Thousands of YouTube videos with millions of viewers on aviation subjects are proof of how much pilots enjoy filming their flights. Whether it’s a memorable trip, an amazing view, or just a normal flight, pilots are filming everything – for themselves and to share with others. Flight instructors and students are also using video to review lessons and improve technique.
Two products have come to dominate the market for small video cameras: GoPro’s Hero3 and Apple’s iPhone. But while both are outstanding cameras, they have two major shortcomings for pilots: they cannot connect to an aviation headset and the propeller is distorted when shooting out the front of an airplane. Finally, there is a solution to both problems with new kits from Sporty’s and NFlightcam.
The NFlightcam Cockpit Kit for GoPro includes a custom aviation audio cable so you can record both intercom and ATC, plus a lens filter that virtually eliminates prop distortion. The kit attaches to most ¼”-20 camera mounts. Everything is completely removable so you can still use your GoPro when you are not flying. The Cockpit Kit [5754A] is available for $99.99.
For external mounting, the External Mount Kit offers a unique solution. The precision milled surface mounting spud can be used anywhere you can find a #6, #8, #10 screw or AN4 bolt, making it one of the most diverse camera mounts ever. The External Mount Kit [8905A] is for use on experimental airplanes only and is available for $99.99.
While it may be a surprise to some, an iPhone can serve as a superb video camera in addition to being a great smartphone. But like the GoPro, the iPhone will not record cockpit audio and it is subject to the same propeller distortion that most digital cameras have.
The NFlightcam iPhone Kit features the Aviator Lens, a 170°, wide-angle lens for an immersive experience that includes a special filter to reduce propeller distortion. The adjustable bracket works with or without an iPhone case and is compatible with most ¼”-20 camera mounts. The kit also includes a custom audio cable, so you can plug your headset directly into the iPhone and record all cockpit audio. The iPhone Camera Kit [4166A] is available for $129.99.
Take your iPhone Kit to the next level with NFlightcam’s free app for iPhone. This makes it easy to record GPS position in addition to audio and video, and you can upload your video to NFlightcam’s custom aviation video website. The site will display instruments superimposed on the video and all videos can be shared. To download the free app, go to Sportys.com/nflightcam. All cameras and accessories are available at Sportys.com or by calling 800-SPORTYS.