Helicopters Incorporated has always set the bar high leading the industry with safety and service. From pilots and photojournalists to mechanics, it takes a team effort to stay above the competition. This month we fly to Houston, Texas to meet part of the crew who helps make that happen. Click on link below to view full story.
(Tammy Rose) As Pilot James Thomas preflights News 3, a shared helicopter between multiple television stations in Houston, Texas, he says he’s always on the move.
(Pilot James Thomas) “I’ll go from one station to another station in a matter of minutes and they want a different perspective, they want a different take on the scene or a different angle and so I’m constantly on my toes.”
(Tammy Rose) Thomas spent 29 years with the Houston Police Department, 17 of which he was a pilot. His time on the force no doubt helping him cover whatever breaking news may come his way.
(Pilot James Thomas) “Really, the advantages are tremendous, I’ve been very familiar with the city of Houston and the surrounding areas.”
(Tammy Rose) Helicopters Incorporated dominates the market with two contracts in Houston, Texas, News 3 and SkyEye 13.
(Tammy Rose) With a backup helicopter and two full time mechanics, both contracts are rarely ever out of service despite required routine inspections.
(Todd Pierpoint) “Our helicopters require maintenance that is done on a routine basis and we have to have a backup in order to assure our clientele that neither one of their ships will be out of service without adequate coverage. Safety is always our highest priority so we work diligently towards that end to make sure our clients have a safe ship to operate in.”
( Matt England) Photojournalist Matt England who started his career flying in Chicago has covered just about everything from protests to high speed chases and even had a scare himself along with me when we both worked for another company in 1997.
(Matt England) “We did auto rotate down. We had the one last bump where the piston went out on the end of the report, that actually did make it on air.”
(Tammy Rose) It was the first time Matt England and myself flew together but it wouldn’t be the last. Both of us now working for Helicopters Incorporated, we couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
(Matt England) “I couldn’t sit in an office all day doing something else. I love doing this and it’s a creative outlet for myself. I enjoy shooting, I love telling the story from the picture.”
As Helicopters Incorporated continues to grow, so does its staff adding a new Flight Instructor Check Airman. This month we feature Pilot Dale Pike who comes with an abundance of experience that once again puts the company above the competiton. Click on link below to view the full story.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “I am checking the tail rotor blades.”
(Tammy Rose) Pilot Dale Pike preflights one of the latest aircraft added to the Helicopters Incorporated fleet, a Bell 505, the first and only ENG aircraft in the country.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “Because it’s new, there is a great deal of training that is involved with new pilot staff.”
(Tammy Rose) The Bell 505, leased by KTRK in Houston, Texas is one of the most advanced ENG helicopters with Churchill Navigation.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “The Churchill system really gives the pilot an immediate visual referance to be able to identify streets without having to take hands off controls and utilize a hard map.”
(Tammy Rose) Pike who is Heli Inc’s new Flight Instructor Check Airman will fly to different bases across the country. Even though pilots are required to train every two years, the company’s goal is to offer instruction annually.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “And really we are looking at qualification, currency, proficiency and review of regulations and operational aspects of all the aircraft.”
(Tammy Rose) Pike started flying at the age of 14, his professional career taking off after joining the U.S. Army.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “I’m currently qualified in 54 makes, models, different types of aircraft with over 17,000 hours of total flight time.”
(Tammy Rose) Pike has had a lot of adventures over his career flying air attack in California, then working for U.S. Customs.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “We would take off in the middle of the night, chase a direct smuggler if he didn’t comply we vectored the host nation aircraft into that. They would do international interception procedures and if the pilot didn’t comply, they would shoot them down.”
(Tammy Rose) When Pike isn’t flying he enjoys playing the guitar and of course catching his favorite fish.
(Pilot Dale Pike) “I play a little bit of everything from classic rock, blues, country, pop. None of it very well. And my business card says, music you know by heart and in parenthesis underneath it says, the more you drink, the better I sound, so that’s my philosophy about music.”
It may be hot and humid in Miami but breaking news is even hotter. Helicopter views often lead the newscast with above the scene storytelling. This month we feature Robin Russell with Helicopters Incorporated who is in charge of over 75 reporters and photojournalists across the country. Click on link below to view the full story.
Lead Photojournalist Robin Russell is always on the move, in the air flying for Helicopters Incorporated and on the ground volunteering her time with the Plantation Fire and Rescue Department.
(Robin Russell/Lead Photojournalist)
“I’ve flown for many years and still continue to, even with my supervisor duties. Because of that, I can relate to our crews as a part of the team. I know what it’s like to be in the air, over the scene and communicating with our customers, as well as any issues that may arise. I use the word “team” a lot because that’s what we are. No matter where your base is located or what your responsibilities are, we are ALL a part of the Heli Inc. Team and family, and as we all know there is no “I” in “team”.
(Tammy Rose) Russell’s first responder knowledge often puts her above the competition like it did the day an explosion shattered parts of the Market on University Shopping Plaza injuring at least 20 people.
(Tammy Rose) And the nation will never forget when a gunman opened fire inside Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 people. Robin was one of the first responders above that scene as well as flying over the FIU Bridge collapse.
(Tammy Rose) Robin has won numerous awards during her career, including volunteer firefighter of the year. Russell earned an Emmy in 2005 for her covereage of more than a dozen refugees who converted a vintage blue taxi into a boat to escape Cuba.
(Tammy Rose) From flying to firefighting, Robin who also supervises 75 people says her additional duties help her relate to other ENG crews across the country. She knows what it’s like to be in the air, over the scene and can troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
What it takes to stay above your competition in a fast, paced media environment. Click on link below to see story.
Helicopters Incorporated employees across the country continue to knock it out of the park by winning numerous Emmy Awards. This month we feature Helicopter Reporter and Camera Operator Dennis Protsko out of New York who helped develop state of the art equipment including Churchill Navagation used on many ENG aircraft across the world.
(Dennis Protsko) “A suspect being reported as a person with a long gun.”
(Tammy Rose) It’s a fast, pace news market but Dennis Protsko is not only able to keep up but often first on scene and on-air, like he was the day a mass shooting broke out at a New York Hospital on June 30th 2017.
(Dennis Protsko) “A lot of times we are like the firetruck that gets sent to a scene so we are the first called and a lot of times the first there.”
(Tammy Rose) Protsko has worked for Helicopters Incorporated for 10 years and reports and runs the camera for WNBC-TV 4 in New York.
(Dennis Protsko) “I never thought that I would actually be on television and actually fly an aircraft, two things that I always dreamed about but never put the two together. I got the best job in the world.”
(Tammy Rose) Dennis’ expertise in breaking news coverage, earned him his second Emmy covering a deadly Isis Terror Attack in lower Manhattan.
(Dennis Protsko ) “As we pull up, I’m looking at it for the first time and it’s just go time, you just go into it.”
(Tammy Rose) With more than 22 thousand flight hours…Dennis has covered everything imaginable including being part of a news story when he captured this blinding laser that lit up the cockpit.
(Dennis Protsko )”I see the people involved right now they are walking in and out of the building.”
“It’s unfortuanate because people get in big trouble doing this and I don’t think they really know the ramifications of how dangerous it is to the crews that are up in the air.”
(Tammy Rose) Dennis was instrumental in designing a number of cutting edge innovations including real time graphic mapping video overlays that other news markets across the country now use.
(Dennis Protsko ) “I quickly found out that if our equipment broke, I wasn’t flying so I kind of learned really quick how to start trouble shooting some problems, fixing some problems.”
(Tammy Rose) This Bell 407 is by far the most capable, flexible and advanced ENG chopper flying today….another powerful tool keeping Helicopters Incorporated employees above the rest.
During his one year tour of duty in Vietnam, Senior Warrant Officer Kim Page would survive numerous helicopter crashes while his flight crew ultimately saved countless lives. After more than 50 years of flight experience, I am blessed to be working with one of the best in the industry. Click on link below to see Kim’s story.
My dad couldn’t talk or stay awake much the last few months of his life but he was able to muster up the words, “I love you, Tammy” one more time and said, “They’re all waiting for me” before gently passing away in his sleep on October 17, 2018, at 9:30 A.M. My mother & I knew exactly who he was talking about, his best friends, Jim Mueller, Bill Yellin & his grandfather, Hermann Rose who are already in Heaven. I can hear them all say with laughter, the party has just begun.
I’ll always remember our last conversation which centered around the many trips my dad took me on, my favorite to this day is Disneyland in California. My dad lit up like a Christmas tree as we reminisced about our days at the Magic Kingdom. While I was excited to experience every ride, my mom shouted in fright while on Space Mountain vowing to never return. My dad and I always got a good chuckle from that memory. I was also able to show him through FaceTime one of his favorite travel spots in the Bahamas where my dad scored a bunch of silver statues before we boarded a cruise ship.
While I was afforded the luxury of traveling the world, my dad almost lost his life at a very young age trying to survive the aftermath of World War II. After almost starving to death in the Traunstein Refugee Camp, his family immigrated to America in 1957. I’ve always believed it was his humble beginnings that motivated him to make sure everyone else around him was taken care of. He never forgot his German roots and would often fly back to East Germany before the Berlin wall came down to bring his relatives’ basic necessities they couldn’t afford or get on their own. Hans was like a Santa Claus to so many people taking loved ones on lavish vacations and offering up his home to anyone who needed a place to stay.
Ever since I was a little girl, my dad told me intriguing stories about our German heritage that would not only inspire me to write several books but launch my career as a journalist. Thank you, Dad, for your love and support and teaching me to keep going no matter how bad things may seem.
Click on the video links below as we say goodbye to the greatest man I knew.
I’ve covered quite a few high-speed chases from a helicopter in my career over the years but 3 in a week is a bit unusual. Every time I’m in the air covering this type of breaking news, I can’t help but think of my 4 colleagues we lost on July 27, 2007, in Phoenix, Arizona.
A wild high-speed police chase in Houston, Texas on Mar 14, 2018.
A police chase across Houston in morning rush hour ends in SWAT taken down the suspect on March 22, 2018.
Standoff with a suspect accused Of shooting a cop in Cypress Hills.
I was recently contacted by Günter Waschke, whose family received my great-grandparents home in Berlitt, Germany following World War II. It means so much to me that so many people have reached out to me after completing my dad’s documentary. Here’s part of my interview with him from overseas.
(Tammy Rose) “What can you tell me about my great-grandparents Helene & Richard Pein?
(Günter Waschke) “I was 4 years old, so I do not remember much. Helene loved me as little Günter because her son Günther was killed in the war.”
“From Richard, I have no rememberings other than he was the Mayor of Berlitt and was regarded as a bad Nazi by the upcoming Communists. They forced him to move to Granzow on his second farm. Pein’s farm in Berlitt was expropriated and divided into small farms distributed to refugees from East Germany like my mother and me. The same process was conducted with the big farm of Earl/Graf Königsmark who had committed suicide before the Russians invaded. His castle was used as a school following the war and is located across the street from the Pein home near the Church of Berlitt.”
(Tammy Rose) “Thanks so much for the information. Why did your parents leave the farm? My dad thought our old farm was purchased by a polish couple who worked for my great-grandparents.”
(Günter Waschke)”No polish workers bought the farm. It was expropriated and the farm was divided into small pieces which were given to German refugees. The political idea was “Junkerland in Bauernhand”. If there were polish workers as prisoners of the Nazis they moved back to Poland after the end of the war.”
(Tammy Rose) “What else can you tell me about that time period and our old house?”
(Günter Waschke) “My mother and I fled from our original home near Poznan, Poland in January 1945 by foot and took only what we could carry. I cried because I forgot my doll called Ria. We lived after the war in the right part of Pein’s house, seen from the street side, until 1950. Then my mother and I left Berlitt because my father who was a prisoner of war was set free and we moved to West Germany. Additionally, it was better to go to the west because Berlitt had become part of the communist German Democratic Republic under the goodwill of Stalin. Last year, I have been in Berlitt visiting my cousin who lives still there.”
The fiery prosecutor who became famous for putting Jodi Arias behind bars is now facing some serious accusations himself. The State Bar of Arizona confirms another ethics complaint was filed against Maricopa County Attorney Juan Martinez. According to Freelance Reporter Tammy Rose, the complaint was filed on February 24, 2017 after text messages surfaced between trial blogger, Jen Wood, and herself indicating the attorney may have outed one juror while having an inappropriate relationship with another during the Arias sentencing retrial in October 2014.
Rose says the explosive 25-page bar complaint reads like the book, ’50 Shades of Grey’. Wood talks about a steamy romance she had with the prosecutor to Rose over numerous forms of communication.
Incriminating messages also indicate Wood was privy to sealed information, such as juror names including Juror 17 who was the lone holdout for a life sentence. According to Rose, Wood told her that Juan asked her to find dirt on Juror 17 two days before the jury hung so that he could get her kicked off the panel. In a sealed meeting on March 3, 2015, Martinez learned from a series of juror questions who the holdout was and according to Wood’s text messages went into panic mode.
3/3/2015 1:35:36 PM(UTC-7), “He texted me what happened” (Jen Wood)
3/3/2015 1:37:02 PM(UTC-7), “PIO said juror questions can’t roll” (Tammy Rose)
3/3/2015 1:37:41 PM(UTC-7), “It’s one person who refuses to deliberate or look at pics or evidence (Jen Wood)
3/3/2015 9:58:20 PM(UTC-7), “Any chance of this ending tomorrow?” (Tammy Rose)
3/3/2015 10:02:00 PM(UTC-7), “I couldn’t help. I was bummed. So maybe.” (Jen Wood)
3/3/2015 10:02:33 PM(UTC-7), “Unless they sway her the other way it could happen.” (Tammy Rose)
3/3/2015 10:02:51 PM(UTC-7), “Yes and maybe this has scared the shit out of her” (Jen Wood)
3/3/2015 10:02:56 PM(UTC-7), “She was brought into chambers.” (Jen Wood)
Wood told Rose she found some suspicious activity on the holdout’s social media sites. At a sealed hearing the next day, Martinez targeted Juror 17 with a motion to strike. Juan attached screenshots of Juror 17’s Facebook page but apparently, it wasn’t enough for the judge to dismiss the juror so the trial hung for a second time.
Martinez is also accused of violating rules of professional conduct with regards to another juror who was dismissed. In a recorded conversation with Rose and in other exchanges with Wood, this juror admitted to talking to Martinez on his personal cell phone multiple times before the jury hung. She informed Rose that Juan used the word ‘deepthroat’ in their conversations with each other which she took as a subtle hint he may be romantically interested in her and sent Martinez a nude photograph of herself on his personal cell phone. According to this juror, Juan asked her information about two other women jurors who were still empaneled on the jury.
2/13/2015 8:49:40 PM(UTC-7) “Juror ___ has the hots for Juan.” (Jen Wood)
2/13/2015 8:49:54 PM(UTC-7), “She called him at his office.” (Jen Wood)
2/13/2015 8:49:55 PM(UTC-7), “U got nothing to worry about.” (Tammy Rose)
2/13/2015 8:50:24 PM(UTC-7), “Omg it’s weird. She’s like all over it and said she hopes I’m not seeing him like the rumors say because she feels Over the moon that he talked to her.” (Jen Wood)
2/13/2015 8:52:32 PM(UTC-7), “He better not go for her” (Jen Wood)
2/14/2015 7:49:18 AM(UTC-7), “I need to warn him. I had a bad feeling all night.” (Jen Wood)
2/14/2015 7:53:52 AM(UTC-7), “I’m meeting friend Sunday so I will check on the status.” (Jen Wood)
2/28/2015 5:11:40 PM(UTC+0), “Fucking ______ was blowing up My friend’s phone at 8:30 this morning.” (Jen Wood)
2/28/2015 5:12:32 PM(UTC+0), “He said he’s stopping it after the verdict. He didn’t answer her calls either. I said I’m worried about her telling people anything he has said and he said he’s not worried. He hadn’t said anything to worry about.” (Jen Wood)
Karen Clark, an attorney representing Arias’ interests filed the complaint which alleges a pattern of unethical conduct by the prosecutor. Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in May 2013 for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008. However, the jury was hung on the sentencing phase so Martinez ordered another trial seeking the death penalty which resulted in a second hung jury. This is the sixth bar complaint filed against Martinez since 2015 of which five have been dismissed.
Rose who says she knew about the affair between Wood and Martinez turned over her phone records voluntarily to the bar and an attorney investigating the holdout juror’s leak, after she suspected it may have had something to do with Juror 17’s information mysteriously appearing online as well as other jurors.
All of these text messages between Jen Wood & Tammy Rose were forensically verified by Karl Epps with Epps Forensic Consulting in Scottsdale, AZ.
Martinez, Wood & another unidentified woman who allegedly had an affair with the prosecutor have all denied any unethical misconduct.