We are seeing more and more fantastic pictures and videos from our customers and other aviation enthusiasts from the cockpit. One of the joys of general aviation is being able to share your adventures with your friends, family, and sometimes large audiences of social media followers.
But as a novice film maker, you may run into a few snafus right out the gate. Maybe you are flying over a beautiful landscape with frolicking wildlife, only to find out when you land that the cap was on the lens the entire time.
Or you provide some poignant, once in a lifetime advice to your passengers that coincide with your view, only to find out that the audio was not captured at all.
At Lightspeed Aviation, our mantra is that safety is always paramount when flying. But for a more experienced pilot who wants to show the world what he or she sees from above, we asked a few of our friends with wonderful YouTube channels and followers, what they do to produce such great stories. Here are some their tips.
Josh Flowers, the man behind the very popular Aviation 101 YouTube series, has been sharing his love of filmmaking and aviation for about a dozen years. According to his YouTube channel, “Aviation and Filmmaking run deep for me – I bounce between being a pilot that happens to make films, or a filmmaker who happens to be a pilot. Regardless, here I share my aviation experiences with you through the lens of a camera.”
He is also now sharing 5 of his top tips for filming in the aircraft.
- Make your setup so that you don’t have to fool with it after you’ve hit record. Distractions in the cockpit are the last thing you want, so making sure the cameras are secured and running before starting the engine(s) is critical, and don’t fiddle with them until the engines are off again!
- Use wide-angle cameras to capture as much of the small cockpit as possible – because of the tight space, it’s hard to get a good shot unless the camera has a wide field of view. Most action cameras have wide-angle lenses.
- Want to record radio/intercom audio into your footage? Get an NFlightCam cable to funnel audio straight into the camera(s). They even have cables for smartphones to record short videos with intercom audio.
- Using Multiple cameras? You can synch all the tracks in editing using a single reference point in time that all of the devices recorded, such as the “pop” of the master switch coming on or a clap (like the old-fashioned clapboards in Hollywood).
- Action cameras usually only record for about 45 minutes until the battery dies – run USB cables to the camera(s) from USB battery packs to ensure the cameras last the duration of your flight.
Kevin Thorton, aka 310 Pilot, entertains his 200K+ subscribers with fun videos of him flying his family all around for fun in his Cessna 310. He gave us a quick rundown of some of the essential tips and tricks he uses when recording his YouTube series.
- Make sure you have fully charged batteries and equipment.
- Have a good charging system or way to replace dead batteries in flight.
- Clap to synch audio between cameras.
- Make sure you have a way to keep your audio cable plugged in throughout flight. You can sometimes run into “whoopsie’s” where your cable gets hit or is loose on the connection and you don’t discover until later or after flight is over.
- Keep external hard drives with you on long flights, because hi-def video will fill up your memory/storage QUICK!
We hope these tips and tricks help you capture amazing memories and moments in your flight! And we would love to see your pictures and videos. Comment below or tag us on any of our social media platforms so we can find you, using the hashtag #lightspeedaviation. Be sure to follow both of these aviation film makers on YouTube for inspiration in flying and making movies!
Josh Flowers – Youtube Channel: Aviation101
Kevin Thornton – Youtube Channel: 310 Pilot