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!

Acro Camp Sneak Peek 02 – Formation

These are the show notes to a video episode. You can watch by subscribing to Airspeed through iTunes or your other favorite podcatcher. Or just click above to watch the episode through Vimeo. It’s all free!
On the third day of filming for Acro Camp, Don Weaver and Barry Sutton decided to do a formation flight out in the practice area. They gathered the Pitts and Paul, and the Super Decathlon and Lynda, respectively, and briefed the sortie at Pontiac. The Super D departed first and the Pitts followed shortly thereafter.
This sequence captures the join-up and two passes.

Editing is coming along well. Believe it or not, I think that I’m going to be able to complete the whole thing with nothing more than a Mac Book Pro and an array of outboard hard drives. The ultimate shoestring movie from beginning to end.
But still a beautiful movie! Just look at some of the near-golden-hour lighting in this sequence!

This sequence was a lot of fun to edit. I synched up all of the cameras and audio so that you get to hear all of the people in each of the aircraft all simultaneously, including both the radio transmissions and the intra-cockpit communications.
Everybody has his or her fears. Paul Berliner, the high-time airline driver, was fine with all of the acro, but was not at all comfortable with formation flight. He was a trooper and agreed to do the flight. And he stuck it out all the way through both passes. But I’d be lying if I said that I thought that he enjoyed it.
That’s a great deal of what Acro Camp is about. Confronting areas of discomfort. And exploring one’s envelope, whether mentally, physically, or otherwise.
Side note: Formation flight, like aerobatics, is not for the untrained or unfamiliar. Both Don and Barry have prior formation experience and they were on the controls of the respective aircraft during the entire formation sequence. And, although the footage looks in places as though the aircraft are pretty close, that’s an effect of the lenses and the aircraft kept a healthy buffer between them. Especially, you’ll notice, where Don rolled inverted.
Do try this at home. You’ll be a better, safer, more competent pilot. It might even safe your life someday. But do it with an experienced instructor in a capable aircraft and in compliance with the regs. And ease into it. You don’t have to be ready to fly wing for the Thunderbirds after your first flight.
The movie is on track for release later this summer, so stay tuned. More information about post-production and release coming soon. Stay subscribed to Airspeed and check out the Acro Camp website at