Drone News Roundup: Drone Saves Diver from Great White, Tour of Uganda by Drone, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
16 November 2023

This week we’re covering drone footage of a large Great White shark swimming dangerously close to a group of spear fishermen.

We’re also covering an aerial tour of Uganda shot on an FPV drone, a 30% off sale for the DJI Avata, an update on Amazon Prime Air’s progress with drone delivery, and Skydio’s new partnership with industrial software company Trimble.

Now let’s get to those links!

Great White Swims Dangerously Close to Divers

Great White Shark Approaches Spear Fishermen In One of the Closest Encounters Yet

YouTuber @TheMalibuArtist is always putting out incredible aerial footage of marine wildlife, usually shot near where they live in Southern California. In this hair-raising video, they spot several sharks and follow them from the air—until they see a ten-foot long Great White break off and head toward a group of spear fishermen. At that point, the pilot goes from shooting wildlife to trying to intervene, flying low over the divers to try and alert them about the approaching shark. Watch the video to see what happens next.


Uganda from Above

UGANDA from Above | African Wildlife with an FPV drone

Want an escape from the humdrum? This drone tour of Uganda shot by Joshua Turner will transport you to a completely different world. The video was shot on a 5″ FPV drone using a GoPro Hero11 Mini. It features stunning shots of African wildlife taken at a number of Uganda’s national parks, with footage of giraffes standing quietly in the sun blending into a herd of water buffalo stampeding, then into an incredible dive of a raging waterfall. According to Turner, all of the shooting he did was coordinated with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and other local authorities.


The DJI Avata Is on Sale for 30% Off

Always wanted a DJI Avata? Now is a great time to pull the trigger. The Avata is on sale right now on Amazon for 30% off—the steepest discount we’ve ever seen. The Avata is DJI’s first ever cinewhoop-style drone, which means it’s a quick, nimble drone made to shoot FPV fly-through tours. It has built-in propeller guards for all four rotors, designed so that the drone can collide with objects while flying and stay in the air. Follow the link below to learn more about the sale.


Amazon Prime Air Continues to Struggle

Credit: Amazon Prime Air

Earlier this year we reported on Amazon Prime Air’s challenges, which persisted even after launching its first two drone delivery programs. Located in College Station, TX, and Lockeford, CA, the combined total deliveries for the two programs as of May was an underwhelming 100. New reporting from the New York Times finds that the company’s struggles have continued, with the company resorting to giving away deliveries. Although Prime Air recently announced that it will be expanding its operations to include cities in Britain and Italy, and to another, as yet unnamed, U.S. city, prospects still look fairly dim—especially when compared to competitors like Zipline, Flytrex, and Wing, which are quickly scaling their consumer delivery efforts.


Skydio Partners with Trimble

Credit: Skydio

Skydio recently announced a partnership with Trimble to provide solutions for the critical infrastructure industry. This is big news. Trimble is a well-respected player in construction and several other industries, and could help Skydio gain traction for commercial sales. Trimble is no stranger to the drone industry. We first heard about the company five years back, when it shared a booth with 3DR at InterDrone. At the time, 3DR (formerly 3D Robotics) had just pivoted away from producing a consumer drone called the Solo to producing solutions for commercial applications. The reason? DJI had beat them out in the consumer market. Skydio also just decided to leave the consumer market, announcing that it would focus only on commercial drone applications—and it also, depending on who you ask, seems to have been beaten out by DJI in the consumer market. But Skydio has much deeper pockets, and a lot of momentum in the commercial space. And this partnership is sure to help it gain even more traction as it looks to gain market share in enterprise sales.


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