By Dan G.
Today was a good day to go flying and experiment with shooting video. The air was cooler, the air was more volatile and combining camera and planes has its unique challenges.
Dad and I went to the main sod farm. He was a good sport when I brought out a few pieces of camera gear. It was a learning day for me. An hour into shooting video of dad flying, it was time to pack up it up. At that point I set up my plane – and taped a camera to it.
We get into a ritual when we fly – put the plane together the same way – test everything before we launch – the same way. I wrapped a thin strip of gaffer’s tape bonding the plane to the RunCam. The camera was firmly attached but I forgot to turn on the plane. Unwrap. Connect the plane’s power. Re-wrap. Run pre-flight check of the aircraft. Ready to launch. The first launch did not work out well. The plane’s handling was erratic and tough to control. I was able to ride it out to a decent height. In switching to “thermal mode” I found the launch had been in “speed mode”. I need to practice procedures with the camera more often.
The camera is very small just about requires a smart phone to run it. Camera operations become more complicated when an airplane is added to this mix. This leads to “jitters” in the flight and then about how to do it better next time.
The light wind and cooler air provided for some excitement in the air. Normally the summer air is hot and humid giving way for pretty even thermals. Today, the pockets of rising air were more turbulent and the cooler air was full of sink.
Dad had a few good flights but seemed to fight the air as I did. The new season and the newish plane to me will bring their own challenges.