Looking for a picture of the "Vents" or the "Chaco Canyon" or the lost city that overlooks the Rio Salado or something equally obscure? Instead of sifting through every flightlog, use the window above to search jeffsflightlog.com.

Can you show me your new AIPTEK video mount?

    I have been experimenting with the AIPTEK 1080P camera. It is fairly inexpensive ($100-$150 depending on sales etc) and records everything to a memory card. It is very small and lightweight.

    One problem with the camera is the image degraded with a wavy effect if there is any vibration. The view an example of the wavy effect, click here. After a some of experimentation, I have discovered four things you can do to reduce or eliminate the wavies.

    1) Record in 720P, 60Hz mode. This mode is more resistant to the wavy effect, but still gives you a nice widescreen view. Click here for an example of raw video taken in 720P, 60Hz without any additional processing. The progressive scan (P) in this mode gives you a crystal clear image as shown by captured image on the left.

    Note: There is some blurring of the example due to file compression on Vimeo, but the raw video played on my PC is as clear as the captured frame on the right. Individual frames are as good as my still digital camera, and I frequently use them in my flightlogs.

    2) Mount the camera on the control bar. The wing of the trike and by extension the control bar is a very steady base to mount the camera on. It is also isolated from engine vibration. But the mount needs to be stiff. Any flexure in the mount will excite the wavy effect. I built my mount out of some RAM parts I got with my Lowrance GPS.  You can adjust the clamps to level the camera relative to the horizon, and rotate the camera to the right or left. The yoke mount on the control bar can be loosened to rotate everything nose down for those cool shots looking down on the summit of Shiprock volcano.

    3) Down convert the video from 60HZ to 3OHz using video editing software.  This really gets rid of the wavy effect.

    4) Add a wideangle lens to make the vibration less obvious. You want a wideangle lens anyway, to make the camera easier to point. Here is one got for my camera at magneticlenes.com (get the large lens). Most have a magnet coupling that is too weak for flying. The lens will go flying on the first bad landing. I secured mine in place with tape.

What sort of mount do you use for your video camera?

Note this is for my old comera and mount. I am using the AIPTEK system described above now.

    This is hilarious. I have gotten more responses and emails of people coveting my video camera mount than from all my videos and flight logs combined. So much for my dreams of publishing a trike flying coffee table book, I should just sell mounts.

    Get a plastic Ram 1 inch ball diamond, cost $12
    http://www.cycoactive.com/gps/gallery/parts.html (part D)

    Get a bolt that matches the tripod mount thread on the bottom of the video camera. Cost, 5 cents

    Get the downtube clamp from a long bracket of a Hall Wind meter, Cost $7

    Assemble like in the photo. Use a bungee as a safety tie.

    That's it. Now clamp it to the control bar (base tube) for a nice stabilized mount and start shooting some video.


What is your 0-6 turbulence level scale?

    I made this scale up for my personal use, to evaluate how bad or good the air feels.  It is based on how the turbulence affects the controllability of aircraft.  The source of the turbulence can be thermals or mechanical (rotors). Mechanical turbulence is more dangerous because it can suddenly intensify to Level 5 or 6.

    Level 0 - Dead calm

      Calm winds at sunrise or sunset and dead calm air over a lake produce these ideal conditions.

    Level 1 - Something is out there

      You can feel a few bumps, but it is mostly hands off flying.

    Level 2 - A little bumpy

      Frequent low intensity bumps that require correction to maintain course. Flying one handed is not a problem.

    Level 3 - Bumpy

      Large bumps that encourage both hands on the control bar. Flying can still be enjoyable, but you want 1000 ft or more of ground clearance so you can relax a little. Picture taking is difficult.

    Level 4 - Really Bumpy

      Difficult to maintain heading. Not fun, you want out of this.

    Level 5 - Oh God, I’m gonna die!

      Difficult to maintain pitch control of the trike. Occasional stalls with large loss of altitude. You worry about losing control.

    Level 6 - Loss of control

      Tumble followed by structural failure of the wing. Time to pull the BRS handle.