Inventor of First News Helicopter, Made in North Hollywood, Dies [Video]

John D. Silva simplifies a two-ton camera system so it could fit on a chopper.

Fans of police chases on TV have one person to thank: John D. Silva.

That's because Silva, who died Nov. 28 at the age of 92, was the first person to outfit a helicopter with a TV news camera.

While working for KTLA in 1958, he trimmed 2,000 pounds of camera equipment to 368 pounds so it would fit on a chopper, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The first machine to successfully fly was put together in a North Hollywood backyard in secrecy, according to the Times.

Click here for the full Los Angeles Times story.

Check out the accompanying YouTube video to hear a 2002 interview with Silva about his revolutionary project.

Click here to watch Sam Rubin's KTLA tribute to Silva.


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