The Enstrom 480 turbine powered helicopter, ready for a filming mission

Our partners over at Vertivue Air Charters - based at the Queen City Airport in Allentown, PA - offer both business and "for fun" flight charters in either their Beechcraft King Air F90 or an Enstrom 480B helicopter. 
However, one offering makes them stand out from the rest, and that's their Skybox camera system. Invented by Vertivue's founder and Chief Pilot Ted Rosenberger, Skybox is a gyro-stabilized nose-mounted camera system that captures smooth, high-quality 4K video

Skybox close up. Note that the front glass is actually perfectly clear, you're seeing a reflection of the ground.

Now I know what you may be asking yourself:
Why pay for helicopter time when a drone can do it for probably much cheaper?
Well, sometimes a drone is the right tool for the job, but sometimes it's not. There are a number of reasons to utilize a helicopter, not least of which is that the Lehigh Valley (among many, many other locations) falls within drone flight restricted airspace due to the proximity of the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). While there are locations within the five mile radius where drones can be flown for commercial uses, there are still many restrictions on drone use that you have to watch out for, including but not limited to:
-Maximum flight altitude
-Visual line-of-sight for the drone pilot
-Shooting at night
-Maximum flight speed
As a manned aircraft, the Vertivue helicopter is not subject to any flight restrictions anywhere in the Lehigh Valley or elsewhere, including areas like Manhattan and Washington DC. No prior notifications or authorizations are needed to operate in most airspace; the helicopter pilot simply radios the tower in-flight and receives an immediate clearance to operate in the airspace.

The pilot has his own monitor to see what the camera operator is doing. The two must work closely together to achieve the perfect shot.

Finally, when comparing rates for Skybox to a drone with a licensed Part 107 Pilot, you need to make sure you're comparing apples to apples when it come to camera and lens specs, image quality, and pilot experience. The Skybox system shoots 4K raw images to deliver the maximum image quality possible short of a system like Shotover, the use of which runs in multiples of the cost of using Skybox. Additionally, Vertivue's Chief Pilot has over 5000 hours of pilot in command time.
So, if you're interested in aerial videography or drone video in the Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Philadelphia, New York or elsewhere, be sure to contact us today!

The camera operator's controller and monitor. 

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