Joel Chernoff

Joel Chernoff, helicopter pilot who specialized in action and aerial cinematography as second unit director for such films as “Ransom,” “Executive Decision,” and “Under Siege,” died July 19 of a heart attack in Hollywood. He was a month short of his 51st birthday.

A longtime collaborator with Steven Seagal, he served as executive in charge of production on “Out for Justice,” “Hard to Kill,” and “Above the Law.” He also executive produced the television series “China Beach” during its final year and the 1979 film “Title Shot.”

According to his brother, Chernoff also wrote one of the first computer programs for comprehensive budgeting of motion pictures 20 years ago.

Besides piloting and producing, Chernoff was a horseman, rodeo roper and furniture maker.

In addition to his brother, Chernoff is survived by his father and two sisters.

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