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John Silva Dies: TV Helicopter News Coverage Pioneer Dies In Calif.

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JOHN SILVA DIES
The Los Angeles television engineer who won Emmy Awards for creating helicopter news coverage in 1958 has died in Southern California at 92. | Alamy

CAMARILLO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles television engineer who won Emmy Awards for creating helicopter news coverage in 1958 has died in Southern California at 92.

Silva was the chief engineer for KTLA-TV when he outfitted a rented Bell helicopter with a TV camera to create a flying TV studio. The station broadcast live aerial coverage of major news events, including earthquakes, fires and freeway calamities.

Silva had to persuade KTLA executives to spend $40,000 on broadcast equipment that might not have worked. Then, he had to get a ton of TV equipment down to 368 pounds so the helicopter could lift off the ground.

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