Drone pilots gather for racing championship
Drone pilots gather for racing championship Pilots fly their small racing drones through an obstacle course on Governors Island, a former military installation in New York Harbor, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. Drone pilots gathered in New York City to compete in the National Drone Racing Championship. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Drone pilots gather for racing championship
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Tyler Brennan is training to be a pilot in the Air Force, yet he was vying to be top gun at the National Drone Racing Championship held August 5-7.
 
The 22-year-old Air Force lieutenant traveled from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to compete in the tournament in New York City. Brennan was one of more than 100 pilots vying for a $50,000 prize.
 
"I found it on YouTube and I was hooked immediately," Brennan said of the sport. "My first time, I was like, 'I got it. I am hooked here' and I crashed almost immediately. But that split second that you get has you hooked for life."
 
Dozens of pilots gathered for a practice event on Governors Island, a former military installation in New York Harbor.
 
With spectators watching from a viewing stand, the pilots donned headsets that gave them a cockpit view as they remotely directed their drones, most no larger than a paperback book, through an obstacle course of gates and flags at speeds up to 60 mph.
 
The competitors fly using first-person view headsets, which allow them to see as if they were inside the tiny drones, said Scot Refsland, the founder and chairman of the Drone Sports Association.
 
A small mesh net is the only thing that separates the spectators from the action. Spectators stood on the sidelines, their smartphones in hand, capturing video of the small crafts whizzing by. Participants needed to pass through qualifying competitions in order to race.
 
The tournament, which was broadcast on ESPN3, drew competitors of all ages.
 
The youngest racer, 12-year-old Sorell Miller, of Boise, Idaho, faced off against dozens of other racers, including his father, Conrad.
 
Brennan said he hopes the competition persuades people that they shouldn't be afraid of the craft, which tend to make news headlines only when someone is using one improperly.
 
"Nobody here will you see flying in airspace they aren't supposed to be, flying near a wildfire or doing anything they aren't supposed to do," he said. "I hope this introduces drone racing and can show people that drones aren't something that sits outside your window and spies on you - not at all in any way, shape or form. This is a sport."
 
After this, he said he's going to focus on preparing to fly much bigger machines.
 
"This is my real hurrah," Brennan said. "After this, I'm concentrating on flying for the Air Force and this will remain a side sport."

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/drone-pilots-gather-racing-championship/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why would drone enthusiasts want to race?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (22)
  • elenas-pel
    8/11/2016 - 12:13 p.m.

    I think Drone enthusiasts would like to race, because having it as a hobby is cool, but being able to travel and compete makes it much more fun.

  • hannaht-pel
    8/11/2016 - 12:13 p.m.

    Some drone enthusiasts might want to race because they want to join the Air Force, like Tyler Brennan.

  • jessicar-pel
    8/11/2016 - 12:13 p.m.

    Drone enthusiasts would want to race because it's something that'd introduce them to a fun competitive sport

  • shawnn-pel
    8/11/2016 - 12:14 p.m.

    The drone enthusiasts Don't want people to think drones are bad in anyway so they are trying to get drones and people on better terms.

  • kayleeh-pel
    8/11/2016 - 12:20 p.m.

    People might want to race drones because they want to be in the air force. Also they might do it because you could win money, or just do have fun.

  • josuec-pel
    8/11/2016 - 12:31 p.m.

    To win a prize to get $50,000. Plus it would be a fun time to see how competitive it can be or get.

  • calebw1-pel
    9/01/2016 - 10:55 a.m.

    To show that drones are not just for them to spy on you while you are at home, that they are meant for many other things. Like I just read they can be used for racing.

  • joshp-pel
    9/01/2016 - 10:57 a.m.

    They might would like to race to see how it is to race and of course to try to win. I have never flown one before but it does say you are hooked after you fly it one time. Also these drone enthusiasts must be enthusiastic about these drones and has got to be dying to try the drone out.

  • anthonyg1-pel
    9/01/2016 - 11:06 a.m.

    The reason is because it is fun to do also because of the rush and excitement.

  • calebw1-pel
    9/01/2016 - 11:11 a.m.

    They wanted to show people that drones can be used for much more things than using them to spy you.

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