Click here for samples of material from aerial missions.

Westat campus

A summary video about the Westat corporation in Rockville features three aerials from “Mosquito One” seen in this video at about :37.

"Mosquito One" sample reel

Samples from the remote controlled quad copter camera platform as a part of a presentation for a TIVA-DC industry panel.

Arlington sites

After waiting several weeks for the right combination of clear skies and clear schedule a crew of helicopter pilot, still photographer, and aerial DP finally lifted off from Manassas Airport enroute to Arlington. The mission was to gather fresh images of several real estate sites in Crystal City and Rosslyn. Our main goal was to illustrate the sites’ proximity to downtown Washington.

Most maneuvers were orbiting the locations at various distances and altitudes. The track shows our flight path that day. Some approach angles were shot with a chin mounted GoPro camera and with Alt Gobo’s Panasonic P2, operated by Peter Roof, was looking out the side door and using a crabbing maneuver. The side mount used the gyro-stabilized gimbal that is on a base that rotates. This low cost system makes for decent video at a fraction of the cost of heavy traditional systems.

Rocket pre-launch aerial video

NASA partnered with Orbital Sciences to test a new space delivery vehicle. The Antares A1 rocket was successfully launched on April 21 from NASA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Va. A week earlier we were involved in another aerial mission to gather images to be released to the media.

That photo flight started in Manassas, Va. the day before with rigging Bussmann Aviation’s helicopter with a specialized gyro mount in the rear compartment. That system does a great job of smoothing out the motion of Alt Gobo’s Panasonic HPX170 P2 HD camera. In addition to the mount, three containers of jet fuel were stored to give the aircraft a little more range. The crew flew to Chicoteague, Va. and secured the helicopter for the photo mission that began before dawn the next day.

Just after sunrise the crew lifted off and did several orbits of the launch pad. The Antares A1 rocket has been on the beach-side pad for a few weeks. The still photos and video material was processed and made available to the media the next day.

Local news helicopter

Peter Roof fills in for staff ENG camera operator on helicopter serving most local news stations in the Washington DC market. He has been working with the flight crew serving local news stations since 1999. The crew and aircraft fly about two+ hours each weekday and are on call to cover breaking news at other times. Over the years the camera system has been upgraded from a standard-def UltraMedia II system manufactured by FLIR to newer high def systems. The signal can be transmitted live via belly-mounted microwave system. The photographer is not only responsible for the camera but the tapeless recorder, transmission systems, consumer GPS, and news station radios.

Award for Moving Maryland Forward
Maryland Public Television created a documentary entitled "Moving Maryland Forward - A Century of Modern Highways" that explores the hard road Maryland has traveled from centuries ago to the founding of the State Roads Commission in 1908, to its present state. Moving Maryland Forward offers some fascinating lessons in how Maryland came to be known as the home of some of the best maintained highways in the nation. While the film gives a nod to Maryland's roads prior to the 20th century, the main focus is on the development of Maryland's modern road system as it has expanded and improved over the course of the last 100 years.

The only way to grasp the magnitude of this subject is from the air. Aerial DP, Peter Roof, on board Bussmann Aviation's MD500 helicopter, covered nearly the entire state from the Chesapeake Bay to the Allegheny Mountains. They flew beside bridges and around intersections as they gathered hours of high def material using the Sony Cinealta camera in the side mount configuration. It took a mission in 2008 and one in 2007 to shoot it all. The material included spetacular autumn pictures used in other MPT programs.

The National Association of Government Communicators has awarded this program an Award of Excellence in its 2009 competion.

Eye in the Sky over NY Marathon

Since 2003 aerial camera operator Peter Roof has helped cover the New York Marathon. Two helicopters were used to cover the entire event live on NBC4 in New York. Roof flew in a Bell 206 Jet Ranger and operated a FLIR FSI UltraMedia II gyrostabilized camera gimbal mounted to the nose of the aircraft. With one stop for fuel the crew covered the race live from the spectacular start over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the finish line in Central Park. The pair also gathered beauty shots of Manhattan for the broadcast.

SilverDocs gets "Under Our Skin"

In the fall of 2007 Peter Roof helped gather some HD material for "Under Our Skin," a documentary about Lyme disease. This program was a part of the SilverDocs documentary film festival. Roof was the DP for aerials shot in the Washington region plus he shot one local interview on the ground.

Americans At War

Opening sequence for PBS special about first-person interviews from those who fought inWorld War II.

Shot in the fall of 2007, Peter Roof gathered aerial HD material for "Under Our Skin," a documentary about Lyme disease. This program was a part of the SilverDocs documentary film festival in 2008. View trailer to see aerial material. This was shot using the AE gyro mount out the side door and using a crabbing maneuver.

Cineflex training

Aerial DP Peter Roof went to California to receive an intense, two-day hands-on training with the new Cineflex® high-definition aerial camera system. The Model V14 is a flexible gyro-stabilized camera system that can operate at up to 200 mph with a 560mm zoom lens extended 2x to its full 1120mm. The Cineflex® HiDEF also features the ability of 360-degree pan, 165 degree tilt, and +/- 45 degrees roll, automatic and steerable, all with amazing accuracy and stability. Designed around Sony's HDC-950 and the new HDC-F950 cameras with top-quality lenses including Canon and Fujinon's HD zooms including their wide angle lenses.

Shooting the Breeze

The Weather Channel needed to illustrate the force of wind for the series "Epic Conditions." The five-episode series will focus on the optimal weather conditions for extreme sports. For "wind" we went to the Chesapeake Bay just off Annapolis, Md. where we captured dynamic, high definition video of a fierce sailboat race. Peter Roof used the Sony Z1U camera set at 1080i. The camera worked very well mounted on the AE gyro system. The lens pointed out the right side of Bussmann Aviation's MD-500C helicopter. Pilot Steve Bussmann brought his chopper just above the waves alongside boats under full sail just after the race start. Bussmann maintained radio communication with the race committee and moved close enough to have boats fill the frame but far enough so that our rotor wash was not a part of the race.
By crabbing his chopper sideways we were able to get some sweeping approach shots of boats that were on the downwind leg of the race with full spinnakers flying. The annual boat show was in Annapolis so we swung over the town to capture that plus some shots of the Maryland Capitol.

Dulles Greenway

To market the private toll road to potential investors we gathered hours or material from the air and ground. We showed the facilities and usage during peak hours. The aerial mission was to travel the length of the 14-mile highway in both directions. We also gathered video of adjacent roads and developments. We used the upgraded AE mount in the front configuration. This is done by removing the right-side flight controls and placing the system on the floor and shooting through the lower windshield. Traversing the busy air traffic approach to Dulles Airport was complicated but we were able to cover the entire roadway.

Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission

This mission was to gather video showing the current state of development with respect to the agricultural heritage and the environment in the area between the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. We used the AE gyro-stabilized platform pointing out the right rear door of the chopper. The material will be used by the Commission to educate people in the area about the region's rich agricultural history so they will (in the face of expanding development) continue to support their local farmers and keep farms in business. On the day-long mission they were able to get spectacular, sweeping views of the farms, rivers, towns, and other communities that make up the region.

Chesapeake Watermen

Aerial camera operator Pete Roof and pilot Steve Bussmann flew in Bussmann's MD 500 helicopter to gather material for documentary entitled “Between Heaven and Earth: The Plight of the Chesapeake Watermen.” The program is about the battle over crabs and oysters that came to a head in 1995, when the conflict between watermen and environmentalists turned violent . The crew shot shot dynamic video of industry in Baltimore harbor, farmland on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and isolated communities of Tangier & Smith Islands. We used the AE GSM gyro stabilized camera mount and were able to quickly change the rig from out-the-side to a point-of-view configuration right at the air strip on Tangier Island. This flexibility enabled the client to get the shots he needed for his documentary that will air on the Hallmark Channel and many PBS stations.

Gloria Estephan Concert

Private concert for members of the Armed Services held in a hangar of a Navy Air Station. Shot low, sweeping high definition material of concert's big opening and during several numbers. Star arrived in an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet. We captured that fly-by and landing in a coordinated air-to-air maneuver with the Navy.


Operated Tyler Middle Mount II to shoot aerials for the reality series "Spymaster." Action shots showed showed participants arriving at historic plantation in Virginia to be used for their "training" facility. Also taped scenic establishing shots. Series airs on The Learning Channel fall 2003.

US Senior Open

Aerial preview video of all tees, fairways, and greens of the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. for network broadcast coverage.

Miss Ann

Aerial beauty shots of "Miss Ann," excursion yacht for The Tides Inn resort in Irvington, Va.