BREAKING NEWS

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Pilot

Chase Riter

A native to the Suncoast, Chase grew up in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. His passion for aviation started when his father took him in a friend’s plane when he was just 5 years old. That sparked an interest in flight that never faded.

After graduating from Booker High School in Sarasota, Chase enlisted in the Army as a helicopter mechanic, and was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. That is where his fascination with helicopters grew. He had the opportunity to work on some of largest and most powerful aircraft in the military. When he left the Army he decided to pursue his dream of flying, and began taking helicopter flight lessons.

He has been flying helicopters for 10 years and it has taken him all over the country. He recently flew for WMAQ and WGN in Chicago where he gained experience in one of the nation’s largest media markets. Although he enjoyed his time in Chicago, he couldn’t pass on the opportunity to come home and fly for WFLA. He considers himself extremely fortunate to do what he loves, in the area he loves most. “I have seen some amazing things from the air in my time as a pilot, but the west coast of Florida is hard to beat. It is a privilege to be able to fly over such a beautiful area everyday”.

When he isn’t flying, Chase spends his time fishing, boating, and golfing.

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ON YOUR SIDE

Eagle 8 HD is an AS350 Astar helicopter manufactured by Airbus Helicopters. It is a single engine, three-bladed, light duty helicopter, and in the normal configuration it is capable of carrying up to six people.

One of the most popular helicopters in the world, the Astar holds many records, including being the only helicopter to ever land at the top of Mount Everest. Eagle 8 HD is equipped with the most state-of-the-art news gathering equipment which allows us to bring the clearest live High Definition pictures to our audience.

Our pilots are always on standby, ready to bring you Breaking News within just minutes. With the ability to be in the air for almost 2 hours at a time, there is nothing within our coverage area that is out of Eagle 8 HD’s reach.

Pilot

Matthew Kinkaid

Born and raised in Clinton Iowa, Matthew spent most of his childhood fishing with his father on the Mississippi river and pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a professional baseball player.


As with most childhood fantasies, Matthew realized his was not going to be a viable career option and decided to enlist in the United States Air Force as a Pararescuemen.


Matthew spent eight years in the Air Force traveling around the world, but he always had an eye to the sky fascinated by the airplanes and helicopters flying overhead. After being stationed at Hill Air Force base in Utah Matthew decided he wanted a new challenge and started his career path to become a professional helicopter pilot.


While attending Southern Utah University and Upper Limit Aviation flight school Matthew landed a job as a tour pilot for Old City Helicopters in Savannah Georgia. After a short time spent there an opening in the company brought Matthew to Tampa Florida, “After moving to the Tampa area I knew this is where I was meant to be. Looking back at all the places I’ve visited and seen there’s just nothing quite like Florida”.


When Matthew is not flying you’ll find him traveling the local area finding new places to explore and fish.

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Eagle 8 Specs

The AS350 is a single-engine light utility helicopter originally designed and manufactured in France by AĆ©rospatiale and Eurocopter. In North America, the AS350 is marketed as the AStar.

SPECS
Top Speed: 180 mph
Wingspan: 35' 0"
Length: 36'
Range: 411 miles
Engine Type: Turbomeca Arriel 2D
Max Weight: 5,225 lbs
Maximum Endurance (with no reserves): 4.3 hours

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