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How do I take pictures of planes flying at an airshow?

There is an airshow in my city tomorrow and I want to get the best photos possible.

I have a Canon EOS 600D (Rebel T3i) with a 250mm lens.

I would like to know what are the settings I should use for optimal output. My first choice is obviously the "sport" mode but I am not convinced. Besides auto focus wouldn't work that well so what should I do? What exposure etc.? I would post the outcome tomorrow night European time if anyone is interested.

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    hi miguel. i was at a an event a couple of weeks ago where a couple of red-bull stunt planes performed a short display. i found most of my pictures caused the planes to be quite under-exposed. if i was to shoot the same thing again i would try to expose the sky as bright as possible to expose the planes better. i found the tracking of the aircraft quite tricky, and i was using a 105mm lens, the longest i had. it will be even trickier with a 250mm lens. if i had the aircraft in the frame the focus wasn't too problematic. – rapscalli Oct 1 '11 at 22:11