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Steadicam from a Helicopter...


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#1 Jonathan Labby

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:29 AM

:o Today I got a call to do Steadicam from a helicopter with a Sony F900 HDCAM. I feel that gyros will be needed. I don't know the configuration inside the helicopter yet to hopefully use a garfield mount, but as of now I will be vesting it while being heavily strapped down. OK This might sound really stupid and you might think I'm out of my mind but I don't know of anyone doing Steadicam from a helicopter before so I am asking anyone with possible guidance or whatever to please speak your mind...but be nice about it when you do :) Thanks so much.

Jonathan Labby
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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:40 AM

Jonathan,

http://www.steadicam...x...pic=599&hl=

http://www.steadicam...x...ic=3336&hl=

That's just a couple of the threads.... it pays to do a search before you post, please.

Good luck.
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:40 AM

I'm out of my mind but I don't know of anyone doing Steadicam from a helicopter before so I am asking anyone with possible guidance or whatever to please speak your mind...but be nice about it when you do :)



It's been done, it's not the correct tool for the job and it's a bad idea to do it.
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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:57 AM

:o Today I got a call to do Steadicam from a helicopter with a Sony F900 HDCAM.


As Eric said, not the tool for the job.

I do a LOT of aerial work from helicopters. You can email me directly but the short answer is you have about three choices listed below lowest to highest in terms of quality and budget:

Tyler mount
Wescam
Gyron

I'm off topic and out of time...

Best of luck!
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#5 Kelsey W. Smith

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:46 AM

I have to agree with Eric and Robert, there's a lot better tools for the job.

I'm not sure what the regulations are like in the US, but here in Canada they are getting really strict! An engineer has to sign off on any mods to the heli. I would be very surprised if they would allow you to try to hard mount a Steadicam to the heli that's not a "approved" custom design setup ( i.e Tyler or Westcam). And if they do allow you to, you probably don't want to fly with that heli company!

I always remember what Jerry Holway told us waaaay back when in his workshop. Plain and simple, don't do it! He said he lost 2 close friends to heli accidents.

Good luck.
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#6 Jerry Holway

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 10:03 AM

Jonathan-

Absolutely stay out of any helicopter with a Steadicam.

There are better performing and much-safer-for-everyone tools, FAA certified systems, etc.

Steadicam is a really bad and less than safe choice.

Just say no.

FYI - It's been done before, of course. People have also gone over Niagra Falls in a barrel.... Been done before is not an excuse to be stupid.

When you asked the question, you were uninformed but smart enough to ask the question about using a Steadicam in a helicopter. Don't do it and remain smart... and alive.

Jerry
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#7 JobScholtze

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:33 AM

I have been in a ( vietnam style ) helicopter with a rig on. Mainly to be transported to the top of a mountain. i tryd to shoot during that trip. I got zero results. To much wind. My trip was only 5 minuts, but already my blood left my legs :P

Also hardmounted wont help, its just not the tool for it.
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#8 Jonathan Labby

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:35 PM

With much carefull thought and everyones wonderful advice I have decided to turn down the job. I really appreciate everyones knowledge and advice. I don't think that shoot is worth risking death over. Thanks again to all.

Jonathan Labby
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#9 PeterAbraham

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:44 PM

I for one am grateful to read this.

Enjoy a long and spectacular career !!!


Peter Abraham
New York
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#10 Michael Daley

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 05:46 AM

Have a question in regard to a Steadicam we are using on a helicopter. I've filmed nearly 300
hours out of helicopters but a client has made available a hughes 500 with a single arm steadycam
for smaller cams (Z1 etc).

With the way that it is mounted it has to be out the door to operate. (yes in 90 knot winds :blink: )
The unit has had the centre post trimmed just under the Bearing ring and 3 gyros have
been fitted to the base of the centre post.

Did a test flight with it and seems to me that we were fighting to keep the unit level and the footage
looked like it hade been shot from a boat. A rolloing feel to it.

I realise that to you guys this may be a stupid question but I just have to ask. Would making the
bearing ring tighter help and is this even possible?
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#11 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 06:38 AM

If you do a search on this forum, you'll find a lot of information on this subject.

The consensus is DON'T.
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#12 Michael Daley

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 07:18 AM

If you do a search on this forum, you'll find a lot of information on this subject.

The consensus is DON'T.


This system is not connected to a vest. It is connected to the helicopter. I will have to get some pics of the setup.
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#13 Daniel Stilling DFF

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:13 AM

Wrong piece of equipment for the job.
DON'T do it!!!!!
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#14 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 12:13 PM

This system is not connected to a vest. It is connected to the helicopter. I will have to get some pics of the setup.



Seriously It's the wrong piece of gear for the job. Pretty much nothing can be done to make it the correct piece of gear
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#15 Jerry Holway

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 05:10 PM

Michael-
you asked about the bearing ring... I assume you mean the gimbal, and NO, it will not improve things.

The other advice is right on - it's the wrong tool for the job.

Jerry
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