Aerial Photography

Our Pilots have considerable experience working with photographers on both commercial and fine art still and video photography assignments.

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We have provided services for the following types of aerial photography jobs:

  • Catalina Boat races. We have worked with several different photographers for still and video photography of live boat racing action to and from Catalina Island.
  • Real estate photography. We have worked with numerous photographers for still photographs of undeveloped and developed property, including empty land and buildings. As well as aerial photography of real estate for sale by individual property owners and real estate agencies.
  • Architectural and civil engineering projects photography. We have worked with still photographers to photograph road work and bridges under construction; completed construction projects as well as construction progress photography.
  • Fine art aerial photography. We have worked with dozens of amateur and professional photographers to capture images of the Los Angeles area, Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park, DTLA as well as hundreds of miles of the majestic California coast line from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
  • Photo Gallery. Check our Photo Gallery for examples of some of the work photographers have done with us.

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Do you need a Professional Photographer?

We use Paul Turang and Les Nakashima for all of our special aerial photography assignments. Please check out some samples of their work and contact them with your needs.

Paul Turang – Paul is Professional Photographer experienced in architectural and aerial photography. we use Paul Turang for all of our special aerial photography assignments.

Les Nakashima – Les is the owner of Nextimage3D and has over thirty years of experience as a Commercial Photographer, specializing in architectural and aerial photography.

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Aircraft Rates
Aerial Photography Star Helicopters
Dodgers Stadium

Rates & Fees

These rates apply to all still or video photography over non-moving subjects such as landscape, buildings, roads, bridges, etc.

These rates also apply to still or video photography that requires the pilot to “chase” high-speed subjects, including cars, trucks, off-road vehicles, or boats during races, time trials, or other events.

The Bell Jet Ranger passenger load for photo flights is limited to 3 people (excluding the pilot) with a total passenger weight not to exceed 600 lbs. due to the performance demands of this kind of flying.

The Robinson R44 load for photo flights is limited to 2 people (excluding the pilot) with a total passenger weight not to exceed 600 lbs. due to the performance demands of this kind of flying.

The Robinson R-22 is limited to the Photographer maximum weight 235 lbs. including equipment and the Pilot.

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Pre-Flight Planning

$50 dollars/hour

Pre-Flight planning is conducted before every flight to insure that we can safely and successfully complete the assignment in the minimum amount of time. It allows us to identify the targets, plan the ideal flight route, check weather, TFR’s etc. It typically takes 30 minutes or less for most assignments and is charged in 1/10th hour increments.

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All Flight Time (Engine On) Including Aircraft Repositioning Time:

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There is no minimum flight time for Aerial Photography flights and these rates apply only to the time the engine is running. Time is measured by an engine Hobbs meter, which records the engine running time measured in 1/10th hour increments. These rates also apply to aircraft repositioning time – for example, to move the helicopter from its home base to another location for the assignment.

Assignments requiring more than 8 hours of flight time must be conducted over two or more days. Wait/Overnight fees apply.

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Bell 206B3 Jet Ranger
Less than 5 hours: $1100/hour
5 or more hours: $950/hour

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Robinson R44 Raven II
Less than 5 hours: $550/hour
5 or more hours: $530/hour

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Robinson R44 Raven I
Less than 5 hours: $500/hour
5 or more hours: $490/hour

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Robinson R22 Beta II
Less than 5 hours: $290/hour
5 or more hours: $280/hour

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Astar AS 350 BA
Less than 5 hours: $1750/hour
5 or more hours: $1700/hour

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Waiting Time (Engine Off):

15 minutes: Included in price
Wait time: $80/hour
Overnight charges: $250-$400/night (depending on location)

This compensates the pilot and covers the cost of meals, lodging, and ground transportation during long assignments.

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Permits and Other Fees:

Clients are expected to obtain, at their own cost, any required permits for a flight. In areas requiring permits (Sporting events, Disney, Special Events), Star Helicopters will not fly unless we have a copy of the permit on file.

Star Helicopters will attempt to obtain the required permission from the FAA for assignments requiring special permits in controlled areas such as LAX and Restricted Areas during the Pre-Flight stages.

Star Helicopters will advise all clients, if a permit may be required for a flight.

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Options and Capabilities

We offer the following options for photographers:

  • Doors-off flight. We can remove one or more doors during flight to offer a glare-free view of the subject.
  • Anchor points for photographer harnesses. Our aircraft is equipped with shoulder harnesses in the front seat and has firm anchor points to which harnesses can be attached. (Seat belts or harnesses are required for all passengers during all phases of flight.)
  • Cameras and Equipment. We require that all cameras be securely attached to the photographer at all times and that no loose or unsecured equipment is inside the helicopter at any time.
  • Up close and personal. Depending on aircraft load and environmental conditions, our pilot can get within 50 feet of a subject on the ground or in the water for close-up shots.
  • Hovering operations. Depending upon total aircraft weight with passengers and environmental conditions such as temperature and altitude, our pilot can bring the aircraft into a full stop hover to offer a still platform for work.
  • High-speed operations. Our aircraft can cruise at airspeeds of up to 130 knots (150 MPH). That means we can get on point quickly, saving time and money.
  • Bell Jet Ranger – With all doors removed we can operate up to 87 knots (100 MPH) and with only the front doors removed our airspeeds are reduced to 69 knots (80 MPH).
  • Robinson R44 – With any or all doors removed we can operate up to 100 knots (115 MPH).
  • Robinson R22 – With any or all doors removed we can operate up to 102 knots (117 MPH).
  • Room for an observer. Our Bell Jet Ranger has five seats and the power to lift five occupants. In many cases, two observers can come on board for the flight without significantly reducing performance. Our Robinson R44 has 4 seats and the power to lift four occupants. In many cases, one observer can come on board without significantly reducing performance. The Robinson R-22 is limited to the Photographer and the Pilot.

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Important Note

Clients should understand that there are certain risks involved in over-water operations and out-of-ground effect hovering operations at altitudes less than 300 feet. We will explain these risks in detail before booking the flight. By flying with us, the client assumes all risks involved with the flight. Our pilot will not attempt any maneuver they considers dangerous or beyond the capabilities of the aircraft.

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