcast Group's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Chief Pilot.
FOX 11 has two FAA regulated pilots who spent three full days on Virginia Tech's campus learning the ins and outs of safely operating a drone.
"That's classroom work, studying how to read airspace charts and how to fly in real world mock-news scenarios," said Rose.
Training Sinclair Broadcasting, and FOX 11 take very seriously.
"These pilots are trained to really be able to know what they can do, where they can go, what permissions they need," explained Zollar.
Going above and beyond FAA safety regulations.
"The FAA will allow operations of aircraft with one person,” said Rose, “we require two people for safety.”
"The last thing we want to do is cause any incidents whatsoever as it relates to public safety," Zollar said.
Above all, FOX 11 is excited to bring viewers a new, dynamic view to our storytelling.
"I've seen some of the visuals and some of the videos that have been shot and it's really remarkable," said Zollar.