6ABC's drone program changing the way you see the news

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Drones are just about everywhere these days, a popular gadget for everything from weekend warriors to amateur pilots, to professional photographers-- all looking for a new way to see the world.

And here at 6ABC, they've been increasingly pivotal in our singular mission, bringing you, as we like to say, closer to your world.

Our drone program began three years ago, with one drone, and a lot of drive to take our viewers to new heights.

Today, we operate five state-of-the-art drones, with more on the way.

Our fleet of drones is manned by six FAA certified pilots on staff, all of whom go through industry-setting training, beyond what the Federal Aviation Administration requires.

Each maintains at least 10 hours of operational time, and at least four hours of flight time every two months.

The results: stunning images, never before seen vantage points from just above some of the region's most pivotal news events.

The program, has also proven its value beyond the TV screen.

This past summer, as firefighters in Norristown searched for hotspots in a devastating apartment fire, they turned to our drone to survey the extent of the damage.

"Where portions of the building had collapsed that we had no idea and we didn't have to put a firefighter in harm's way to do that," said Thomas O'Donnell, chief of the Norristown Fire Department.
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