*Airplane Remote for a Cessna 150.

Today was a special day for making images. Spent a few hours on a story about a 16 year-old flight student, who I later learned is also a concert violinist. Sharp kid. The reporter and I would be following in a second, larger airplane, so I could make images of her flying her small two-seater. Herein was my dilemma. How do I make images in the cockpit of her in flight, while I’d be in the second chase airplane…? I knew a remote setup could solve this, but it was once again a matter of showing up at the airport a little more than an hour early to meet the subject’s flight instructor, see the aircraft she’d be flying in, and of course get permission.
There is definitely something to be said here about arriving early, having all your tools, gizmos, clamps, pliers, gaffer’s tape, radio remotes, rubber bands, and bubble gum all together and ready to rock ‘n roll for an assignment like this. Looking back, I know I should’ve arrived at least two hours early as it was really a challenge to finally find a good, secure spot to clamp in my old workhorse, a Nikon D-1X. (see my earlier posts on mounting my D-1X cameras for sports, etc. recently.) Initially I wanted to mount the camera somewhere in the front of the cockpit, but there were no suitable window frame edges or anything to clamp the rig to. Considered trying to secure a super-clamp from under the control panel and have the camera rest on the top of the control panel or dashboard, if you will. No good. The magic-arm / superclamp setup was just inches short and the clock was running for us to get airborne for an hour and a half flight time. I finally settled on mounting the monster rig on the small luggage rack behind their bench seat in the cockpit. Made a few quick test frames to insure that my manual exposure settings were consistent with both the camera and flash. Locked everything down tight with a set of channel lock pliers, and added a second magic arm with superclamps to be sure. Briefed the young pilot and her instructor, secured the radio transmitter & trigger with gaffer’s tape to the control panel in front of the instructor in the right seat. I was thrilled to talk to them on headset from the second aircraft, and excited to see the strobe firing while we taxied out into position for takeoff. I knew this was going to be fun. We had a brilliant day in our area today, good noontime sunlight and practically no winds…
16 yr. Old Pilot Story. May 2008. 16 yr. Old Pilot Story. May 2008. 16 yr. Old Pilot Story. May 2008.Airplane Remote. May 2008.
Airplane Remote. May 2008.

What were you doing at 16…?

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