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TV Note: In the air and on the air

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Local TV news helicopters took to the skies above Pittsburgh last week, the first time they've had a regular presence over Downtown since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Permission to fly above the city came with a few changes, according to WPXI helicopter pilot Neal Lawson. The Federal Aviation Administration now forbids news choppers to hover, circle or fly unpredictable flight paths.

"What we're doing mostly is flying past a place in a straight line fairly slowly and then going out and coming back in a straight line to pass it on the other side," Lawson said. "It's a bit cumbersome and doesn't work real well for doing a live shot, but we can get tape that way."

Calling all Hobbits

Sci Fi Channel will present a one-hour behind-the-scenes look at the new "Lord of the Rings" movie. "Passage to Middle-earth" will air at 8 p.m. Sunday.

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