Category Archives: videos

Woman Steals Racing Drone, Calls Police on Pilots

This video is circulating in the FPV Racing community, and should be required viewing for anyone considering flying in a public space…

A group of FPV pilots were flying at an AMA RC field after a race. One fellows quad lost signal and did what it was supposed to do – dropped to the ground. Unfortunately, a woman walking nearby decided she had been ‘attacked’ by the drone and almost killed, so she stole the drone and tried to hide it from the pilots. The pilots had an RSSI fix on the drone, so they knew she was carrying it. She became argumentative, combative, and ultimately hysterical, threatening the pilots.

The GoPro was running the entire time, and recorded what happened.

Without this recording, it would be the pilots word against her. But even without this, this is the world all pilots must understand we’re living in. People distrust drones, and have unreasoning hatred toward them. Pilots must understand that people will lie to our faces, steal our equipment, and attack us, no matter how careful we are.

These pilots did exactly the right thing. Remained calm, recorded everything, did not threaten or confront other than wanting their equipment back. They brought in the police who immediately understood the woman was not being reasonable, and the encounter ended peacefully.

Remember – people are people. No matter how in the wrong they may be, do not argue, do not confront, and make sure you’re covered. Before flying in any area, no matter how ‘safe’ it may seem, make sure you have your AMA membership, FCC registration, and understand all the flight restrictions and permitting that are applicable.

And always, when the opportunity arises, educate. Talk with people, show them what we’re doing. Nine times out of ten, one experience with FPV goggles will do far more than an argument shouted across a park will ever do.

DroneDayBoston – Indoor racing comes to Boston!

What happens when you combine rainy spring Boston weather, a lot of hard work by organizers, and a nifty indoor industrial space? Why, you get Drone Day Boston, a part hobbyist, part social, part racing event held yesterday at the Boston Design Center this past Saturday, May 7th.

About 140 drone enthusiasts came to the one day event to geek and schmooze over technology, latest trends, take classes on safety, and talk about the latest in gear, events, and what’s happening in the world of drones and drone racing.

2016-05-0710.jpgOne of the biggest draws was the indoor race course managed by BMRC and others. The indoor space was small but the 22 participating pilots made the best of the twisting figure 8 course, running a series of heats and races. The challenge of the tight course made crashes even more of the norm than usual, with many races ending in under 10 seconds as tiny craft get tangled up in the safety netting or have trouble negotiating the mid-course tunnel. This was definitely not a course for full sized 250mm quads! 120mm and 180mm frames ruled the day.

2016-05-0712.jpgIndoor racing shares many of the challenges other races have, in particular “how can the spectators enjoy the experience as much as the pilots?” – For this event, the organizers set up several large screen TVs showing the video feed from the drones – in essence ‘shoulder surfing’ the pilots, allowing the spectators to see exactly what the pilots were seeing. It gave a great experience to people seeing racing for the first time.

Have to give a big shout out to the event organizer Sean Tierney who wrangled the vendors, the space, and all the details necessary to make the event come together successfully.

Drone Racing League is Getting Slick but Cheesy

The DRL has put out another video pushing their professional racing league. While the video is pretty slick and fancy, with a lot of production value, it’s so overloaded with obviously scripted interplay, the ‘token’ female pilot (who gets pushed out almost immediately), and the hypercuts and obviously staged crashes, it just looks like a boring “reality video” show.

Drone racing is about skill and enjoyment of the sport. Trashtalking your pilot friends and wearing costumes is not why we’re here. Skilled piloting, exciting courses, and the thrill of flying is what drives us. Not “win at all costs.”

DRL, you obviously have the money, but stop trying to rip the soul out of our sport.

Boston Globe reports on USDRA August Race Day

The Globe sent out their crack reporting team to cover our event on Saturday and have just posted their report. In short, it went great!

You hear it before you see it: a high-pitched whirring that sounds like a dive bomber crossed with the world’s largest bumblebee. This past Saturday, the buzz came from the edge of a large field in Berlin, just miles from where Interstate 495 meets Interstate 290 outside of Worcester. Moments­ later, there was a loud thwack, followed a sympathetic “ooh!” from a dozen spectators.

Full story: Drone Racing Takes Off (BetaBoston, Boston Globe)

Video from Saturday’s Race

Luckyxero3 has given us a great video of a couple laps around the big course. Pilots seemed to like the longer course rather than the tight figure eight, so there was some great flying around trees and along the long straights. This was early in the day, and Luckyxero3 wasn’t quite comfortable with the course yet, so things are a little wobbly, but everyone had some great racing fun!

Thanks to all the pilots and the spectactors who came to the event, much fun was had by all!