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April 11, 2013
By Thomas B Haines
Recognizing the growing trend among pilots to fly with in-cockpit cameras, Sporty’s Pilot Shop is offering two kits and two paths to share flight experiences.
John Zimmerman, Vice President of Sporty’s of catalog division, told reporters at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo that the ubiquitous Apple iPhone 4 and 5 have excellent quality HD video cameras built in, but they can be challenging to use in the cockpit. To solve that, the company introduced an iPhone kit that includes an “Aviator Lens,” a 170-degree, wide-angle lens with a special filter to reduce propeller distortion; an adjustable mounting bracket that works with or without an iPhone case and is compatible with most common camera mounts; and finally, to capture quality audio, the kit also includes a custom audio cable, allowing pilots to plug their headset directly into the iPhone and record all cockpit audio. The kit sells $129.99.
Meanwhile, for those wanting a more optimized experience, Sporty’s created the NFlightcam Cockpit Kit for GoPro. The kit includes a custom aviation audio cable to allow for the easy recording of both intercom and ATC communications’ a lens filter that virtually eliminates prop distortion’ and a mount, for $99.99.
An additional $99.99 buys a new external mounting kit for experimental aircraft. The kit allows the attachment of the GoPro camera most anywhere there is a common sized screw or bolt.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
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