I often get asked what equipment I use. I shoot a Nikon D300 with a Nikon 18-200mm AF-S DX VR lens. Prior to the D300, I used a Nikon D200 and prior to that, a Nikon D70. I now take the D200 as a backup.
I have a 8GB high speed CF card and several 4GB and 2GB CF cards as backups. Typically, the 8GB will get me through a flight.
I always shoot in RAW mode at ISO 200 (minimum on the D300) and typically shoot in manual mode with a shutter speed of around 1600 at F6.3. Obviously, I change this depending on lighting.
Although my lens has vibration reduction (hence the “VR”), to be honest, it doesn’t really play a role in aerial photography. The vibrations and movement is so fast, I’m forced to shoot at a high shutter speed with or without.