Helicopter pilots share O.J. Simpson chase — as well as also also gender reassignment

CNN Special Report “After O.J.: The Fuhrman Tapes Revealed,” airing Friday at 11 p.m. ET, uncovers never-before-heard excerpts through the tapes of which rocked the “trial of the century.”

They are fighting stereotypes after transitioning to women.

Both pilots spent their lives holding on to the same difficult secret, including during their brush with international attention. as well as also also both found the courage to change how the planet sees them.

“I was sitting on my bed having a gun in my lap. of which’s when the idea came to me,” Zoey Tur said. “I was considering suicide. I had been growing more as well as also also more depressed. I couldn’t control the idea any longer. I had been to a million doctors, as well as also also there was no treatment with This particular.”

Dana Vahle had heard the same thing decades earlier. The former Army helicopter pilot just assumed she could never feel whole. She could have to live inside a body of which felt all wrong.

“I ended up getting married, went from the Army, got a job, had a kid,” she shared. “nevertheless of which feeling was always there. the idea never went away.”

Rival pilots, historic moments

Both pilots knew of each additional, partly because they competed on two of the biggest news stories in modern history: the O.J. Simpson chase as well as also also the Rodney King riots.

Back then, their names were Dirk Vahle as well as also also Bob Tur.

“I didn’t like Dirk Vahle, as well as also also Dirk Vahle didn’t like me,” Tur said.

“Bob had a reputation from the industry. (He) was confrontational (as well as also also) was not particularly well-liked by the rest of the people,” Vahle remembered.

Vahle as well as also also Tur were the eyes from the sky for rival news stations the day Los Angeles experienced the country’s worst single episode of urban unrest. the idea was April 29, 1992, after four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted from the beating of motorist Rodney King.

Dana Vahle flew helicopters for films as well as also also stunts, as well as also also sometimes news.

Tur as well as also also a camera operator caught the very first spark of riots of which could rage for days, leaving dozens dead.

Vahle wasn’t even supposed to be flying for news of which week. Movies as well as also also stunts were Vahle’s day job, not news. By then, Vahle had flown for several Hollywood movies, sometimes as an onscreen pilot as well as also also sometimes flying off camera to film through the sky.

“of which day, the full-time pilot (for the news station) called as well as also also said he needed help,” Vahle said.

Just minutes after lifting off, Vahle said, the view looked very much like a movie scene, except the idea was real life.

“I started out pre-flighting the aircraft as well as also also found a bullet hole from the idea,” Vahle said. “Once we were up there, you could see the smoke, as well as also also no one was on the freeway, which never happens in Los Angeles.”

Two years later, both pilots found themselves maneuvering to get the best shots of the most famous police chase in modern American history, of which of Simpson, in a white Ford Bronco, on the streets as well as also also highways of the city.

Simpson had failed to turn himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department at the agreed-upon time after being accused from the stabbing death of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as also also her friend Ronald Goldman.

Zoey Tur as well as also also a camera operator caught the first spark of the 1992 L.A. riots.

“This particular is actually someone of which had golfed with the president. This particular is actually somebody of which everybody knew, everyone welcomed as family,” Tur said. “O.J. Simpson transcended shade. He was a celebrity, he was loved, as well as also also today below me, I’m watching a man running through the police who might very well find himself, like many black men, being shot to death.”

Vahle had just seen Simpson in person weeks before the chase. The football legend-turned-actor was the star of a locally shot TV movie called “Frog Man,” for which Vahle was a pilot. Unlike Simpson’s real-life chase drama, the movie never aired.

“I was like ‘truly, I’m gonna go through having worked on of which TV movie to This particular?’ ” Vahle said. “I’ve done additional chases. of which was not unusual to do — nevertheless This particular one certainly was.”

The two pilots arrived at the same address where the chase ended as well as also also remained from the air. Simpson sat for a long time from the passenger seat of the Bronco as police tried to negotiate. He told police of which he was holding a gun to his head.

“What O.J. didn’t know, as well as also also what the public didn’t know, was of which in my ear, I’m also listening to the LAPD SWAT team talking on their two-way radios, as well as also also what they were saying was, you know, they had him in their sights,” Tur said.

As night fell as well as also also the helicopters hovered, Simpson eventually surrendered.

‘The only treatment … was transitioning’

As Tur as well as also also Vahle helped capture real as well as also also cinematic dramas, the two pilots were dealing with their own personal ones.

Both men were married. They had children. They had not bad jobs. They seemingly had what they needed to be happy. nevertheless they weren’t.

Vahle remembers having a sense of which he was from the wrong body as a teen. He never told his parents partly because tragedy struck.

“When I was 15, my brother was killed,” Vahle said. “I didn’t feel like adding another complication to life.”

from the 1980s, as an adult, he made some early steps toward transitioning. He told his job in Wisconsin as well as also also said he was basically told to “go away,” he recalled. He told his wife, as well as also also they divorced. nevertheless they had a child together, as well as also also Vahle decided to follow his ex-wife to California. He gave up his transitioning efforts.

The bond between Vahle as well as also also his wife stayed strong, as well as also also they rekindled their relationship as well as also also had three more children. nevertheless 24 years after moving to Los Angeles, the marriage was over for the second time.

Vahle decided the idea was time to make the biggest change of his life.

“This particular is actually especially hard to do in your 50s, when you’ve spent your whole life being conditioned to be, as well as also also act, like a man,” said Vahle.

Tur said of which as a man, he had descended into depression. Nine years after he watched Simpson hold a gun to his head, Tur was contemplating doing the same, as well as also also pulling the trigger. He had been to so many doctors as well as also also gotten similar advice nevertheless couldn’t seem to take the idea.

“The only treatment they kept telling me was transitioning,” Tur said. At his lowest point, the idea finally sank in. the idea was time.

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“What I have is actually not political. the idea’s a medical condition of which was treated. I’m cured. I’m done. the idea’s not a mental illness. There are differences from the brain,” she said.

Tur had her surgeries in Thailand. “I can’t say enough about how not bad of which experience was. I experienced very little pain,” she said.

A few months into her transition, Vahle reached out to Tur through a friend.

“Why should I call of which a*****e?” Tur recalled thinking. “Well, Dirk is actually today Dana,” the friend replied.

Zoey Tur picked up the phone as well as also also called Dana Vahle.

“the idea gets crazier. I know six additional pilots of which have done This particular. Six additional helicopter pilots, yeah, as well as also also of which doesn’t even include the airline pilots,” Tur said as well as also also then having a big laugh continued, “so stay out of helicopters.”

For Tur, the idea’s been a whirlwind of television appearances. She became an entertainment correspondent for a time. nevertheless she says she lost of which job because of a barrage of negative social media messages. She laughs the idea off saying the idea was probably “Russian bots.” 

“For a time, I lost everyone. I lost my family. I lost my friends. You lose everything just for the opportunity to get everything,” Tur said.

Vahle still wants to fly helicopters for television shows as well as also also movies nevertheless says she can’t get the work. “They’ll talk to you as well as also also say everything is actually great. No problem. nevertheless they don’t hire you,” she said. “You are considered part of the stunt community, which tends to have its own issues with women, much less trans women.”

Tur said she has written off her generation as far as being accepted for who she is actually. She says she is actually banking on millennials as a force of understanding as well as also also acceptance.

“They’re our future, if they have a future,” she added. “Because we may not survive as a nation. We’re being ripped apart by prejudice.”

Source : Helicopter pilots share O.J. Simpson chase — as well as also also gender reassignment

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