FPV (First Person View) drone racing is a sport that requires pilots to strap on head-mounted displays that show them live feeds of what their drones are doing while they're safely on the ground, standing still. This makes it sound like the pilots are taking zero risk as life nor limb is being threatened. But watch this video of expert pilot Paul Nurkkala's "Flight of the Year" in Reno, Nevada and then think about whether or not you'd have the guts to do this kind of thing.
Maybe you would, but still, aren't these tricks insane?
Laughing Squid picked up on Nurkkala's video, which was posted to his YouTube channel, Nurk FPV, with the title "Flight of the Year // Trains, Bridges, Rapids, Mountains, Sunset, Gapping, Perching, Powerlooping." And flight of the year it most certainly is, at least according to the myriad responses on YouTube and Twitter talking about how gnarly these tricks are.
That was THE MOST IMPRESSIVE flying skill I have EVER seen! The RR needs to get a clue that your video is the BEST promo opportunity ever!
— Dronevitable (@dronevitable) September 23, 2017
Even to the layman, it's obvious Nurkkala was pushing both his skills and drone to the limit, as he deftly moved in and out of the small spaces between moving train cars. He even managed to really annoy the train's conductor (at around one minute into the clip), who spotted the drone and immediately closed his window.
What's most impressive from this footage is that Nurkkala needs to keep the size of the drone in mind the entire time he's flying and doing tricks, as there's no external cameras to monitor how close he's getting to the objects around him. He also managed to pull off this entire run in a single take, which is amazing. Although he probably only had one shot at this anyway as it seems like this kind of thing may be sort of illegal? Either way, that train conductor may want to start carrying a drone-killin' spear.
What do you think about this so-called "Flight of the Year"? Have you seen any better FPV drone videos in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!
Images: YouTube / NURK FPV