Skip to main content

ENG from the air delivers first view of Katrina devastation

The Helinet Cineflex HD camera system uses a 1140mm lens, every bit of which was needed to “dig out whatever detail” could be found in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Two and half hours after Hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans, an HD-equipped airborne ENG crew from Helinet Aviation Services flew into the area to capture the first images of the devastation.

According to Helinet Chief Technology Officer, J.T. Alpaugh, the scene was remarkable. He and pilot/Helinet owner Alan Purwin followed a handful of Coast Guard helicopters into the area.

While the pair planned to do live shots to report on the devastation, the hurricane kept a companion satellite truck used for microwave receive and satellite backhaul from arriving.

The two were the only media in the area at that point, so the pair focused on making sure the images they captured reflected the scope of the destruction.

As fuel diminished, the helicopter flew to Baton Rouge, where the pair met up with a satellite truck at the airport. From there, the raw footage of the destruction was uplinked.

For the next two weeks, the pair shot the devastation, and provided airborne pool network feeds of Katrina’s aftermath.

To read more about Helinet’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, read the one-on-one interview with Alpaugh from High Definition Technology Update.

For additional information, visit

Back to the top