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There are those of us who love to fly... and there are those of us who simply refuse to fly. The gap between these two frames of mind is huge. The fear of flying, in particular, is fueled by the media. An airplane crash is instant national news. The media loves to exploit the aviation industry whether it be for financial gain, viewer ratings, or a combination of the two. One could only wonder what the evening news would be like if they showed successful takeoffs and landings every night. General aviation is treated much the same as the commercial airlines in regards to media coverage. General aviation includes all flying other than scheduled commercial flights and the flying of military aircraft. General aviation includes the local pilots flying out of that non-towered airport at the edge of town; the part-time aviators who fly for a hobby, as well as commercially rated professional pilots and instructors who love to share the flying phenomenon with others. Those who love to fly low and slow and enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the feeling of flight can share this wonderful experience with those on the ground thanks to modern technology specifically the the hand-held video camera. Flying is an incredible experience that many people may never have the privilege of experiencing for themselves.Those who choose not the fly in propeller driven airplanes might never see the amazing view available through the windshield. Websites featuring videos uploaded by their individual users such as Youtube and Eye of the Pilot are changing that. Videos shot from the cockpit of a small airplane are enlightening to say the very least. If you are a private pilot with access to a small plane and a hand-held video cam, you may want to take some time and record a flight or two. The process is simple and the rewards are plenty. Sharing cockpit videos among family and friends can spark interest in general aviation and maybe even lessen the fears of those who refuse or resist flying. Producing a flying video is actually quite simple. The camera however, will need an external microphone jack if you wish to record your voice and radio chatter. A handy cam without the microphone jack will do nothing more than record video plus your motor noise which is not typically desirable. With some basic software and a bit of computer savvy, music or narration can be dubbed over your video in this case. Cameras with an external microphone jack can be interfaced with the intercom of the airplane through the use of a patch cord. It simply plugs into your headset in series with your connection to the jack on the airplane's instrument panel. These patch cords are available at your friendly neighborhood pilot supply shop. There are also schematics available on some aviation websites for those interested in making their own patch cord. Digital video cameras work best if you're planning to share the video online. Older analog cameras using the 8mm tapes or even the VHS style cameras are fine if you are planning on viewing these flying adventures from home on a television set. These tapes can be converted to a digital file through the use of some commercially available computer hardware and software, although this

method can be cumbersome and time consuming and is not generally recommended for those interested in posting the videos online. Flying an airplane is a privilege. Becoming a private pilot takes education, dedication, training, and plenty of practice. To many pilots, flying is literally sacred. That's why sharing this experience with those not fortunate enough to find themselves in a cockpit can be done best through the magic of video.

Chet owns and operates Eye of the Pilot, a free pilot networking site dedicated to sharing the experience of general aviation and the adventure of being a private pilot. You can visit Eye of the Pilot to view general aviation videos and aerial photography [] submitted by members. Account signup is free for pilots of any rating.

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The Future of Avionics  

For a free high quality aviation video sharing website with members from around the globe please see