Is there a greater privilege than getting the whole airspace over Manhattan in New York as a playground to photograph helicopter acrobatic flying? It was this privilege I had during the photoshooting of the unique Inverted Helicopter project with pilot and my friend Aaron Fitzgerald as he did flip, rolls and dives over the New York City. Most people would never want to find themselves upside down in a helicopter above New York Harbor, but this is the prime position if you are a helicopter pilot Aaron Fitzgerald.
There’s not a lot that can shock New Yorkers, but even the city’s residents were stunned to see an upside-down helicopter flying over the Hudson River and flipping in full view of the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park and alongside the West Side Highway.
Flying a Red Bull Helicopter, Fitzgerald – a former U. S. Army Paratrooper in the Airborne Division – flips, barrel rolls, and nose dives using a unique titanium rotor. It allows Aaron to reverse the airflow through the rotor without damaging anything, ensuring he can safely execute the maneuvers.
FROM PHOTOGRAPHY ANGLE
Every sport has something special and photos have to be taken in different ways. My experience photographing other aerial activities helped me a lot in photographing this project.
One of the key things is having a full understanding of helicopter aerobatics because the starting position for any trick and ending position are a very long distance apart, so if you want to capture the perfect moment, you must fully understand what the chopper will do. You have to calculate where you will be waiting for it. In most cases, this is very demanding.
Also, the most important thing was having consistent communication with the pilot performing aerobatics and communication with the pilot of my helicopter. My pilot is supposed to bring me to the desired place at the right moment so we have it absolutely in sync with each other. A highly coordinated effort is essential to this kind of photography.
Be sure to check out my full photography interview at Popular Photography and find out what other challenges I had during this project and what gear I used! You can also find the same interview on my website in the link – Daring photos of the Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter over the New York.