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Bob Moore Chopper 4 was badly damaged during the hail storm

8:19 AM EDT on May 31, 2012

It's been a rough 12-months for Bob Moore Chopper 4, the news helicopter for KFOR News Channel 4.

Last summer, longtime KFOR chopper pilot Jim Gardner jumped ship and signed a contract to fly SkyNews9 HD for rival KWTV News 9. He'll start with Channel 9 in a couple of months. Garner was replaced at KFOR by some guy named Jon Welsh. So far, the reviews for Welsh have been less than enthusiastic. At least I would assume they are, I think the guy is kind of boring.

Now comes this. According to the Ogle Mole Network, Bob Moore Chopper 4 was badly damaged during the May 29th hail storm that pummeled northwest Oklahoma City. Here's an email from an Ogle Mole describing the event:

KFOR chopper is near totaled following last night's storm. Apparently a lot of employees parked their own cars inside the chopper's hanger and when it returned after storm chasing, it didn't have enough time to get inside the hanger before the hail began falling. Windows are busted out and the rotor blades are damaged. Chopper 4 may be out for some time now.

After receiving the email, I contacted some Channel 4 employees to see if the story was true. Nobody really wanted to talk about details, but one person did say:

Sadly, Bob Moore Chopper 4 will be out of commission for a while.

So yeah, apparently KFOR will not have a helicopter to cover severe weather, high-speed car chases and residential house fires. No wonder Mike Morgan was freaking out when hail hit the news station. Maybe he knew something we didn't know:

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