Video Camera Experimentation

I recently bought a Go Pro HD camera with which to take in-flight footage but before taking it up in the air I figured I’d try various options on the ground: the Go Pro doesn’t have a screen so you don’t know what you took until you get home and look.

The camera can shoot a variety of resolutions. In 1080p mode it shoots at 30fps with a 127 degree wide angle or in 720p mode you can choose a whopping 170 degree angle of viewing. There are other modes for 60fps slow-mo capture or a space saving WVGA. So I spent some time sitting in a 172 last evening playing with different mount positions and angles.

I think what I’d really like is a from the back looking over the seats but I couldn’t get that with the suction mount I had. So for now I might just go for the front view until I can find a better position.

No iPad For Me, Thanks

I used to be a huge Apple fanboy but over the last couple of years I think Steve Jobs has lost the plot somewhat and I decided I didn’t want to give him any more of my money, no matter how good his products might be. I terminated my iPhone contract early and moved to Android.

I’ve messed with the iPad in the store and really can’t find any reason to own one, there are many things I don’t like about the design but for the money it just doesn’t do enough over and above my Droid Incredible. But as a pilot one can’t help but be interested, no other platform has the wealth of aviation-related tools available and the big hitters like Fore Flight sure do look gorgeous. So I’m sorely tempted just for this purpose but I’m balking, and not just because of the $650+ it would cost.

Part of my problem with Apple Steve is that he decides what is allowed on his devices and that changes based on a whim (or more often media pressure). So right now people are in the air using their iPad as their primary navigation device (yeah we all know that isn’t right but don’t tell me people aren’t doing it), there’s a glitch, GPS failure, who knows what and the plane crashes. Evening news: iPad causes plane crash. Next day, Steve deletes all the aviation planning and map apps from the Store, and therefore your machine. And there ain’t a damn thing you will be able to do.

And this isn’t fantasy, there absolutely will be a crash at some point that the pilot, or their estate, blames on the iPad and no matter how much we as pilots will know that the device was no cause, Apple will notice and take action.

And then I’ll own a $650 brick.