All our pilots are at least CPL (H) qualified and have thousands of hours experience. They all instruct on the R44 helicopter and generally fly at least 5 days a week.
Quentin Smith - ATPL(H)
A CAA Examiner and Instructor, Quentin is undeniably the most experienced R44 pilot in the world. A record-breaker, he has twice circumnavigated in an R44 and flew the first piston helicopters to land at both the North and South Poles. These were also R44s. He has superb skills as a filming pilot with a natural understanding of how shots work. Quentin has flown many of the BBC Newsnight flights as well as FTV missions. Q is a former World Freestyle Helicopter Champion, but promises that he won't re-enact his triumph whilst filming.
Jonathan Penny - ATPL (H)
Jonathan has the sharpest sideburns of any aviator, and possibly the driest sense of humour. He is a CAA Examiner and Instructor, as well as a member of the British team competing in the British and World Helicopter Championships.
Mark Walters - CPL(H)
A CAA instructor and multi-thousand hour CPL, Mark is a former National Hunt jockey. He is therefore a bonus for our horse racing shoots – he knows what the horses are doing before they do it. He can also spot a cheating jockey from 1300ft.
Tony Brown - CPL(H)
Another CAA Instructor and multi-thousand hour CPL, Tony has earned his nickname Hawkeye - the sharpest eyes in the business. Invaluable on news shoots and when "driving" his Porsche round the M25.
All our camera operators are fulltime professional tv lighting cameramen and have immense airborne experience : some of them are even helicopter pilots. They have all been trained on our helicopters. And they are all professional, fun people to work alongside.
Matt Wyer - Lighting Cameraman
Matt is a professional tv cameraman with a private helicopter licence. He has a passion for flying and filming - and is a truly technical cameraman as well as being an artist with a lens. His work for us encompasses sport, news, titles sequences and credits for Jimmy's Farm, Tour of Britain, The Boat Race and The Derby. He also co-ordinated and shot the series Britain's Favourite View for ITV.
Richard Stevenson - Lighting Cameraman
Over 20 years experience, joined the BBC from school. Former BBC OBs and studio cameraman with an impressive CV and a heli pilot license. Richard famously designed the jib shots for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He has worked with us since day 1 and has some 300 hours experience on the system.
Mike Smith - Cameraman & Aerial Director
Trained at the Robinson factory on the Cineflex system, Mike has done more shoots than you might think is healthy for the MD of the company! He has clocked over 500 hours in the back seat, and at least that upfront. He is the operator for many of our news calls - rolling out of bed at ungodly hours to react for BBC & ITN. He's even used his voice live from the helicopter on the BBC to report the fire of the Cutty Sark. In between bouts of catching up his sleep, Mike also enjoys planning & plotting intricate shoots and dishing out free advice to producers. His credits include Three Men In Another Boat, Gardener's World, Fifth Gear and Spooks. A former Radio 1 DJ , tv presenter and racing driver, he says that FTV is the best thing he's ever done.