Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
The next action cam in Garmin’s lineup is Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 HD, which comes in an aviation-specific edition ($499.99). This camera shoots high definition footage at 4K/30fps with 3-axis image stabilization to keep the video steady in all flight attitudes. Voice control lets the pilot tell the camera to start, stop, and the “remember that” feature allows for tagging specific moments for later ease of access. Other features include LCD color touchscreen, one-touch live streaming, and G-Metrix data capture.
The in-cockpit bundle comes with a stereo headset audio cable to capture and embed radio communications in the video footage, a filter for eliminating propeller distortion, and a cage mount for cockpit attachment. The unit is capable of connecting with and receiving flight data from the G3X Touch flight display. In addition, the Garmin G-Metrix system utilizes a GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope to capture further performance numbers. Flight display and G-Metrix data can be combined and overlaid on the video footage.
Footage can be live-streamed via the free VIRB Mobile app. Also, the VIRB Ultra 30 is waterproof, just in case you wanted to keep the doors off when you capture your best-ever seaplane landing.
Learn more at Garmin.
ASA’s Severe Weather Flying 4th Edition
ASA’s Severe Weather Flying ($19.95) has been in print since 1983. Its 30-year-long goal has been to educate pilots about recognizing, avoiding, and escaping thunderstorms, icing, and other severe weather conditions. The fourth edition focuses on how pilots can use the latest technology to make informed decisions in potentially hazardous weather conditions. It includes commentary on aircraft and equipment limitations, internet weather resources, and weather systems.
Severe Weather Flying was written to be a useful resource for pilots of all experience levels. It covers weather situations applicable to VFR, IFR, piston, and turbine flight at all altitudes. The book looks at both how to make reasonable go/no-go decisions and what to do if you happen to get caught in bad weather.
Author Dennis Newton is a meteorologist, flight instructor, weather researcher, and engineering test pilot. Severe Weather Flying is 224 pages long and available in softcover or ebook formats.
Learn more at ASA.
WeatherFlow Weather Meter
The WeatherFlow Weather Meter ($79.95) has just about everything a pilot could want in the absence of a full-sized weather station. It records wind direction and speed (up to 125mph) with an accuracy of +/-0.5%, categorizes crosswind, headwind, and tailwind components, and gauges atmospheric pressure to within +/- 0.12mB. In addition, the Weather Meter can be used to find temperature to within half a degree, heat index, windchill, dewpoint, and relative humidity.
The Weather Meter weighs in at a little over 6 ounces and is only about 9 inches long. It plugs into the regular audio jack on a smartphone or can be used wirelessly from up to 100 feet away. The Weather Meter displays data through the company’s free Wind Meter app or other compatible programs. It works with both Android and iPhone devices.
Learn more at Pilot Mall.
Pilot Wings G-2 Leather Jacket
The Pilot Wings G-2 Leather Jacket ($299) from Sporty’s is made in the image of its WWII bomber jacket predecessors. It features distressed goat leather, cotton lining, and knitted wool cuffs and waistband to keep out the wind. With two zippered front pockets and an inside snap pocket, this jacket also has plenty of secure places to tuck cell phones, extra pens, and your in-flight candy bar. Underarm gussets and bi-swing back provide room to move in the cockpit.
Leather for the flight line has its strong points: it creates a solid windbreak, is streamlined enough that with a good sweater underneath you can avoid the marshmallow-stuffed-into-a-thimble look that happens when a pilot tries to get into a small cockpit in a traditional winter coat, and most ramp dirt will brush right off.
Bomber jackets also have the benefit of long tradition. The downside is that leather can stain when it encounters avgas. It also soaks up the smell, but at least everyone will know the jacket is being worn by a real pilot or auto-mechanic.
The Pilot Wings G-2 Leather Jacket is part of the Pilot Wings Leather Collection offered at Sporty’s. The collection also includes flight bags, wallets, and shaving kits.
Learn more at Sporty’s.
SpeechGuard General Aviation Backup
In the event of an emergency, the SpeechGuard ($695) is designed to provide extensive backup in the form of information and tools. It acts as a two-way radio, GPS, and tablet all in one. With its 4GB of memory and WiFi/3G capability, this handheld device is positively packed with airport info, aircraft specific checklists, first aid guide, and plenty more. You can even log your flights in its logbook program, which syncs with your computer or tablet.
The SpeechGuard has an instant voice translator, programmed for more than 30 languages. At 0.75 pounds, it is waterproof, drop-proof, and dust-proof. In case all of that isn’t enough, there is always the built in flashlight and camera. Or the FM radio.
Learn more at Aircraft Spruce.