|The Sioux Falls resident, formerly of Seattle,
suffered setbacks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
National security officers keep a close eye on his miniature
remote-controlled helicopters, since they can carry a payload of
But Brady's choppers carry only cameras that
produce digital video sharp enough for broadcast.
Homeland Security all over me, although things are easing up a
little," said Brady, who just finished an ariel shoot for a Seattle
documentary filmmaker. "I think the guys who fly the full-size
helicopters have a harder time."
Video and stills from his
unmanned system are as good as images produced by full-size systems,
he said: "You really can't tell the difference, which is great for
Since his system is digital, sharp still-frame shots can
be taken from video shoots, too, for use in print
Insurance issues and gaining special permission
for on-location shoots are a big part of his job, since there is
some liability in flying equipment over people in sports arenas, or
with possible damage to landmark buildings.
"Again, 9-11 hurt
me in another way, when insurance companies just dropped people like
us," Brady said.
"One company said they could insure me as
long as the equipment doesn't leave the ground," he said. "But I'm
back in business now. I just finished another project in Grand
Brady shot aerial footage for the University of North
Dakota's Aerospace Radio Control group. The footage will be used for
an orientation video for incoming aviation students, said UND-ARC
member and university senior Stewart Langenberg.
great scenes of our aviation building, the hockey arena, and some of
the UND campus," Langenberg said. "The video isn't finished, but now
that we have the footage we'll be working on it again this
Brady's RC helicopters are called UPVs, or unmanned
piloted vehicles. It was just a hobby for a decade until he
experimented with video equipment, taking it up to 600 feet high.
For some jobs, he simply turns over the digital video tape to the
client, while he does the editing himself for others.
hopes to turn Helivision into a full-time job. Meanwhile, he has a
sideline, called Enviroclean. The vacuum-looking appliance uses only
a little water to sanitize, clean and deodorize virtually any
surface without using chemicals.
"Aerial photography and
Enviroclean: I guess I couldn't be doing two things that were more
opposite," he said.
Meanwhile, he's pursuing more contracts
for his aerial photography business. The price for projects varies
widely, he said, depending on what the client wants, although it is
a fraction of the price of hiring a full-sized
Brady's helicopters also can do low-level
photography that full-sized helicopters can't do.
have the large, obnoxious turbine overhead beating the wind like for
full-size helicopters," he said. "And now a company that perhaps
couldn't afford the fuel of a full-size doesn't have to have such
deep pockets to accomplish the same thing."