The following equipment is what is being used by Flying Iowa to capture the experiences and keep from getting lost. These recommendations are suited best for fellow value-minded aviators.

Audio Video Equipment

Video Cameras

Flying Iowa primarily uses the Hawkeye Firefly gyro-stabilized cameras for video recording. This series has a balance of great quality with video stabilization at a reasonable price. Gyro stabilized cameras are preferred since they tend to reduce the “jello” effect caused by the vibration of the mount point. They also reduce the need to post-process the video for vibration.

GoPro also has gyro stabilized cameras starting with the HERO5 series.

ATC Cockpit Audio Recording

The following cables can be used to split a headset audio jack into a 2nd output for recording. This will enable recording both ATC and cockpit intercom audio. Use any standard audio recording app on your smartphone or a digital audio recorder.

Note that the 3.5mm plugs differ between smartphones and regular digital audio recorders so choose the correctly named cable for your application.

External Camera Mounts

For mounting the camera outside the aircraft, Flying Iowa highly recommends the MyPilotPro mounts. We use the non-swivel version and haven’t found the need yet for the swivel function.

On Cessnas, these mounts work very well in the tie down loops on the wing struts or in the tail tie down hook. These mounts are ideal for renters as they are easy to install and remove.


Flying Iowa came across the SkyLite brand, took a chance with the original SL-900’s and haven’t looked back for over 10 years! These headsets have comfortable gel ear pads and are well built for the price. The SL-900M has the MP3 aux input and the SL-900MC are smaller sized for kids or people with smaller heads.

Stratux ADS-B Receiver

Stratux is a homebuilt ADS-B receiver that can be built for around $100 and in less than a couple hours. There is an active user community that is supportive if you run into any issues.

There are a few different configurations you can build, we recommend the following components:

Avare Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

Avare has been the preferred FREE Android EFB for Flying Iowa. This has many features including free charts and integrates smoothly with the Stratux ADS-B receiver via wifi.