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Pilot/Observer Teamwork

Old 06-10-2007, 09:55 PM
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BB_DF
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Default Pilot/Observer Teamwork

SAVS Fans,
I've been using the Eyetop Centra goggles quite a bit, and I find that they're pretty handy at times. I also realized that they've occasionally gotten me into some serious trouble when I took my eyes off the DF and focused on the video for a second or two. Sometimes when I looked back up I couldn't tell what my orientation was - not good. At the same time, there's nothing more frustrating than finding out that all the video you shot was "just a little off", and unusable.

My partner Ed and I had a chance to try some pilot/observer teamwork yesterday, and I was very pleased with the potential it showed. Besides being the first time, it got quite windy. Our goal was simply to keep the roof in the field of view, and I was surprised at how well we were able to do this under the conditions. Notice the DF's shadow on the roof and how much we were getting kicked around by the wind. When things finally got stabilized, you can see how much roll it was taking to maintain position. Please excuse the poor video quality - maybe a loose cable being exacerbated by the turbulence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_bXmzB_Yeg

We agreed on 4 simple movement commands: CLIMB, DESCEND, TURN (right/left) and MOVE (forward/back/right/left). All movements were in reference to the DF's heading. I told Ed to think of the DF as a camera platform in the sky, not like a helicopter flying around. He wore the Eyetop Centra goggles, and was able to determine by looking at the video monitor and the DF, which way I should move. Even with obvious over-correction at first, it still worked out pretty well. It might also be helpful if the observer carried a pair of binoculars, so that if orientation was lost he could tell the pilot how to get the nose oriented towards home.

We've decided to meet twice a week now and practice. Give it a try, it's a lot of fun!

Cheers,
Bruce
Old 06-10-2007, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: Pilot/Observer Teamwork

Yes, I've tried that before and I think the most important thing to tell the spotter is that you cannot just perform a move like you could in the real thing. There is a slight delay from the command then your reaction and final input. By that time it's usually too late and you've overshot, etc.. It can't be like go up, go down, no..left...right, etc. with no breaks. So the key is to keep the commands simple like you mentioned and have good timing because it's not real time inputs like the real thing.

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