Flying to Midden Zeeland with Whenchicksfly.com

When Chicks Fly to Midden Zeeland with the When Chicks Fly Chicken Logo

When Chicks Fly: flying to Midden Zeeland

On a sunny Saturday two chicks decided to fly to Midden Zeeland for coffee and burgers. But what are chicks without a rooster? Just two hens… So this time they took a rooster with them. I packed my bags and got ready to fly… and brought a camera. The result was a short video of our flight from Rotterdam Airport (EHRD) to Midden Zeeland Airport (EHMZ).

Rotterdam Airport – the home base

Rotterdam Airport is a great airport because our small Robin DR-40 are departing from same runway as commercial flights. Midden Zeeland airfield is one of the closest airfields with a grass runway and a favorite amongst students for touch and go training. Located approximately 35 min. of flying time to the south-west of Rotterdam, the way there took us along the beautiful North-Sea coast and the Dutch province of Zeeland.

Kajsa took off as pilot in command and after a 360 over the south of Delft continued via the HOTEL departure south-west wards in the direction of Midden Zeeland.

Midden Zeeland – a new grass runway

Midden Zeeland airport (EHMZ) has recently reinforced its grass runway making it more sturdy and robust. We went for refueling and after some lessons in right turns around the gas station parked our plane.

While Kajsa went to ensure all administrative things were taken care off and filed our return flight plan, Flora and I ordered drinks and burgers at the airport restaurant. After a delicious burger (and yes, it truly was delicious!), Flora and Kajsa switched places and Flora took off from EHMZ as our new pilot in command.

Back home via Oud Bijerland

We returned to Rotterdam and entered the Rotterdam control zone (CTR) via Oud Bijerland, a non-standard arrival route, which takes you across the Maas and along the Euromast, straight back to the airfield. Flora touched down less than 40 min. after our take off from Midden Zeeland.

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Here’s what I used

Filming

  • Camera: Canon 650D
  • Lens: Canon L 24-105 f4 USM IS

Post-production

 

The article originally appeared on whenchicksfly.com. This is an slightly adapted version.

How to film an aerobatics flight

We pulled a maximum of 4g during filming

Filming an aerobatics flight

Diani Flight is a Dutch pilot who is aspiring to build a flying career. He asked me to come along on one of his aerobatics flights at Wings over Holland. Aerobatics is its own league in flying. Loopings, barrel rolls, wingovers and more. You do a crazy ballet with your plane in the air. The aim was to share as much as possible of the intensity of the experience.

Filming inside the hangar

To capture shots of the plane inside the hangar, decided to get some low shots from the floor. To get a nice bokeh, I used a Leica 35 mm f2.0 lens. The lens is a fully manual  and I use a R to EF lens adapter on my Canon body. For focus pulls I use the Fotga DP500 Mark III Follow Focus. The  follow focus feels great on this a bit stiffer lens and has no noticeable backlash. The fixed A/B rings make it even easier to set start/end points, if you like.

On a tripod head on a new 1m Neewer Carbon Fibre Slider I wanted to get some smooth dolly like shots. It went alright. The slider is ok to use but unfortunately, I noticed quite some wiggling when I reviewed the shots; I believe this is from the wheels. I’ve done some more shots since then and i keep on noticing it – it’s really small, but it is noticeable.

I took some other outside handheld shots with the Canon L 24-105 mm f4 USM IS. The lens’ optical image stabilisation is great.

On a side note: if necessary (or wanted), I stabilise shots in post production using Adobe After Effects. Editing happens in Final Cut Pro X but the stabilisation and tracking options in After Effects are much more powerful.

Setting up the cockpit for our aerobatics flight

With the intro shots done it was time to prep the plane. Our plane, a Fuji FA-200 Aero Subaru from Wings over Holland was outfitted with fixed go pro mounts Unfortunately, my Sony system is not compatible, so we had to do with one outside camera, which we could borrow from the front desk (thanks again!) and one of mine inside. The bigger camera stayed on the ground: no loose objects in the cockpit during flight.

The aerobatics flight

Filming and flying aerobatics was amazing. I was happy we had the two cameras and would have loved even more outside and inside the plane. It would have given me more options in editing. Nevertheless, it was great to do loopings, wingovers, barrel rolls and more.

Editing and post-production

Editing always means parting with a lot of your shots. It can be hard but I try to not forget the poor people that have to watch my stuff. Hardly anyone will want to sit through a 12 minute ‘artistic’ intro. I wanted to keep it short and fun.

I used After Effects to make the intro, stabilise some shots, and add some text effects. To make the overall look I already shot slightly over exposed (of course this was intentionally… or was it?), so I only had to slightly tweak the image with color correction in Final Cut Pro X.

 

Gear I used

  • Canon 650D
  • Leica 35 mm f2.0 lens
  • Leica R to Canon EF Adapter Ring
  • Canon L 24-105 f4 USM IS
  • Neewer Carbon Fibre Slider, 100cm
  • Fotga DP500 Mark III Follow Focus
  • Tarion 15 mm Base Plate
  • Manfrotto 502 HD Video Head
  • Old Manfrotto photo tripod legs
  • Sony AS-200
  • GoPro Hero 3
  • Duct tape

 

We pulled a maximum of 4g during our manoeuvres during 'how to film an aerobatics flight'
I’m not fully used to this: the g-meter showed we pulled up to 4g during some manoeuvres.

Filming my second solo flight

Flying the Robing DR 40 signation image

Filming my second solo flight

When I finally went on my second solo flight, and actually proper first solo flight over Rotterdam I wanted to capture the experience on video.

The solo flight

This would be my first solo flight out of Rotterdam. Although there were some rain clouds south of Rotterdam, they stayed well clear from my planned flight path.

“You never forget the first time you fly into Rotterdam via the city.”

I had a fantastic flight. I used my slider with a follow focus and my Leica 35 mm f2 lens to capture the plane on the ground and a Sony AS-200 for inside the cockpit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the option of using an outside camera.

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