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In-cockpit videos

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In-cockpit videos

Old 18th Oct 2018, 01:46
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In-cockpit videos

About to start my training and now I'm looking at recording my flights with a GoPro. I'm hoping for at least a two-camera setup, one behind the pilot's head, centrally located in the cockpit, looking more inside the cockpit and recording the instruments, and then one either on the pilot side or on the instructor's side facing inward, between the dash and cockpit frame, recording both pilots. I'm thinking of at least a GoPro 5 for better image stabilization but with little price difference between a Hero5, 6, and a 7, I may get a 5 and a 7. I know there are other options available but so far, the YouTube videos I've seen were almost 100% GoPros so unless there's a really strong case for a different brand, it looks like it'll be a GoPro.

My biggest issues are image stabilization and cockpit audio. The first issue should be sorted by getting a later-model GoPro and using the built-in image stabilisation feature. The secon issue I'm not too sure how to tackle.

It seems that there's two ways of doing this: 1) record audio via an audio recorder or 2) record to one of the GoPros. Does anyone have experience with one or the other? I've watched this video and at 4:52 (GoPro) and at 5:38 (recorder) and there seems to be a significant improvement in the audio with a recorder.



The video would most likely be just for personal use for now. With only two cameras and very early in my training, I probably won't make much interesting videos. I'm also not sure how the picture will turn out with the behind-the-head camera; will it able to take good footage of both the internal cockpit instruments and the externa view? Most YouTube videos I've watched needed maybe 4 cameras (instruments, forward view, looking at the pilot, side view) to be able to make an interesting video.

Lastly, for people who have done this, where did you buy your gear from in the UK? I'm looking at getting at least a prop filter as well.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 02:38
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N2P, enter this idea with caution. Video is okay, as long as the cameras are not distracting you from what you're there to do - learn. Don't fly for the camera, fly and learn. I know that this is a Youtube world and everything, but be assured it is possible (and perhaps easier) to learn to fly well without video, many of us have done it! Indeed, when I learned to fly, Super 8 movie was all there was. My buddy and I (both licensed at the time) took one once - the result was uninteresting.

I suggest investing your money in more flying, rather than more equipment - instead of watching yourself do it, again, do it again! But I must also yield to the tech of today's world, so if you gotta, you gotta, just do not get distracted!
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 04:22
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Before you invest in all that check that you can find an instructor willing to risk having themselves all over facebook and youtube and possibly open to editing. Go pros are forbidden in our aircraft on dual flights for privacy reasons and the risk of one becoming loose in flight.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 04:45
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willing to risk having themselves all over facebook and youtube and possibly open to editing
Not only that, but folks have had their privileges stripped following viewing by the authorities. One guy here had his business destroyed and licence ripped, never to be regained, following posting of a video by a sight seeing pax on y'tube of a totally innocuous maneuver. Not the FAA in this case, but a repeat of Bob Hoovers experience with that organisation. Be careful is all I can say, there may be others who come to regret appearing on your vignettes.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 08:09
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Ditto what everyone else has said. Don't bother. Conecentrate on the flying and the enjoyment of the moment.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 08:23
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I got my PPL last July. I started recording flights with my go pro but soon lost interest as I found it better to concentrate on the flying.

I did record my first solo which was worth capturing!

edit: you need to ask permission from the school as well as the individual instructors.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 23:16
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Thank you for the warnings, guys! Rest assured I've read them and heeded them. I'm quite a private person so these videos will most likely be for private viewings only -- for my own learning and for showing to friends and family, not to the entire world. However, I know aviation is a passion so I'm not entirely ruling out sharing some interesting flights in the future, but this will be a small possiblity well into my flying career.

Pilot DAR, I'm sure 95% of my videos will be uninteresting, but I'm doing it for that 5% instance where I do something wrong or something right and that instance is a very valuable learning tool. Doing something for real is very stressful, being able to detach myself and review what I've done while in the comfort of my study, with the ability to rewind, pause, and slow-mo the event would be a big boost to my learning, wouldn't you say so? Being able to re-live an experience, learn from it, file it away, and learn from it again later on is worth the money invested in a few GoPros IMO.

Clare Prop, I've spoken with three instructors in the flight school and they are unanimous in saying that I can record flights with however many cameras I want under the condition that it's for personal use which is perfectly fine with me. I don't have to worry about losing one in flight as all I'm interested in is in-cockpit recording, so if one comes loose, I'll just retrieve it after the flight is done.

Dark Helmet and artschool, I see your point but the idea here is to have the setup that is set-it-and-forget-it and to treat the equipment as part of the aircraft, not to be noticed at all until after the flight when I need to take them off. As mentioned, the flight recording is for learning, not for vanity or showing off.




So with that out of the way, anyone here care to share their experience with recording audio in a cockpit? Where did you guys buy your gear from in the UK?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 01:02
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With the permission of my instructor, on the promise that it was only for me to watch, I recorded a "perfect" circuit, flown by the instructor, by me holding a digi video cam and capturing his every move, and word.

I watched it a dozen times that evening, and a few dozen more the next day. The following day I was sent solo.

The idea of getting your lesson again, free, in a less pressured environment, can be good for some people. Doing it this way allowed me to be sure I hadn't missed any of the points that had come up.

I still look at that video from time to time, it gives me a standard to aim for.
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 09:36
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If one comes loose then you have an unsecured item that could clonk you on the head or jam the controls.
These devices containing lithium ion batteries are a fire hazard if damaged.
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 09:57
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Agree with Clare. You can't just leave a fallen camera on the floor, to be retrieved later. It needs to be found *right now* and secured. Especially if the lesson requires some abrupt maneuvering, like stalls, you don't want any loose equipment in the aircraft whatsoever. In most light aircraft the controls are not protected against loose objects. I know of at least one case where a pilot died because of a loose coin jammed a control run.

And there's one other thing. Setting up multiple cameras, lining them up, zooming them out properly and everything, and then removing them after the flight may easily take 5-10 minutes in total. More if you need to install cables as well. At my club, lessons are booked in two hour blocks, and instructors are paid by the block. You can't expect the aircraft to be available ahead of time, or afterwards. So setting up the cameras and removing them afterwards all need to happen inside that two hour block. So that time is going to be taken out of the time for the pre- and post-flight briefing, and the flying itself.

So whatever you do, make sure it's worth it. I would be OK with just quickly sticking a single camera behind you to film your control inputs and the instruments. I also really like the idea of filming the instructor while he/she flies the perfect circuit or another maneuver. But multiple cameras, audio input and whatnot? Overkill.
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 14:03
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Before you start recording video and/or audio, make yourself familiar with current GDPR regulations and make sure everybody involved agrees - flight school, mechanics to sign off the mounts, if you can see restricted public space the ones you possibly film, etcetereas. Also keep in mind where you record and maybe submit your material, i.e. in certain countries storing video or audio material outside the country is forbidden, i.e.2. in certain countries recording ATC audio is criminal, i.e. inform yourself!!!
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 01:29
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Exactly the reason I want to record my flights, airpolice! But instead of just watching a "perfect" execution, I'd also watch my imperfect flights and see what I can improve on and where I'm doing things wrong in certain phases of flight. It will greatly help me be more aware of what I'm doing and I hope it will pay off in quickly getting better at flying.

Clare Prop, are we not getting a bit too drastic with the warnings here? Or do you hold the same thoughts for those that use iPads or mobile devices in the cockpit? These are unsecured items too and also have lithium ion batteries.

BackPacker, I see the point regarding loose items and perhaps I can attach a string to the GoPro and secure the string to something else? That way, if something does come loose, I'll go back to level flight, pull on the string to retrieve the GoPro, and then continue on with my lesson. Would that work?

As for the setup issue, I don't expect it to take more than 2-3 minutes, maybe max 5? Taking them down afterwards would be even quicker. These are, after all, action cameras with a very wide FOV so an exact line-up of the camera isn't really very important.

Two cameras would be the minimum for me, I guess. Should a mistake happen, I want to know what the instruments looked like at the time (was I climbing? Banking descent?) and also what I was doing or looking at at the time, so those are two perspectives. More cameras just means more points of view with which to find out what went wrong. I'm surprised thought that you think audio input is overkill, but maybe you're more confident on comms than I am. What the cameras will do for my flying, the audio input will help with my comms.

ChickenHouse, do I need mechanics to sign off on the mounts inside the cockpit? I thought this was only an issue if the mounts are on the outside of the cockpit? I have come across the topic of recording UK ATC comms as illegal which surprised me as I've listened to a number of YouTube videos of US ATC comms, so I guess the rules are different on this side of the pond. However, I was told that for personal consumption, this should not be an issue. If anyone can point me to the source of this ruling, I'd be very thankful.

As for filming while in the air, if an area isn't supposed to be filmed, won't it be a no-fly zone anyway? How can anyone really enforce no-video rules if the place is out in the open and can be accessed from the air? Would they not have to prove first that the act was done for the intent of filming the restricted place instead of my own purposes of training?



While I do appreciate the warnings and bringing up things I may not have thought about, I'm still really waiting on an answer to my original questions.

Thanks!
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 09:19
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Nurse2Pilot

The UK CAA require in cockpit camera mounts to be approved by a licenced engineer.

They are banned at our Club also............
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 13:33
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N2P,

Have done a small amount of filming - with permissions - for professional broadcasters.

For sound, a small mic in the headset cup is great. Picks up what you say, and your instructor, ATC etc. And the headset cuts out a lot of background noise!

However: we, like most other flying schools, ban the use of go-pros etc by students. A standard camera/phone on a lanyard is good, for taking those amazing shots where the view is so fab you have to stop the lesson for a moment, take a breath and just enjoy being in the air.

Why the ban:

First: the safe fixing of them. And the paperwork required.

Second: people lie! Or to be diplomatic, their intentions change suddenly and unexpectedly! So that private video ends up on youtube, being shared around the clubroom, or that favour (in private, it will really help me!) becomes public chat in the clubroom. So we don't do any of that.

Third: we run a flying school. Our key staff are out instructors. Some just don't like seeing themselves on a camera. It distracts them - so the student gets a worse service. And our priority is to give a student the best service. Most problems are there to be sorted out in the air - we are a flying school. At least the handling ones.

The big problems are students who don't do adequate look outs. Don't remember checks. etc. Again, you don't need a CCTV to point to to say to the students: I never saw your head turn. Or state what each letter in a mnemonic stands for - or even what the funny word is.

A final point: what do you point the camera at?

To me, that is the beauty of a flight simulator. You can freeze, go back 30 sec etc. So you can choose which bits to focus on. We don't have one - yet. But we are working on it.


N2P - get a few hours in the air and come back and tell us a few things.
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 19:54
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MrAverage, thanks for pointing that out. I found the relevant documentation under CAP 1369. My flight school has pre-existing GoPro mounts plus a unanimous "yes, but..." response to my queries regarding GoPro use, so I assume they've taken the appropriate steps. I'll ask a more direct question next time I go there to be sure.

xrayalpha, thanks for your input! As to your concerns, (first) I'll ask the school again to be sure, but like I said, there are pre-existing GoPro mounts, (second) this is really all up to me and being true to my word so I'll be sure to keep private things private, (third) I've gotten the instructor's permission to do so and have no issues blurring them out should I wish to share the video and they want to remain anonymous or simply not share the video if they have any reservations whatsoever. The primary purpose of this exercise is for my own learning and review, not to gain YouTube fame, and I would have no issues at all if these videos are not seen by anyone else except myself. The only reason I take into consideration sharing videos is because of the beauty of aviation but this doesn't mean it has to be those videos with instructors in the cockpit.

One issue you raise is lookout and it's easy to spot issues there with an instructor in the cockpit. But am I doing enough on my solo flights? What exactly was going on before XX happened? With nobody else there, or if the instructor was similarly distracted by another task, the camera is the perfect tool to review and confirm any issues in the cockpit even if I am by myself during that flight. Flight simulation can only do so much. For example, if I'm not doing a good-enough lookout, flight simulation will not help me recognize that in any way. If I make a mistake, flight simulation will not show me what I was doing before XX happened, I'll still need a camera pointed at me for that.


Reading the CAP 1369, I do note that there doesn't seem to be a secondary setup where I can secure a lanyard or strap. I'll take a look at that when I visit the school again. I guess that's now an addition to my previous questions which still remain unanswered: To those that do this, what type of lanyard or strap do you use (and how long?) to secure your cameras?

If people do not wish to speak openly due to the issues cited in this thread, please feel free to PM me and I will greatly appreciate it and will respect your desire for privacy.

There are clearly concerns about doing this activity but there are clearly guidelines on how to do it safely. I honestly appreciate the issues being brought to my attention and I will be sure to do this activity in the safest way possible.
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 21:16
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problem solved
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 23:23
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Originally Posted by airpolice View Post
I think there is more likelihood of a student dropping a hand-held radio, GPS, Pen, nav planning tool or a CRP5 than there is of a properly fitted Go Pro mount coming off.
Is everything in the cockpit bolted down securely? No headphone bags or old dirty rags or anything else loose? I understand the security concern of a loose item getting lodged in someplace it shouldn't be, but I wonder how a typical cockpit would be in terms of loose items.

Where did you get your lanyard? I think I have a few that PTT were giving away during their career nights.

I've looked at suction mounts for mounting the GoPro that would be facing me and have decided on a RAM mount. Anyone have experience with these? As to the concerns of a camera falling off during flight, I see there are options of securing the camera via a tether so that at the very least, it doesn't rattle around inside the cockpit and with a tether of a sufficent length, it shouldn't get in the way of any controls should the camera fall off. However, short of bolting a ring onto the frame of the aircraft, it seems like these tethers are connected to a point that is attached via a 2-way adhesive just as the camera mounts are for the GoPro.
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 00:39
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Phones and iPads have to be stowed properly. Also, one thing that really bugs me is the little circles on my windscreens from when people on private hires have used suction cups and not cleaned up after themselves.
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 00:48
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artschool, you may think that's funny but here's a guy with eight cameras in his cockpit! SMH



Originally Posted by Clare Prop View Post
Phones and iPads have to be stowed properly. Also, one thing that really bugs me is the little circles on my windscreens from when people on private hires have used suction cups and not cleaned up after themselves.
Define "stowed properly"? I'm not talking about devices placed inside bags or zipped up pockets, I'm talking about devices used while in flight just like the iPad on the video above!

But I do hear ya about people not cleaning up after themselves! Do you warn these same people as you do here? Do you have a secondary attachment point or tether points for those who use suction mounts?

I've re-read this thread and just wanted to pick up on the issue of a GoPro coming loose and falling off inside the cockpit while in flight. Has anyone ever had this happen before or know of an instance where this occurred? Granted an incorrect setup of the GoPro mount will mean it will fall off, a correct installation of the GoPro shouldn't make this an issue, yes? The mounts are almost as idiot-proof as they can make it and as seen in this video, a properly applied mount can be placed on an aircraft wing and will not come off!! Timestamp 5:30 in the video



I'll give that test a try with the RAM mount and see how much it can tolerate.
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 10:45
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Different rules in FAA land. At least that camera will protect his tail skid.............
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