Close encounter with a Chinook Helicopter

I shot this footage at Racton Monument, near Chichester, West Sussex ( you may have seen it is the openings sequences of Tony Robinson’s drone series recently). I was flying my Mavic Air to do some test shots as I want to do a a combination of internal and external.

This is one of my first attempts and creating video from my footage as I have been struggling to learn this media format, having only every working with stills previously. I know is showing some stutter which I think must be because I was not using ND filters and was at 60fps. I was mainly looking for still photo shots, when this Chinook came and invaded my airspace! I thought it was worth posting as it had this unexpected additional content.

To confirm that this in a location that is well out of restricted air space!

As I was flying near the monument I heard the noise of the Chinook coming close, so I kept low and moved my drone in nearer to the the monument at trees to stay safe. I was not sure which direction it would come and did not want to inadvertently fly into its path. This was just as well as, had I tried to return the naive Air back to my location, I could have gone into the helicopters path as it circled the monument at low level between the drone and my location, some 300 meters away.

I then brought the Mavic Air back in time to take some more photos as the Chinook flew near the monument twice more, but with my handheld camera!!! I have to say that you often see Chinooks flying in the area but I have never seen one that low. A resident for the nearby village saw me later taking photographs as the Chinook hover above the monument and said it had been so low earlier that it had shaken their cottage windows.


This is a cropped still (Didn’t have my zoom with me :roll_eyes:) that I took when it can back and my MA safety in the boot of my car!


I see it was rendered @24fps - so that could be the cause of any stutter - since you say you were recording @ 60fps.
This ratio means frames get discarded in an uneven manner.
Far better to render 60fps to 30fps … then it evenly uses every second frame.

The ration of 60:24 (2.5:1) means it will drop frames in an irregular/uneven sequence, and 24fps is slow enough for the eye to detect the unevenness…

Check if the stutter was in the original. If not, check if it’s in a 30fps render, before worrying about ND filters.


Great footage, btw! :wink:


That’s brilliant advice, thanks as always Dave. I will run it again tomorrow to see if it makes the difference.


That’s a cracking photo in itself @BrianB :+1:


Thanks, but I did swear when I realised the zoom wasn’t in the bag, but at home in the desk!!! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Try remembering the lens and forgetting the memory card …
Shit happens


Great Video Brian !, you deserve the “Whopper Whopper Badge” for that !.
I would have had brown stains when that appeared !


Great Video… I bet it was kinda a “WOW” moment when you first saw it so low …

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Nice footage! What software you use for editing btw?

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Wow, beautiful footage of the Wokka Wokka! The rest of the video is amazing too tbf!

Definitely a sphincter tightening time filming it though!


They really are impressive machines aren’t they. I’m in LFA9 and our house is overflown up to a dozen times a day some days by military training helicopters from Tern Hill and Shawbury. Mostly at about 1000-1500 ft but occasionally they skim across the fields next to me at about 50-100 ft which is very exciting. But even that isn’t quite as exciting as when the Chinooks are out to play.

You can hear that wop-wop-wop noise coming about a mile away, and like a big kid I rush out of the house to watch them. The best two incidents were when there were four of them in formation flying overlapping circuits as they worked their way across the sky back and forth, but the absolute best was when one flew directly over the top of the house at about 100 ft with the winch-man hanging out the door smiling and waving at me, the cheeky bugger. But I loved it.

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Happy memories! '69/'72
Shawbury = flying Chipmunks, Vampires, Jet Provost 4 and 5, Folland Gnat
Tern Hill = helicopters even back then. Used to be Army helicopter instrunctor training. Managed to get quite a few rides and some hands-on.

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Thanks Chris, to be honest it happened so fast, I was only concerned about trying to get something video!

I couldn’t believe how just how low!

Thanks. Davinci Resolve - though my old Mac has trouble running it (and any video software - especially the 4K) and a about to upgrade. DR is great though considering it is a free version


Yes, and whats interesting how far away you can hear them - this what was was surprising as could hear but not see until too late.

What was interesting was when I took the hand held photo a light air craft flew straight above them at about 600ft - I am guessing that were staying out the way of other aircraft because they were flying low, not worried about a tiny drone…

I was worried that they may have anti drone jammers running! :laughing:

They have. Most people call them “twin rotors”.