AeroSession, April 1, 2017

AeroSession is Saturday, April 1, 2017, from 10:00am – 11:00am! Young Aviators in grades 6-12,

Join us at the flight school for Facetime with special guest Colonel David B. Lyons, F35 pilot!

Facetime with Colonel David B. Lyons, Commander, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah

AeroSession Air Force F35 photo

(U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

AeroSession Colonel David B. Lyons, Commander, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah photo

Colonel David B. Lyons, Commander, 388th Fighter Wing

Colonel David B. Lyons is the Commander, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Colonel Lyons is a command pilot with more than 2,100 flying hours in the F-35A, F-16C/D, A-10A/C, T-37 and T-38, to include 397 combat flying hours.

We are pleased to welcome F-35 pilot Colonel Lyons as our guest speaker this month via Facetime! More information about AeroSessions and registration.

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September AeroSession (free for young people in grades 6-12)

The September AeroSession is postponed to Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10am due to the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

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Free AeroSession for aviation enthusiasts in grades 6-12

Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 10am-11am

David Simpson will be our guest speaker and demonstrate his Hydrodynamic Flight Simulator!

Visualizing How an Airplane Flies: A Hydrodynamic Flight Simulator

This workshop may be the most unusual and yet the most memorable illustration of how an airplane flies that you’re likely to encounter. Since the beginning of the modern era, there has been a need to simulate flight. Simulators allow scientists and engineers to model the behaviors of an aircraft or its components before building them. Indeed, the Wright brothers and other inventors of the time built wind tunnels to model the behavior of an aircraft’s wing in flight. Now, using only water to represent energy (potential energy being fuel and altitude; kinetic energy being air speed), as well as some levers, pulleys and tubing, students will be able “fly” the simulator; to learn and control with real time feedback the dynamic relationship between power and pitch and the four forces acting on an airplane in flight (thrust, drag, lift and gravity).

David Simpson, Presenterphoto Dave Simpson

A lifelong New Jersey resident and licensed pilot, David Simpson has been teaching tech to kids since he was in 12th grade. He’s developed hands on educational programs for groups like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts as well as institutions like the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey and the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. He’s been a mentor with a number of groups that have STEM education at their core, including FIRST Robotics and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and has been twice named CAP’s New Jersey Aerospace Education Officer of the Year. Simpson has contributed numerous how to articles to O’Reilly Media’s Make Magazine and has exhibited at Maker Faire on both the east and west coasts. He is the Founder of Innovators Inc., a startup focused on bringing cool and fun hands on STEM experiences to children in a retail setting.

 

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Free AeroSession for aviation enthusiasts in grades 6-12

Attention all Aviation Enthusiasts!12063629_10153633863504629_1632272810577723419_n

This Saturday, October 3th is our very first AeroSession of the school year! Be sure to catch a ride to the airport this weekend to hear Bruce Cohen, a Delta Boeing 747 First Officer, talk about and explain a mystery topic! AeroSessions begins at 10:00AM and runs about an hour. Hope to see you all here!

AeroSessions is free and open to aviation enthusiasts in grades 6-12. Attend five AeroSessions and get a 1/2 free simulator session with an instructor. Earn an additional session credit by bringing a friend to an AeroSession. Please call 973.872.6213 for more information.

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Mastering Non-Towered Airport Communications

Mastering Non-Towered Airport Communications

If you’ve ever been flying as a student pilot, you must obviously know how challenging it is to maintain situational awareness, fly the airplane, and prove to your instructor that you know what you’re doing. But then, in addition to all that, you have to make radio calls and sometimes comply with air traffic control instructions! It can definitely get a bit overwhelming, but you have to remember, that plenty of people do it, and you can too.

One aspect of pilot training that most students find challenging and overwhelming is communicating with other traffic over frequency. But, what you have to remember, is that those pilots in their airplanes on frequency are humans just like you are, and that they will understand your mistakes and nervousness. So, now that we know that, let’s just take a breather.

We all know that the universal language for Air Traffic Control is English, but to most individuals, it definitely doesn’t sound like English at all! Here are a few things to remember.

  1. Rather than saying letters the way we do in English, each letter and number has its own name. For a full list of translations click here. We identify letters with names mainly to ensure that there are no confusions during communications. The letters “N” and “M” sound very similar, but in aviation language, “November” and “Mike” sound very different.
  2. Rather than saying numbers like we do in English, aviation says each number individually below 18,000 feet. For example: Thirteen thousand five hundred feet in English would be said as “one three thousand five hundred” or to be more exact “one tree thousand fife hundred.” All you have to remember when saying numbers is to say each number individually.
  3. The aviation language is different yes, but what’s primarily different about it is how we speak very concisely and only share the most important information. Because airspace can be so busy at any given moment, it is imperative that every pilot is able to get their word in when needed. Taking up frequency time for no reason is a big no-no. Knowing those three tips above means you already have the knowledge to begin speaking in the aviation language.

Now, let’s put ourselves in the airplane for a moment so we can discuss the proper times for making radio calls at non-towered airports. Every radio call made at a non-towered airport should follow this structure: “[Name of airport] traffic [callsign] [clear and concise request/intention] [name of airport].” It’s very simple. Now, let’s look into when pilots should make their radio calls.

The first radio call a pilot should make is during the first few seconds of taxi, if not before beginning their taxi. It is only to indicate to the pilots in the area that you are starting your taxi and that there is another active pilot using the airport now. This radio call is very simple, and it should sound very similar to this if you are operating your aircraft at Lincoln Park Airport: “Lincoln Park Traffic, Skyhawk Niner One Juliet taxiing to runway one, Lincoln Park.” Now, notice how we stated only the important information which made it short and clear. This is key! Keep it short and clear.

The next radio call one should make depends if they will be crossing a runway. Throughout the entire taxi, the pilot should be listening to the frequency and keeping a mental picture of where other airplanes are near or on the airport. Doing this will will mean that you are aware of aircraft in the pattern and will recognize if there is an airplane on final approach. If there is an airplane on final approach, and you want to cross a runway, you know that you have to hold short. You are seeing/listening and avoiding. A very important Pilot in Command practice. If you are not listening to the radio frequency and need to cross a runway, you’ll have to ask over frequency which means you’ll be “eating up radio time” which we, as pilots, want to avoid. If you must make a radio call to find out, simply ask by following the format above. Ex: “Lincoln Park Traffic, anyone base or final for runway one, Lincoln Park.” If no one is on final, go ahead and cross, but be sure to let everyone on frequency know that you’ve crossed the runway and the runway is now clear. Just follow the format above!

The next radio calls are going to be a bit more complicated, but once you get the hang of them, they become second nature. Let’s assume you’re ready for takeoff, and you’ve been listening to the frequency and there is no one on final or base, now you have to make a radio call to indicate your presence and your intended takeoff. Let’s break down what we’re going to say. First you’ll say the airport, in this case Lincoln Park. Next, you’ll have to say your intentions, so in this case, we are departing runway one, and at Lincoln Park, standard traffic patterns are left turns off runway one, but you won’t have to specify because it’s already known. Now is there any more important information that we need to say? Well, think about it like this: If you were a pilot sitting in another airplane, is there anything else you would want to know? I don’t think so, so you’re set! All you have to do now is push that Push-To-Talk key and make your call. Click “Lincoln Park Traffic, Skyhawk Niner One Juliet, departing runway one to remain in the pattern, Lincoln Park.” Now, before you roll onto the runway, LOOK AND LISTEN! Some pilots do not always pay attention. It’s just like driving, not only do you have to be watching out for yourself, but you must always be looking out for others. Always double check your work. Look both ways, wait for anyone to say anything over frequency in response to your departing radio call, then move if it still looks clear.

Now that you’re airborne and climbing through 300 feet or so, your main priority is flying the airplane. Remember: Aviate, Navigate, then Communicate. Do not worry about communicating if you cannot do it. When you have a moment to think, think about what you are going to say next. Now, once you’re in the air, and in the traffic pattern, I like to think of all of my radio calls simply position reports. I merely state my position, and that’s it. So, when you’re on upwind, using the format above, you would simply say “Lincoln Park Traffic, Skyhawk Niner One Juliet, Upwind runway one, Lincoln Park.” That simple! Now, you do that for every turn you make in the pattern: Crosswind, Downwind, Base Leg and Final Approach. If you decide to go around, then you would make a radio call then, too. But remember, during a go-around, fly the airplane first, then make the call. Once you’ve landed and you are clear of the runway, make sure you let everyone know by making a clear and concise radio call. Remember, you are only clear of the runway once your entire airplane is behind the Hold Short Marking.

Now, here are some of the more complicated radio calls you’ll have to make, and they happen when you are entering a non-towered airports vicinity, or when you are leaving a non-towered airports vicinity. Let’s talk about leaving first. When you are leaving the airports vicinity on departure, meaning you are exiting the traffic pattern the radio call is different, but still simple, concise and clear. Using the format above, it would sound something like this: “Lincoln Park Traffic, Skyhawk Niner One Juliet, departing the pattern to the North climbing up to two thousand fife hundred, Lincoln Park.” Now, let’s talk about this. What did we just say and why is it important? Well, obviously we are identifying our location and who we are, so that’s always important. Secondly, we are telling everyone the direction we are departing to and the altitude we are going to be climbing up to. This is important because there may be other traffic in the area that will need to know of your altitude. Always broadcasting your planned altitude and direction is important. Then, finishing off with the airport identifies your location, again, and terminates the radio call. Very simple.

Lastly, entering an airports vicinity is another radio call that needs to be made. Normally, I make my radio calls 10 miles out from the airport, and following the same format as above, it sounds something like this: “Lincoln Park Traffic, Skyhawk niner one juliet, ten miles northwest inbound to land runway one, Lincoln Park.” Let’s break that down now. So, we said what airport we are near, who we are and what our intentions are. Our intentions are to land, but what we cannot just say that. We have to tell everyone where we are currently are flying and the direction and distance in relation from the airport. Also, we have to explain that we are landing! Well, why do we have to specify? Because some airplanes just overfly the airport; they merely transition the airspace. Here, we are planning to land. If you were going to overfly, you would substitute “…inbound to land…” to “…overflying to the [direction of flight]…” Not too difficult.

As you get closer to the airport, start prepping what you are going to say. Standard entry into any traffic pattern is entering on the left 45˚ so, if you are planning to this you would say, once established on the left 45˚ leg inbound, “Lincoln Park Traffic, Skyhawk niner one juliet, left forty-fife for runway one, Lincoln Park.” If you were planning to enter on a different leg of the traffic pattern, just be sure to mention it in your radio call.

Well, now that you’re a pro on radio communications at non-towered fields, go rent an airplane and try it out yourself. There is no better learning tool than actually doing it yourself. Just remember: Think. Think about what you are going to say before you say it. Doing this will reduce the number of “Umm’s” and “Uhh’s” on the frequency that make you sound like you don’t know what you’re doing. Break that habit, and start sounding like you know what you’re doing! Follow these steps, and you’ll be doing correctly in no time!

Happy Flying! Alden Lebov AeroMentor Aero Safety Training

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Poker Run 2015 this Saturday, June 1, 2015!

Poker Run sponsored by the North Jersey 99s is this Saturday!North Jersey 99s Poker Run 2015

  • KMMU Morristown Airport
  • KBLM Monmouth Airport
  • 26N Ocean City Airport
  • KVAY South Jersey Regional Airport
  • 1N7 Blairstown Airport (Terminus)

Fly airports in an order. It’s okay to miss one, you can finish your hand at Blairstown, the terminus where prizes are awarded.

 

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AOPA Fly-in at Frederick on June 6, 2015!

Fly-In aviation event - AOPA Fly-iNJoin AOPA and your fellow pilots and aviation enthusiasts for the AOPA Fly-In at Frederick Municipal Airport on June 6, 2015!

A celebration of general aviation, their grassroots gathering features something for everyone with exhibitors, aircraft displays, seminars and activities to interest  and delight your entire family!

Like last year, AOPA is expecting record attendance so RSVP today to reserve your meal tickets and save money. And, when you RSVP early*, you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes drawing** to win one of the following great prizes. Plus, you’ll receive $5.00 in AOPA Store Bucks and a $25.00 Jeppesen coupon for onsite purchases!

The AOPA Homecoming Fly-In at Frederick Municipal Airport will have something for everyone! Spend the day exploring exhibits, ask AOPA President Mark Baker questions at a Pilot Town Hall, eat breakfast and learn something new in seminars! Fly in or drive in to your association headquarters! Come early on Friday and enjoy a special Friday Night Barnstormers Party!

The Barnstormers Party on Friday evening will feature a BBQ, bonfire, and a special screening of the new film “Living in the Age of Airplanes.” Filmmaker Brian J. Terwilliger will be on hand to introduce the film and take questions afterwards.

Saturday starts off with a delicious pancake breakfast. And what would breakfast be without a steaming cup of Flying High Coffee? To top it off, renowned aviation author and humorist Rod Machado will be on hand to entertain you with his whimsical insights on flying.

In the afternoon, enjoy a delicious lunch provided by gourmet food trucks or local restaurants.

To ensure they have enough food, please RSVP today to reserve your meal tickets at a reduced rate and to take advantage of our sweepstakes drawing to win one of the prizes mentioned above. And, when you RSVP, be sure to tell them whether you’ll be flying or driving so they’re prepared.

 

 

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Wings and Wheels Air Expo June 20 and June 21, 2015

Wings and Wheels Air ExpoThe New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum Hosts Wings and Wheels Air Expo at Teterboro Airport Father’s Day weekend, June 20 and 21, 2015.

This premier New Jersey aviation event features WWII airplanes and other unique military aircraft, vintage and contemporary show cars and live entertainment. Fun for the whole family!

You can expect to see an Aero L-29, a Curtis SB2C Helldiver, a P-47 Thunderbolt, and a Grumman TBF Avenger. The Helldiver and Avenger entered shipboard carrier service with the Navy in the middle of the second World War and together brought the fighting to Japan and sent much of the Japanese navy to the bottom. The Hellldiver is a first-time, new addition to Wings and Wheels with a unique New Jersey connection as being a Curtis-Wright aircraft powered by a Wright R-2600 Cyclone engine. More aircraft are expected and of course, and the perennial star attraction, B-17G, Yankee Lady, will return and offer once-in-a-lifetime rides experience and keep the airshow buzzing!

The New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum strives to celebrate and bring-to-life all facets of aviation by honoring its past, and to captivate and charm those who will be its future.

 

 

 

 

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Photos in Flight Recording Equipment Placement

Photo By: Christian Plesu

Photo By: Christian Plesu

Becoming a member of the “Pilots of Instagram” Club

Step No. 2: Placement

The placement of your recording equipment is just as important as your choice of equipment. In addition to the location, you must consider whether your mounting point will be temporary, semi-attached, or permanent. We will review those three scenarios in a later segment. Equipment placement falls into three categories:

Interior

Exterior

First Person View (FPV)

Interior

The placement of your audio/video equipment can be in one of countless locations within the cockpit. When choosing a spot, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will this position cause unsafe conditions for operation of the aircraft?
  • Does it impair any flight control full operational movement?
  • Does the mounting location have potential to fall and harm me or my passengers?
  • Will this position impair sight picture or scanning capabilities?
  • Does the mounting position hinder emergency operations including exiting the aircraft?
  • Will conditions of the flight work with this location? – Time of day considerations – Reflection considerations – Equipment operating temperature limitations – Route of flight considerations with respect to sun location and reflecting materials
  • Do you know how to install and remove the mounting equipment without damaging the aircraft?
  • Did you review the space requirements and limitations with the mounting equipment and choice of video equipment when attached?

A recommendation is to start with interior setups and locations that are simple and either out of sight or on the other side of the interior cabin. This will force you to just set it and forget it. The placement learning phase will result in you finding the best locations that work with your flight parameters while reinforcing a habit of avoiding distraction by operating the recording equipment. Remember: AVIATE — NAVIGATE — COMMUNICATE.

As stated before the best way to start is with a simple one camera setup and then advance from there. Here is an example of a seven camera setup. Please note the customization of the mounts as well as the restricted exterior visibility created from these vantage points chosen. Always factor in your personal minimums and ability as a pilot before adding additional equipment in the cockpit that may obstruct normal operations or cause a distraction both for interior and exterior. 

Exterior

The exterior placement of your recording equipment unlike interior has several more considerations, especially with airworthiness and safety regulations. For more information on Airworthiness regulations please view this FAA link and review all applicable categories for you location. For example if you have a camera on the wing strut of a Cessna, review the following: airframe requirements, mounting equipment limitations, and most importantly mounting redundancy should your primary point get loose.

For review of the Airworthiness requirements of each category of aircraft review the following from the FAA:

Another consideration is the worst-case scenario:

  • What if my equipment falls off?
  • Will the position place potential harm to required control surfaces?
  • Does the position have a secondary attachment point? (Not required, but suggested)
  • Did you speak with an A&P regarding your installation and placement?
  • Will the equipment fall over populated* or unpopulated land?

As PIC we must remember that safe operations of the aircraft and maintaining a safe airspace are of the utmost priority. If the worst-case scenario were to occur, realize that the following basic regulation applies:

§91.15   Dropping objects

No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property.” 

To summarize, with exterior applications you must take into consideration airworthiness requirements, primary and secondary latch points, and lastly — should the worst-case scenario occur — Did you comply with eCFR Title 14 91.15?

An example of exterior views here

First Person View (FPV)

This view is possibly the most striking view point and has led to the success of companies such as GoPro and trends such as the selfie. This is also one of the most distracting since the equipment is on your person and requires the most attention. This view can be achieved through body mounts, straps, wearing a helmet with a mount and having another person on board taking the photo or video.  

When dealing with this choice of recording, I encourage every pilot to remember to Aviate. Don’t be distracted from the recording device. Also take into consideration the time you will have this mount on and the comfort level of the harness. If you have the ability to wear the harness without any discomfort for several hours in a seated position during “extreme” heat/cold or changes in temperature, may I suggest you first test your ability outside of the cockpit prior to learning your limitations inside during a flight? The last thing you want midair is to require a wardrobe change due to discomfort.

Future Pilots of Instagram, as always, we encourage safe operations for the pilot and crew while taking consideration for the flight path land environment for choosing mounting locations for your equipment. Ideally start with one camera — inside the cockpit first is my best recommendation to limit distractions and become comfortable with your new equipment and its mounting limitations.  

When choosing an exterior mounting location, consult your local mechanic and properly ground test your installation for safety and redundancy. I recommend you review the FAR’s for airworthiness and limitations you have as a PIC for all applications, but most importantly keep safety for pilot, crew, and ground as your No. 1 objective. The rest should fall into place accordingly. Lastly remember to Aviate, as distractions can lead to unwanted results;

Suggestions for Mount Equipment:

Command Brand

Scotch

Fat Gecko Mounts 

Fat Gecko Co-Pilot

Ram Mounts

Berkey System

**Downloaded cover photo is by Christian Plesu

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Photos in Flight

Equipment

Photos in Flight Image Credit: Christian Plesu

Image Credit: Christian Plesu
Pilot Alberto D. Alvarez, CFI, CFII

Want to be the newest member of the “Pilots of Instagram” club?

In recent weeks, the aviation community has come under scrutiny for images pilots around the  world have been sharing from our office view.  If you are a new to the aviation community, the view  from the cockpit is known as “the office”; it is the aviator’s place of business, so to speak.  Our office provides us with sights like no other: un-obscured, pure and from a vantage point into the far away edges of  our shared planet, which are rarely viewed in entirety.

So you want to take pictures while flying?

Step 1‐ Equipment!

Criteria: a visual recording device to meet the following minimum requirements: Waterproof/water resistant, accessory capable and RAM suction-cup  mountable, workable in extreme temperature changes 0‐120 degrees, quality of image above 10MP.

DSLR Point & Shoot Go Pro Cell Phone
Model  Pentax K-50  Lumix DMC FT5A  Hero 4  Samsung S5 Sport
Pros Highest quality and most setting options, long battery life, manual settings available with ease, large screen to review and set up, playback Simple and small, capable of fitting in many locations, easy generic settings options, playback, GPS & WiFi capable Simple, small, waterproof case, capable of being mounted in unique locations, accessory availability Purchase location availability, small, multi-functioning unit, highest utility versus other options listed
Cons Long setup time, very large for cockpit environment, limited point- of-view angle capabilities Picture quality limited, settings limited, battery life not intended for long flights Limited battery life, accessibility when changing memory card or battery, playback High battery usage during flight, camera function can be hard to access, setting options limited, limited mounts
Size Large Compact/Bulky Compact Compact/Slim
Cost $499.95 $299 $499.99 $199.99-$649.99

When deciding which camera option suits your flight parameters, the following should always be considered:

  • Will the location hinder your ability to fly the aircraft safety?
  • Does the location and mounting device put any safety concern to the airframe or create an in-flight hazard?
  • Can the unit be easily removed or accessed should it become necessary to do so?
  • What are the intended uses of the camera? — Training review — Entertainment –Maintenance diagnosis –Special flight circumstances –Day or Night flight usage
  • What are your anticipated recording durations? — Full flight — Segments of flights only –In Range to Landing –Taxi through Take Off to cruise –Scenery or Special segments of flight ie: Hudson River
  • What is the intended audience for recordings? –Personal files –Presentations –Training review –YouTube Personal or for Commercial purposes
  • Under which Flight category will you be recording? –Part 91 –Part 141 –Part 121 –Part 135

This five-part series will be dedicated to explaining the usage of electronic devices for recording during any phase of flight. We will summarize the FAA regulations, practicality of when to use such electronic devices, emphasizing good judgment, single pilot resource management, and most importantly safety tips for each of the questions presented.

Now to help you make a decision, the following is my opinion regarding each category of recording device.

DSLR (Digital Single Lense Reflex)

Being the most capable in terms of professional quality photos, it is also the largest and most complicated to set up. Due to the larger size of these cameras with the high quality lenses, you are limited to placement within the cockpit that does not interfere with line of sight out the windows or provide any view outside of the aircraft.

The weight of the camera also comes into play, requiring specialized mounting systems to carry the additional weight in the desired position. In addition, if you have a passenger, their comfort during the flight becomes secondary with the setup utilizing valuable interior space in their seats, which becomes a concern should there be an emergency.

My suggestion is for this type of camera to be utilized only when you have a dedicated camera person who can set up the camera for each subject being photographed. I have found when operating an aircraft solo with this type of camera, your focal settings at higher altitudes do not work at lower altitudes; nor do they work when you change from and interior view to exterior.

The manual settings provide you with the greatest opportunity to get great photos. But when acting as PIC, the time needed to switch settings compromises flight safety and your end product rarely results in better quality over point and shoots due to not being able to adjust settings as needed. This camera is well suited for professional presentations or special flights that you want recorded for commercial and/or memories ideally being operated by a seasoned photographer.

Point and Shoot

Basically it is the simplest since you just point in the direction and let the device handle the settings automatically with each frame taken. Video quality has been satisfactory and during certain phases and direction of flight impressive due to the capability of the lenses’ automatic focus and direct sun to low-light transitions processor capabilities. Realize that these is a lag in the transitions at times, which results in blurry segments of video recordings and even during individual pictures since the automatic focus has picked a focal point besides your intended subject matter.

The processor also gets confused at times with the glare from the sun and during phases of flight where you turn from direct to indirect sunlight while turning. Point and shoots are great for pilots flying solo since it is a dedicated device that is simple to use by just pressing the button to take the picture. The mounting options are infinite as well as placement due to the compact size and minimal weight. Also great for cross country flights where you have ample opportunities while in cruise flight to take in the scenery during your scans and take instant photos when the opportunity presents itself.

Go Pro

An adventure camera industry leader for a reason! While the units are simple to use and very compact, which allows for unique point of views, they do not have long battery life. This unit is great with single pilot operations but even better when in the company of a dedicated operator. The changing of settings from video to photos, while easy, does require you to look at the device instead of having strong indicators for the settings as see on point and shoots with rotating wheels and audible scrolling features, etc…

This unit I find ideal for short training sessions in a practice area or pattern versus long cross country flights due to the lack of battery life. Recording a particular phase of flight such as landings when in range is an ideal scenario for this adventure camera.

Cell Phone

Of the options, this would be your most versatile electronic device. The utility functions are used daily and outside of your aviation experiences very frequently, which makes the purchase price very reasonable for the daily usage you can achieve in all your daily functions. The concerns I have had when utilizing the cell phone have always been the lack of mounting accessories and the resulting photo quality not being on par with the three other categories, which are each a dedicated device for audio visual recordings.

In addition the cell phone does provide you with the capability of communicating with others should you have an in-flight issue or need to communicate with person on the ground in the case of an emergency when you off course have reception.

This brings me to the issue of the cell phone having unreliable reception, which in turn drains your battery. You may find that just leaving your phone on during a long cross country could deplete the batteries by the time you get to your destination because the phone is continuing to search for signals while in flight. It is advisable to shut your phone off during flight because the electronic field being generated can and will interfere with your navigation capabilities. While it may not hinder navigation, it could cause deviations from the expected course should you be utilizing the compass or VOR for navigation.

Lastly, the multiple capabilities of the cell phone do become a distraction since you need to navigate for the desired application. I would recommend cell phone camera usage only for extremely limited use since the required application navigation and inability to mount the unit in usable locations distracts you from flight operations in a higher capacity.

The ability of your phone to get text messages and calls during your flight adds to the distraction for which I have found myself and other pilots getting caught in that trap. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, and always keep safety a No. 1 priority in all phases of flight.

The FAA regulations for use of electronic devices for part 121 operations are linked here.

Part two of our series will review “Placement and Operator Regulations” when utilizing electronic devices.

Please send any questions to aalvarez@lpawings.com.

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