CNYCentral unveils first television news drone in Central New York

CNYCentral unveils first television news drone in Central New York

CNYCentral is transforming the way we bring you the news. On NBC3 News and CBS5 News at 5pm Monday, we unveiled the first local television news drone in Central New York which will revolutionize what you see on TV.

We brought you a behind the scenes look at this groundbreaking new technology. Introducing Sky Eye One.

We are taking you hundreds of feet above ground and bringing our viewers to new heights. "You can see across the skyline, Syracuse skyline. Wherever you take it, you can just see so many great things," said Quindell Williams, a certified drone pilot for CNYCentral.

It is a view worth a thousand words, transforming the way CNYCentral brings Central New York the news.

Quindell Williams and Matt Landers are our newly certified drone pilots. They will operate our new drone which is equipped with a high-definition camera to bring you breathtaking images. "It's a new technology. We're excited about it. But we're also going to make sure we do what we need to do to keep not only ourselves safe but the community safe," Williams said. "Putting the drone in the air is the final step in a lengthy process of getting it ready. That is the easier step," Landers said.

The two spent three days down at Virginia Tech this fall learning how to operate the drone. "It's very extensive. We're taking it seriously. We're doing everything by the book," Williams said.

Before each flight, they go through pre-flight checks, evaluating the scene and the weather and getting flight clearance as needed. On the ground, it is always a two-man operation. The pilot has his eyes on the aircraft the entire time and works the controls. Our visual observer stays in constant communication with the pilot, watching for obstacles and gathering video using the drone. "We know how to look for weather, look for obstacles, look for people and it's very important just for safety," Landers said.

In December, CNYCentral hosted dozens of community members in our studio, introducing them to our new drone program including representatives from local governments, police agencies, the FBI, FAA, air traffic control, and emergency responders. "Public safety is always our number one concern," said CNYCentral News Director Sean Carroll. "Whether it's as journalists informing the community about something happening that deals with public safety or whether it's this drone program. Public safety has been at the forefront of this entire initiative."

Carroll says new tool will give us the chance to give you a fresh perspective of places and events happening right here in Central New York. "NBC3 has been leading the way with technology. Weather Authority One and so many other things. The drone is going to be another addition to that," Carroll said. "This is going to bring our community a brand new vantage point of our community. We're going to be able to deliver brand new context and perspective to everything we're covering."

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