During takeoff and landing, you should occupy a
designated passenger seat. Once airborne and before
you approach an open door, you must have a properly
adjusted, securely anchored crew members safety
harness around your waist. The crew members safety
harness should be adjusted BEFORE TAKEOFF.
Attach the snap hook of the harness to a tie-down ring
on the deck of the aircraft. The tie-down ring should be
about 3 to 4 feet from the open door. Never attach the
snap hook to pipes, tubes, cables, or similar items.
Place the harness around your waist and fasten the latch
and link assembly. Pull the adjustment straps of the
waist portion of the harness, so it fits snugly around your
waist. Now adjust the length of the safety strap, so you
can sit in the open doorway and still lean forward about
PREFLIGHT AND POSTFLIGHT
As an aerial photographer shooting hand-held
images, your preflight inspection is concentrated
primarily on your photographic equipment and your
personal protective equipment.
You know what camera and equipment checks to
make before every photo assignment. These equipment
checks are particularly important in aerial work. In
aerial work, more people are directly involved with the
mission. As a minimum, there is the pilot, copilot, plane
captain, and yourself. With the great expense and time
involved in flying Navy aircraft, IT IS ESSENTIAL that
you have your equipment functioning correctly.
Equipment breakdowns may occur during a flight;
however, it is your responsibility to be sure that the
necessary equipment and materials for the mission are
present and working properly.
Your personal protective equipment must be
checked before each flightyour life may depend on
it. Because of the many types and applications of
personal flight safety gear available, you must get a
professional check on the use of your equipment and an
inspection as to size and fit of your equipment from a
knowledgeable Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PR).
The aircraft preflight inspection is the
responsibility of the pilot. This is not to say, however,
that you should not check those areas of the aircraft in
which you will be directly involved during the flight.
For example, does the door, window, or hatch open and
close easily? Is the intercom system working? What
about the tie-down ring to which you will hook your
safety harness? Is it safe? Has the ejection seat safety
pin been removed? Is the canopy clean? Is the oxygen
Your postflight duties after a hand-held aerial
mission include removing all your equipment from the
plane and housekeeping, such as straightening up seat
belts and securing the intercom and oxygen systems.
You and the pilot should also discuss the missionhow
did it go? What went right? What went wrong? What
could be done better next time to make the flight go
The pilot must know your intentions. This means
you must communicate with him before and during the
flight. Remember, the pilot is not looking through the
camera viewfinder. The pilots view of the target,
providing he can see it, is different from yours. You
must direct the pilot into positioning the aircraft for the
The noise level during the flight is high and voice
communications are difficult at best, particularly in
helicopters. Establishing a few hand signals with the
pilot beforehand may prove very helpful during the
mission-hand signals that indicate "there is the target,"
"move right," "left," "up," "down," "turn right," "left,"
and "steady, I am shooting" (fig. 4-23). In the air, a pilot
has a better understanding of your needs with
prearranged signals as compared to makeshift signals
which may fail to be communicated correctly.
Communications between you and the pilot are
essential. During the photo part of the flight, you should
be in constant communication with the pilot. To get the
best photographs, you must communicate to the pilot
about positioning of the aircraft. Tell the pilot when the
aircraft is too close or too far from the target and when
the altitude of the aircraft is correct or not correct. If
camera problems develop, let the pilot know. Long
periods of silence cause the pilot to wonder what is
happening in the photography area and whether the
mission is going as planned. This is no time to be
bashful or intimidated. Do not be concerned about
talking too much.
Since hand-held verticals are made with the camera
pointed straight down at the ground, photographic
composition for vertical photography is
straightforward. The person requesting the work tells
you what to show in the picture. Then it is primarily a