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Customer Profiles


12 Apostles Helicopters

12 Apostles Helicopters is a helicopter tour based outside of Melbourne in Western Australia providing flight tours of Australia’s southern coast and the 12 Apostles.  12 Apostles uses onboard video to attract customers, generate additional revenue and increase their online marketing exposure.

Established: 2000

Helicopters: EC-130 B4, T2’s and R44’s

Equipment Used:

RV-sFOUR – Recorder/Switcher

HD29 – Mini Box Cameras

WiFi Streaming to iPad Monitors

12 Apostles uses four HD29 cameras going to the RV-sFOUR recorder and switcher.  The recorder is Dzus mounted in the dash and streams live video to an iPad via WiFi.  Cameras are switched manually while in flight and video is recorded in full 1080p to a USB flash drive which is sold to customers.  Headset audio and pilot narrations are also recorded with the U174 helicopter headset cable included with the system.


Question & Answer

What Makes 12 Apostles Different in the Market?

Unique positioning, directly adjacent to the Visitor Information Center at the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. We continually invest all profits back into the business and have grown rapidly as a result over the last 7 years.

How does onboard video help your operation?

It offers our customers the option to purchase an HD quality recording of their flight. All commentary and conversations are recorded in realtime and are available after the flight has landed.

What is your workflow for capturing & distributing video?

The pilot records each flight onto an individual USB 3.0 8GB key. After the flight has landed, the pilot stops the recording and passes the USB key to a ground staff member who takes it back into our Passenger Terminal to test the file and ensure the complete video is there before copying the file to our server as a backup. If two or more customers require a copy of the same flight, we copy the original file from the USB to another USB.

What do you typically sell your videos for?

We sell the video for $45 AUD. We sell around 30 videos per day.

Have you used other systems in the past?

We’ve used a number of systems in the past. Rugged video support and service has been excellent!

Why did you choose Rugged Video specifically?

Customer service and flexibility in meeting our requirements. I would recommend them to other flight tours.

Blue Sky Helicopters

Blue Sky Helicopters provides flight tours and film charters in Sydney Australia.  They use onboard video to gain a competitive edge in the market, increase revenue, and for marketing.

Established: 1996

Helicopters: Bell 206L LongRanger, Robinson R44

Equipment Used:

RV-sFOUR – Recorder/Switcher

HD29 – Mini Box Cameras

Commander Controller (GPS Automation)

Blue Sky Helicopters has three interior cameras mounted in the cabin and one exterior camera mounted on the nose.  Cameras are switched manually by the pilot with the option of GPS switching.  Live video is fed to a monitor mounted on the dash from the RV-sFOUR recorder mounted under the dash.  Blue Sky uses an iPad to play music through the passenger headset which is then recorded.  Video is saved to a USB flash drive which is duplicated and sold to customers.



Question & Answer

How was Blue Sky Helicopters founded?

I was an aerial photographer in the U.K. and emigrated to Australia in 1991. Once in Australia I became a pilot and decided to combine my passion of aviation and photography and start Blue Sky Helicopters in 1996.

What makes Blue Sky Helicopters different in the market?

We try to focus on the details. We take great pride in what we do and offer innovated and well thought out products to our customers.

How does onboard video help your operation?

Promoting the highest quality onboard video adds a huge value to our tour in the eyes of our customers. We also use the videos to help our marketing efforts and gain customer referrals. Most of all, the added revenue allows us to keep growing and offer a premium service.

What is your workflow for capturing and distributing video?

We use four cameras on a switcher and an iPad for audio. Our switching can be controlled manually or with a GPS path. We also have headset audio that is mixed with the iPad. We record right to a USB and make copies for customers once we land.

Have you used other systems in the past?

With my experience in aerial photography I’ve tried to stay at the cutting edge in terms of video technology. I’ve used a number of systems through the years and developed a number of systems myself using equipment from film production.

Why did you choose Rugged Video specifically?

I’ve recently moved to the Rugged Video system because it offers the quality I need in a well put together package. Having the footage right after the flight (from a real edit while we fly) makes Rugged Video the best system on the market.

How would you rate Rugged Video support and service?

The guys at Rugged Video have been great. Being in Australia sometimes is hard to get support in the states but the Rugged Video guys are available after hours and are very responsive. They also are very knowledgeable about video and aviation and can usually handle most questions over the phone or in an email. 10 out of 10!

Would you recommend Rugged Video to others in the industry?

I am and have been recommending Rugged Video to other operators. The are by far the best company offering video to the aviation industry.

Helicopter Flight Services

Helicopter Flight Services is a helicopter charter and tour operator base in New York, NY.  They operate several aircraft out of the Manhattan Heli-Port and provide tours of New York City.  They use onboard video to generate revenue and a competitive advantage in the market.

Established: 1985

Helicopters: Bell 407, 407 GX, Bell 427, EC130, and Sikorsky S76

Equipment Used:

RV-sFOUR – Recorder/Switcher

HD25 – HD Bullet Cameras

HDX – HD Bullet Cameras

Commander Controller (GPS Automation)

Helicopter Flight Service uses four cameras, three interior, and one nose mounted to provide video of all passengers and the tour.  The system is completely automated based on GPS which controls camera switching, recording, text overlay, narrations and soundtracks, and snapshots.  Video is recorded to USB which is copied and sold to customers.




Makani Kai Helicopters

Makani Kai Helicopters provides flight tours on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii.  They use onboard video to generate revenue and increase their marketing exposure.

Established: 1988

Helicopters: AS350, MD500

Equipment Used:

RV-sFOUR – Recorder/Switcher

HD29 – HD Mini Box Cameras

HDX – HD Bullet Cameras

Commander Controller (GPS Automation)

Makani Kai uses three cameras; an interior camera to capture passengers, and two exterior cameras to capture beautiful Hawaii.  The system is automated based on GPS which controls recording, camera switching, text overlay and audio.  The pilot has the option to manually control recording and camera switching.  They are using the Commander to play different language narrations directly into passenger headsets all trigger based on GPS.   In addition they are mixing in external audio from an iPod.  The recorder captures audio from the headsets recording voice, the narrations, and iPod audio.  Video is streamed to an iPad for live viewing in the cockpit.

Video is captured to a USB flash drive which is then copied or uploaded and sold to the customer.  Uploading and copying is completed using the Commander Upload software.  Using digital delivery saves the cost of the flash drive, increases Makani Kai’s marketing exposure, and increases the sell through rate of the video.






We secured a contract from a large DoD prime to flight test a large pod on our Gulfstream GIII aircraft.  As part of flight qualification for the installation, we needed to visually monitor the pod for bending, vibration, arcing, smoke, fire, and leaks during initial flight test. The Rugged Video RV-ONE was compact, rugged, and affordable and was selected because of the aforementioned attributes.  Rugged Video’s ability to quickly deliver the product was another reason we went with them.  Performance of the system was excellent, allowing a flight test engineer to monitor real time video in the cabin and the pilots to monitor streamed video on their iPads in the cockpit.  Quick replies to questions and fast shipping were how we met the aggressive timeline that we were given.  Big thanks to the Rugged Video team!

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