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Sooner or later you'll probably want to make some videos of yourself flying. There are two things to consider - camera type and how to mount it. For flying you want cameras that small, light and reliable - this category of cameras are generally referred to as POV or sports action cameras. While there are a few to choose from, here are several brands:

User comments: Experience with the ATC1K and ATC2K leads me to advise getting direct experience before deciding on the 9K model. Both of those earlier models had mushy, unreliable control buttons, no review screen, and no HD mode. The big advantage of those earlier models was cost, at just over $100. That said, both cameras provided satisfactory results for the video equivalent of snapshot memories. The 9K model appears to have been redesigned to market head-to-head with the GoPro, at both features (HD, mounts, etc.) and price (list price $300). Be aware that the web site is an annoyingly over produced, heavily Flash dependent site, not easy to navigate for real information.

Mounting Ideas


  • Helmet
  • Keel, looking forward over the pilot
  • Wing, outboard, looking across at the pilot
  • Basetube at the corner, looking forward and down
  • Downtube, low, looking forward
  • Downtube, high, looking down over the pilot's shoulder
  • Nose
  • Swinging wand, pivoting from and attached to base tube near corner bracket


mag mount

Mounting Tips

Video Editing Software

Apple QuickTime

QuickTime 7 Player was distributed free with Mac OS up through version 10.5, Leopard. The Windows version was also a free download from Apple, and is bundled in the download of iTunes for Windows. The Pro version ia a $30 upgrade. The Pro program is very handy for simple copy and paste actions to build a fast clip set from longer videos. No ability to add transitions, titles, or custom sound, but a much faster way to piece together a set of clips than any of the full featured editors. Resulting file can then be edited in any of the full editors.
Beginning with Mac OS X 1.6, Snow Leopard, QuickTime X is the standard install. This replaced QT 7 Player. There is no Pro version, since QT X has many major enhancements over 7. However, QT X does not have the ability to edit clips together. Therefore, if you have Snow Leopard or Lion, you can download QT 7 Pro and install it, to use as described above. Do not replace QT X, juut put the QT 7 app file into a different folder than Applications.

Editing Software

Free on every Macintosh. Full edit power, with clip management, titles, transitions, sound, incorporation of still photos from iPhoto (with extensive Ken Burns effects), and complete integration of music from iTunes. If you have a Mac, exhaust the power of iMovie before spending money on more powerful video edit programs.
Tip: in iMovie Preferences, check the box for Advanced Tools. THis opens added features, such as Picture-in-Picture.
iPad version is $4.99 at the app store, and works on latest iPhone and iPod Touch, also
True professional level edit software for the Macintosh (only). Has been used for commercial feature films. Current cost is $300.
  • Editing software from GoPro Apps include
    • GoPro App for Desktop
    • Quik for Desktop
    • Quik for Mobile
    • Splice for Mobile

This section needs informed recommendations on editing software for Windows and for i Pad.

Editing Tips

Quick Snips

Do you have an hour long video of your most awesome flight ever that not even your mother will watch due to the long boring glides and unending thermal circling? You want to create a quick two minutes of the launch, the hawk you thermaled with, and the landing. But you don't want to spend six hours adding titles, dissolves, music, and credits? You just want to snip the video into quick clips in a single short video. You are ok with the sound that the camera picked up; no need for music. With QuickTime 7 Pro, you can make your new short video in about 20 minutes. Open the video in QT 7 Pro. From the menu, also open a New Player (not a New Recording). The new player will be empty, not even showing a blank video area. In the flight video, use the sliders at the bottom to mark the start and stop region of the clip that you want to use. With that section marked (the area between the markers is a darker grey), do Edit..Copy, or CTRL-C, or Apple Command-C. Click on the New Player and use Edit....Paste or CTRL-V or Command-V. The New Player will now have a video window, and hold only the clip you pasted into it. Repeat these steps for each short segment you want from the long video. When it is all assembled, use File Save (to create a MOV file), or File...Save As... for other formats, and you have your quick clip video.

Picture in Picture

Do you fly with two cameras mounted? With picture in picture, you can show both views at the same time. If you set iMovie Preferences to include Advanced Tools, you have that option. A quick totorial is available on MacMost.

Adding Music

Unless you have great and easy to understand in-flight commentary recorded along with your video, your flight movie will be much enhanced by adding music to the soundtrack. Honestly, a lot of the sound on the in-flight recording is wind noise on the microphone. Also, folks are more likely to watch and enjoy your production from beginning to end if it has good music. Further, making the video the same length as the song ensures that you are not overdoing it. Want to make it really look professional? Here's the trick: select the song BEFORE you edit any clips. Lay down that sound track first, then edit the clips in, taking advantage of the changes in the music. Music goes form verse to chorus - good time for a clip change. transitions like fades and such can fit in better, too.

Copyright Issues OK, from a practical (if not strictly legal) standpoint, for personal use, you can use anything in your local music library. However, if you post to YouTube, Vimeo, or other video hosting site, be prepared for them to ding you on copyright material. Each has different rules. Sometimes they just blank your sound. If your song is on YouTube's license list, they will leave it intact, but add advertisements for where to buy the song online. Also, if you monetize your blogspot blog with Google, then THEY also check for copyrighted matter on your site. Sometimes the hosting company spots the music, sometimes they don't. Play it by ear, but don't get too upset if they catch you.

Wired How To TIps

WIred online has a helpful, concise set of tips applicable to any editing project. Readers may want to save the article at home - we do not know how long Wired keeps content available. It is not pasted here, to avoid copyright hassles.