March 21, 2014
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From time to time I get some really cool assignments!  Last week I was invited up into a helicopter in New Plymouth to take photos of other helicopters, oil rigs and miscellaneous detail shots within the organization known as HNZ.

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I have done this before.  When I lived in Malaysia I took photos of new aircraft introduction ceremonies, aerial photos of the twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, as well as aerial photos of our local airport and surrounding areas so that engineers could fit a brand new simulator with real life terrain images for training pilots in the simulator.

Before Malaysia, I did some aerial photographs in an S76 of Vancouver and the surrounding scenery.  It was stunning!

This time I was in New Plymouth where we flew over open water as well as along the shore with Mount Taranaki in the background.  I had to wear a ‘wetsuit’ along with a harness and a ‘leash’ that strapped me to the inside of the helicopter.  We flew in ‘formation’ with another helicopter so that I could get tight shots of the aircraft in flight.  It was exhilarating!

Our first flight we went out to sea to capture the other helicopter landing on an oil rig platform.  The door of my helicopter was closed from take-off and only opened once we approached the vessel.  Luckily for me, one of the crew, James, came along to open the door for me as it was heavy and there was no way I’d be able to reach back and close it again.

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The second flight I had the doors open from take-off to landing and had a wide open vista in which to take pictures.

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Many thanks to the amazing pilots, Brent and Russell and my assistant, James, for keeping me safe on an incredible shoot!

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