Technical Shakedown Flight with Don

Don and I took the Super D up this afternoon to shake down some of the electronics. First flight for the ContourHD camera outside the cockpit and first use of the new attenuating cable and the new M-Audio MicroTrack II for the digital audio.
We started off by flying some basic acro with me standing in for the camper in the front. Not to dwell, but I sucked as usual for the first time out. 10 minutes of acro and I was done. I even turned the hammerhead into a negative-G humpty-bump before dragging it back into hammerhead territory.
I will say this for myself. Even though it was the first acro flight of the year, I was very relaxed and my attention remained wide and mostly situationally aware. In the balked hammerhead, I didn’t freak out. I think I basically said, “Well, f*ck,” and just relaxed until I could figure out what the airplane wanted to do and then got the nose back down. There’s a big difference between disappointment and freakout. I think I understand the airplane a little better, at least intellectually, and that’s helping to give me a better perspective from which to learn.
I have a very cool ride scheduled with the Air Force later in May (think G-suit fittings and helmets and egress training . . . ) and I have precious little time to get my acro tolerance back before going.
So back to the flight. The camera mount worked like a champ. Here’s one of the better frame grabs. On an inverted 45-degree downline.
It turns out that the ContourHD has no idea what to do with the prop and just artifacts it all to hell. The footage over the nose is well-nigh unusable. It looks like black boomerangs floating down the prop disc. I think we’re going to have to either point the camera straight ahead so it doesn’t see the plane at all or point it directly sideways at the cockpit to give a view of the camper and the IP. I don’t think there’s any setting that we’d be able to use to avoid the artifacts. It’s just not within the camera’s abilities to handle the prop.
Bummer, but not catastrophic. We’ll figure it out.
We put it down in Romeo to switch seats and let Don take the aircraft up solo to really wring out the exterior camera. In reviewing the footage tonight, I’m of the opinion that, if the camera was going to come off at all, it would have come off during Don’s routine. I think we’re good and can be confident with the camera mount.
I have yet to review the audio, but the battery in the M-Audio MultiTrack II was fine and easily covered the whole 1:24 of the flight. I set it to record in WAV mode at 48KHz, as Scott Cannizzaro suggested, so we’ll see how that sounds.