PBJ Video – Really, Really!

I wish I could upload the full HD version of this. The current generations of iPhones are just freaking awesome in the quality they have. They run rings around what the network studios were using just fifteen years ago – and cost a couple hundred bucks and you carry them in your pocket instead of costing a couple hundred thousand bucks and needing to have them mounted on wheels with two people to move them.

But I digress.

The full video is 1.634 GB, which is about 20% of the disk space I have available on WordPress. I know that I’ll eventually have to expand my disk space, and expand the expense, but by that time it will be a toss-up on whether to stay on the WordPress.com site or to get my own in-house server and install a WordPress system. Either way, I was sort of betting on that happening in five or six years, not five or six months – which is what will happen if I make a habit of uploading full nine-minute HD videos.

I guess if anyone wants to see it badly enough, let me know and we can figure out a way for you to send a memory stick for me to use to send it back to you by snail mail. Or something.

In the meantime, QuickTime is very good about taking 1.634 GB, full resolution, HD videos and converting them to slightly less spectacular quality videos. It defaults to spitting out three versions, the first of which is for a “cell phone”. I don’t know what kind of cell phone they’re talking about but while it’s only a 5.6 MB file it’s also a teeny-tiny image that looks truly shitty on an iPhone, let alone an iPad or a desktop. QuickTime will also automatically generate an “iPhone” version which is moderately compressed, so it gets cut down to 62 MB. That’s way better than 1,633 MB!

The third version is a “desktop” version, weighing in at 94 MB, which I can live with. It’s not half bad, I hope you enjoy it.

A couple of things to note:

  1. Yes, it really is that freaking loud. That’s why the ground crew uses hand signals to communicate with the pilots.
  2. At about the 2:35 mark you’ll hear the engines “sputter” or “miss” for a half second. This isn’t a problem, it’s a routine test of the redundant magnetos that provide the ignition spark. As the pilot switches from “both” to “left,”, then to “right,” there’s a miss but it’s normal. Before flight, you want to make sure that both of them work independently if one fails.
  3. No, the propellers aren’t stopping or going really slow or running backwards. It’s just the “wagon wheel effect” where the rate of the RPM on the engine gets near, at, or a bit over some multiple of the frame rate of the camera.
  4. At the 4:30 mark you’ll see a Ventura County fire & rescue helicopter coming in on the left. Their hangar is the one you can just see on the far right, off in the distance. It’s really quite impressive to see that big Huey variant take off and land.
  5. A lot of the time we spend after the get the engines started is waiting for our turn to get on the taxiway. It was a nice day and there were a lot of other small planes tooling around. This also adds a delay once we get to the runway and have to wait our turn behind all of the planes landing and taking off in front of us. At about the 8:40 mark you can see, as Dan said, there are better than a half-dozen other plaens out there waiting their turn.

Enjoy! And if you’re interested and want to take a ride with us – I know a bunch of guys who can make that happen!


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