A News Helicopter is a flyable UDI vehicle found in SimCity 4: Rush Hour. This vehicle is one of the three helicopters available in SimCity 4, and can only be unlocked after constructing a television station. As with other vehicles, you may choose to fly the helicopter just to roam your city, or you may fly it to complete various missions, which may affect your mayor rating positively or negatively, depending on the mission that you chose to do.
News helicopters are non-public service civic vehicles; therefore, they cannot be flown by civilian pilots, and can only be controlled by the player. Also, since the helicopter exists as an object in the game, and it doesn't spawn in, each city is limited to only one news helicopter. However, this can be changed through the use of game modifications.
The News Helicopter has standard helicopter controls, with 'E' and 'C' for raising or lowering elevation (note that pressing E is also how you lift off), and the arrow keys or the W,A,S,D keys for horizontal movement. Here, the space bar serves no purpose except to make a reporter speak in simlish. This has no effect on missions or flight, and is purely for entertainment value.
- As with the other two helicopters, this helicopter has a unique tone for the rotor.
- You may not land anywhere in the city except for the television stations helipad. Although the Deluxe Police Station and the Medical Centre is equipped with a helipad, you are not allowed to land there, even if their helicopters are not parked there.
- The helicopter has a different livery by comparison to the News van.
- Unlike news helicopters in real-life, these do not occasionally fly out in the city to report on disasters or traffic problems. This helicopter will only leave the station if the player pilots it. If left airborne, the AI will automatically fly and land the helicopter back at the television station.