SkyKING is outfitted with three cameras. The first is a HD point-of-view camera located inside the cabin and faces the reporter’s seat next to the pilot’s. You’ll see this camera being used when we take a reporter’s picture inside the aircraft.
The second is the size of a tube of lipstick and is mounted on the top of the horizontal stabilizer on the right side of the tailboom. This point-of-view camera shows what it would look like if you were riding on the tail enroute to a breaking news story.
Finally, the most frequently used camera hangs outside on the front of the helicopter. It looks like a giant white ball and has a powerful zoom lens and gyro-stabilized FLIR UMIII HD broadcast quality camera inside. The gyro-stabilization helps the picture you see on your television look steady by eliminating the helicopter's vibration.
The FLIR UMIII HD camera has a zoom ratio of 93 to 1. That means that from 1500 feet in the air, the camera can zoom in and allow you to read the numbers on a license plate.
The photographer, sitting in the back left seat, remotely controls all three cameras.
A microwave transmitter positioned on the belly of SkyKING beams pictures back to KING-TV. It has transmitted live pictures from as far as 100 miles away from the station in Seattle.
When it's not flying, SkyKING is parked on the roof or down at Boeing Field in a warm hanger. But it and the pilots are always on call... 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.