pc24_a2a

PILATUS PC24

This story follows on from the PC21 shoot on this gallery.  The second part of the equation was to shoot the new Pilatus PC24 jet. The aircraft we would be shooting was the third test frame - 003. We took off around dawn and headed towards Engelberg, then over Mt Titlus and towards the glaciers. It was majestic sitting on the edge of the Skyvan ramp with the Alps just below us. Being this early there was no turbulence at all, so I could really concentrate on the surroundings more this time. Soon the graceful lines of the sleek  jet came into view, with Reto and Moritz clearly visible only a few metres away from me, so hand signals worked well. The rise and fall relative to a formation, so noticeable in most aerial shoots was hardly evident here, the air was just so smooth. We covered the Aletch and Rhone glaciers, then headed towards Bern, where the PC12 would join the formation. 

Getting the shot of the PC24 over the old town of Bern was similar to the Brusio viaduc, in that I could not see ahead. So again Philip gave me a countdown from 10.  One shot that Jerome wanted was a nore-on shot of the PC24 taking off with its gear still down. We tried this a couple of passes to get our speeds right. We were above and in front of the PC24, then both climbed steeply at 45 degrees until the PC24 overtook us. It was quite a cool feeling having nothing to hold on to on the flat floor, with the aircraft doing its utmost to force you out into the slipstream. But I trusted my harness and Philip, and we got the shots. Again, I took about three to four frames. That was it, job done. I put the camera down, sat cross legged and just watched the landscape below fill my vision as we headed back to Buochs and Pilatus.