- Quick to attach and secure fitting
- Two mounts provided in the bundle, one fixed, one adjustable
- Works with Garmin & GoPro
The clamping force keeping it secure can easily damage the rubber washers, so carry spares
If aerial video is your thing, and you can deal with the requirements I set out at the beginning, then this package is highly recommended and well worth adding to your external mount toolbox.
Right, before I get to the review, I’d better get the big question out of the way. Can you mount an external camera to your aircraft, and if so what do you have to do?
The short answer is, yes. And the longer answer is also, yes, depending on how you do it and who you ask. There’s also the very long answer, which turns into aviation legalese, so if want that then Google is your friend. I’ll have a go at summarising the rest, but don’t expect me to bake you a cake with a file in it if you break the law and end up in a cell.
Right, with N-reg aircraft, basically the FAA says you can do it if you’re sensible. If you aren’t, or if anything falls off, you can expect to hear from them. For EASA, aircraft-external cameras are expected to be covered in an upcoming version of CS-STAN, but at present the CAA (and LAA, and BGA) say you need an engineer/inspector to confirm that what you’re doing is okay. Clearly, the authorities and organisations say it in a far more complex way, but, as I see it, that’s the gist of it all.
The MyPilotPro external mount clamps have been designed to provide a quick, easy and sturdy way of securing a small and lightweight external camera to a tie-down ring (or similar). We were sent the Aviation Mount bundle, containing both the HD Aerial Photography mount, which is fixed, and the Swivel mount. The aircraft fixing bracket is identical with both mounts and consists of an aluminium bracket that has an anodised, over-centre lever which is similar to but bigger than those found on bicycle wheel axles.
The HD mount features an attachment for VIRB or GoPro cameras that’s machined out of aluminium, while the Swivel version has a RAM adjustable arm and ball, to provide you with more mounting angle options.
I tried the mounts on various tie-down rings, ranging from the standard round versions that you find under the tail of most Cessna or Piper singles, to flatter plates which can be found at the top of some struts or under aircraft like Bonanzas. In all cases, the mount can be easily fitted by using the threaded rod and over-centre cam on the anodised tightening arm.
The pressure can be adjusted, but it’s possible to tighten the clamp with enough force to damage the supplied rubber washers. Oops. Adjustment for the Swivel mount is easy, but the HD version will essentially place the camera in-line with the tie-down ring, unless you make use of GoPro extension arms, which will undoubtedly result in a jelly-like video picture.