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How To Be Safe In The Air And Get The Shot

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.

  1. ALWAYS listen to your inner voice. If something doesn't feel right, heed that intuition.
  2. Speak up and voice your concern.
  3. 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.
  4. Pay close attention to how you are belted and harnessed into the photo ship.
  5. 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.
  6. Make sure YOU can access that fastener at the end of your tether.
  7. Make sure you clearly understand how to reverse the process with which you buckled in.
  8. If you are uncomfortable with anything the pilot is doing, speak up.
  9. If you are flying in formation and feel the other aircraft is too close, speak up.
  10. Use your common sense. One does not need to be a pilot to speak up in the interest of safety.
  11. Never let anyone rush you. Rushing and aviation do not mix.
  12. Always recognize the risks involved with aviation and respect them.
  13. Never become complacent no matter how many times you have shot from an airplane or helicopter.
  14. Always have fun.

For more information, I thought this was a very good article on AV Web.

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