2012 Nov 8

Let the process begin. Most of the shooting is actually along with some of the animation but I’ve got several animations yet to build so that’s where it starts. These will be invaluable for showing what goes into a spot landing. Visible flight paths will show what to do in a high or low situation. How to land in a confined area, how to practice with a low noise footprint, how to use brakes in a clear way.

We’ve got great live action shots, too, of all this stuff shot from frame-mounted cameras above and behind the pilot in a way that you can see brake movements. But the animation is what makes it REALLY clear. When I was learning how to do this animation (sequestered in my office for 30 days going through tutorials and building my world) I spent a hundred hours recreating an actual scene. But then I discovered that it’s LESS clear to have a complicated scene in the background. Looks cool but is harder to understand. So I abandoned and went to a simple ground grid. The whole point of using animations is to make concepts crystal clear and one element is having nothing else in the scene besides what is minimally required. I added the Enterprise for scale and just for fun.

May 28, 2013

All the recording is done so it’s down to editing and animating. Much of the animations are finished, too, but there’s always more. Plus I continue to fly, to discover, to get new and better shots that explain concepts better, and these must all be incorporated. Worse yet, I’ve been out flying more than last year, it seems, having fun shooting fun flights that are, unfortunately, not helping my progress. But work does continue in fits and starts.

I’ve gone from 3 completed minutes to 16 out of a planned 75 minutes. This one will be done a bit different in that I’ll not be adding music until it’s been shown to some sample pilots. That saves a lot of time because sequences always change.

Cool Footage

A few weeks ago while at Eric Dufour’s training site near Christmas, FL, I got some awesome new footage that will be used to show the swoop landing. We recorded it from the wing this time and I recorded him from my new highly stabilized helmet cam. It looks great. I always enjoy getting content that is both instructive AND fun.

We had some struggle getting the wing cam to stay in place but got that figured out after a few flights. My magnet system works great in one orientation but not so good in the other.

It is Finished!

Sept 6, 2013 the finished master has been sent for production and should be ready for sale by Sept 15th.

This completes the entire series, realizating a dream that started while driving with Tim Kaiser southbound on State Route 59 in Naperville, IL over 4 years ago. It was just one of those things I wanted to do; sharing the extraordinary amount of knowledge gained over years of flying, competing, and watching many of the world’s best pilots ply their trade. This series represents an enormous amount of accumulated knowledge that I hope will be a resource for years to come.

Thanks so much to all who have contributed, encouraged, and especially to Tim Kaiser who has stood by and helped with entire process. Also to Phil Russman who essentially got me into it in the first place and then guided me into a far higher quality.

Next up, “Airspace for Ultralights” which will completely demystify this confusing topic. It’s based on my airspace clinic but now with 3D and 2D graphics.