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KABC-TV this week began capturing and transmitting HD reports using a specially outfitted helicopter from Helinet Aviation Services.

According to the Los Angeles station, the HD helicopter is the first piece in its transition to high-definition news production.

At the heart of Helinet Aviation Services’ system is the Cineflex HiDEF camera platform. Mounted under the nose of the helicopter, the system provides 360-degree HD coverage. The HiDEF system uses a Sony HDC-950 camera.

While the station made its official aerial HD debut Monday, some HD viewers saw live test shots from the helicopter last weekend. According to a Helinet spokesman, the station currently is using an HD-equipped chopper from the company’s existing fleet. It will be replaced within the next few months by a Helinet HD helicopter specifically designed for the station.

KABC is the second local station in the country to begin HD ENG operations.

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