Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mike Wiskus over Southern Wisconsin

Every now and again I get the chance to do some air-to-air photography. This shoot was a bit unusual because we were using a Robinson R-44 helicopter from Helicopter Specialties for the photo-ship. With the doors off, the R-44's VNE limits one to an airspeed of 100 knots. The stall speed of Mike Wiscus' Lucas Oil Pitts isn't that much below that. Thankfully Mike is very familiar with flying his Pitts when he's not "straight and level" and Jim Freeman knows exactly how to get the most out of the Robinson, so Mike was able fly in formation and make a number of passes past the helicopter in various configurations. For me, it was very comfortable. I shoot out of R-44s quite a bit, but usually all the seats are occupied and all the doors are off. For this flight I was alone in the back seat with only my door off, so I could put all my gear behind me on the seat and easily reach around to swap cameras or change memory cards.

I liked the prop-blur in this shot, but I would have liked to see Mike's face a bit better, and the background isn't very interesting...

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