Many of the films and series I’ve made have involved filming ambitious and complex aerial sequences. I’ve been lucky enough to work with the best aerial cinematographers and pilots worldwide and I rank David Adamson as one of the very best pilots I have ever worked with.
Hovering the helicopter right over the water as the guys jumped onto land in a narrow canyon, I have to add my praise. We so appreciate the hard work you did. This PNG Kayaking story was NO easy job. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're on the top of the pilots list at Red Bull Media House!
A tricky event to cover, Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton is a 25 km kiteboard race over open ocean. Factor in kites flying everywhere, high winds and passing ocean tankers it is tough to film but David got in there and got us some amazing shots while still keeping us and the competitors very safe.
Thanks to David’s huge technical skill and intuitive understanding of camera, we were able to capture great looking and unique material in a couple of hours, more than I have been able to do in days with other aerial crews.
We have flown with some of the best, but David's skills flying cameras and crews in remote locations were simply the best we have ever experienced. He made the PNG project happen when most pilots would not have bothered with difficult logistics. Up there with Fred North and a pleasure to work with, he gave us 150% in PNG and many of the shots and locations he dropped us would have simply not happened with any other pilot.
As an experienced Director, I appreciate the opportunity to incorporate aerial footage into a project. With the added wow factor that they bring to the end product, they also add levels of complexity and high pressure to get the shots and not blow out budgets. It’s for these reasons you need to work with a team who you can trust, who remains calm under the increased pressures of high expectations, and above all, can deliver the shots that support your vision of the final edit.
David is one the best film pilots in the business. We first worked together on WRC Australia, Perth, WA in 2005. Our most recent adventure was Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour. When chasing world rally cars, at (very) low level, at ridiculous speeds, on a terrain filled with tall gumtrees, you need a pilot who knows the game and only needs half a word to understand what a Cineflex operator wants as a shot.
We’ve worked with many pilots around the world over many years and David Adamson has to rank as one of the very best. Not only is he a fantastic pilot he’s always ready to offer advice and solutions to the problems that inevitably occur on any shoot.
Wow! We were all blown away watching David manoeuvre his helicopter on our recent shoot. Myself and many others on set have never seen anything like it. What a pro stunt pilot. He flew the craft with incredible precision, skill and sheer expertise, giving more to our film than I thought possible. It really was phenomenal to be a part of and I would use him again in a heart beat.
David is the ONLY pilot I have flown with of who orientates his helicopter like a camera, his innate knowledge of light, angles, timing and the ability to “tell the story” through the lens of a camera is something unique.
The Swiss production team had never seen a helicopter Pilot like David, he is by far one of the world’s best! If you are looking for a helicopter Pilot, David would be my first choice.
TV, Movies & Sports
AERIAL FILM SERVICES
LOW-LEVEL · AIR-TO-AIR · AERIAL CO-ORDINATION
When capturing live action, there are no second chances.
It’s not just about hiring a highly experienced, safety conscious pilot who can fly at speed across challenging terrain; it’s about hiring a pilot with a creative eye for motion picture, who can simultaneously envisage, communicate and co-ordinate the audience experience, positioning the helicopter like a camera to achieve the best angles, making best use of natural lighting and landscapes as they happen.
And it’s not just about filming day, our Aerial co-ordination expertise ensures shoot sequences are developed, approved and seamlessly executed in collaboration with camera crew, production crew, directors, other pilots and local authorities (CASA/CAA/FAA) before, during and after filming.
Chief Pilot, David Adamson’s long list of prestigious credits include Hollywood blockbusters such as Lion, live international motorsports events such as WRC, Dakar and Tour Down Under and award-winning documentaries such as Life on the Reef, Coast Australia and Terra.
MOTION PICTURE · TELEVISION · ACTION / ADVENTURE · MOTORSPORTS · EXTREME SPORTS · DOCUMENTARIES
We can source and fit externally mounted fixed and gyro-stabilised camera systems, including:
We are authorised to fly, instruct and conduct flight tests in almost every civil helicopter out there, enabling us to uniquely select the most appropriate aircraft for the job.
We are experienced, equipped and qualified to provide many helicopter stunts. Please contact us with your ideas/requests for more information.
>20,000 HOURS · ZERO ACCIDENTS/INCIDENTS · LICENCED IN 9 COUNTRIES · 18 AIRCRAFT TYPES
Founding Chief Pilot, David Adamson started flying helicopters in the UK in 1986, before emigrating to Australia in 1995.
His air-to-air and low-level aerial filming skills can be seen in many feature films, documentaries, live motorsport event coverage, TV commercials and documentaries, both nationally and internationally.
David is also one of a handful of Flight Examiners who conducts Commercial, Private, Night, Instrument and Instructor flight tests, and aircraft specific type ratings and endorsements (such as low-level, sling, floats, winching, formation and check flights) on behalf of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and a number of overseas authorities.
In recognition of his sharp focus on flight safety, David is regularly called upon to assist with accident investigations by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, and also leads helicopter safety courses for pilots, aircrew, the general public and film & TV industry professionals.
With no accidents or incidents to his name, despite the highly technical and complex nature of his work, it’s no surprise that David has a reputation for exceptional safety standards.
GROUND & FLIGHT SCHOOL
ADVANCED TRAINING & CHECKING
The single biggest cause of helicopter accidents is skill-based pilot error: pilots correctly identify the undesirable aircraft state and decide upon the right course of action, but fail to successfully execute its recovery procedure.
Our mission is to significantly reduce this risk by providing highly realistic scenario based training (‘Error Management’) in all operational situations.
Of course, the associated risk increases with realism, which is why all of our advanced training is conducted by our [over] 20,000-hour Chief Pilot and Flight Examiner, David Adamson who is also a helicopter safety advisor for ATSB.
All students are provided thorough briefing and debriefing, with intermittent knowledge checks, to ensure skills are underpinned by solid understanding, not just procedural recall.
Our Error Management practices are supported by numerous academic studies which prove them to be significantly more successful in long-term error reduction than the procedural ‘Error Avoidance’ practices that are more commonly used in flight training. See ‘Why Error Management Training?‘ for more info.
Advanced Skills Review:
- Test your survivability in a number of realistic simulated emergencies to the ground.
- Sling / Fire-Fighting.
- Winching / Rappelling.
- Night VFR.
- Aerial Application.
Type Ratings – Multi Engine Turbine:
- Airbus AS355, EC135/H135, EC145/H145/BK117.
- Leonardo AW109.
- Messerschmitt BO105.
Class Ratings – Single Engine Turbine:
- Airbus H120/EC120, H125/AS350, H130/EC130.
- Bell 206, 407, 505.
- Hughes 500.
- Robinson R66.
Class Ratings – Single Engine Piston:
- Bell 47/KH4.
- Hughes 300.
- Robinson R22, R44.
- Cabri G2.
Comprehensive Flight Instructor training and testing for the provision of Training Endorsements (‘TE’) which enable advanced instruction.
- Grade 3/2/1 TE
- Type Rating TE
- Class Rating TE
- Aerial Application TE
- Night VFR TE
- Low Level TE
- Flight Instructor Rating TE
- Design Feature TE
- Flight Activity TE
- Sling Operations TE
- Winch & Rappelling TE
We provide thorough pre-employment flight reviews throughout Australia, consisting of an objective skills assessment (theory and flight) tailored to the role, and; a comprehensive written report of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, risks and recommendations.