Helicopter Pilot: Warren Petrie Back-Story

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Warren Petrie in front of NewsChopper 6. Photo: Tor Hanson

The back-story to the article about Warren Petrie harkens back to my love for airplanes and high-tech gadgets. As a KOIN 6 viewer in Bend, I watched many of Warren Petrie’s news reports from the Portland area. He always came across as a very personable guy with an exciting job; the perfect story for Boys’ Life Magazine. I pitched the idea and got the go-ahead to write the article.

The interview took place at Warren’s home base at the Hillsboro Airport, just outside of Portland. My impressions about Mr. Petrie was spot on. He was personable and took me through the job of a news chopper pilot. His office was a crammed with maps and paper. As we were wrapping up the interview, his phone rang and Petrie was called out on another story – as far as I remember, it was a helicopter that had gone down in a neighboring town. I followed him out to the chopper as he was doing the pre-flight check. As you can see from my pictures, it was a rainy and dreary day – like any good spring day in Portland.

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KOIN-6 NewsChopper. Photo: Tor Hanson

I knew that Boys’ Life already had a photographer scheduled for a follow-up shoot, but I needed pictures so that I could accurately describe his workplace in the article. What you see are my snapshots from the pre-flight check.

My days’ work was done after the interview with Mr. Petrie, but I got a two-for-one with a visit to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinneville – the old museum across the road from today’s impressive display. The Spruce Goose had been delivered to the museum only months prior, so I got a chance to look at the disassembled airplane. Very cool!

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