Of course, shooting out of a microlight is not our invention - but many have not been successful!
Simply putting a cameraman on the back seat of a microlight and shoot from the shoulder does not work because of the bar and all those strings which are in the way.
Pilots Paradise has developed three special camera mounts:
Most important is the mount at the side - equipped with a fluid head, which easily can be operated by the cameraman sitting behind the pilot. It can be turned almost 180° without showing any parts of the microlight. A flat screen on the pilot's back enables the cameraman to control the camera moves.
The second mount is on top of the front part and can only be operated by the pilot himself.
The third mount is at the tip of the wing - the camera must be operated with a remote control. You can perfectly imitate the movements of a big bird from this position.
We use a Sony DV CAM PD 100 and a Sony DV CAM PD 150 equipped with a Century wide angle lens and fish eye that weights about 2,5 kg.
The mount at the side can carry a camera up to a total weight of 5 kg.
Bigger cameras may be operated from the back seat but possibilities are limited.
Not every microlight pilot is automatically a good cameraman. And that is what counts! Only the symbiosis of the cameraman with the pilot is the key to successful results.
Wolfgang Pönnighaus is cameraman and pilot with the experience of more than 800 flight hours in combination with filming. Many fights were fought between what the camera wants and a pilot can accept - but it brought us closer and closer to good results.
Our archive contains aerial shots of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
If you are interested to see examples we are happy to send something.