Magazine Cover Photo Session


It’s always exciting to get a call from a magazine editor and hear him say, “we’d like to feature your aircraft on the cover of our January issue”! Cover shots are special in several ways.


  1. They’re very valuable publicity.

  2. They’re a lot of work to create. (The surroundings, the format, the lighting, the angles, etc, etc.)

  3. They are always unforgettable moments for the pilot.


Getting a great cover shot also means getting hold of a great action photographer.


We asked Charles Denney who is just about the best, as far as we’re concerned, to help us.


We picked a location in the Owhyee mountains about 40 miles southwest of Boise, Idaho. Charles and Blake Estes who also helped out had to do quite a bit of hiking to get into position as you can see from the video clip. I got there the easy way. We shot from different positions, however if you look closely you can see Charles at the end of the film clip just after he finished shooting this particular angle.


At this point we still have the low power Rotax 912 installed in the factory ship. We sure could have used the extra power of the turbine.


Performing pinnacle landings at an altitude where you can just barely hover in-ground-effect is always dicey. Here’s why. When you make your approach to land, you have to time things ever so carefully. You must not loose translational lift much before coming abreast of your touchdown site. If you do, rotor rpm will decay. Soon you find yourself settling on a slope you cannot land on and end over tea kettle you go. (Yes, this did happen to me and I will write about it in an upcoming “Take Off To Adventure with BJ”.)


This time around things worked out just fine. Actually, we had several thing going for us. A cool day, a slight breeze and the efficient HELICYCLE rotor, which makes this old geezer look good.


As you can see we had no problem on take off. The steep slope allowed us to lower collective right after leaving the pad. This makes it easy to re-capture rpm lost while waiting for translational lift, (We achieve translational lift at 20-25 mph),


The session paid off with some great shots. Hopefully you will see one of them on the January cover of South West Aviator Magazine.



heck out the cover shoot video!

Click here to get “Divx” (you'll need it to see the video)


Preflight checks prior to take off.

Lifting off the trailor to head up the mountain top for the photo shoot.

BJ + Blake taking a break during the photo shoot.

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From 12-27-2004