This Week in Drone Racing: July 2 – July 8

This week in drone racing July 2 to July 8

This Week in Drone Racing
July 2 – July 8, 2016

Top stories, videos, and flights that may have landed through the cracks.

  1. Hawaii embraces drone racing (with good reporting)
  2. Los Angeles embraces drone racing (with self-congratulations)
  3. South Korea embraces drone racing (with a drone park)
  4. IDRA launches a new website – loses major features
  5. Fun this week: FIREWORKS!
  6. Friday Flight of the Week: Building dives

1) Hawaii Reports on Drone Racing Like Any Other Sport

This week local Hawaii news outlets have reported on drone racing events like they would for any other sports event – without an explanation of what drone racing is. This is a step towards the mainstream. Two different outlets covered the Hawaii State Championships.

Unfortunately, like many news articles the information is technically correct but slightly off. In this article by the Hawaii Tribune it’s implied that a crashed drone started a brush fire. Byron Yap with the Hawaii Drone Club, and one of the race organizers, spoke to TLS and cleared up the misconception,

“When we saw the fire outside of our field we immediately contacted local law enforcement and firefighters who responded within 30 minutes to the fire. The fire was under control and contained within 30 minutes. The event organizers decided to put the event on hold for a few hours and review the options. It was decided with the AMA’s blessing and local law enforcement we would redesign a track because of the nearby fire.”

He also stated the fire department didn’t determine the nearby drone was the cause of the fire, and that the fire was about two football field (~200 yards total) lengths away from the race course.

BigIslandNow’s article focused mostly on the pilots and didn’t connect the fire to a crashed drone.

“Our team was greeted with overwhelming aloha from all the other flyers,” said Richard Molina, drone pilot and Hawaii Drone Racing team leader.

2) LAWeekly Proclaims LA As the Epicenter of Drone Racing

They’re not completely wrong. As we’ve talked about in a past “TWIDR”, Los Angeles has a strong pilot presence and a number of drone racing startups.

3) Seoul, South Korea Opens A Drone Park

“Earlier in May, South Korea said it will lift a series of regulations covering drones as part of the country’s broader deregulatory campaign aimed at boosting economic growth.

The government said it will expand drone zones, loosen up rules to produce more drone pilots and create a one-stop agency to handle permits for flying drones.

In line with the efforts, the Seoul city government opened its first drone park along the Han River that flows through the capital late last month.

In the 27,000-square-meter park, citizens can freely fly their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are below 12 kilograms in weight up to an altitude of 150 meters, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government.”

This drone park is multi-purpose drone use, but racing will be a major activity.

Racing in South Korea:

4) IDRA’s New Website Is Worse

IDRA’s website (IDRA.co) has been down for a week as they “update”. Today the new website has been released. IDRA describes their new website as “Leaner, sleeker, faster”.

This is true, but that’s because it’s now only a scrollable single page. Some of the best features of their website, including the pilot rankings and the pilot profile pages, are missing. We hope they’re working hard to bring those back.

Their technical difficulties are accompanied by rumors of internal difficulties with the organization. Expect to hear more on this soon.

5) Fun This Week: FIREWORKS!

It’s not racing, but in honor of Independence Day (sorry Brits), here’s footage of drones flying through fireworks shows. We hope they got permission to fly from the fireworks operators and that they weren’t flying near a crowd or private property.

6) Friday Flight of the Week: Building Dives

Meanwhile, some pilots (including Freybott and StingersSwarm of DR1 fame) took advantage of the lack of crowds last weekend to safely pull stunts around buildings.


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