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LAX Helicopter Flights - Do Them Whilst You Can?  
User currently offlineAndyEastMids From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1017 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6306 times:

There's a POSSIBILITY that the increasingly popular helicopter "plane spotting" flights over LAX might get stopped soon, because the ATC position that handles low level / VFR transits in the LAX class-B is one that potentially may be eliminated as a part of the FAA's sequestration cuts. Right now the situation isn't totally clarified, but if that ATC position goes then the helicopter flights go too because the LAX tower position that handles airline departures won't have the capacity to take on low-level VFR as well...

Andy

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6121 times:

Totally not worried about it. That whole 'helo spotting' has run its course in my opinion. It was cool when it was still a novel idea, but it isn't something I would spend my money on anymore, not in this economy. Let me see, would I rather spend a huge amount of money on an experience that lasts half an hour or on a nice piece of glass that will be around for 10 years or more?

User currently offlinegocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4346 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6074 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 1):
That whole 'helo spotting' has run its course in my opinion

Agreed. As much it was cool looking at air to ground/air to air photos from LAX a few years ago, there is just too many people doing it now. The majority of photos from LAX are now same prospective. Just getting too boring now, IMHO.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 1):
would I rather spend a huge amount of money on an experience that lasts half an hour or on a nice piece of glass that will be around for 10 years or more?

I know how expensive renting a helicopter cost compare to a conventional airplane, just how much does one cost for an hour session? $600?


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6005 times:

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 2):
I know how expensive renting a helicopter cost compare to a conventional airplane, just how much does one cost for an hour session? $600?

Not sure how much it is in LA, but some friends of mine in the NYC area looked into it to do some work around JFK and the price was outrageous, around 2 grand

I'll just do my air-to-ground shots during takeoffs and landings from my economy class seat 


User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9032 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6002 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 3):
Not sure how much it is in LA, but some friends of mine in the NYC area looked into it to do some work around JFK and the price was outrageous, around 2 grand

I checked their website and it is around $275. So not too bad.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 3):
I'll just do my air-to-ground shots during takeoffs and landings from my economy class seat 

Same for me, but from the FO Seat 

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlinegocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4346 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5929 times:

Thanks Phil. I can understand how popular it is so that's not too bad. Not a bad way to make some money for those guys pre-sequestration era.

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 4):
Same for me, but from the FO Seat

Can't beat that for a cost of nothing.  


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 4):
Same for me, but from the FO Seat

Ah, so using a camera during takeoff and landing really does NOT cause interference with the flight instruments?

  

always wanted to use that one heheh


User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9032 posts, RR: 75
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5887 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 6):
Ah, so using a camera during takeoff and landing really does NOT cause interference with the flight instruments?

Don't worry, I don't use the camera during take off and landing. I have other stuff to do during that time. So I am doing air2air at higher altitude. I have a few in the database as well.

I never did the chopper flight in LAX, I thought about it, but never actually did it. Maybe next week.

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineAndyEastMids From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1017 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5841 times:

Imperial Hill, Proud Bird and In-N-Out have been done to death, too many people have done them, they've run their course... That doesn't stop folks going there evry week or pics from those locations appearing here.

Like it or not, the LAX heli photo trips are good fun, an alternative to the more mundane for those who want to do it, and something that even now isn't easy to achieve elsewhere. It will be a great shame if they get stopped. IFvthey have to stop, in a year or two time we'll be looking back nostalgically and wishing it could still be done, another past opportunity lost.


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5732 times:

The helo shots make me think of a flare that burned brightly for a while, making everyone look at it, before going out. They just don't hold my attention anymore, and it seems I'm not alone.

I know what you mean about people continuing to visit ground-based locations despite that they are used all the time, but it doesn't feel 'gimmicky', like a passing fad, like the helo shots do. There's a reason that all side-on shots don't 'look the same' the same way many of the helo shots 'look the same'. It also doesn't seem the same as traditional air-to-air work, which will never get old.

Living in the Northeast Megalopolis of the US, I am no stranger to lost opportunities, what with the constant harassment photographers get here. At least with the helicopter trips, someone will figure out how to continue them somewhere else. When the opportunity to make money is there, someone will figure it out.


User currently offlinehrtsfldhomeboy From Djibouti, joined Oct 2007, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5663 times:

You can argue the database doesn't need anymore like this, and I'll agree.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui



But I'll keep enjoying pics like this, even if you call if a "passing fad."

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young




Any local SOCAL folks who want to split a helo over LAX in the future, PM me. I'd be interested.


User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1359 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5639 times:

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 8):

Imperial Hill, Proud Bird and In-N-Out have been done to death, too many people have done them, they've run their course...

I think the difference is that those three locations offer angles/types of shot that are found easily enough at any number of other airports around the world, whereas the overhead helicopter view is only readily accomplished at LAX. Views from Imperial Hill and the Proud Bird, as well as In-N-Out views that are cropped to just show the airplane, are part of the typical a.net vernacular and just happen to be the best places to get it (wide-angle views that include Sepulveda and the burger joint in the frame notwithstanding) whereas the helicopter photos can now be readily recognized as all carried out the same way. Myself, since LAX is effectively my a.net home airport (100+ of 135 total successful uploads,) I get weird feelings of jealousy and see the aerial shooters as showboats.   


User currently offlineHAMSpotter From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5530 times:

Here is the Link to Star Helicopters which is offering these flights:

http://www.star-helicopters.com/aerialservices_planespottingrates.html

All Flight Time is based on engine startup to engine shutdown:

Robinson R44 Raven II = $550 hour (1 to 3 Plane Spotters)

Robinson R44 Raven I = $500 hour (1 to 3 Plane Spotters)

Robinson R22 Beta II = $290 hour (1 Plane Spotter)


User currently offlinen314as From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5277 times:

You should all contact the airport to allow you access to the ramp whenever someone is available to take you out. Some photographers do this. They do not benefit the airport at all and they usually are not there to write stories for magazines, but just to add photos toward their own photographer's portfolios. Given this, you are then all in the same boat and should have the same right to their access. Call LAX operations and tell them you want to shoot these types of photos that you see close to the runway and that you want to have the same opportunity as they do to shoot up close and personal after you pass a security clearance.

User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5259 times:

The helicopters above LAX shots have jumped the shark on this site. I don't even think it counts as "air to air" photography as you are really shooting the ground with an airplane in the way. I can go to Google Satellite Maps and see that with the whole airfield layout

The only shots from above like that which I am interested in anymore are AMARC shots out in the desert as well as some of the graveyards.

As for taking pictures of aircraft flying - I would rather see an air to air shot, like an arranged photo shoot where you are getting a more side view of the aircraft.


User currently offlinen314as From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5254 times:

NASCAR - totally correct. These are air to ground shots. People confuse these with real air to airs. Air to air photos are "planned" formation flights with the photo plane and subject planes which fly together at a close distance always in communication to position for different camera shoots. These have always been very exclusive and take a ton to prepare. The shooting portion is the easiest part. The preparation is the hardest and safety must be involved. These people who are doing the helicopter over LAX thing cannot be considered air to air shooters by any means. Also, the more that do them, the less FAA will like the idea and they will eventually shut them down. It is getting out of hand and people are flocking to these helicopter companies to get their rides. It will become a safety concern.

User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2608 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5188 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Oh jeez not the air-to-air "expert" again    

User currently offlineje89_w From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 2361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5181 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 16):
Oh jeez not the air-to-air "expert" again

Don't get me wrong - I love those LAX aerial shots as each image usually comes with a rather interesting backdrop.

But roll your eyes all you want - that "air to air expert" has a point. I would agree that true air to air photography involves much more than a simple press of the shutter. It involves tons of pre-departure planning, constant communication while in flight, re-tries to get that perfect shot, etc. Not an easy task but definitely an opportunity I'd jump at, if given the chance.


User currently onlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5169 times:

Quoting je89_w (Reply 17):
Not an easy task but definitely an opportunity I'd jump at, if given the chance.

Though I'm sure a lot of us would jump at such an opportunity, if there was one. The fact is very few get such opportunities.

Either way, renting a heli over LAX is so much fun from a personal level that I don't give a damn about what other people think of them. It's just something different to every other shot you're going to shoot at from the ground for the rest of the year.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4811 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5105 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 14):
Quoting n314as (Reply 15):

I get the point you are both making but when both photographer and subject are airborne, it's and air-to-air shot by definition.

[Edited 2013-04-07 12:58:25]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5014 times:

Quoting n314as (Reply 13):
You should all contact the airport to allow you access to the ramp whenever someone is available to take you out. Some photographers do this. They do not benefit the airport at all and they usually are not there to write stories for magazines, but just to add photos toward their own photographer's portfolios. Given this, you are then all in the same boat and should have the same right to their access. Call LAX operations and tell them you want to shoot these types of photos that you see close to the runway and that you want to have the same opportunity as they do to shoot up close and personal after you pass a security clearance.

Yeah, good luck with that approach.


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