GoPro cameras in the cockpit

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Re: GoPro cameras in the cockpit

Unread post by V5 - LEO » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:43 pm

....to be fair, he said that the input from the guy on the bank wanting to film his landing on the sandbar let him deviates from his normal checklist of 5 items and that lead up to the mishap when not noticing the air in fuel line.

....people forget about cameras very quickly, just check out the daily uploads of things people do, being caught by surveilance cameras.
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Re: GoPro cameras in the cockpit

Unread post by ledz » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:42 pm

Granted, this wasn't one sole cause. There was a sequence that led up to it, and the next item in that same statement was that they were trying to make a cool video.

I think it is also then interesting to note that getting distracted doesn't only have to happen in the air.

My point towards this thread is that for those that are putting a GoPro in the cockpit to make 'content', there's a real danger in drifting attention in critical flight phases, pre-takeoff probably being right up there.

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Re: GoPro cameras in the cockpit

Unread post by sumbloke » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:47 am

A few years ago I wrote a article for the South African Soaring Magazine on exaclty this issue. There is a difference between using a camera as a training tool, where you are simply recording what you do and go back and analyze it afterwards, and trying to create content for social media etc. With training the camera is put on and forgotten simple, your flying should not be in anyway adjusted for the purpose of the film. Creating content is another whole kettle of rather dangerous fish. In this instance you are playing the part ofat least two very different people. One is as the pilot of the aircraft and the other is as the cinematographer/film maker. It is easy to let the demands of the latter over rule the training and sensibility of the first, tuck in a bit closer, turn a bit lower, rush to get the light right, what ever it takes to make the shot. It's no wonder that this can easily lead to major accidents. If anyone is interested I can try and dig out the article.
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Re: GoPro cameras in the cockpit

Unread post by RuanS » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:47 pm

sumbloke wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:47 am
A few years ago I wrote a article for the South African Soaring Magazine on exaclty this issue. There is a difference between using a camera as a training tool, where you are simply recording what you do and go back and analyze it afterwards, and trying to create content for social media etc. With training the camera is put on and forgotten simple, your flying should not be in anyway adjusted for the purpose of the film. Creating content is another whole kettle of rather dangerous fish. In this instance you are playing the part ofat least two very different people. One is as the pilot of the aircraft and the other is as the cinematographer/film maker. It is easy to let the demands of the latter over rule the training and sensibility of the first, tuck in a bit closer, turn a bit lower, rush to get the light right, what ever it takes to make the shot. It's no wonder that this can easily lead to major accidents. If anyone is interested I can try and dig out the article.
More or less the same I was trying to say in my post.
Would like to read the article when you find it please :?:
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Re: GoPro cameras in the cockpit

Unread post by 10tpeg » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:30 pm

sumbloke wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:47 am
A few years ago I wrote a article for the South African Soaring Magazine on exaclty this issue. There is a difference between using a camera as a training tool, where you are simply recording what you do and go back and analyze it afterwards, and trying to create content for social media etc. With training the camera is put on and forgotten simple, your flying should not be in anyway adjusted for the purpose of the film. Creating content is another whole kettle of rather dangerous fish. In this instance you are playing the part ofat least two very different people. One is as the pilot of the aircraft and the other is as the cinematographer/film maker. It is easy to let the demands of the latter over rule the training and sensibility of the first, tuck in a bit closer, turn a bit lower, rush to get the light right, what ever it takes to make the shot. It's no wonder that this can easily lead to major accidents. If anyone is interested I can try and dig out the article.
I think you have hit the nail on the head - recording for training vs making content. Would really like to read the article you wrote.....
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Re: GoPro cameras in the cockpit

Unread post by sumbloke » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:58 pm

RuanS wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:47 pm
sumbloke wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:47 am
A few years ago I wrote a article for the South African Soaring Magazine on exaclty this issue. There is a difference between using a camera as a training tool, where you are simply recording what you do and go back and analyze it afterwards, and trying to create content for social media etc. With training the camera is put on and forgotten simple, your flying should not be in anyway adjusted for the purpose of the film. Creating content is another whole kettle of rather dangerous fish. In this instance you are playing the part ofat least two very different people. One is as the pilot of the aircraft and the other is as the cinematographer/film maker. It is easy to let the demands of the latter over rule the training and sensibility of the first, tuck in a bit closer, turn a bit lower, rush to get the light right, what ever it takes to make the shot. It's no wonder that this can easily lead to major accidents. If anyone is interested I can try and dig out the article.
More or less the same I was trying to say in my post.
Would like to read the article when you find it please :?:
Apologies, it seems that with time and my poor filing system I’ve lost the article (It was written about ten years ago). At the time the original GoPro cameras had just come out and I was experimenting with making gliding shorts for YouTube. There were a few youngsters around the country all of us doing similar things and having a blast, meanwhile abroad the internet was suddenly alight with great flying content. It was all good fun, but I caught myself doing stupid things for the sake of capturing great footage, I was also starting to be more worried about the cinematography than the actual flying and I realized that I was heading for an imminent accident. Having said this creating flying content was good fun and something I really enjoyed, so I spent some time chatting to a number of great pilots and went through the things that I felt were making filming and flying dangerous, and ways to remedy them. I will try and give an outline below, the idea being not to encourage every oke to klap on a GoPro and go for it, but hopefully to give anyone who is going to some items to think about.

1. Its just for training - cool, if its just for training you can stop reading here and go for tea. But is it really? If you decide to show people your video (other than your instructor) then its content, If you alter your flying in ANY way for the sake of the footage, boom you’re making content. Decide to do a left hand circuit to get those majestic hills in the background of your "training" video, Do a go around slightly lower to show the family, Fly a little closer to that building? You are making content and need to beware.

2. Bru, you're paranoid, what’s wrong with making content? Nothing is wrong with making content if you are truly aware of what you are doing and put safety and legality first. The famous saying that the two most dangerous words in aviation are "watch this" is now magnified 1 000 times, you no longer need to be showing off to your passenger or mate on the ground, the entire internet is watching. Having said that there are guys out there making fantastic films and clips and putting them up. Without a doubt these are good for aviation as a whole, guys like Trent Palmer and Mike Patey have reignited a global interest in backcountry flying (and made things like Bushbabies almost impossible to buy), they have also got a number of people into aviation so all in all great stuff! These guys are higely experinced in what they do and are planning and putting it on for viewers, consider them the proffesional athletes of aviation. There are also a lot of guys out there who are trying to imitate them and shooting from the hip. I recently saw a clip where a guy admits to getting distracted in the moment and flying until almost out of fuel, this kind of thing gives the CAA and insurers ammo to hammer the rest of us.

3. So how does one do it safely? Okay so you're still reading, guys and girls the disclaimer bit - PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS AS INSTRUCTION OR A MANUAL TO START SHOOTING VIDEOS. I want this to incite some thought and conversation on the topic. So here goes my most humble of opinions.

3.1 – Plan everything. I mean everything. Do this on the ground before going up. Make sure you have briefed every aspect of the flying AND the cinematography. I had the privilege of flying for the late John Miller and was amazed at just how carefully he planned his sorties. Everything was discussed with the pilots beforehand and nothing happened on the fly in the air. Any changes once airborne were made using specific instructions and directions that had been agreed on before hand. We knew what shot he was trying to get and what was expected of us in terms of positioning, location etc.

3.2 - Ideally separate the filming and the flying. Get a co-pilot who is in charge of the filming aspect and you fly the plane. That’s it. Let your co-pilot request another orbit, or a little closer or what ever (they are thinking cinematography) you look at what has been requested from a purely piloting point of view.

3.3 – Fly at less than your means. Don’t get fooled into pushing your boundaries for the sake of the filming (yes we know you can do a low pass at four feet down the runway, but why not do it at fourteen, on the shot from the cockpit no one can tell the difference).

3.4 – Make safety and flying your priority, ideally forget about the filming. People get themselves into trouble by thinking, man that will make a great shot, rather than looking at it going I am not happy with that no matter how good the shot may be. This is a common problem, you're bombing along trying to think with two jobs, ie piloting and filming, the pilot in you says thats a kak idea no way but the hippie cameraman on the other shoulder goes "woah bro, man thats far out we need that shot go for it (he's already imagining the flood of social media "likes")", whose going to win the argument?

3.5 – Respect the weather, light, aircraft performance and terrain. Too often things go wrong because people push one or all of the above with tragic consequences. Flying low into the sunset, something jumps out and bites you; trying to outclimb rising terrain, boom smited; pushing low level down a river with weather coming in yeah no.

3.6 – If in doubt knock it off. Pretty self-explanatory. No shot is worth an accident. There will be other days.

3.7 – Never make plans on the go or change what you are doing without a jolly good reason to do so (i.e making a safety call), halfway through a maneuver or sortie is not a good time to decide to change what you are doing to get that shot.

3.8 - Always leave a backdoor, look at what you are doing (ideally in the planning phase before takeoff) and plan what you are going to do if things go wrong. Engine failure after takeoff, unstable formation, reduced climb performance. Look at as many of the forseable problems as possible and try and find ways to mitigate them.

That’s a summary of what I believe is important. I’m open to debate on all of the above. I believe we are involved in an awesome activity and being able to share it with others is a privilege but we should never jeopardize our safety or that of others.

To close on a sombre note. I have watched the cockpit footage of a good friend crash and burn, no he didn’t make it. Yes he was shooting content. Guys its not worth it.
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