Wednesday September 02, 2015:
NASA Data Collection Flight Over PEARL
in 2012 NASA's Earth Science Technology Office based in Goddard MD
contracted with Bussmann Aviation to begin a three year project to
conduct low level data collection flight missions over the region
utilizing the Chai V640 imaging spectrometer mounted to a custom
chin-mount vibration isolation bracket system as developed by BA
exclusively for this mission. Since then Bussmann Aviation has
conducted proof of concept flights over Prince William county as well
as data collect flights over PEARL
(Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Lab) near Petersons Point
VA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Corn Field Photo
Tim Sexton is
the VADCR's nutrient management program manager, and every year he
conducts aerial photo flights over Tappahannock and the Shenandoah
area corn fields looking for signs of stress. This data is
collected, analyzed and shared with local farmers in an effort to
improve yields. Corn is the state of Virginia's
7th top agricultural commodity accounting for $212M
each year. Farming is Virginia's
biggest industry: employs 500,000 individuals, 46,000 farms,
covers 32% of the area of the state encompassing 8M acres, which
produces $70B in revenue each year. VADCR selected Bussmann
Aviation this year as their aerial platform provider for this
Wednesday June 24, 2015:
Visit Loudoun Aerial Photo Mission
Taylor of the Loudoun
Convention & Visitors Association selected
aerial photographer Aboud Dweck and a MD500 helicopter operated by
Bussmann Aviation as the ideal team suited to capture low level,
golden light images of multiple Loudoun visitor attractions for an
upcoming marketing campaign designed to highlight county landmarks for
potential visitors. Featured attractions included Stone Tower Winery,
Franklin Park, Breaux Vineyards, Pev's Paintball Park, Claude Moore
Recreational Center and Evergreen Sportsplex to name a few.
Tuesday April 28, 2015:
Total Asphalt - Piedmont
Subdivision Surface Street
Founded in 1992,
Total Asphalt is the
largest commercial pavement preservation specialists in the
Mid-Atlantic region and has become a
consulting and rejuvenation application specialist who provides a way
for clients to save precious capital by extending the life of their
parking lots and surfaces and postponing expensive overlays or
reconstruction. Endorsed by the Federal Aviation Administration and
the Federal Highway Administration, Total Asphalt follows the pavement
preservation philosophy – a planned system of restoring pavements with
high-performance treatments at the optimum time to maximize their
useful life. Company President Mike Leaman selected Bussmann Aviation
to position videographer Pete Roof
over the Piedmont subdivision in Haymarket Virginia
to capture the asphalt sealing process in real –time.
Saturday December 13, 2014:
Honors - Night Video Shoot Over the Potomac
again Michael Stevens of Kennedy Center Honors Productions came to DC
based Bussmann Aviation to request our assistance with a tough
assignment – namely to capture the establishing shot of the 2014 CBS
Kennedy Center Honors TV show. The shot features a night time aerial
view of the front of the KennedyCenter
captured from 100 ft above the Potomac River
just east of Roosevelt Island.
This had to be a very steady shot as the production team planned to
superimpose the rainbow colors scheme over the video image. The 2014
honorees included Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Al Green, Patricia McBride,
Friday October 24, 2014:
Dominion Virginia Power Transmission Lines Photo Flight
photographer Cameron Davidson once again received another assignment
Dominion Virginia Power to capture iconic early morning images of power
line infrastructure surrounding Orange,
New Market, and AftonMountain.
After careful consideration Cameron choose helicopter pilot Steve
Bussmann and his MD500 as the aerial platform of choice. "The MD500
has the maneuverability and power necessary to operate safely in this
demanding environment" said Cameron; he continued "Steve and I have
been working together for over twelve years, he knows the shots I am
looking for and can place me in the right spot at the right time".
October 06, 2014:
By Air" Cineflex Video Shoot
on the resounding success of the "Chesapeake By Air" video program
Mike English and Steve Schupak of Maryland Public Television have
decided to duplicate the effort with a new aerial take on the Potomac
By Air: Our Nation's River". Shot from above with the
Cineflex v14 HD camera system in amazing High Definition by DP Matt
Trub the program explores incredible natural and man-made history
along with our nation's remarkable collection of monuments and
memorials, from the Washington Monument, to The U.S. Capitol, the
White House, Jefferson Memorial, the National Cathedral, and more.
Once again Director John Paulson has assembled a stunning perspective
of a natural treasure.
Saturday September 20, 2014:
Dulles Day Festival & Plane
year in September there is a special event that is held at the cargo 6
ramp at DullesAirport
- "Dulles Day Plane Pull". The Dulles Day Festival & Plane Pull is
Special Olympics Virginia's "heaviest" fundraiser, pitting teams of 25
against one another to see who can pull a 164,000+ pound airliner 12
feet the fastest. Teams must raise a minimum of $1500 to participate -
that is just $60 per person - and all proceeds help Special Olympics
Virginia provide year-round training and athletic competition to more
than 11,000 athletes of all ages. Bussmann Aviation is always on hand
for the entire day with our MD500 helicopter providing the media with
an aerial overview of the proceedings. The day starts off with a 5k
and 10K race on the east runway, and the gates open to the public on
the cargo 6 ramp at
and close at 3:45p.
Tuesday September 09, 2014:
Living Flag At Ft McHenry
Founded in 1984 The
Friends of Fort McHenry is the recognized friends group of FortMcHenryNational Monument
and Historic Shrine. The mission of the Friends of Fort McHenry, in
partnership with the National Park Service, is to support the
development and implementation of educational programming and living
history activities, and the creation of interpretive exhibits and
visitor facilities that best engender the widest possible
understanding and appreciation of Fort McHenry and the enduring legacy
and promise of "The Star-Spangled Banner", our National Anthem.
On Tuesday September 9, 2014
more than 6,600
students and their chaperones created the largest ever 15 stars and 15
stripes Star-Spangled Banner Living Flag, in honor of the 200th
anniversary of the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner." In 1914,
saw the creation of a Living Flag by 6,500 participants in honor of
the Centennial. Bussmann Aviation,
along with aerial photographer Greg Pease were on hand over
Baltimore's inner harbor to capture the moment on behalf of the
National Park Service.
Thursday April 17, 2014: Ramiiisol Vineyards - Another Successful Frost
There are times during the late spring in the mid-Atlantic
region when an extremely harmful temperature inversion can occur - a
very dry local air mass, with little or no wind, and a clear sky will
move into an area - cold air will settle to ground level beneath a
layer of warmer air above it. When this happens tender spring growth
of certain crops are at risk to suffer from frost damage.Weather patterns often shift in the early spring months
creating rapid temperature changes in valley farms and predictions of
a spring freeze are sometimes possible only a day or two in advance.
Vines are susceptible to frost damage after bud-break until late
spring. Weather records indicate a good chance of frost in late March,
but generally by mid-April the risk of frost is much less. With a
frost in the forecast the savvy folks at Ramiisol Vineyards in Free
Union VA decided to take no chances and brought in the MD500
helicopter from Bussmann Aviation as a frost prevention tool.
Helicopters have documented efficacy to reduce crop losses against
inversion layer freezes and are considered part of legal Right-to-Farm
protected standard operating practices in the US.
Air temperatures can be warmer
at just 50 feet above the ground (the inversion air layer can vary
from 30 to 200 feet above ground level). Pushing this warmer air
downward with helicopter rotors is frequently sufficient to reduce
freezing damage at the surface and help protect grapes and other fruit
operates the MD500 series of light turbine
powered helicopters. These aircraft are ideally suited to protect
tender budding growth from damaging frost due to temperature
inversions. Utilizing a 30 foot diameter, four-bladed rotor system
spinning at 480 rpm, and a jet engine generating 600 degree C heat, we
can hover slowly over your fields in the critical hours before dawn
and draw down upper level warmer air to prevent frost from damaging
fruit, buds and other critical plantings at a rate of 960,772
CFM - that is a lot of air!
With our crop strobe marker beacons, LZ lighting, nose
mount flood light set, and remote service trailer with fuel service we can
operate "on station", directly from your location, for up to 8 hours
without having to depart the area for more fuel. Depending on
conditions, a single helicopter
can protect about 60-100 acres, we typically fly about 25' above ground
level and can cover 4 rows per pass and cover the entire operational
area every 20 minutes. The helicopter is equipped with a digital
outside air temperature gauge for locating the upper level warmer air
and we can provide VHF radios & matched walkie talkies for
air-to-ground communications while in flight.
A successful frost prevention mission requires as much lead
time a possible, if you are anticipatingfreezing conditions call us ASAP. We typically will arrive on
location by no later than
preceding the night of the forecasted inversion. The afternoon is
spent surveying and marking the fields with strobe lights to delineate
safe flight lines. As soon as the survey is completed the ground and
air crew will hit the rack to get some sleep before the "scramble"
call from farm personnel. We suggest placing multiple remote & self
reporting temperature probes in all critical fields and begin regular
monitoring at sunset. The aircrew is called out about 45 minutes
before we are needed so we can prep the helicopter, turn on strobe
markers and review the mission plan. A typical frost prevention flying
session will begin around 2a and we'll stay airborne until shortly
after dawn. Our remote field trailer comes equipped with 150 gals of
jet fuel so we can remain flying on location for up to 8 hours before
having to depart the site to get more fuel. The helicopter can hold a total of 2 hours of
fuel, "hot" re-fueling takes about 15 minutes.
September 27, 2012:
Gondola Films Comes to DC to Make a Movie
Jose Borrell of
was in town this week to shoot some wrap up scenes for the new feature
About Love" starring Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia
and directed by Klaus Menzel. The story features an ambitious senator
and his wife who travel to Europe
when their daughter is hospitalized after an accident with her
boyfriend. The experience forces them to re-evaluate their rocky
marriage. This film is currently in post-production, release is
planned for sometime in 2013.
To ride along in the helicopter
with the film crew right click here and
select "Open Link in New Tab".
August 5, 2012:
World Golf Tour Covers Merion Golf Club in
The folks at
Golf Tour of San Francisco have developed the
super realistic #1 golf game on the web with over 250 million rounds
played by their members. To achieve the realism that game features WGT
takes thousands of high resolution digital images of each golf course
that is available to play. In addition to the ground team of
photographers WGT will also get a photo crew in the air over the
course to shoot each tee box, fairway and green at very low level and
from every possible angle. "The MD500 as flown by Bussmann Aviation is
the ideal helicopter platform for this mission" commented photographer
Jon Hope. "It is small, agile and has enough power for us to get the
tight shots we need without compromising safety. We find that when we
fly with Heloflights we can get the entire course shot in just a day,
twice as fast as with other operators". Merion Golf Club
located in Ardmore PA will host the 2013 US Open on their famed east
July 12, 2012:
A Dawn Flight Over the Shenandoah for the
Aurora Flights Sciences of Manassas Virginia has
developed an optionally piloted aircraft ("OPA") based on the Diamond
DA42 they call the "Centaur".
The folks at Aviation Week and
Space Technology magazine were planning a feature
story on the project for their August 6 2012
issue and Aurora's Director of Public Relations, Patricia Woodside,
needed some air-to-air photos of the Centaur for a possible cover
shot, and she needed them in a big hurry. After a few quick phone
calls with Bussmann Aviation two photo missions were planned, one at
dawn, the other at sunset on July 12th. Needless to say
Aurora Program Manager (& photographer as it turns out!) Martin Gomez
was able to get the shots he needed for Patricia and the rest is
For some video backgrounders on the Centaur click
A Sunset Video Flight Over the Temple
Matthew Reier and
Tyler Anderson of the Church
of Latter Day Saints
were in town today to shoot some sunset and night video and still
shots of the LDSTemple
located in Silver Spring,
"The gyro stabilized middle mount was the key tool that helped us get
the shots we needed" said Tyler,
"The reveals, jib shots, turns-around-a-point, crabs and orbits would
have not been possible without it!". "The completed production will be
featured by the church for its' own internal programming" commented
If you'd like to see what the flight was like, please
click right clickhere and
select the option "open link in a new tab" or do the same on
the image below and join the pilot and the film crew in the cockpit!
Once again the
folks at Marine Corps Marathon
selected Bussmann Aviation to grab aerial images of the Historic Half
Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA.
Teaming with still photographer Susan Hedenberg of
Flying H Photography
videographer Pete Roof of Alt Gobo Media Works
pilot Steve Bussmann was bale to position the MD500 low and slow
right over the action. The Historic Half takes runners on 13.1 mile
journey from the retail hub of Central Park
through the historic downtown streets, up the now famous hospital hill
to awaiting Marines at the Historic Half finish line. Perfectly
situated in the timeless city of Fredericksburg
halfway between the capital of the Commonwealth in Richmond
and the nation's capital, Historic Half Weekend features the Healthy
Lifestyle Expo and the Semper Fred 5K.
Country Club of Fairfax Video Shoot
Nationals Stadium Plays Host to Osteen
evangelical Christian pastor Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church of
Houston TX was in town today conducting a service at Nationals
stadium. Videographer Micah Bickham coupled his Canon C-300 digital
video camera to Heloflights gyro stabilized middle mount to capture
real-time footage over the crowds during the service.
co-pilot Robert Bussmann was able to grab some digital still photos
using a Nikon D-200 digital SLR.
Transmitter Locator Systems Treasure Hunt!
Herndon, VA received a desperate call from one of their clients - a
rogue satellite signal originating somewhere in Hagerstown
was interfering with critical communications. Teaming with business
partner SES Engineering
and aerial support as provided by Bussmann Aviation the ground team
was able to pin point the offending transmitter in a matter of hours
as opposed to days without a helicopter to narrow down the search
area. James McGuffin of SES commented "In times like these where time
is of the essence a helicopter with accurate GPS
on board is the key tool in solving the problem as efficiently as
Watts Media Video Shoot of 495 Hot Lanes
Watts Media of Seattle Washington decided that the
three axis gyro stabilized middle mount offered by Heloflights was
just the ticket to help them grab the HD video footage for their
client Flour Corporation
of Irving Texas. Said Producer David Mangone "Our first attempt to fly
this job was stymied by hurricane Irene last August, we simply could not get our
crew from the west coast into town in time for the job. Steve's
flexibility in allowing us to reschedule the production was a real was
a real lifesaver!"
Another Photo Assignment with EPI Colorspace
is the DC area one stop shop for all graphics support needs including
exhibits, imaging, photography and marketing communications. When not
working on studio or product photography Larry Olsen will take to the
skies and grab images of construction cranes during “top out” day for
construction client Miller & Long.
Larry appreciates Bussmann Aviation’s ability secure the necessary
airspace waivers in a timely fashion as the amount of lead time for
these assignments can be a real challenge.
JBG Needs the Shots!
photographer Bill Yates of Cypix
had just been handed a demanding photo assignment in the DC metro
market from commercial real estate developer The JBG Companies to
image some of their top shelf properties in the restricted airspace of
Tysons Corner, Bethesda, and Rockville. Bill checked in the
photo community for a recommendation for a helicopter platform service
provider in the DC area and heard that Steve Bussmann of Heloflights
was the right choice for this demanding assignment. "I have always
wanted to fly a job in the MD500 - I have heard this is the Cadillac
of helicopters for aerial photography" said Bill, "I am glad to
finally get a chance to try one out!" As his client was looking for
marketing images Bill scheduled two flights, early morning and late
afternoon, to grab the "glory light" for each property. The weather
was terrific and Bill was not disappointed.
October 25, 2011:
Serving the Growing Power Needs of the DC Metro Area
Dominion Power has been making significant
investments in expanding their infrastructure in response to the ever
inreasing demands for electrical power in the DC metro market. As part
of this significant project they have been been replacing aging
transmission lines with new towers and lines designed to meet this
demand. Critical to this project is the photographic documentation of
progress made, and once again Cameron Davidson
got the assignment to capture aerial images of the improved Meadow
Brook - Loudon and MountStorm
Friday - September 9, 2011: "Chesapeake:
The Aerial Photography of Cameron Davidson
photographer Cameron Davidson has just released his new book Chesapeake,
it is available for sale at
Amazonand direct from
years ago, rising sea levels filled a meteor-impact crater to form the
largest estuary, and the third largest in the world. The long tendrils
of its watershed cover 64,000 square miles and span six states from
to New York.
Seventeen million people live within its boundaries. There are more
than 100,000 streams, creeks, and rivers in the watershed, including
150 major rivers, with names that conjure ancient voices, such as the
These waters mix with the Atlantic Ocean
in a brackish estuary that helped sustain Native Americans for
centuries, but in recent years the bay has come under siege from the
impacts of increasing population and industry, threatening this
Davidson has been shooting aerial photography of the Chesapeake
over a period of twenty years. The view from this privileged vantage
point reveals man's impact on the land and the water. It yields an
abstract beauty that is seldom seen, from the seven bends of the
to the important marshlands and islands of the watershed. Davidson's
lens captures the changing seasons traced from the headwaters of the
Susquehanna at OtsegoLake
to the mouth of the bay at Virginia Beach.
Davidson's poetic pictures bear witness to the bay's vulnerability and
the fragility of its future.
Monday - August 29, 2011: Hurricane Irene Batters the East Coast
As soon as the
rain stopped falling and the winds settled down Tecta America was in
the air with Bussmann Aviation over southern Virginia
surveying commercial structures for roofing damage. A storm like
Irene can generate pockets of very strong winds which can damage
certain style of commercial roofs. The most efficient means for us to
survey potential trouble spots is by air in a day we can cover what
would take weeks on the ground commented Norm Crouse, Director of
Business Development of Tecta America. Traveling with a digital
camera and tracking GPSs
we can conduct low-level surveys over suspected target zones where
roofing damaged is forecasted, and direct our ground crews with
precise geolocation data.
is the nations premier commercial roofing contractor with operations
located from coast to coast. Our unyielding commitment to quality,
expertise and professionalism is what makes us the industry leader.
Installation, repair, emergency damage response, sustainability
options and morewe offer the responsiveness of a local roofing
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commercial roofing solution.
Back in May
Maryland Public Television's "Chesapeake By Air" production was
nominated for an Emmy award from the National Capital
Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences (NATAS). The 53rd annual Emmy Awards took
place on June 25
at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington,
During this prestigious event it was announced that MPT won the Emmy!
Congratulations goes out to production team: Michael English,
Executive Producer; John Paulson, Producer/Writer; Susan "Suki"
Jacobson, Coordinating Producer; Steve Cassidy, Director of
Photography and Steve Bussmann, Helicopter Pilot.
Thursday - June 02, 2011: HD Cineflex Video Shoot of Alexandria,
Erik Altman, Creative Director for
Neoscape of Boston received an challenging
assignment from Washington DC based commercial real estate experts JM
Zell Partners namely to create a image of what the
finished development will look
like months from now while today the proposed site is little more then
a open lot. In order to work the digital CGI
(computer generated imagery) magic output Erik needed high definition
aerial video of the entire area as input. The ultra-stabilized
Cineflex V-14 gimbal HD camera system mated to a stable helicopter
platform is just the ticket to generate the necessary input so Erik
selected Steve Bussmann and the MD500 as the platform of choice in the
DC area. Yet another mission accomplished!
Tuesday - March 08, 2011: Water Treatment Plants Photo Mission
photographer Dan Poyourow
had a tough aerial assignment namely to efficiently photograph six
water treatment plants spread throughout the great state of Maryland,
including one site on the eastern shore near a correctional facility
near Westover, MD. Knowing that his client was cost sensitive, Dan
selected the nimble and speedy Heloflights MD500 to streamline this
mission as much as possible. Mission
Saturday - February 12, 2011: Architectural Photo Mission Over
Winchester, Va and Gambrills, MD
photographer Eric Taylor of Taylor Design
& Photography once again tapped pilot Steve
Bussmann to efficiently position him over five commercial properties
including sites in far flung Winchester,
The unique photo door of the Heloflights MD500 allows photographers
to grab unfettered photographs without having to have the door
completely removed during the cold winter months.
Monday - January 24, 2011: "Floodmageddon" Hits the DC Beltway!
Once again the
Washington Post scrambled helicopter pilot Steve Bussmann and
photographer Tracy Woodward to get in the air over Capitol Heights,
Maryland to capture images of a massive water main break that sent
water pouring from a 54-inch pipe, prompting the closure of the inner
loop of the Capital Beltway in Maryland and snarling morning traffic.
This water main break, near a mini-storage facility in the Hampton
South Business Park in Prince George's County, damaged vehicles and
closed off a portion of the southbound Beltway between Ritchie
Marlboro Road and Central Avenue on Monday morning.
Monday - December 06, 2010: MD500 Qualitative Evaluation at
Patuxent River NAS
Chief Flight Instructor Steve Bussmann wrapped up an intensive six day
MD500 Qualitative Evaluation session for the Navys TestPilotSchool
based at Patuxent NAS located near Lexington Park,
As part of the TPS curriculum students get a chance to subjectively
evaluate various guest aircraft for suitability for varying mission
profiles. Each student will place the aircraft thru a litany of
maneuvers all the while gathering performance data that they will
later use to compile detailed evaluation reports. The PAX
NAS base is a terrific facility and is always welcoming and supportive
of Heloflights flight crew during our TDY
Monday - October 18, 2010: Aerial Video Mission Over Leesburg,
Great Falls and Silver Spring
Photography Christopher Pyle and Producer Paul Wagner of
of California traveled to the Washington
area specifically to work with pilot Steve Bussmann to grab some
stunning aerial video footage of their Leesburg and Silver Spring
facilities. Using a gyro stabilized middle mount positioned in the
rear cabin the trio grabbed passing, orbiting and point-of-view video
shots of both facilities in addition to scenic footage of the Potomac
River surrounding the Great Falls area.
Monday - September 13, 2010: The US Open Comes to Congressional
Well, not really. The
US Open is not
actually scheduled to be hosted by the
Congressional CC in Bethesda, MD until June
13-19 2011. As one might imagine preparations for this prestigious
event begin well in advance. These preparations include HD
aerial air-to-ground shooting of the entire blue course, tee box to
green for all eighteen holes. The USGA
commissioned Rob Cowen of Cowen
Media to direct and produce the video on
behalf of the USGA so they will have the footage they need for
broadcast purposes showing a "birds eye" view of the course from tree
top level. In order to achieve the desired finished product,
pilot Steve Bussmann worked with professional cinematographer
Cassidy and his Cineflex V-14 HD gimbal
camera system. Sporting the Sony HDC-F950 Cinealta camera mated to the
ultra wide angle Canon 11 x 4.7 HD lens mounted on the chin of the
helicopter, Steve was able to capture the rock-steady low-level images
Rob needed for his production.
Applications for the random drawing of 2011 U.S. Open Championship
Tickets will be accepted by the USGA through the mail or on the USGA
website June 14-August
History of the club - Congressman Oscar E. Bland and O.R. Lubring of
Indiana, founders of the Club, set out to provide an informal common
ground where politicians and businessmen could meet as peers,
unconstrained by red tape. They took their idea to Herbert Hoover,
then Secretary of Commerce, who agreed to serve as Founders' Club
President and, from 1922-1923, Honorary Founding President of a
soon-to-be-built Congressional Country Club. Primarily because of the
determination of these original two visionaries, the Club was
incorporated in December 1921. Construction of the Club took two and
one-half years from concept to completion. Its international
recognition, intended for the world of politics, has been achieved
instead in the world of golf..
Friday - August 27, 2010: Photo Mission - Fairfax County Water
"When tasked to
provide aerial photography of all facilities owned by Fairfax County
Water Authority, one of the largest public
utilities in Northern Virginia, I knew that a project of this scope
depended on the expertise offered by Steve Bussmann of Bussmann
Aviation to efficiently choreograph a flight that would bring me to
each of approximately 12 sites in three security layers around
Northern Virginia. TSA
waivers were gathered flawlessly and the actual flight was a pleasure
to photograph as Mr. Bussmann piloted the Hughes 500 directly to each
site and placed me at the optimal altitude and direction to gather
images which will serve the utility well into the future. I
would recommend Bussmann Aviation as your aerial photography platform
for projects of this magnitude and I will not hesitate to call on him
again for future missions" - Patrick Hendrickson
Sunday - August 15, 2010: The Kalmar Nyckel Sails Again
for National Geographic "Expedition" Series
"Keep Your Boots Muddy" Landin of Scandinature Films
contacted Bussmann Aviation in early August to schedule a Cineflex HD
aerial video shoot of the sailing vessel Kalmar Nyckel
for the upcoming National
Geographic Expedition "Ghost Ship" to air Spring
of 2011. Bo had a very specific shot list in mind for this production,
which involved capturing scenes of the crew in the rigging in the
process of setting and furling of main sails, low level reveal
approach shots, straight down passing shots as well as overhead
turn-around-a-point view of the vessel with sails luffing.
The original Kalmar Nyckel sailed from
to the New World
in 1638 leaving its passengers to establish the first permanent
European settlement in the DelawareValley,
the Colony of New Sweden in present-day Wilmington,
She made a total of four roundtrip crossings of the Atlanticmore
than any other ship of the era. Her first voyage to the New World
left 24 settlers of Swedish, Finnish, German and Dutch descent in the
Joining them was a black freedman who sailed from the Caribbean
aboard her companion ship the
day Kalmar Nyckel
serves as Delawares
seagoing goodwill ambassador. She was built by a group of committed
citizens to be a continuing witness to the courage and spirit of those
individuals who undertook the mid-winter North Atlantic
crossing in 1637-1638.
Saturday - May 15, 2010: "The Real Housewives of DC" - Bravo TV
When tasked by Halfyard Productions to
assist them in securing air-to-ground footage of iconic DC landmarks
and overhead shots of each of the cast homesteads pilot Steve Bussmann
immediately signed up experienced aerial cameraman
Pete Roof for the project. using the Panasonic
HDX900 HD video camera coupled on the gyro-stabilized middle mount
Pete and Steve were able to capture each assigned image on the shot
list - spanning Washington DC, McLean, VA Chevy Chase, MD and Hume,
Real Housewives franchise presents a slice of
life amongst affluent, educated women, some raising kids, some
driving careers, all interacting with friends and family as determined
by the unwritten social rules of the Beltway. With the franchises
expansion to our nations capital, The Real Housewives of D.C.
introduces five intriguing women whose relationships with each other,
and with the city in which they live, are a compelling combination to
explore the nexus of politics, society, and even race, as well as how
the proximity to political power dictates where one fits within
Friday - April 16, 2010: Video Mission - Ferguson, Front Royal, VA
Producer Lynda Meier of
was asked by her client
produce a new sales video in which she planned to feature some
air-to-ground video footage of Ferguson's facility in Front Royal, VA.
Pilot Steve Bussmann was able to position cameraman Rege Becker "low
and slow" directly over the facility to grab some early morning beauty
shots of the main building and surrounding support structures. Key to
the success of the flight was the 3 axis gyro stabilized middle mount
positioned on the right side of the rear cabin. In this configuration
a skilled pilot can provide the video cameraman with orbiting, passing
and point-of-view shots - all without having to land and re-rig the
- March 20, 2010: Tile Films Is in Town to Film "Fag An
Bealach/Clear The Way"
The Irish film production company Tile Films
traveled to the DC area this spring to capture some crticial
air-to-ground aerial images of select civil war era battlefields where
Union troops of Irish descent actively participated in the
Fg an Bealach,
Irish for Clear the Way, was the battle cry of the Irish Brigade in
the American Civil War. This call was heard on the bloody
battlefields of Virginia,
where the legend of the Fighting Irish was born. This is the story
of the people behind the most famous unit in the Civil War, the Irish
Brigade. The project is being supported by broadcasters in the USA
Using the Sony F900R HD video camera
mounted to Bussmann Aviation's gyro stabilized middle mount platform
pilot Steve Bussmann positoned cameraman Peter Robertson and director
Keith Farrell over portions of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Manassas.
- February 14, 2010: "Snowmageddon" Hits the DC Metro Area
The Washington DC area has been pummeled
this year by several very unusual snow storms, one major storm in late
December followed by a second major storm in early February. These two
storms combined have dropped a whopping 50" of snow over the entire
region - and the weight of this precipitation has had a very negative
affect on roof structures not designed to support this kind of load.
a Canadian company which manufactures pre-engineered fabric storage
building solutions has quite of few of its products installed in the MD
and VA countryside surrounding Washington DC. Bussmann Aviation
and photographer James Oesch were hired to conduct an aerial survey of
installed locations to see how these structures faired under the area's
momentous snowfall. In short, the structures did very well! The fabric
membrane appears to shed snow extremely efficiently well while more
traditional roofs on adjacent buildings were seen to still have
significant snow loads still in place.
Monday - January 18, 2010: Oak Spring Farm - The Estate of Bunny
During December of 2009 Democratic
candidate for President John Edwards flew by private jet to visit one of
his benefactors - Rachel "Bunny" Mellon - at her estate in Upperville,
VA. ABC News asked Bussmann Aviation to fly over the property and
shoot some HD footage of the area for a upcoming 20/20 special entitled
"The Candidates Secret". This
program is scheduled to air on Friday, January 29, 2010 at 10p ET.
- November 21, 2009: Stonebridge "Bulldogs" vs. Madison "Warhawks"
On Friday November 20th Steve Bussmann flew
his MD500 up to Stonebridge High School in Ashburn VA for the purpose of
drying out the Bulldog football field in preparation for the District
title play-off game between the #7 Madison Warhawks and the #4
Stonebridge Bulldogs. The tremendous amount of rotor wash from the
MD500 moves huge volumes of air in very short order. Acting as a giant
hair dryer the 4-bladed turbine helicopter is the ideal tool in
the groundskeeper arsenal to counteract flooded and muddy fields for key
playoff games. Unfortunately Madison did not win the contest.
- November 16, 2009: The 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors: A
Celebration of the Performing Arts
The 2009 Kennedy Center Honorees included Mel Brooks, Dave Brubeck,
Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro and Bruce Springsteen. The program aired on
CBS on Tuesday, December 29, 2009, at 9:00 p.m ET, and marked the 32nd
annual Kennedy Honors event. The Kennedy Center Honors is a prestigious
annual awards ceremony that began in 1978. The honors are given to
individuals who have impacted American culture through the performing
arts. Caroline Kennedy served as the host for the 7th year in a row.
Pilot Steve Bussmann and videographer Pete Roof were asked by Producer
Michael Stevens to shoot some night-time low level air-to-ground footage
of the Kennedy Center from the Potomac. This footage was used on the air
as part of the show introduction as well as background for sponsor
credits. For a quick preview clip place your mouse over the "CBS" logo and click. Enjoy!
pilot Steve Bussmann and freelance producer John Paulson all teamed up
for a two day aerial shoot over all of the world renown iconic
landmarks surrounding the Chesapeake By watershed including Calvert
Cliffs, Cove Point, Drum Point, St Mary's City, Piney Point, Point
Lookout, Tangier Island, Crisfield, Deal, Holland, Hopper and Barren
Islands, Cambridge, Blackwater NWR, Sparrow Point, Havre de Grace,
Rock Hall, Tolchester Beach, Chestertown, Kent Island, Bay Bridge,
Annapolis, and Shady Side to name a few!
"It's the soaring glory of Chesapeake Bay as never seen by Captain John Smith and his traveling
companions of 1608. MPT's Chesapeake Bay
by Air forever captures the unparalleled wild beauty, history and
natural serenity of the bay, all from above. Shot in the air from two
to 2,000 feet using state-of-the-art high-definition recording gear,
Chesapeake Bay by Air's unique perspective of the Chesapeake Bay
marries gentle verse, prose and music with stunningly dramatic images
of the Chesapeake in a way that, until now, only migrating Canada
Geese could truly appreciate. Chesapeake Bay
by Air's meandering aerial journey transports us to many of the bay's
countless stunning locations and brings the bay into razor-sharp
perspective, from well above the din. It's your Chesapeake Bay,
and we thought you'd like to see it. Enjoy!" -- Mike English,
for a YouTube preview. In case you missed it you can click HERE
watch the entire programfrom the comfort of your desktop web browser & your high
speed internet connection (or place your mouse over the
"MPT" logo and click). Enjoy!
Saturday - September 19, 2009: Temple Hall Farm Corn Maze From The
The weather was crisp and clear
as Steve & Robert Bussmann assisted members of the local press, Northern
VA Regional Park Authority Board Members, and other dignitaries get
bird's eye views of the 50th Anniversary corn maze near Leesburg VA.
This aerial tour event takes place each year, typically the weekend
before the corn maze opens to the general public and gives the all of
the crew involved a unique perspective of all of their hard work. Park
Manager George Tabb remarked "Thanks Steve from making our media day
such a success, you and Robert really came through for us and did a
- August 25, 2009: Night Flight Over Fort AP Hill
Using an Avenger IR image sensor mated to a
3 axis 4 gyro stabilized video camera middle mount Bussmann Aviation was
able to assist technicians from General Dynamics obtain critical thermal
imaging over some test equipment near Bowling Green, VA. Flying in
counterclockwise orbits around the site pilot Steve Bussmann was able to
position the sensor in the ideal 30 degree lookdown angle necessary for
steady oblique imaging. "We were very pleased with the results of both
the late afternoon and night flights" remarked Doug Ferencz, "We got
exactly what we needed!"
- August 13, 2009: HD Video Shoot in Maryland
Orlando FL based IDEAS was hired to
prepare a virtual view of a planned construction site located just west
of the Monocacy National Battlefield site near Frederick, MD. Naturally
IDEAS Project Curator turn to Bussmann Aviation and videographer Pete
Roof of AltGobo to make the project happen on-time and on-budget.
Free-lance producer Jennifer Foster
joined Pete and Steve on the flight as was able to see the HD footage
has it was captured, real-time. After the flights Jennifer commented
"Thank you very much Steve, I enjoyed working with you and I appreciate
your diligence in making sure today's shoot was a success!".
Sunday - June 7, 2009: "What Can't Be Lost" - Special Report:
Washington Post Magazine Section
For the past several years
professionalphotographerCameron Davidson has been working on a book of images highlighting the
Chesapeake Bay and its many tributaries. The Washington Post
featured a selection of the aerial images Cameron has captured of the
watershed for the past 10 years, these images appeared in the weekly
Washington Post Magazine, along with an essay written by David Fahrenthold.
"The bay has
been around for more than 10,000 years, formed when melting glaciers
drowned a long stretch of the Susquehanna River Valley. The Chesapeake
watershed stretches over 64,000 square miles -- its arms are big rivers
such as the Susquehanna, the Potomac and the James, and its spider web
fingers extend into sweaty tidal swamps, out to the hard-rock folds of
Appalachia and up to the cold woods near Cooperstown, N.Y."
Naturally, Cameron turned to Steve Bussmann
of Heloflights to provide the aerial helicopter platform to capture
these images. "Steve is the best, a pilots' pilot" remarked Cameron in
recent blog posting in response to some commentary on the article. To review the essay and see a slide show of some of these spectacular
click hereor on the image below..
Look for Cameron's Chesapeake book to be
released sometime in 2010.
- May 20, 2009: HD aerial video shoot over Baltimore, MD
Martin Hamburger of
selected Steve Bussmann of Bussmann Aviation and Pete Roof of
Alt Gobo Media
Worksto capture stunning HD air-to-ground aerial images
Flanigan & Sons, Inc facilities and work project sites in
the Baltimore metro area. Founded in 1885, P. Flanigan & Sons, Inc is
one of the regions leaders in the construction of transportation
infrastructure in the mid-Atlantic area. Featuring an innovative
process, P. Flanigan & Sons is able to recycle
the removed concrete from the work site and create sustainable aggregate
products vital to new construction. The aerial imaging captured
during this flight will be used by the creative folks at Hamburger
Company to create a DVD production highlighting the capabilities and
work product of P. Flanigan & Sons during their 125th anniversary
celebrations during 2010.
- May 10, 2009: USS Freedom Departs Alexandria, VA
Commissioned on November 8th, 2008 in
USS Freedom is the
US Navy's first LCS (littoral combat ship) "LCS 1". Operating with a
crew of 50 seaman the USS Freedom is designed to patrol in the
near-shore environment yet is capable of open-ocean cruising. It's
primary mission is defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as
mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The vessel is 380
ft long, displaces 3100 tons fully loaded, and is powered by a pair of
Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines which can drive the Freedom up to 45 kts.
The USS Freedom departed the Alexandria VA
waterfront this morning and steamed under the open span of the brand new
Woodrow Wilson bridge at 8:45a. On scene to capture the moment was
Hendrickson of Highcamera Aerial Photographic
Service. Patrick selected the MD 500 helicopter
operated by Bussmann Aviation as the platform of choice for this
demanding photo assignment. "The rock steady flying characteristics of
this helicopter coupled with the pilot's ability to precisely position
the aircraft just where I need it, exactly when I need it is the reason
why I depend on Heloflights for the tough jobs that have to be done
right" commented Patrick at the conclusion of the flight.
- April 21, 2009: Frontline Investigation "Poisoned Waters"
More than three decades after the Clean
Water Act, iconic American waterways like the Chesapeake Bay and Puget
Sound are in perilous condition and facing new sources of contamination.
runoff still flowing in from industry, agriculture and massive
suburban development, scientists note that many new pollutants and
toxins from modern everyday life are already being found in the drinking
water of millions of people across the country and pose a threat to
fish, wildlife and, potentially, human health. In
Poisoned Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick
Smithexamines the growing hazards to human health and the
Aerial footage of the Chesapeake Bay and
surrounding areas for the program was gathered by Bussmann Aviation
using their rock stable MD500 helicopter as the aerial platform of
interviews with scientists, environmental activists, corporate
executives and average citizens impacted by the burgeoning pollution
problem, Smith reveals startling new evidence that today's growing
environmental threat comes not from the
industrial polluters of old, but from chemicals in
consumers' face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household
cleaners that find their way into sewers, storm drains and eventually
into America's waterways and
"The environment has slipped off our
radar screen because it's not a hot crisis like the financial meltdown,
war or terrorism," Smith says. "But pollution is a ticking time bomb.
It's a chronic cancer that is slowly eating away the natural resources
that are vital to our very lives."
In Poisoned Waters, Smith speaks
with researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who report
finding genetically mutated marine life in the Potomac River. In
addition to finding frogs with six legs and other mutations, the
researchers have found male amphibians with ovaries and female frogs
with male genitalia. Scientists tell FRONTLINE that the mutations are
likely caused by exposure to "endocrine
disruptors," chemical compounds that mimic the body's natural
The Washington Post reviewed the
click here to see the commentary.
The USGS research on the Potomac River
poses some troubling questions for the 2 million people who rely on the
Washington Aqueduct for their drinking water.
"The endocrine system of fish is very
similar to the endocrine system of humans," USGS fish pathologist Vicki
Blazer says. "They pretty much have all the same hormone systems as
humans, which is why we use them as sort of indicator species. ... We
can't help but make that jump to ask the question, 'How are these things
Wednesday - June 25, 2008: Living History - Civil War Landmarks From
Blue Ridge PBS has been tasked to produce a
series of 40 minute DVD based secondary school teacher vignettes
highlighting major geographic landmarks of the civil war era. When
classroom study reaches a certain timeframe or geography the instructor
can supplement classroom materials with this series of educational DVD's
that includes view of the present day location from both the air and the
ground. The first set of aerials was shot early this summer and
included Manassas, Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Fredericksburg, Guinea
Station, Chatham Hall, Fort Monroe, City Point, Tredegar Iron Works and
Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond VA. Producer Jim Hammerstrom is expecting
the series will be completed within 1 year.
Monday - March 24, 2008: The Circus
Is Coming To Town!
Channel is planning to air a new documentary series this fall entitled
"Great Trains". Videographer Pete Roof and pilot Steve Bussmann were up
in the air over Baltimore in the wee hours this Monday morning grabbing
some crucial air-to-ground footage of the famed Barnum & Bailey Circus
Train as it wended it's way from the Montclair rail yard in Baltimore
down to Washington DC. As this train is privately owned and
contains a very precious cargo it typically makes its move around
congested metropolitan areas very early in the morning as not not
disrupt normal freight and passenger traffic in the crowded northeast
rail corridor. "Shooting at night over a congested area presents its own
unique set of challenges" said Associate Producer Josh Vinitz, "Pete and
Steve work well together and were able to get the in tight and close
point-of-view and passing shots we needed to make this story."
Saturday - February 16, 2008:
Car Strikes Crowd At Illegal Car Race
Once again the Washington Post has tapped
Bussmann Aviation to get their breaking news team in position to grab
the cover page photos - this time of a horrific illegal late night
multi-vehicle car crash in Accokeek, MD.
The eight victims ranged in age from their
20s to 61, all men gathered in the dark of night for the thrill of
watching cars race on a flat stretch of Indian Head Highway.Witnesses
and police described a grisly scene, with people flying up to 15 feet in
the air and body parts laying strewn about the road. Shoes and pieces of
clothing were scattered along the road's grassy median for 200 yards.
The Ford Crown Victoria that struck the spectators around 3 a.m. had not
taken part in the race. The driver told police that he was blinded by a
cloud of white smoke and debris kicked up by the spinning wheels of two
vehicles that had just taken off to race.
Monday - December 17, 2007: Hopkins"
Aerial Shoot Over Baltimore
Stunning nighttime aerial sequences of Baltimore are captured by pilot
Steve Bussmann and cinematographer Richard Chisolm for the new ABC News
6 part documentary "Hopkins" set to broadcast in 2008.
"Nearly eight years after the critically
acclaimed series, Hopkins 24/7, ABC News returns to Baltimore's
Johns Hopkins Hospital for a new six-part documentary entitled Hopkins,
which delves even deeper into the world of caregivers at this hospital.
Hopkins offers a rare look at the impact this high pressure
profession can have on doctors' personal lives. For four months ABC
News' high definition cameras had unparalleled access to this legendary
hospital and to more than a hundred caregivers and patients who gave
their consent to be filmed. Hopkins captures astounding scenes of
medical crisis, with young doctors forced to make life and death
decisions on the fly. The result is a stunningly intimate portrait of
the men and women who call this hospital home. Hopkins premieres
THURSDAY, JUNE 26 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), and will continue for
five subsequent Thursdays through July on the ABC Television Network."
Wednesday - October 31, 2007:
Captain John Smith Once Again Sails the Chesapeake
Public TV hired Bussmann Aviation to position MPT videographer
Tim Pugh down low over a reproduction of a shallop as it was put through
its paces by its crew south of Chestertown on the Southeast Creek.
Shooting HD video, Tim was able to get both point-of-view as well as
orbiting shots of the vessel utilizing the 3 axis, 4 gyro stabilized
middle camera mount positioned by pilot Steve Bussmann in the rear
cabin. "By locating the camera mount on the starboard side of the
aircraft we can both orbit the subject matter in a clockwise pattern and
use the tail rotor of the helicopter to fly the aircraft sideways up to
40 kts for point of view shots, all without having to re-rig the mount
in between takes" commented Steve.
When the first English explorers
came to the New World in the late 1500s and early 1600s, they quickly
discovered a need for small, versatile, heavily constructed workboats
that would enable them to safely
explore the coastline and conduct trade with the American Indian tribes
of the region. The vessel they
designed specifically for this purpose was known as a shallop. Shallops
played an essential role in the survival of the first settlements in the
New World. They were used to explore and map the coast line, transport
people from one location to another, and deliver trade goods that were
exchanged with local Indian tribes for food and other critical supplies.
In the summer of 2007 a crew of
modern-day explorers, historians, naturalists and educators will
endeavor to retrace Captain John Smith's incredible 1608 expedition.
Traveling in a 28-foot reproduction of Smith's shallop, and living much
as Smith and his men did 400 years ago, the shallop and her crew will
spend 121-days voyaging to the headwaters of almost every tributary of
the Chesapeake Bay. At more than 20 points along the route, the shallop
and her crew will stop for public exhibitions so that people from all
around the region can learn about this important episode in the history
of the Chesapeake. For more information, please go to the John Smith 400
website at www.johnsmith400.org
or the Sultana website at
Monday - October 29, 2007:
at War" Comes to Annapolis
CACI of Arlington VA selected Heloflights to provide
some air-to-ground footage of the US Naval Academy located in scenic
Annapolis, MD as part of the opening sequence of the PBS Documentary
series Americans at War
scheduled to air on this Veteran's Day. Through the eyes of those who
were there, Americans at War looks back at the moments when
ordinary people were called to extraordinary heroism. High-definition
interviews offer intimate, one-on-one experiences. It's a priceless
understanding of the effects of war through harrowing personal
accounts. Featured on PBS, this award-winning series offers 50
compelling vignettes. This episode included personal stories of Ben
Carson, James Holloway, Ruth Haddick, George Bush, John Ripley, Norman
Hatch, Frank Buckles, James Webb, Harry Ferrier, Paul Yost, Bob Dole,
John Yingling, Edwin Bearss, James Leavelle, Bob Kerrey, Donald Lopez,
Joe Galloway, Richard Zimermann, Thomas Griffin, Jack Fellowes and
Sunday - October 28, 2007:
Open Eye Pictures Documentary "Under Our
Andy Wilson of Open Eye Pictures came to northern Virginia to
shoot some HD video of fall foliage for his upcoming documentary on Lyme
disaese called "Under Our Skin" and selected Pete Roof of Creative Video
and Steve Bussmann of Bussmann Aviation to provide the aerial footage he
was looking for. Using our gyro stabilized middle mount, Pete and
Steve worked together to capture the aerial scenery Andy was looking for
to complete the production, due to be released by the end of 2007.
In the early 1970's, a mysterious new
ailment was discovered among a group of children living around the town
of Lyme, CT. What was first diagnosed as isolated cases of juvenile
rheumatoid arthritis, eventually became known as Lyme disease, a
potentially serious illness triggered by spiral-shaped bacteria, similar
to the organisms that cause syphilis. Today, cases of Lyme disease have
been reported in all states. According to CDC estimates, over 200,000
people may acquire the disease per year--more than cases of AIDS, West
Nile Virus, and Avian Flu combined. Many of those untreated will suffer
chronic debilitating illness. Some unknowingly will pass the disease on
to their unborn children. Many will lose their livelihoods, and still
others will lose their lives.
Tuesday - October 16, 2007:
Pursuit Boats S310 on the Eastern Shore
Ronnie Constantino of
Atlantic Photo Techwas hired by Pursuit Boats to capture
some aerial video and still digital images of this center console
runabout over the Wye River on Maryland's eastern shore. Flying
low level in concert with a power boat underway is a demanding flying
job, photographers specializing in this type of work are very particular
about the pilots and machines they choose for this type of work.
Bussmann Aviation is proud to continue to be selected as the
mid-Atlantic platform of choice for this type of challenging flying.
The Pursuit S310 is the perfect family boat
as it combines the ease and accessibility of a center console with the
luxury and amenities of a cruiser. It feature deep, comfortable seating,
varnished teak tables and accents, dry and wet storage. Anglers will
appreciate the richly varnished teak rod holders under the gunwale,
along with storage port and starboard to ice down the catch of the day
and additional rod and equipment storage under the forward cushions.
Cruisers will love all the comforts of a cabin cruiser thoughtfully
built into the boat, including a full standup electric head with sink,
custom non-skid areas, an extended custom hardtop with storage, lighting
and speakers built in, varnished teak accents, ice chest with sandwich
tray, seating for everyone both fore and aft, including a custom teak
dining table that can be removed to install the padded insert for
sunbathing, fresh water supply and a stainless pull-out refrigerator!
Friday - October 5, 2007:
Tiara Yachts 3500 Sovran at the Annapolis
World renown boat
photographer Forest Johnson
was in Annapolis today to grab some early morning aerials of the 3500 Sovran by Tiara Yachts
using a helicopter provided by Bussmann Aviation. Skimming low over the
Chesapeake Bay shortly after dawn pilot Steve Bussmann maneuvered the
aircraft to provide Forest the best possible angle. Shots from
this project will appear in the January 2008 issue of Motorboating Magazine.
This all-new Sovran continues the Tiara
tradition of uncompromising quality and seaworthiness. Like the 3900 and
4300, the 3500 Sovran is engineered to take full advantage of the latest
Volvo IPS technology for superior handling, noise and fume reduction,
and fuel efficiency. The 3500 Sovran is ideal for a cruising couple that
likes to entertain family and friends for the day, or may occasionally
host overnight guests. Its intelligent floor plan, advanced drive train
technology and characteristic Tiara attention to fit and finish will
make the 3500 Sovran a source of cruising pleasure and lasting value.
Wednesday - August 1, 2007:
"FETCH!" with Ruff Ruffman Lands in Clinton,
Produced by WGBH, the wildly
successful PBS reality kids TV show "FETCH!"
was in town today to film an episode of the program which is set to air
this fall. Bussmann Aviation was tapped to provide aerial platform
services for the air-to-ground sequences which were obtained via our
in-house gyro stabilized middle mount camera stabilizing system.
Part game show, part reality TV,
and part spoof, FETCH! features real kids, real challenges, real
science, and an unreal host named Ruff Ruffman. Featuring 20 half-hour
episodes, FETCH! mixes live-action with animation and breaks the mold
with its educational and comical take on America's newest television
genre. Targeting six- to ten-year olds, it is spontaneous, unscripted,
and full of twists. FETCH! explores the untapped potential of the
hugely popular reality television genre and proves that it can be a
great venue for kids to have fun while learning problem-solving skills
and teamwork. The series also offers viewers an important perspective on
competition by letting them know that the value of an experience isn't
just determined by winning or losing, but by what happens along the way.
Funded in large part by the National Science Foundation, the series
focuses on real world science, featuring kids as they pursue questions,
conduct experiments, and actively investigate the world around them. In
addition, the series also has an extensive outreach initiative, designed
to extend the impact of FETCH!'s science themes and give viewers a
chance to play along with the show, even after the TV is turned off.
Sunday - July 22, 2007:
New Wilson Bridge Opens for the First Time
Larson of Aerial Photographers depended on Heloflights to get
him in position "low and slow" over the Potomac River this Sunday to
document the grand opening of the new Wilson Bridge draw bridge as the
Columbian Navy sailing vessel "Gloria" arrived in Washington DC to moor
off the town dock in old town Alexandria, VA.
Friday - April 20, 2007:
Open Road Films Comes to Town
Bussmann Aviation was asked to provide an
aerial platform for Producer Mary Pat Bentel and Director Danielle Lurie
who are working on a documentary to record the journey of singer Sheryl
Crow and environmentalist Laurie David as they travel across the country
on a two-week Stop Global Warming College Tour which will terminate this
Sunday, April 22 on the campus of George Washington University.
The tour kicked off from the campus of Southern Methodist University on
Thursday - April 5, 2007: Early
Spring Frosts Wreak Havoc
Aviation was called out for four nights by Horton Vineyards of Orange VA
to help prevent early morning frost damage to tender buds just starting
to emerge. Typically starting at 1am pilot Steve Bussmann and
co-pilots Chris Billet and Robert Bussmann would fly slowly at tree top
level covering thirty acres of this award winning local vineyard. Frost
prevention flights work best during temperature inversions - helicopter
rotor wash can push down warmer air and displace the cold air at the
surface helping to minimize frost damage on tender spring growth.
Bussmann Aviation /
Heloflights is proud to announce that the company has joined the ranks
of 1% For The Planet,
an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to
create a healthier planet. Members recognize their responsibility to and
dependence on a healthy environment and donate at least 1% of their
annual net revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. The
alliance aims to prove that taking environmental responsibility is good
for business. Click on the image below for more details on this fine
Wednesday - January 10, 2007:
Air-to-Air Video Over the Potomac
Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) will
be celebrating their 60th Anniversary this April and as part of the
occasion have hired American
Rogue Films to produce a video documentary highlighting the
operations, personnel and equipment of this distinguished outfit.
Bussmann Aviation was selected by Director Austin Smithard to provide
the necessary aerial platform and gyro stabilized camera mount to
capture air-to-air footage of HMX-1 aircraft flying along the Potomac
from Quantico all the way to the Tidal Basin and Key Bridge.
HMX-1 was established in December 1947 as an
experimental unit to test and evaluate helicopters and tactics and
currently provides all helicopter transportation for the President both
overseas and within the continental United States. In addition, HMX-1
provides helicopter transportation for the Vice President, members of
the President's Cabinet, and foreign dignitaries as directed by the
White House Military Office. HMX-1 also provides helicopter emergency
evacuation and other support as directed by the Commandant of the Marine
Corps. Marine One is the call sign used when the President is on board
one of the HMX-1 Marine helicopters. The current primary presidential
helicopter is the Sikorsky VH-3D (Sea King). HMX-1 is also tasked with
the Operational Test and Evaluation of US Marine Corps assault
helicopters and related equipment.
December 5, 2006: Second time is a charm!
Shortly after 8am the lead tug "Christine
McAllister" from McAllister
Towing was able to wrest the aircraft carrier Intrepid from its
home for the past twenty four years at pier 86 on the Hudson river in
New York. For the past 4 weeks a dredging contractor working under
supervision of the US Navy removed 39,000 cubic yards of sediment to
create a trench to allow McAllister tugs to pull the carrier from its
berth out into the middle of the Hudson river for the planned 5 mile tow
to Bayonne, NJ where the historic vessel will undergo a two year
overhaul and refurbishment. Pilot Steve Bussmann was able to
position photographer Jonathan
Atkin of ShipShooter and videographer Ken
Frazierof TVN Video"low and slow" to document the effort. The photo below
shows our MD500 helicopter in position and on assignment over the vessel
as it is beginning to leave the pier. For a brief YouTube video (shot by
TVN Video) of the project,
click on the photo below!
Washingtonian Magazine real estate expert
Assistant Editor Mary Clare
Fleury decided she needed aerial shots of some key homes in
Washington's most exclusive neighborhoods and naturally selected
Davidson and Bussmann Aviation's MD 500 helicopter to get her
and Cameron in optimum position for capturing the images she needed for
her November 2006 issue. See pages 102 through 109 for the story and
July 17, 2006: Sharks in Silver Spring, Maryland
To help launch the "Shark Week" TV series of
programs the folks at Discovery
Channel decorated their building in downtown Silver Spring in an
unusual fashion. Pilot Steve Bussmann was able to get photographer
Cameron Davidson and
videographer Bruce Liffitonin low and slow to grab the promo shots they needed to help kickoff
the event. Click on the image below for details!
June 6, 2006: "Prince Among Slaves" Video Shoot for PBS
1788 - The slave
ship Africa set sail from Gambia, West Africa, its berth laden
with a profitable but highly perishable cargohundreds of men, women and
children bound in chainsheaded to American shores. Six months later, a
handful of survivors would find themselves for sale in Natchez,
Mississippi. One of them, a 26-year-old man named Ibrahima Abdul Rahman
would make a most remarkable claim to Thomas Foster, the tobacco farmer
who purchased him at auction: As an African prince, highly educated and
personable, his father would gladly pay gold for his return.
Ibrahima would not return to Africa for another 40 years. In that time
he would toil on the plantation to make his owner rich. He would marry
and father nine children. He would also become the most famous African
in America, attracting the support of such powerful men as President
John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay. Later in life, he
would travel widely throughout the northern states, speaking to huge
audiences in an attempt to raise enough money to buy his children out of
slavery. And finally, at the age of 67, he would return to Africa, only
to fall ill and die just as word of his return reached his former home.
Through it all, Ibrahima would maintain his dignity and hope for the
freedom of his people.
Camerman Dennis Boni shot the
dramatic sunset scene of Ibrahima landing on the shores of Africa using
the gyro stabilized camera mount provided by Bussmann Aviation near
historic St. Mary's Maryland. Click on the image below for a
trailer and an update on the status of the production!
May 25, 2006: Aerial Property Survey - The Nature Conservancy
Early this year The Nature Conservancy was
deeded some easement property along the shores of the Rapidan and
Rappahannock rivers between Fredericksburg and Lignum, VA. Before
sending in ground-based survey conservation teams to explore the shores,
TNC selected Heloflights to conduct several aerial photo missions over
the property with GIS and terrain experts on board. Bussmann
Aviation was also able to supply TNC with detailed GPS track log files
of both flights with key areas for ground team detailed studies.
May 9, 2006: Volvo Ocean Race Competitors Reach New York
Bussmann Aviation was called upon by
business partner Camera Copters of Miami to pilot their MD500 Cineflex
HD camera ship over the waters of Chesapeake Bay this past Sunday as the
seven boats departed Annapolis southward down the bay towards Virginia
Beach, and then again as the racers entered New York harbor. After
clearing the bay, the boats turned northward and followed the coastline
where they finished leg 6 in New York harbor early Tuesday morning.
On board the helicopter for the both the Annapolis start and New York
finish segments was Steve Cassidy of AerialHD.com handling the video
camera and Oskar Kihlborg in the rear cabin snapping the aerial print
shots of both events. Images and video can be seen by clicking the
Saturday - March 4, 2006: Scouting Shoot for "Breach"
Pilot Steve Bussmann and videographer Pete
Roof were recently tapped by the production team for "Breach" to conduct
a aerial video location scouting flight for the Universal film currently
in production. Starring
Dennis Haysbert, this film is the story
of Robert Hanssen and how he was discovered and apprehended by the FBI.
This feature film is scheduled to be released February 16, 2007.
Using on-board moving map GPS technology
with track logging synched with the time code of the vide tape, Bussmann
Aviation was able to provide the production team with the exact
coordinates of all of the locations shot over Fairfax County. "We
couldn't have done it without you" remarked Patty Hess, "this was
exactly what we needed. Many thanks to you and Pete for being so
responsive to our needs!"
- February 2, 2006: Overturned Truck on I-270 Flyover Ramp Ties up
Traffic for Hours
A tractor-trailer carrying wooden stockade
fences flipped on the Capital Beltway during this morning's rush hour,
raining debris onto Interstate 270 below and unfortunately killing a
Marriott International executive on his way to work in Bethesda, MD.
The Washington Post called Bussmann Aviation to help them get a
photographer over the accident to capture the scene for the front page
in the next day's paper.
- December 15, 2005: First Phase of Flight Instruction Completed
for PAX NAS TPS
Bussmann Aviation recently completed
delivery of 40 hours of ground and flight instruction for 5 naval
aviators enrolled in the Test Pilot School at Patuxent Naval Air Station
in Maryland. This instruction included both ground school covering
aircraft systems, standard and emergency procedures and flight
instruction highlighting normal and emergency maneuvers, including full
touchdown autorotations. The second phase of the program includes
the same instruction for 9 additional aviators and this instruction will
be delivered during January 2006. The TPS at Patuxent NAS uses the
TH-6 (military version of the MD500) as one of its rotary wing platforms
for training test pilot candidates.
- November 12, 2005: Webelos Den 11 Pack 1195 Visits Helofights
Some 10 scouts, their leaders, siblings and
parents enjoyed a presentation on rotary wing flight and participated in
a hangar and aircraft tour this past weekend. After spending some
time learning the intricacies of helicopters the den next toured the
Nextflight FBO, also based at Manassas.
Commented Bill Goldfarb, leader of the den -
"A short note of thanks for all the hospitability extended toward my
group last Saturday. The presentation was superb - informative,
enlightening and the perfect level of "classroom" and hands-on study.
You opened our eyes to a world of helicopters most had no idea existed.
You very well may have given a young man the inspiration to do great
things. A further thanks for connecting is with Owen Williams and the
NextFlight crew - they proceeded to further wow us with airplanes,
flight operations and personnel functions. He later escorted us back for
a full buffet, as well as allowing each scout to take a helicopter ride
!!! The day could be described as nothing less than magical and will be
remembered by all for a lifetime. You are a true asset in this world and
for all the group, I extend our deepest appreciation. Thanks again and
if there is anything we can do for you (60 young boys at the ready!!),
don't hesitate ask."
Jeff Cook of Active Aerialsand photographer
Larson of Aerial Photographersrecently selected Heloflights to get them into position for
grabbing some stunning aerial photos and footage of The Moving Drawing
of Jheon Soocheon. Sponsored by Hyundai, Samsung, RailCruise
America, and Naver among others, artist Jheon Soocheon has created a
"moving art" by covering a 15 car passenger train with flowing canvas
and then using the vehicle to create a moving drawing from New York to
Los Angeles. For more details point your browser to:
- September 6, 2005: Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland
"Gorgeous footage!" exclaimed Karen Mintz of
Blue Plate Productions as she has spent the past several weeks reviewing
and editing the video tape shot recently by Pete Roof of Creative Video
in aircraft provided by Bussmann Aviation. "There's no way we
could have told the story without the terrific
aerial footage you were able to deliver for us, thanks!"
The Telly Awards Bronze Winner video,
entitled "The New American Farmer" is for the Southern Maryland
Agricultural Development Commission and it's purpose is to educate
people in the area about the region's rich agricultural history so they
will (in the face of lots of development) continue to support their
local farmers and keep farms in business.
details on the TCC, please point your browser to:
Not since Jacques Cousteau have fish seen
this many cameras. Never before have angling fans seen a bass tournament
with this much FOX Attitude. Now, that all changes. On Sun., Feb. 6, FSN
begins its new weekly show FLW OUTDOORS, with coverage of the FLW
national tournament circuit. As the tournament made its way to the east
coast, Heloflights was selected to get Fox videographers in tight and
close to film all of the action as the pros went to work on the banks of
The one-hour show airs Sundays at 11:00 AM
EST, 10:00 AM CST/MTN. Check local listings for PST airings.
- May 25 10, 2005: Booze Allen Classic on USA and ABC Networks
Viewers tuning in to the broadcast of the
Booze Allen Classic to be aired the week of June 6th will be treated at
the beginning of the telecast to a birds eye view tour of the Blue
Course at Congressional Country Club. From tee box to green
Heloflights was able to get videographer Chris Chanda into position for
each hole. All the greats will be in town and playing, be sure to tune
- May 10 10, 2005: Outdoor Life Network "Ultimate Playground"
Series Film Shoot
folks at OLN asked Heloflights to assist them with the filming of a new
episode of the popular Ultimate Playground series called "Secret
Training", to be broadcast during the month of June. Flying
cinematographer Scott Darharp at treetop level over the Chesapeake Bay
pilot Steve Bussmann was able to position the film crew directly above
the speeding Zodiac as it raced across the bay towards Execution Island.
Navy Seals take host Laird Macintosh on a weekend training adventure on
the Chesapeake Bay. It's a sometime serious, sometimes funny and
completely unexpected Ultimate Playground."
For specific dates and airtimes point your
browser to the logo below:
- April 1, 2005: Congratulations - Ben Hewlett!
After many weeks of studying and flight
preparation Ben Hewlett successfully passed both his commercial and CFI
checkrides with flying colors!
- February 12, 2005: In memoriam: Steve Kotzmoyer
In observance of the memorial service for
our friend Steven Lee Kotzmoyer and his daughter Jessica Kotzmoyer, Bussmann Aviation will be closed for business
Steve was born in 1956 in Bangor Maine and
graduated from Hayfield High School in 1974. He received an
Associate Degree in Computer Science at Northern Virginia Community
College. He was employed by Allen Systems Group in Reston Virginia
as Principal Architect & Lead Developer for TMON for TCP/IP.
January 9, 2005: Carolina says "Yes!"
Marc Garner decided to stack the deck in his
favor by adopting a overwhelming offense in his proposal planning for
sweetheart Carolina Espinal. Key to his strategy was organizing a
champagne helicopter flight over the Blue Ridge foothills during which
he delivered his proposal for marriage - which Carolina enthusiastically
A date has not yet been
set, but the ring was very impressive.
Friday - December
31, 2004: In memoriam: John Deardourff
In observance of the memorial service for
our friend John Deardourff, Bussmann Aviation will be closed for business
Mr. Deardourff was a board member of the Children's Defense Fund,
the League of Conservation Voters, the National Environmental Trust,
Public Voice and the Women's Campaign Research Fund. In 1986, the
National Women's Political Caucus gave him its "Good Guy Award," which
honors men who support women in politics.
Mr. Deardourff was a volunteer at the Phillips Collection, where
he served as an adviser to the board of trustees in the 1980s. His other
passions were tennis and travel.
Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Elisabeth Griffith,
headmistress of the Madeira School, of McLean; two daughters from his
first marriage, Anne Sinsheimer of Charlotte and Katherine Wordsman of
Bedford, N.Y.; two children from his second marriage, Megan Deardourff
of Washington and John David Deardourff, a student at Davidson College
in North Carolina; two brothers; and four grandchildren.
Monday - December 20, 2004:
"Battlefield Detectives" Antietam and Gettysburg Segments Airs on the
As mentioned previously in a July release,
Bussmann Aviation was selected back in the summer of this year to assist
Granada Television with the production of two part "Battlefield
Detectives" series featuring in-depth historical analysis of both the
Antietam and Gettysburg Civil War epic battles. Both productions
are available on DVD via
Monday - December 6, 2004: Arson
Strikes Charles County
Once again the Washington Post tapped
Heloflights to get their photographer in place for some front page
images of the recent residential arson fires that damaged 12 homes in
Indian Head, Maryland. Despite the rainy conditions over 30 homes were
damaged in Maryland's worst case of arson in the states history.
- November 13, 2004: See Think Productions Hi-Definition Video Shoot
Ethan Palmer and Tom Davis spent the day
slogging through the mud at the Page farm in Port Deposit Maryland
filming castle assaults and open field combat staged by creative
anachronists "Darkon". Portions of this production was shot from
the air using hi-def video camera gear mounted to Bussmann Aviation's AE
GSM mounted in front of the co-pilots seat in the helicopter for
outstanding point-of-view perspective of the action below.
Thursday - October 7, 2004: Skunk
Films Chesapeake Bay Documentary
Jeff Pohorski of Skunk Films recently spent an entire day
along with videographer Pete Roof and pilot Steve Bussmann in a MD 500
helicopter shooting video footage of Baltimore harbor, Annapolis,
Tangier & Smith Islands, Patuxent river basin and the lower Chesapeake
Bay for a video documentary project entitled "Between Heaven and Earth -
The Plight of the Chesapeake Watermen" (Bronze Telly Award Winner). "The ability to quickly re-rig the AE GSM gyro stabilized
camera mount from point-of-view to out-the-side configuration while in
the field is a real benefit to to assist the client in getting the shots
they need" commented Pete Roof.
- September 5, 2004: Guru Nanak Foundation of America "Petals"
The GNFA recently celebrated their 100th
anniversary by releasing thousands of rose petals over their
congregation and church from a helicopter provided by Bussmann Aviation.
Despite the blustery conditions, the petals were dropped right on target
thanks to precision placement by Marc Woolverton. "Thank you very much
for making our anniversary celebration such a success" remarked
Maninder Singh at the conclusion of the event.
Wednesday - July 21, 2004: History
Channel "Battlefield Detectives" Shoot
Granada Television recently selected
Heloflights to help them shoot aerial video footage of Gettysburg and
Antietam National Battlefields for the popular "Battlefield Detectives"
series aired on the History Channel. In addition to aerial
footage, the documentary will feature
terrain analysis by geomorphologist Judy Ehlen Ph.D who surveyed
from the helicopter - providing a unique perspective on the outcome of
the battle based upon the geography on which the conflict took place.
A brief capsule of both upcoming programs:
Robert E. Lee's first invasion into the North ended in the Battle of
Antietam--the bloodiest single day in the Civil War--and in all U.S.
history. Just 12 hours of fighting resulted in nearly 23,000
casualties. On September 17, 1862, two determined armies gathered near
Sharpsburg, a quiet backwater near Antietam Creek in western
Maryland. Union forces were desperate to repel the South's invasion of
their territory. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, its back to
the Potomac River, was fighting for its very existence. Much was at
stake. But just why was Antietam such a terrible killing field? Now the
latest forensic techniques are shedding new light on the question.
Experts from the fields of archaeology, geology, weapons technology, and
pathology investigate this uniquely horrific moment in American
three hot days in July 1863 , Union and Confederate forces clashed in
and around a small Pennsylvania town. When the Battle of Gettysburg
ended, the two exhausted sides had inflicted more than 50,000 casualties
upon one another--the largest battle ever fought on American soil. The
third day is considered the Confederacy's "high-water
mark"--when General Robert E. Lee lost the decisive battle of the Civil
War. But scientific battlefield evidence now suggests that by the time
the artillery began firing that day, the Confederate fight was already
doomed. And when Pickett's Charge--the famous full frontal attack
against Union lines--got underway, the battle effectively was over.
Experts in physics, geology, crowd control, and cartography join forces
with military historians to better understand this epic battle."
The events will be telecast on the History
Channel on December 20, 2004.
June 25, 2004: Gloria Estefan "Tributo A Nuestros Heroes" Concert Shoot
The coverage of Gloria Estefan performance
in late June was enhanced with aerial video shot by pilot Steve Bussmann
of Bussmann Aviation and camera operator Peter Roof of Creative Video.
Bussmann flew his MD-500C helicopter with Roof running a DigiBeta camera
on a new AE Gyro middle mount. The new mount allows nearly any type of
camera to be used in the helicopter and get substantial stabilization
using three gyroscopes. Prior to getting dynamic aerials over and around
the concert during the evening hours the crew shot a dramatic arrival of
an F-14 Tomcat which will be used in the opening sequence. The
outdoor concert, held in a hangar at the Norfolk Naval Station, was a
free event to thank the Hispanic members of the military and their
families. The event will be telecast on Telemundo in October.
Sunday - May 16, 2004: AE GSM
Camera Mount in Action - 60 Minutes
CBS aired a segment on "60 Minutes" entitled
"Alhurrah" this evening featuring footage shot using the 3-axis gyro
stabilized AE GSM middle mount. A clipof this segment is posted on the gallery page. This was
the first time that videographer Phil Geyelin, has ever used this mount
and he commented after reviewing the tape "the stuff looks great and is
exactly what the producer was looking for! It was great flying with you
and I hope we do it again in the future."
Sunday - March 21, 2004: AE GSM
Camera Mount Acquired
Heloflights is pleased to announce that we
have added a gyro stabilized AE GSM video/film camera middle mount to
our in-house inventory of capabilities. This means that on your next
aerial video or film mission you can opt for a new mounting system that
can get you in the air that same day without the expense, freight
charges, delay, intensive rigging required for rental mounts.
Until now professional aerial camera
stabilization from a moving platform has only been achieved through the
use of very expensive stabilized mounts that are usually rented. The AE
Gyro Stabilized Mount & Platform (GSM) is the most affordable
stabilized video or film platform that produces professional quality,
rock-steady stabilized imagery for both film and video productions. We
believe the AE GSM is a breakthrough product in the areas of performance
and price. This product will enable those of you without
Hollywood-sized budgets to obtain stable, high quality video. The
middle mount is an excellent camera stabilization system, however it is
expensive and involves long lead times, costly freight charges, and
timely rigging preparation. The AE GSM is a portable system that is
quick to set up and will work for many different video applications, we
can typically rig a camera system ready-for-flight is less than 30
minutes. Since the mount and gyro stabilization package is in-house,
there are no freight charges and lead time issues to consider. In
addition, the AE GSM can handle cameras from 3 lbs
to 70 lbs! The AE GSP stabilization is based on the use of
Kenyon Laboratories Gyro Stabilizers. The system uses three high
powered gyro KS-8 stabilizers, stabilization is provided in all three
axes. KS-8 gyros with tungsten wheels are utilized with each gyro
providing stabilization for up to 12 lbs of equipment, for a total of 36
lbs of stabilization.
Friday - January 9, 2004: TSA drops the national threat level back to
Security Department (DHS) this afternoon lowered the national threat
level from a "high" to "elevated" (or "code yellow") risk of terrorist
attack- but unfortunately "code orange" restrictions remain in place for
airports and airspace. The alert status remains "high" for airports,
airlines and some cities. DHS is currently evaluating each individual
TFR imposed during code orange. There may be decisions late this
afternoon or over the weekend on the Chicago and Valdez (Alaska) TFRs,
and Washington ADIZ procedures.
don't hesitate to contact us for updated & current information for
flight restriction inside the DC airspace for any mission you might
- December 21, 2003: TSA raises the national threat level back to
As a result of increased
security concerns, the FAA has issued several notams restricting flight
in the Washington metropolitan area. Earlier today the Department of
Homeland Security raised the terrorist threat level from "elevated" to
"high" (orange level); Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge cited
intelligence information from credible sources of imminent terrorist
attempts to attack at levels "rivaling or exceeding" the September 11,
2001, attacks. Ridge noted that al Qaeda continues to contemplate using
aircraft as weapons. The NTL is expected to remain at "orange" through
the end of January.
don't hesitate to contact us for updated & current information for
flight restriction inside the DC airspace for any mission you might
- November 11, 2003: Georgetown University Campus Photo Shoot
GU selected Bussmann Aviation to get their
video & photo staffers in "low and slow" to update their records of
campus buildings and facilities reflecting all of the changes made to
school property over the past few years. "We had difficulty finding a
helicopter service with clearances to operate in restricted airspace
surrounding Washington DC, we are certainly glad that you were available
and able to assist us in getting the shots we needed. Thanks a lot!
- September 5, 2003: Dominion High School Gets Ready for the
Joe Flemming, the athletic
director of Dominion High School was under severe pressure to ensure his
brand new football field would be ready and dry for the season opener on
Saturday night. The Washington DC area has suffered through one of
the wettest summers on record, athletic fields all over town have been
turned into soggy mudholes. "The thirty foot, four bladed rotor
system of the MD500 spinning at 480 rpm was just the fan we need to help
us dry out our field in time for the game tomorrow. What a life saver!"
commented Joe after Bussmann Aviation had been on scene for 2 hours
hovering 1 foot above the flooded turf.
- August 16, 2003: The SCV taps Bussmann Aviation to Assist
Historical Research Project
Recently Red Barber of the Sons of Confederate Veterans selected N9233F
to assist his forensic team in searching for civil war era campgrounds,
battlefields, and grave sites in nearby Bristow, Virginia. Flying
slow racetrack search patterns at 800' using infrared thermal sensing
video equipment the crew was able to locate several sites of suspected
historical importance. "Aerial thermal overflights is the critical first
step to assist the ground teams in conducting subsequent extensive field
analysis using ground penetrating radar. The aerial view can help
us pinpoint where to focus our ground based efforts" comment Red.
- June 1, 2003: Cub Scout Den 9 goes flying again!
Back by popular demand, the 10 boys and
parents of Den 9, Pack 116 of Vienna Virginia recently traveled to
Warrenton, Virginia for an afternoon of rotary wing aviating across the
verdant farms of Fauquier county. "What a blast!" reported Kevin
Zell, "Even my mom loved it!. At the conclusion of the flying
session late in the afternoon Den leader Jim DeClerk made a third
reservation for the den's return in 2004.
- May 4, 2003: MWAA Selects Bussmann Aviation to Provide DC Photo
Charlie Grayburn of the
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority recently chose N9233F to
provide a magic carpet ride for two out-of-town VIPS interested in
capturing print images of scenic downtown Washington DC by helicopter.
"Cruising at 300' above the Potomac River past all of the local
monuments is the best way to see DC!" exclaimed Dr. Jason Henneiger.
Tuesday - April 23, 2003: Pride of
Baltimore Video Shoot
was pleased to be selected by Jerome Bird of the Pride of Baltimore Inc
to provide a stable platform for capturing video and print images of the
vessel as she sailed out of Annapolis harbor on a test run. Videographer
Tom Wolf remarked on the stability of the 500 platform and our ability
to drop in low and slow for some outstanding images of the vessel
February 10, 2003: Washington, DC Airspace Alert
In response to the increased threat level
announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the FAA and
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are imposing additional
restrictions on the airspace in the national capital area. These were
announced in a conference call with AOPA and other representatives from
the general aviation community conducted by FAA Administrator Marion
Blakey and TSA Chief Operating Officer Admiral John Shkor. The specific
details are contained in four separate notices to airmen (notams)
released late Saturday evening; the restrictions go into effect on
Monday morning 0600 local.
The biggest notam establishes an "air
defense identification zone" that approximately covers the lateral
limits of the Baltimore-Washington Class B airspace and a 30-nm
extension to the south of the DCA VOR, from the surface to 18,000 feet
msl. Inside of this area, all aircraft will be required to be operating
on a flight plan, squawking a discrete transponder code, and in two-way
communication with air traffic control. All flight plans should be filed
on the ground, although "air-files" will be permitted. General aviation
Part 91 operations continue to be prohibited within the Washington
special flight rules area (SFAR 94) within 15 nm of DCA. This notam
affects operations at 23 public-use airports
(and several private airports) home to more than 2,400 based aircraft.
There are more than 910,000 annual operations from these airports.
cancels any current waivers for operations in this area and SFAR 94. The
notam requires that new waivers be obtained before resuming operations,
including electronic news gathering and international arrival waivers.
The only exception is for the waiver holders for operations into
and out of the Maryland "DC3" airports (College Park, Hyde Field, and
third notam to address the current "DC3" waiver holders takes effect
on Monday at 6 a.m. and requires that authorized operations in and out
of the "DC3" be subject to more onerous security procedures. Aircraft,
crew, and passengers will be subject to security screening by TSA prior
to departing. Arrivals will be required to first land at Lee Airport (ANP),
which is the "gateway" airport outside of the SFAR airspace for
screening prior to landing at the "DC3." The details of these procedures
are still being worked out.
In addition to the Washington-area
airspace restrictions, a
fourth notam will take effect Monday that rescinds all waivers to
the sporting event notam (2/0199). This means that banner towers may not
operate over stadiums that have a seating capacity of 30,000 or more in
which a major sporting event is occurring.
Sunday - December
2002: A Proposal
Dave Herbig of Clifton Virginia decided
today was the day he would propose to his sweetheart. Under the
pretense of traveling to Manassas to go antiquing, Dave lured Erin onto
the field for a scenic helicopter flight through northern Virginia.
Fifteen minutes into the flight, 1000 ft somewhere over Fairfax, Dave
popped the question....and Erin accepted. "The best part of the
flight was the tour over Great Falls...that was fantastic" said Erin.
The couple plans to settle down in the Clifton area.
Sunday - December 15,
2002: A Big Finish at US Airways Arena
The arena alongside the Washington DC
Capital Beltway in Landover came down in a dynamite blast and a cloud of
dust to make way for a new shopping center. It was over in less
than 20 seconds as 355 pounds placed in 550 holes leveled what was left
of the 29-year-old structure. The Washington Post selected
Bussmann Aviation to get photographer Ricky Carioti "up close and
personal" for this dramatic event. Originally called the Capital
Center, it opened in 1973 as the home of the Washington Bullets and
Capitals and a venue for countless rock concerts.
2002: Manassas City Crime Solvers Charity Mission
Sgt. Marc Woolverton arranged for Bussmann
Aviation to provide a stable aerial platform for the annual "golf ball
drop" charity fund raising event held at the Montclair Golf Club in
The Golf Ball Drop is a raffle where people buy chances
at a cash prize if their ball is the ball in the hole, or closest to the
hole. The balls are dropped from a helicopter at altitude over the
course driving range. All proceeds from the event benefited the
FOP Charitable Foundation.
Wednesday - September 18,
2002: Bayliner boat shoot in Virginia Beach.
As the sun was setting this
evening, Steve Bussmann was flying N9233F low over Broad Bay with
several Trophy center console sport fishing boats on another web site
and catalog photo mission. A helicopter is the ideal platform to
capture both low & high oblique & overhead shots of the stern, side and
bow and the boat as it is running along picturesque water at speed.
Friday - August 10, 2002:
Foto Flight selects Heloflights to provide a photo platform over Tysons
Photographer Randy Foulds needed a
helicopter platform for a critical real estate photo mission in the
northern Virginia area. Bussmann Aviation was able to secure the
necessary permissions to conduct this flight inside the current
Washington "no fly zone" so Randy could get the early morning shots he
needed for his client.
Saturday - July 13, 2002:
BBC taps Bussmann Aviation for documentary video shoot.
Steven Kostant of Swim Design recently selected Bussmann Aviation to
work with the BBC and their upcoming production of a documentary
entitled "Clear the Skies". Director Peter Molloy and photographer Ian
Kennedy worked with Steve Bussmann to get several hours worth of video
footage over the Shenandoah as well as downtown DC. The team used a Sony
790 PAL betacam on a Tyler nose mount for the job. "Clear the Skies" is
scheduled to be broadcast on BBC2 in the UK on September 1, 2002 at 9pm.
Saturday - July 6, 2002: Interface
Multimedia selects Bussmann Aviation for Ft. Belvoir video shoot.
Interface Multimedia specializes in developing digital "site plans" and
presentations for construction projects in the entire mid-Atlantic
region. Mark Burlingson was interested in both still and video
photography of the downtown DC metropolitan area as well as the Ft.
Belvoir region of the Potomac river. Bussmann Aviation was able to
provide photographer Chet Chabuk with the platform he need to check the
shots Burlinson required.
Saturday - June 22, 2002: Bussmann
Aviation sponsors "The Night Help"
Bar-B-Que team in Washington, DC.
The 10th annual Safeway Bar-B-Que
battle was held on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, DC over
the June 22nd weekend. Bussmann Aviation was an official member & proud
corporate sponsor of the "The Night Help Barbecue Team" which entered
the lamb, whole shoulder, and sauce categories. Andy Stoddard, team
head chef, took 5th place overall with his world famous finishing
sauce. Friends & family visited the team tent throughout the weekend
where daytime temperatures topped 100 degrees. Needless to say the
barbecue and beer was excellent!
Tuesday - June 11, 2002: Grady
White Boats "chopper day" in Swansboro, NC.
Cheryl Goodwin of Grady White Boats recently enlisted the MD500 and
services of Steve Bussmann for the companies catalog photo shoot off the
North Carolina coast. Bussmann Aviation was able to provide the ideal
rock-steady platform for critical cruising, trolling, beach and marina
moored shots for the five of Grady White acclaimed line of sport fishing
Sunday - May 5, 2002: New Media
Systems of Richmond, VA taps Bussmann Aviation for critical DC photo
Richard McDonald of New Media Systems needed to get inside the current
Washington DC no-fly zone for some critical aerial photography missions
from his key customers. Bussmann Aviation was able to secure the
necessary authorizations to conduct this 2 hour mission around the
Pentagon, Arlington, McLean, Springfield and Fredericksburg locales. By
pre-loading each photo site into the moving map GPS system aboard the
helicopter, Chief Pilot Steve Bussmann was able to ensure each location
was photographed in the most efficient manner possible.
Wednesday - April 24, 2002:
Bussmann Aviation provides local vineyard with frost prevention
Jennifer McCloud of Virginia's award-winning Chrysalis Vineyard of
Middleburg Virginia recently requested frost prevention services offered
by Bussmann Aviation to protect sensitive spring buds in low lying
areas. Starting at 11pm, McCloud placed thermometers at the four corners
of two key fields totaling about 26 acres. Field hands closely monitored
these thermometers and at 2am Bussmann got the word the temperatures
were dipping dangerously below the freezing mark. With co-pilot Chris
Billet and remote landing zone re-fueling & lighting support provided by
Ron Mayer, the Heloflights team was able to successfully prevent frost
damage to this key crop. Hovering 40 feet above the vineyard, the MD500
was able displace the colder ground layer of air with warmer air above
bringing the surface temperature up from 29 degrees up to 35 degrees
with each pass.
UPDATE - Story in Washington Post
By Michael Laris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 2, 2002; Page A01
"Historical Harvests for Cultivated Tastes "
Farmers Bring Back 'Heirloom' Produce
Jennifer McCloud grows Norton grapes, which date to the 1800s, at her
Middleburg vineyards. Id love to see Norton rolling over the Virginia
countryside, she says. Jennifer McCloud wasn't about to watch her
budding crop of Norton grapes be destroyed. So one freezing morning in
April, she radioed for a jet helicopter to swoop in and save the
precious fruit she hopes will lead a retro revolution. The chopper,
designed to scout for enemy soldiers in the Vietnam War, hovered 20 feet
above the trellises, high enough so the downwash from the whirling
rotors would warm, but not snap, the vines. As the sun rose, she could
see a crusty layer of deadly frost just beyond the rows of her
Saturday - April 12, 2002:
Bussmann Aviation provides film crew with camera platform for the
opening sequence of a major motion picture.
At the request of Andy Edmunds of the Virginia Film Office, Steve
Bussmann of Bussmann Aviation provided director Richard Squires and
photographer Gary Grieg with an aerial platform to capture the opening
sequence of a soon-to-be-released major motion picture entitled "The
Goose Creek Story" starring Mary MacDonald (of "Dances with Wolves"
fame). Bussmann mounted the Arriflex 35mm film camera to the aircraft
using the Tyler nose mount system. Gary sat in the co-pilot seat and
using the Tyler control console was able to get the exact shots director
Squires was interested in....namely tree top scenic vistas of the
Virginia countryside over the Goose Creek stream bed near Middleburg.
Sunday - April 7, 2002: Bussmann
Aviation provides local cub scouts with aerial tour of Manassas.
Steve Bussmann, Kate Hillas and Robert Bussmann of Bussmann Aviation
spent most of the day today providing nine cub scouts of Den 9, Pack
1116 of Vienna Virginia and their parents with hangar tours and 20
minute sightseeing flights of the surrounding Virginia countryside. Some
of the early flights included a brief overflight of Lake Manassas, the
Nissan Pavillion as well as a small house fire in the Nokesville which
was a big hit with all the boys. In addition to the flights, Chief Pilot
Steve Bussmann also provided the scouts with thorough briefing on the
workings of an MD500 helicopter and proper pre- and post-flight
March 23, 2002: Bussmann Aviation and Creative Video shoot aerial
video of "Miss
Steve Bussmann of
Bussmann Aviation and Peter Roof of Creative Video of Washington
recently flew to Irvington Virginia to shoot aerial video of the yacht
"Miss Ann." The 127-foot motor yacht is used for excursions on the
Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay for the guests of The Tides Inn
resort. The video shot will be included in a package of material about
the yacht and resort to be made available. Bussmann is the owner and
pilot of the MD-500C helicopter that flew the mission. Roof ran the FSI
Ultra Media II gyro-stabilized system. The camera gimbal contains a Sony
BVP-570 camera and was mounted on a special bracket under the
helicopter's nose for this assignment. The product was recorded on
BetacamSP videotape and a DVcam videotape backup was also made. The
MD-500C helicopter is a small, but highly capable turbine-powered
aircraft. The FSI system delivered extremely smooth and stable pictures.
With a fresh coat of paint, the yacht cruised down the Rappahannock
River as the aerial crew swept over and around the vessel gathering a
wide variety of dynamic beauty shots. The pilot was in constant radio
communication with the skipper and they were able to show the beauty and
grace of the 76-year-old yacht.
January 11, 2002: The FAA has issued Bussmann Aviation a waiver to
conduct flight operations within the current 15 miles "no fly zone".
allows Bussmann Aviation to now operate within 10 nautical miles of the
VOR (see map below). In addition, there is also a new waiver procedure
to fly within the 10 mile zone, please contact us for details!
December 19, 2001: The FAA today issued a notam that removed
enhanced Class B airspace from 30 major metropolitan areas, reduced the
of the temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) "no fly" zones around New
City and Washington, D.C, and added a small TFR in Boston. That means
operations can resume (except for the TFR areas) in those three
areas, and specialty operations (news and traffic reporting,
tours, banner towing, etc.) can resume in Class B airspace everywhere.
For Washington, D.C. area pilots, the even more exciting news is that
Freeway, Maryland, and Suburban airports in Maryland may now reopen.
general aviation airports, home to more than 230 aircraft, have been
since the September 11th attacks. Unfortunately, three other area
(College Park, Potomac, and Hyde Field) remain trapped under the
The following diagram illustrates the 15 SM "no fly" airspace remaining
the Washington DC metro area: