LA Riots: Aerial reporter recalls covering the chaos
LOS ANGELES - As she looks back, Hanna Zoey Tur remembers April 29, 1992. On that Wednesday 30-years-ago, she says, "We prepared the helicopter. Totally fueled it up. Got our camera equipment ready."
It was moments before the Rodney King - police beating verdict was to be announced.
Anticipating not guilty verdicts in the case, Tur recalls the preparation for covering the news.
"I even brought a still photographer ready and I even brought my lawyer down to the airport because I thought there would be a riot and I thought the Los Angeles Police Department would illegally try banning us from the sky by using the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a temporary flight restriction which I would have violated," Tur recalls.
RELATED: LA Riots: A look back 30 years later
Tur, who was working for our sister station KCOP-Channel 13, was right. The LAPD officers charged in the case were all found not guilty. And, demonstrators started filling the streets.
"By late afternoon people were throwing bricks at cars," Tur said.
The flashpoint was at the intersection of Florence and Normandy. Tur, who was overhead said, "We were able to convince the news director that I worked for to go ahead and get us on the air, so we could warn people about what was happening at Florence and Normandy..."
Then came the infamous beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.
"Within seconds his door was ripped open. Mr. Denny was pulled from the vehicle," Tur recalled. "He was beaten. He was kicked."
A brick was thrown at his head. He had serious injuries.
All that 30 years ago.
News coverage from the sky with technology that did the job.
"But, today, we're light years ahead," said Tur.
Tur, who now works in the Silicon Valley with some of the newest emerging news technologies, says everything about telling stories from the sky technologically has improved.
"Some of the technology we're seeing can fit in your pocket; can broadcast 4K imagery. We're using some of the same technology they're using on feature films," she said.
That includes better more stable cameras, sharper lenses, broadband, and cell technology.
According to Tur, "Some of the technology we're seeing can fit in your pocket; can broadcast 4K imagery."
But, in the end, it's still all about the story. Just better ways to tell it. And to the veteran helicopter pilot, "... you have no idea what's coming in the next three to five years with drone technology. That is a game-changer."
So was what happened three decades ago. Tur says it still is stuck in her mind.