Yeah, I need to go to Hoquiam (KHQM) tomorrow. Can you take me, wait around for an hour, and then bring me back? You won’t charge me for waiting around, will you? …Right, anyway, we need to go look at an airplane I’m buying. How much will it be and how long will it take? …Oh, and Bremerton (KPWT) is too far. Can you just come pick me up? I have a huge front yard, or could we meet at Tacoma Narrows (KTIW) and start from there so I don’t have to drive?…
This prospective client is a rated pilot (ASEL, Private). I didn’t end up taking the flight, for many reasons (too expensive, looming CFII check ride, bad feeling about what this guy would end up asking for since he kept adding demands as the call progressed…). But say I really, really wanted to go fly that day. Is there a way you could work the conversation to do a legal flight that would get him to HQM to do his thing?
Had a second aerial photo flight with the same photographer. I thought it would be helpful to post both the initial request and video of how it comes together…seems like one thing student pilots will tell you they aren’t getting in primary training is exposure to commercial jobs. The air work was something I got specific training on (with Boatpix), but the beginning-to-end planning wasn’t. If I get enough requests, I’ll keep posting content like this as I can. For now, the view out the front is on my YouTube channel, and video/audio of an overlapping segment is that I captured from another camera is posted on the Contour Cam site.
This post came out of a question I had about navigating contiguous Class D airspace for a photo flight that I was asked to do earlier this week. I’ll add the “answer” to the communications question to the comments. I’d also be interested in the utility of this as a scenario: how useful would it be for pilot training? I try to do something like this for the students I have. Many of them have said outright that they’re “hands-on” learners, and haven’t really been able to understand or apply regulations or other topics just by reading or getting a lecture on them.
I do land appraisal evaluations, and one of your pilots has flown me around to evaluate properties before. It worked really well, so I’m willing to drive the extra distance to KPWT to fly with you rather than working with somebody closer. Now I have a list of properties that I need to survey and photograph tomorrow. Since I’ll be taking the pictures, I need to have the door off and would like to be able to get as low as possible for pictures of the waterfront side of the properties. The other pilot was able to stop the helicopter so I could get the shots I needed. Here are the lat/long coordinates for the properties: [47.151275,-122.562098], [47.151902,-122.564464], [47.161102,-122.570134], [47.163393,-122.567173], [47.172277,-122.567822]. After you’ve had a look, call me back so I can get on your schedule.
As a commercial pilot stationed at KPWT, can you take this flight? If you do, what limitations might you place on the flight based on you experience (<1000 hours TT) and capabilities?
You have access to an R22 Beta (875 lb BEW, 103.71 long arm). Your weight is 172 lbs and the passenger is 200 lbs with 3 lbs of camera equipment. The aircraft has an auxillary fuel tank, non-moving map GPS (database expired in 2001), transponder, and single radio. Can you do the flight in this aircraft, and is it the right aircraft for the customer and mission?
The relevant TAF for tomorrow is 20006KT P6SM SKC, and the civilian forecast is for clear skies, low of 65 F, high of 85 F, with light southerly winds throughout the day, becoming cloudy overnight with rain showers, low 55 F to 75 F, with westerly winds 5-15 knots throughout the following day.
You haven’t flown in this area before. What airspaces will you have to navigate, and what communications, equipment, and regulations apply? What altitudes and airspeeds will you use enroute?
What are some of the external pressures that you need to keep in mind as you’re working with this customer? How will you manage them? If he shows up business casual (short sleeve shirt, khakis, and dress shoes), with a small point-and-shoot camera on his hip and a high-end SLR, and a stack of satellite photos of the properties so we can identify them from the air, does this raise any additional concerns or pressures for you?