I imagine many of you have seen the news about the helicopter photo flight that crashed into the East River in New York. I know a thing or two about aviation stuff and since in our lines of work an opportunity to fly a photo flight might arise, I wanted to weigh in with some suggestions of my own to keep in mind for the next time you fly.
- ALWAYS listen to your inner voice. If something doesn't feel right, heed that intuition.
- Speak up and voice your concern.
- LISTEN to the preflight briefing. Don't fiddle with your camera settings or phone. Listen as though your life depends on it, because it does.
- Pay close attention to how you are belted and harnessed into the photo ship.
- If you are wearing a parachute style harness, don't worry that you cannot reach the D ring on your back. It's the fastener at the other end of the tether that should be top of mind.
- Make sure YOU can access that fastener at the end of your tether.
- Make sure you clearly understand how to reverse the process with which you buckled in.
- If you are uncomfortable with anything the pilot is doing, speak up.
- If you are flying in formation and feel the other aircraft is too close, speak up.
- Use your common sense. One does not need to be a pilot to speak up in the interest of safety.
- Never let anyone rush you. Rushing and aviation do not mix.
- Always recognize the risks involved with aviation and respect them.
- Never become complacent no matter how many times you have shot from an airplane or helicopter.
- Always have fun.
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