On Thursday afternoon I was flying between 1,000 and 1,300 feet above the Lower Mainland with News1130 Radio‘s Kim Seale as she put in her afternoon shift from her “office in the sky”. Kim takes off twice a day, for about three hours each time, during the morning and afternoon rush hours. She spots stalls, accidents, and delivers traffic updates from the best vantage point possible.
I had initially reached out to News1130 to see if I could do a ride-along with Kim after seeing some of her aerial photos pop up on their Twitter account. Things worked out and soon I found myself driving down a quiet Delta road by the sea with eagles circling overhead. I arrived at the airport, Kim loaded me up with gravol (as previous passengers have been unable to keep from turning green in the air) and I received a security briefing of the station’s Cessna before we took off from Boundary Bay.
It wasn’t the best day for flying with strong winds, low clouds, and hail in some parts (which we avoided) but our pilot Parker navigated the airspace above Metro Vancouver with ease. I managed to snap a few hundred aerial photos with two different cameras and have picked out some of my favourite shots:
We circled the major routes and bridges, and when Kim got a report of traffic activity we were on the scene (well, above it) within minutes.
After doing this for the last 10 years, Kim Seale knows her landmarks, intersections, and can spot everything from Grey Whales off Point Roberts to the names of ferries docked in Tsawwassen. She takes photos and video with her iPad and beams it down to the newsroom so that they can get up-to-the-minute information out to their listeners and web readers. When a new map book comes out, she studies it. When a downed bird gets stuck on the windy runways at Boundary Bay, she rescues it.
Golden Ears & Pitt River Bridges
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
A big thanks to News1130 for making my ride-along possible and to Kim and Parker for letting me experience a small part of their workday.
Tonight is the News1130 Tweetup at The Sandbar on Granville Island so if you’re into food, prizes, and meeting other radio listeners then post an update on Twitter including #1130TU and follow @News1130Radio to win your way in.