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As always, planning is vital to success when flying in a helicopter for the purpose of aerial photography. It is important to plan the required aerial manoeuvres in advance and communicate them accurately to the pilot so that they can be discussed in advance. If any unusual or particularly low altitude shots are planned, make sure that all the details are agreed with the pilot prior to take-off. The pilot knows the capabilities and limitations of the aircraft better than anyone else.Helicopter

The overall flight plan must of course be constructed around the time available, the weather and the wind direction etc. It takes time to position an aircraft in a precise location, make turns and go round again for a second attempt. Keep an eye on the weather because it can change over short distances. Most pilots will be aware of weather heading in their direction

Communicate calmly with the pilot using a headset if possible. Never shout or cause unnecessary disturbance - he or she has a lot to think about and photography can only take place when everything else is in order.Guide the pilot from one location to the next in an orderly manner and taking in to account the time allocated for the flight. In each location provide the pilot with guidance, if necessary using hand signals to indicate the direction in which you wish to move. This process is always much easier when the pilot understands what the photographer is trying to achieve. If you need to have the setting sun behind a particular subject, let the pilot know and he or she will probably find a way to position the aircraft accordingly.

Use the flight time fully and wisely. Hiring helicopters is never cheap.

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