Glenn Smith. A36 Bonanaza. I suggest we us Eagle Mountain Lake in Fort Worth. Plus, we can use skyline of Fort Worth (airspace is not crowded, Meacham Tower would work with us for downtown). We could base out of Hicks (restaurant) and it would be five miles over to Lake it 7 miles to Downtown skyline. Just a thought...
I wish it wasn't so last minute, but the shoot was already cancelled earlier because lack of interest.
Now we have the interest and everyone is ready to go, but unfort planning is last minute.
Let's see if we can get organized for tomorrow. I am in town for the next full week and would like to meet with you all.
The responses sound like two groups: between the Dallas group and Houston group. If we are all able to meet in one location then the $199 price will work. If it's two groups, of 2x pilots in Dallas and 2x Houston then same issue before.
No one wants to pay more, so let's try to be flexible and pick a central meeting point. Also mon, tues, wed, thurs is available if we need more planning time and the interest is there.
Last note: if you would really like to get photos and alright to pay more than $199, we can work 1:1 with you and don't need the full group. Email me if you'd like that P
UPDATE --- The biggest concern is location! Weather is great tomorrow, but many of the Houston pilots do not want to travel too far from home base. There is a group in Austin/Dallas which are ready to go, but not too many of them. I am based in Austin this week.
If you have 2 mins, email me back with a phone # so I can tell you logistics and see if we can accommodate the pilots who would like shoots next week Mon-Thursday some time
We did a GREAT photo shoot with 5x bonanzas with 0hours FF experience last month in California, and it went very well and very safe. I used a long telephoto lens and kept everyone at a safe distance.
#1 thing which keeps happening with 1st timers and these photo shoots is - Pilot becomes overly concerned with the photograph. Gets excited. Tries to direct me/photographer with background options, different photo ideas. All happening over the radio while in the air and in formation. Very bad! Please forget about the photos completely and fly the plane. Put all your trust in the lead ship/photo plane and we will handle everything (photo + flight ops)
- Next, keep your eyes on the right wing tip of the photo plane. No need to look around for traffic or terrain etc. The lead ship is your eyes and ears looking out for Area Traffic, Talking to Center, Talking to CTAF, etc. You have 1 job: Hold altitude, fly the plane and be safe.
- The formation flight itself. How do we do this? My standard procedure with 5-6x photo ships goes like this. Ship #5 departs first, Goes to a VOR or intersection point and climbs up to say 5,000'. Holds in a Standard Right turn pattern. Ship #4 departs behind #4 and does the same 4,000', and so on and so on. Everyone is listening on our FF freq 123.45, everyone can turn off their TCAS and transponders as well. We will take care of everyone with traffic and let center know what we are doing. Photo ship/Lead/#1 departs and calls out on 123.45 "#2 drop down" #2 is flying along a VOR radial or VFR point and #1 forms up along their left side. Within 5-10mins we will be done with the photos! Very easy and will not take too long. Sometimes takes more time if we are having issues forming up, but otherwise its quick. At this point #2 can land back at KTPL and wait for the group to finish and debrief with us, advised. Otherwise, Its nice to say "#2 all done. Go home!"
- Another lesson learned from California shoot: no autopilot, no staring at the panel, please! Last time we spent 15-20mins going in circles trying to form up with a great Bonanza pilot, because he was flying the panel and not looking outside.
- Also, please check my website for photo samples. Sometimes pilots are receiving their pictures and hoping for a different look or a simple photo of them smiling inside the plane. It's not really my style, so please check the kind of work on my site. pilotportraits.com/
- Debrief on the ground tomorrow. If you can stay, please do so. We can all learn from eachother after a good talk about the flight.
- Monday I will send some samples to everyone and download link with your photos.