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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Anti-Shake Technology

There's a story I have heard more than once about training helicopter pilots to hover. Hovering in an unstable device like a helicopter is comparable in its technical challenge to balancing an umbrella standing up on your outstretched open hand. If a trainee has difficulty getting this necessary step, the instructor may offer to switch on the hover-stabilization control system, which has a large toggle on the central panel. This usually results immediately in a smooth, controlled hover for landing or taxiing. After a while, the trainee finds that he no longer needs this aid. The switch, of course, is connected only to the landing light.



Blogger inner curmudgeon said...

Most amusing, but I have spent many hours practising my shutter technique. Enough time to prove conclusively that the Image Stabilizers in my SLR lens and point-and-shoot are connected to more than just landing lights.

Of course, I am concerned by the implication that once trainee helicopter pilots get a few hours up they stop using their landing lights.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Are you saying that anti-shake is Dumbo's magic feather? :-)

7:42 AM  
Blogger Matthew Miller said...

Shh! You're making it harder to train new helicopter pilots!

8:29 AM  
Blogger MJFerron said...

Anti shake is for sissys. Tough folk vibrate with pride. :0

9:00 AM  
Blogger Gromit said...

Urban Legends are wonderful things, aren't they? :)

9:37 AM  
Blogger Arie Friedman said...

Never heard that story before.

Actually, how we instructors really trained students to hover (at least in the US Navy) was to keep having them stay within smaller and smaller boxes until they were completely stable. I wonder if there is a way of applying this to photography...

1:05 PM  
Blogger Joe Lipka said...

Been using anti-shake technology for years. I call it a tripod. For a while I did have the deluxe anti-shake thing going, but locking the mirror up and using the self timer (with a cable release) was really pushing the technology at the time.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Scott Kirkpatrick said...

Arie -- I read that story in a book about a Marine helo pilot, and also got it from a friend who flew them in Korea, so perhaps it's the muddy boots that make the difference. I've taught fixed wing flying, and making landings that are not embarassing and don't damage the aircraft has the same characteristic that the final obstacles to overcome are mental.


10:39 PM  
Blogger Arie Friedman said...

Scott -

Don't get me wrong, I love the story and the idea! I am planning to teach my 16 year old daughter to fly (single engine land) this summer and will try the method out if she runs into trouble.


2:06 PM  
Blogger david mantripp said...

Yeah, like the trick in recording studios, the large rack box with loads of flashing lights and an impressive name, like Rezz-O-Nator 2000 or something....

After 24 hours trying to get a useless band to agree on a mix of a hopeless song, engineeer suggests trying out this wonderful new gizmo... band loves the great effet ... everybody happy. Box, of course, does nothinh whatsoever.

This isn't a myth. I was there.

4:32 AM  

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