Archive | November 2012

Keychain Video Camera

The latest on-board videos that I take, I take using a keychain video camera.

This camera is available on e-bay at the following link:

South-Africans will have to contact the seller directly and ask for the item to be shipped and that YOU accept responsibility for our unreliable post office.

The camera records at 720p (Half HD) video with surprisingly good quality considering the size of the camera.


Air crash investigation

I installed a new radio module with two way telemetry and better features. My mom turned 70 this week and we went to visit her the weekend before in Tzaneen, Limpopo.

I took the plane with to take some aerial photos of the area and also to test out the new module.

In the second flight, I lost line of sight to the aircraft, then signal and then it never came back. A frantic search followed and using the directionality of the new module’s patch antenna, I could home in on the location of the plane.

Finally I could get close enough to get a telemetry link again to the laptop, where it revealed it’s position to me on the map.

I recovered the on-board video, and after a lot of head scratching and speculation, downloading of logs and analyzing of logs, I found that the plane had switched out of autopilot, and into manual mode.

It turns out I understood how the fail-safe worked wrong and that it was set up to set the autopilot into manual, rather than “return to launch” mode when it lost signal!

Luckily the damage was very little and some hot glue and 5 mins later, it is ready to fly again,

The video below tells the story from the plane’s perspective, crash included.