Don’t tell Bruce Haffner it can’t be done. Let’s start with his years as a student and fresh out of ASU, when everyone wanted to be part of the newest craze -- the music video. There you found Bruce Haffner, helping produce an MTV-style show showcasing the likes of U2, B.B. King and Rod Stewart.
Then it was on to yet another competitive, high octane vocation -- TV news. As a television news cameraman covering stories around the country and across Arizona, Haffner earned 15 Emmy Awards. “While most of us know Bruce Haffner as the helicopter pilot and reporter on Phoenix airwaves for years, he is also an amazing photographer and editor,” says former KTVK executive producer Abbie Smith. “His storytelling abilities behind the camera were among the best in the business, capturing the beauty and the challenges of people and places all over Arizona. But it was telling stories from the air that he loved the most, so while he was doing his day job as a photographer and editor for NewsChannel 3, he was also working to get his pilot/helicopter license so he could live his dream.”
And once he got that pilot’s license, Haffner transformed his career into a helicopter pilot. And not just any helicopter pilot. Given his news experience, he took his TV photography experience in the air and calls his helicopter “just an expensive tripod.” Haffner also supplied support for reporters on the ground while they covered breaking news. “Whenever we were entering the Gates of Hell on the ground,” says former KTVK reporter Mike Watkiss, who from time to time has used his share of colorful descriptions, “it was always comforting to know Haffner was up in the sky looking out for us and guiding us in.”