A little more about the planes we fly
For photo missions, we use two different types of fixed wing aircraft, a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 172 SkyHawk. The little 152 has a 150hp engine and it seats two people. The 172 seats 4 people and it has a little more kick with a 180hp engine. As you can see from the pics below, both planes have high wings which allows for excellent views of the ground. The only part of the plane that can sometimes be in the way when taking aerials are the wing struts. However, this view obstruction can be easily managed by performing a maneuver with the plane called a slip. A slip will angle the plane in such a way that great pics can be taken without the strut being in the way.
When circling the area of our photo shoot, the plane is slowed down to about 70-80 knots. This equates to taking pictures while going about 80-92 miles per hour, depending upon the wind, which is why it is important to use a fast shutter speed while taking aerials. The faster shutter speed helps to prevent image blur. It can be dangerous to fly a fixed wing plane any slower while at such a low altitude. This is why the airspeed is maintained at about 75 knots when taking aerial pics.
During normal flight in the 172, we cruise at an average of about 115 knots, depending upon our heading in relation to the wind, which is about 132 miles per hour.