HD Video from B4 – “Gliding is so Freakin’ Fun”

Hi everyone - I'm Bruno Vassel IV (B4) flying out of Utah, (western USA) and have really enjoyed making soaring videos since 2007.  Inspired by Juan Mandelbaum's amazing film A Fine Week of Soaring,  I started taking a video camera with me while flying first a 1967 Phoebus, then ASW-20B and now an ASW-27B as of a few months ago.  We all know there is something magical we feel when we soar. That is why we spend the great gobs of time, money, use up our vacation from work, and tick off the wife because they perceive we are more excited to spend time with our gliders than family, etc. :)

The high mountains of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming are just so spectacular when experienced above by sailplane that I almost feel a religious duty to share what a glider pilot experiences, feels and sees when flying over these western vistas. The editors of Soaring Cafe have been very generous in encouraging me to share some of my videos here periodically and I thank them for the invite.

This first video was put together for the SSA 2012 convention to show a few of my favorite clips taken over the years.  It was impossible to reduce my personal favorites all down to 6 minutes but this video shows just the tip of the iceberg of the 60+ soaring videos I have now uploaded to my YouTube channel. Bill and Rand, hope you don't mind my linking to it just this once if people want to watch some of my other videos: Bruno's YouTube Gliding Channel.

People have been quite interested in the video equipment I have used over the years. You will see over the shoulder and rear facing shots, tail mount and wing mount shots in my videos. If there is enough interest I am happy to do a post on all the equipment but here is a quick rundown:

My over the shoulder cam is a Canon HF20 with fish eye lens. It has 64 gig of total memory allowing for around 6.5 hours of continuous 1080 HD video at 30 fps. I have a custom battery setup with a 12 volt 9 Ah battery feeding a voltage reducer one of my employees custom made for me to bring the voltage down to the 8 that the camera likes. This battery setup while still also using the regular extended battery pack of the Canon allows for enough juice for the full 6.5 hours of memory. It is nice to be able to turn on the camera before launch and forget about messing with it. It records the whole flight. Without the internal camera battery I was only getting around 5 hours which really was too bad when the camera died on a base to final land out up in a mountain alfalfa field in Idaho last year. That landing would have made for a great video. These cameras really eat up battery power!

I have also been playing with a Contour + and a Kodak Zi-8 with a glued on fish eye lens for my hand held cameras and tail and wing mount cams. I just purchased two GoPro Hero 2 cameras with extended battery packs and expect them to do a great job as additional cameras this upcoming season. People ask what mount I use for the Canon and I am using a 1" ball Ram mount with two connected arms over the shoulder. I permanently mounted the ball on the sidewall of my 20 and haven't made a mount yet for the 27 but will do something similar. I am cautious about mounting a suction cup attachment to the canopy but have heard that many people have had success.

Again, hope you all enjoy this and future videos and please feel free to contact me via my YouTube channel.  Feel free to post comments if you have any on YouTube - everything from, "You suck and don't know how to thermal!" I already know that ;) to questions on any decisions I made on a particular flight.


Bruno - B4

Bruno Vassel

  2 comments for “HD Video from B4 – “Gliding is so Freakin’ Fun”

  1. John Brooks
    February 16, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Wonderful stuff, Bruno. Thanks for posting this.

  2. juan mario osella
    February 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    very good video bruno !
    i have only a few hours flying into the mountains many years ago. was wonderfull like yours videos.
    thanks to share
    juan mario

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