Acro Camp Sneak Peek 04: With Friends Like These . . . – Video Episode Show Notes

Despite the aggressive schedule around here (glider training, trying to find a new acro ride, doing really cool legal work for the best clients on the planet, etc.), I managed to get some time this weekend to do some editing on the movie.  The result is this sneak peek, “With friends like these . . .”

The campers at both of the Acro Camp shoots were very collaborative and supportive of each other.  But that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t at least a little laughter with (okay, at) each other when stuff went wrong.  And stuff is bound to go wrong when you’re learning to fly an aircraft whose center of gravity is behind the mains.

In the course of logging all of the footage, I’ve noted when both IPs were in aircraft and noted opportunities to synchronize the conversation across both cockpits.  Usually based on ATC calls or radio communication between the aircraft.  This was one such pair of sequences.  I loved the big bounce on Jim’s wheel landing and I loved the reaction that it got from Barry and Lynda.  I lined them up this evening and voila!  Tailwheel magic!

I’m actively working on putting together more time to get the film edited.  It hasn’t been easy, but I’m making some real progress.  Watch this space and the new Acro Camp web page (in development) for more news and updates!

You Don’t Know Jack. Or Maybe You Do.

Jack Hodgson of Uncontrolled Airspace has an undeniable connection with his audience.  He is perhaps the most recognizable and approachable guy in the aviation podsphere.  If you listen to aviation podcasts, UCAP is probably your favorite.  And if some other aviation podcast is your favorite, you probably also listen to UCAP.

I get the occasional reminder of this as I conduct my affairs in the aviation podsphere and elsewhere.  Most reminders are very pleasant.  Some are a come-uppance.  I take all of them with the excellent humor for which I’m noted (at least in my own mind).

As the weather improves and one’s thoughts drift to events like Acro Camp, my mind wanders to something that happened at Acro Camp 2 at Ray Community Airport (57D) last year.  I wrote to the UCAP guys around the holidays in 2011 to tell them about it.  That e-mail is reproduced below for, with only minor edits, for your edification.

There is no more upstanding and collaborative human than Jack Hodgson.  I bow to his well-deserved ubiquity.



I’m in the midst of my usual year-end rush as corporate lawyer guy, but I’ve set up some video and audio files from the Acro Camp movies so that I can begin editing again in January.  That put me in mind of an event that happened on the second flying day of Acro Camp 2 this summer.

There are a fair number of UCAP listeners among the Acro Camp applicants.  As a part of the application, I provide a long list of aviation new media and social media outlets and ask the applicants which ones they consume.  It has, for the last two years, been an interesting data point (and minor annoyance) that more of the applicants identify as UCAP listeners than Airspeed listeners.  By a non-trivial margin.  But I can live with that.

So it’s Saturday.  Day 2 of flying.  Both IPs are up with campers.  I’m sitting around in the terminal building offloading video from cards.

The CTAF radio crackles.  “Ray Airport, is there anybody there that’s connected with the Acro Camp movie?”

I’m surprised.  I’m pleased. My chest swells.  I walk over to the radio and key the mic and respond that I’m the director and that Acro Camp is in full swing.  It turns out that it’s a corporate flight crew up in the flight levels and it’s the FO talking on COM 2.  They’re passing overhead, but might be in a position to come by after a stop in Pontiac the next day.

They’ve heard of the film!  They know about the project!  They’re interested enough to call down from the flight levels!  My chest swells even more.  And then the following:

“Is Jack there?  We’d really like to meet him.”

Happy holidays.  And f*ck you guys.


- Steve

Airspeed Studio Reconfiguration Complete

The studio reconfiguration is complete!  Or at least as complete as it’s going to be until the first Acro Camp movie is complete.  I’ve been mucking about for years with the idea of reconfiguring the studio, but never really had time to make it happen.  I actually didn’t have the time to do it when I did it, but I found that I wasn’t able to work efficiently on the films or record audio for the show with everything stuffed together.

Late last year, Scott Cannizzaro e-mailed me to say that Noren was selling G-Cabs at ridiculous prices.  A G-Cab is a hush box into which you can put your equipment that makes noise (like computers that have cooling fans) so that that noise is reduced (40db or so).  The cab has a fan and a lot of baffling, so your equipment still runs cool, even though you can’t hear it.  In fact, the only way I can tell that it’s running is the smell of the new sound insulation that the fan blows into the room.  Kinda like that “new studio smell.”  If you’ve listened to the show for long, the hum of the computer’s cooling fan is ubiquitous.  The price on the G-Cabs was so good that I had to get one.   [Read more...]

Glider Rating – Part 1 – Audio Episode Show Notes

These are the show notes to an audio episode. You can listen to the show audio by clicking here:  Better yet, subscribe to Airspeed through iTunes or your other favorite podcatcher. It’s all free!

If there’s a 350-hour private pilot out there who has a more diverse logbook than I do, my hat’s off to him or her.  I have everything from Cessna 152s to a DC-3 to the mighty F-16D in my logbook and my certificate reads ASEL, AMEL, and ASES, among other things.  I’ve flown for everything from lunch to competition aerobatics.

The key for me is experiencing the broadest possible swath of what aviation offers.

Coming up on three years ago, I got a ride with Mark Grant in a Schweizer SGM 2-37 motor glider.  The aircraft is one of three operated by the Tuskegee Airmen Glider Club, headquartered at Detroit City Airport.  It’s a beautiful yellow longwing bird and the ride was a lot of fun.

I also met John Harte that weekend, who was flying one of the other club motor gliders and I got good footage of him in a gaggle climb.  John and I have since begun to share an aerobatic instructor and we both fly the Acro Camp Pitts at Berz Aviation at Ray Community Airport.

Fast forward to this spring, when John offered me a chance to go up in one of the aircraft for some giggles.  I climbed in and was surprised to find myself doing most of the flying.  It turns out that the whole thing was part of an evil plot on John’s part to addict me to flying longwing aircraft. [Read more...]