KGGM-TV Channel 13 Bell 47G-5
First Albuquerque Visit: 1971
The Bell 47 is a single-rotor single-engine light helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. The Bell 47 became the first helicopter certified for civilian use early in 1946 and the first delivery was made on 31 December 1946. Over 5,600 Bell 47s were eventually produced with some manufactured under license with companies located in Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The Bell 47J Ranger is next generation version and included a fully enclosed cabin and tail boom. The Bell 47G-5 is a three-seat utility model.
KRQE-TV (channel 13) is a television station in Albuquerque, New Mexico and an affiliate of CBS and Fox. The station is currently owned by Nexstar Media Group. The KRQE studio is located at Broadcast Plaza in Albuquerque and the transmitter is located on Sandia Crest, east of Albuquerque. Channel 13 began operation in October 1953 as KGGM-TV and was owned by the Hebenstreit family’s New Mexico Broadcasting Company.
As KGGM-TV, the station became the first to use the helicopter to cover news events and rush hour traffic conditions for the city of Albuquerque. The Bell 47G-5 helicopter, N-6278-N, operated from a pad installed on the roof of the KGGM studio on Coal Ave in Albuquerque from February, 1971 to April, 1975. No photographs of the KGGM helicopter are currently available but a similar Bell 47G is shown on the apron at Cutter Aviation.
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