We are all aware of the fact that technology has become an integral part of our lives. There are many reasons why I’ll never give up my digital watch, but recently I started taking flight lessons and discovered the action camera. It’s like my new toy and I just can’t stop playing with it.
I realised how fortunate I am to experience some of the best views as I soar above the skies and I wanted to take this unique opportunity of being able to make some amazing photos and videos every time I take a flight. If you are considering the same, choose an HD camera that will make every aviation adventure memorable, but it can also help you improve your skills.
Why Do You Need a Camera in the Cockpit?
In every pilot’s life, some of the most memorable experiences occur in the airplane’s cockpit, so it makes sense to bring a camera along to capture the sights and sounds of each flight you take. I am really sad I don’t have a video of my first solo, but luckily, I had more opportunities to bring a camera along on my flights and capture some precious moments on video.
Using the video camera built into your iPad or iPhone is the most cost-effective and convenient way to record your aviation adventures, however, it may not be the most practical one. Stabilisation and quality are subpar compared to the latest action cameras, however, the main reason why I chose an HD camera is because I don’t have to hold it to frame the shot and start or stop the video recording.
I’ve seen many pilots using small, dedicated cameras, like GoPro. If you are familiar with the product, you’ll have to admit that it’s been fun to watch its evolution over the years. I’ve used the Hero 8 and I must say it delivers reliable performance, includes an upgraded hyper smooth feature that allows you to get stable and vibration-free shots.
For different people, flying with an HD action camera means different things and the usage may greatly vary among pilots. It’s easy to use, so once you secure it in your preferred spot inside the cockpit or outside on the wing of the fuselage, press the record button and let the adventure begin. It allows you to focus on the flying experience without worrying about various camera controls.
It’s a cool thing to have as it can be a very helpful accessory for pilots. You can record your take-offs, manoeuvres, landings and radio calls and review your decisions later. I found it very helpful as I was able to notice mistakes that I made in my training and look for ways to improve myself. Floating on landing, for instance, is a very common mistake and is easy to see when you are reviewing it on a video.
Mounting your HD action camera can be a challenging task sometimes, especially in different areas of the plane. It is very likely that it will not work out every time, however, it’s all about trials and errors until you find the solution. My personal favourite is the wingtip because there is little camera vibration at this angle, so the footage usually turns out great.
I like collecting accessories for my GoPro, especially mounting devices, such as a suction cup and a head strap, which helps for a very unique perspective when filming your flight.
However, when it comes to mounting stuff on your airplane, keep in mind that there are always some risks involved, including risks of damages and the legal aspect of mounting something non-certified on an aircraft. The latter depends on local or national legislation, the aircraft type and more, so make sure to have all the info before making any modifications on your airplane.
If you are like me and you enjoy taking photos and videos wherever you may go, then your batteries are probably dying prematurely, so you may consider investing in a solar charger. It will charge your smartphone and your camera and keep the charging station full of power even on an overnight stay in another place, far from home.
The latest accessory I got for my action camera is an audio adapter, which helps me record aircraft audio. For some reason, audio is often an overlooked part of good videos, but when it comes to recording your flights, it can be a great idea. The GoPro camera can receive audio right into it through the use of a cable accessory. This can help you go directly into the radio system on the aircraft.
I have never been more amazed by technology than I am in the past few years. Small action cameras are my favourite as they can produce incredible footage. Also, there are many different options on the market, not only the GoPro cameras, so you can choose from a vast range of models and find the one that meets your needs and preferences.
There has never been a better time to invest in a camera to use inside the cockpit thanks to the advanced design, technology and picture quality offered with the latest HD cameras. They allow you to capture everything around you, from the cockpit to the views in front of you.