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Pilot, former police officer explains why we can’t stop watching LA car chases




A Metropolitan Transit Authority bus that was hijacked by a gunman and a UPS truck lie wrecked after crashing May 2, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA.
A Metropolitan Transit Authority bus that was hijacked by a gunman and a UPS truck lie wrecked after crashing May 2, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA.
Getty/David McNew

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Let’s face it. Police car chases are hard to stop watching.

They’re suspenseful, exciting, dangerous, and despite the fact that most of them end the same way - with a cadre of police officers escorting the suspect to a black and white - each one is just a little different than the one before it.

It used to be that you had to get lucky and catch one on TV while it was happening, but thanks to social media and the ability to live stream with sites like Facebook and Periscope, you can now drop into a car chase in progress as it’s happening and being broadcast on Facebook Live. Over a million viewers did just that last week during an hour-long chase broadcast live on KTLA’s Facebook page. A recent New York Times article also looks at why we love to watch car chases so much here in Southern California.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk with KTLA pilot reporter Tim Lynn, who has seen hundreds of car chases in his career as both a news chopper pilot and a police officer and pilot, about the draw of the L.A. car chase. Why do we love watching them so much? What car chases in LA are most memorable to you (besides O.J., of course)?

Guest:

Tim Lynn, pilot reporter for KTLA’s Sky 5 and former police officer and police helicopter pilot with the Culver City and Huntington Beach Police Departments; he tweets @Sky5Tim