Flying Media

This entry covers my media attempts to film flights in a Cessna 172. I currently have two HD cameras and a digital recorder to capture ATC. Safety is first so I turn on all media before I start the engine and don’t touch the cameras until I turn off the engine. One camera – a Panasonic HDC-TM700 – is mounted on the headrest support using a clamp and looks out the windshield. The second camera – a Flip HD – is mounted on another headrest support also using a clamp and is trained on the PFD. The goal was to have a view of the PFD and the view out of the windshield – both would not be in focus with just one camera. The digital recorder is connected to a patch cable to which the headset also plugs into.

The video was processed using iMovie 09. Syncing the two videos was a chore – I used the stall warning horn which went off during landing to help. iMovie 09 has a picture in picture feature which allowed me to put the PFD in the bottom left corner. Unfortunately, I cut off the bottom of the PFD but five of the six flight instruments are visible (the HSI is missing). Also cutoff are the wind speed and direction indicator (something not found on older planes) and a moving map inset.

The videos, which show landings in Plymouth (KPYM) and the return to Norwood (KOWD) are here and here. Processing the videos took me more time than it took to fly the plane. Just transferring the videos to my MacBook took two hours.

The picture for this entry was a frame capture taken on a subsequent flight on a different plane. The entire PFD is shown. This shot shows the flight from KPYM to KMVY (Plymouth to Martha’s Vineyard) using the GFC 700 autopilot set to GPS navigation and at this point using vertical path navigation to descend. One of the nice things about the G1000 is that it shows the wind direction and speed (small box with arrow and 7 against a black background).

ATC – Air Traffic Control
PFD – Primary Flight Display
HSI – Horizontal Situation Indicator


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