WBOC-TV Demonstrates Total Air Superiority With Six Drone Operat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

WBOC-TV Demonstrates Total Air Superiority With Six Drone Operators and Chopper 16

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SALISBURY, Md.- WBOC-TV is the first television station on Delmarva to legally launch drones for news-gathering and commercial production with six FAA certified unmanned aircraft operators.

“As Delmarva’s News Leader, it’s our obligation to not only serve our viewers and advertisers throughout the peninsula with the newest technology but also to do it by going through the proper, legal channels,” said Craig Jahelka, WBOC's vice president and general manager. “With six certified drone operators and the continued use of our helicopter, Chopper 16, we like to think that when it comes to news gathering here we have total air superiority.”

WBOC News launched its first drone, a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, during WBOC News at 6 on Friday, March 10th. The Creative Services department also has DJI Inspire 1 Pro with and X5 Camera.

Jahelka said the station plans to purchase more drones, having one at each of its bureaus. WBOC's main studio is in Salisbury, Maryland with an 11,000-square-foot High Definition NewsPlex. WBOC also has satellite offices in both Milton and Dover, Delaware and a virtual bureau in Cambridge, Maryland.

WBOC premiered its aerial coverage in 2005 with the launch of Chopper 16, a Bell Long Ranger L3 helicopter.  Chopper 16 is now in its third generation with a Robinson R-44 outfitted with high-definition stabilized camera and live ENG capabilities.

"The centerpiece of our aerial coverage is Chopper 16. We will continue to rely upon it for stunning high definition live coverage and aerial photography.  Our new drones now allow us to get closer to objects and provide truly unique perspectives,” said John Dearing, WBOC news director.  

Dearing said  WBOC has the largest team of experienced journalists across Delmarva. He added, "Our focus is always on our viewers. We got Chopper 16 back in 2005 to help unify the peninsula with our news coverage.  These drones will solidify that unity further, and help bring us together."

WBOC’s ability to provide aerial photography is not just limited to news. Jahelka said the station's creative services team has two certified operators available for commercial production.

“We strive to always be the on the cutting edge of the latest technology,” Jahelka said. “Our job is to cover the people, places and events important to our viewers and advertisers.  With both HD drones and Chopper 16, WBOC is able to highlight this place we call home.”

WBOC-TV is owned and operated by Draper Holdings, which also owns WBOC-FM, FOX21, WBOC Classics, wboc.com and Loblolly LLC.

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