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Drone News Roundup: DJI Job Cuts, Drone Finds Injured Dog, and More

BY Zacc Dukowitz
21 August 2020

This roundup includes some heartwarming news about a drone helping to find a missing dog after it was hit by a car (don’t worry—the dog is OK!) and incredible drone footage of two Southern Right Whales breaching next to surfers in Australia.

We’re also covering a Reuter’s story about DJI laying off a huge number of employees, DRL’s partnership with the U.S. Air Force, and a cool drone video tour of a historic theatre in Atlanta.

Now on to the links!

DJI Job Cuts

Photo credit: DJI

According to a recent article in Reuters, DJI has been making “sweeping cuts to its global sales and marketing teams,” reducing the total number of employees in these teams from 180 to just 60 employees. Its global video production team has also reportedly shrunk from 40-50 employees to just three people. Apparently the combination of COVID-19 market drop and U.S. suspicions about data sharing has hurt the drone juggernaut, and the impending passage of the American Security Drone Act (ASDA) certainly doesn’t help.


Fox Theatre Fly Through from SkyFire Consulting

Fly Through of Atlanta's Fox Theatre

Not a whole lot to say about this video except WOW. The video was shot and produced by SkyFire Consulting, in partnership with the historic Fox Theatre located in Atlanta, GA. About the video, the Fox Theatre said they were happy it allowed them “to virtually open our doors to the community, while we await the day that we can safely tell our favorite stories under these stars again.”

Drone Finds Injured Dog in the U.K.

Image source

This story starts sad but has a happy ending. Stella, a one-year-old bulldog (shown above) was hit by a car while walking off-leash in Doncaster, England. Distressed by her injury, she then swam across the nearby River Don. A team of volunteer pet hunters was helping look for her, and one of them finally spotted her “cowering in a patch of brambles” after putting a drone in the air. She suffered a broken leg and was missing for 48 fretful hours, but ultimately was found and is safe at home again.


Drone Video Captures Whales Breaching Near Surfers


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A post shared by Thom ❥ Lianne 🇳🇱 (@whatifwefly_) on

This picture is one of the coolest we’ve seen in a while. It was taken off Manley Beach in New South Wales, Australia by drone pilot Thom Van Mil. When Thom got the news that the whales had been spotted, he grabbed his drone and headed straight to the beach to see if he could get a shot of them. According to Thom, the two whales you see in the shot are a Southern Right Whale mom and her calf, and the adult female could be as much as 55 feet long. Check out the post linked below to see a video Thom shot of the whales.


Drone Racing League Partners with U.S. Air Force

Photo credit: The Drone Racing League (DRL)

DRL has teamed up with the U.S. Air Force to officer a digital series called U.S. Air Force Flight School. The goal of the series is to teach aspiring pilots how to fly through the DRL SIM, a true-to-life drone racing video game on Steam. The virtual training takes place in the game’s U.S. Air Force Boneyard map, inspired by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which is the world’s largest military aircraft maintenance facility. The series is led by DRL Allianz World Champion Paul “Nurk” Nurkkala (check out our interview with Nurk). Check out the video below to see the first installment in the series.

Introduction: U.S. Air Force DRL SIM Flight School

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