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Thread: Forward facing camera for Pitts S1C?

  1. #1

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    Forward facing camera for Pitts S1C?

    I am in the process of buying a Pitts S1C. Am figuring that a forward facing camera might assist with landings, given the poor visibility. Does anyone have any good/bad experiences of cameras on tailwheel planes, and any that you'd recommend? Cheers!

  2. #2

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    Even after something over 600 hours in the Pitts I want my head out of the cockpit and all of the visual cues on final and through the landing roll out. A TV seems like a way to get behind the airplane by reducing the info that you are taking in.

    To see the runway do a 180 approach or slip down final and look past the nose. After you flare, if there is no runway visible left and no runway visible right, by deduction the runway is underneath you. Seeing the runway is vastly over rated. I land on a 24' wide runway this way.

    I have hear of at least one homebuilt that had a forward looking camera used to flow speed taxiing. Might be useful on really narrow taxi ways. I constantly S-turn to clear the way ahead. And if someone moves to where I can no longer see them ahead, I stop until they appear again or I can cock the nose over and check out the path where I plan to go.

    Get some time in and S-2 doing landings from the front cockpit. If you can do that, you can fly an S-1.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

  3. #3
    JimRice85's Avatar
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    ^^^^This^^^^
    Jim Rice
    Wolf River Airport (54M)
    Collierville, TN
    1946 Globe GC-1B Swift N3368K
    1946 Piper J-3C Cub N7155H

  4. #4
    RetroAcro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
    I am in the process of buying a Pitts S1C. Am figuring that a forward facing camera might assist with landings, given the poor visibility.
    As suggested, forget the camera idea. The Pitts doesn't have poor visibility, it has different visibility...if you are accustomed to a Cessna or Citabria. You can see everything you need by flying your approach as Wes mentions. And once you straighten out, you CAN still see the runway...small parts of it to each side at least. The Pitts will force development of acute peripheral vision when on the landing roll. Yes, it is a new skill to develop. You should not try to avoid it. Your peripheral vision will tell you everything you need to know. There's nothing more you need to see. Just learn to fly the airplane. A camera is unnecessary, and would cause more problems than it solves.

  5. #5

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    Interestingly, we seem to have a new category of incidents/accidents emerging with all of the high tech in cockpits. At an airport that I operate out of, we had a pilot in one of the new "Cessna" composite ships, with a full panel of screens to watch, fly all of the way down final to impact on the runway, all focused on the screens and apparently never looking outside. Did not hear how much damage there was. Perhaps some of our newest generation of pilots are having to learn the hard way that it is not a video game. I will guess that it is unlikely that this phenomenon makes it into the accident reports as unless the pilot survives and 'fesses up, you can't identify this behavior from the debris field.

    Y'all be careful out there....

    Wes
    N78PS

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
    I am in the process of buying a Pitts S1C. Am figuring that a forward facing camera might assist with landings, given the poor visibility. Does anyone have any good/bad experiences of cameras on tailwheel planes, and any that you'd recommend? Cheers!
    I have a taxi camera in a Christen Eagle. It works absolutely great on the ground. However, I would never attempt to use it for landing. The truth is, the amount of information (and the resolution of the information) that is outside both sides of the aircraft when you are landing is FAR greater than a small screen video could ever provide, even though the video can see directly in front of you. By looking out the sides of the aircraft, you can detect very small changes in bank, and drift and yaw and pitch to a fine degree. The picture outside is huge. A small video gives less information and at a lower resolution. As a taxi aid it is great though, however even that could potentially cause a mishap. If an airplane is taxiing towards me it will appear very small on the screen and will probably just take a few seconds to become dangerous after initially spotting it. So, I always throw in an S-turn every few hundred feet just to have a good look. And it does also require practicing looking out the sides with your peripheral vision while watching the screen. It is really easy to follow the taxi-way centerline, but you need to stay aware of your surroundings outside because you could easily hit a taxiway light or similar if you are just staring at the screen. Here is a video: http://youtu.be/NzDaoawUl_Q Best, Matt

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