Drone News Roundup: DJI Mavic 3 Classic Leaked, VICE News Goes to Iceland with Flyability, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
8 September 2022

This week we’re covering a leaked photo showing a new version of the DJI Mavic 3, called the Mavic 3 Classic.

We’re also covering a new documentary from VICE News highlighting a trip they took to Iceland with drone pilots from Flyability, a cinematic drone video featuring beautiful black and white shots of the mountains, a rogue drone obstructing firefighting operations in California, and a lawsuit that may finally bring an end to New York City’s drone ban.

Now on to the links!

New Leak Reveals the DJI Mavic 3 Classic

DJI just released the Avata, its first ever cinewhoop—so what’s next? Looks like it could be something called the Mavic 3 Classic. According to @DealsDrone, the leaker who shared the above photo, the Classic will be similar to the DJI Mini SE, which means it will be a less expensive version of the Mavic 3 that may come with only one camera instead of two. In addition to the Mavic 3 Classic, it looks like DJI may be working on a less expensive version of the Mini 3 Pro, which may come without obstacle avoidance sensors.


VICE News Goes to Iceland with Flyability

Why You Should Be Worried About This Glacier

VICE News just released a 17-minute documentary highlighting a research expedition to Iceland. The goal of the research was to study the effects of climate change by creating 3D maps of ice caves on the Vatnajökull glacier with Flyability’s new Elios 3 drone. Part of the documentary was shot on May 19, the same day that the Elios 3 was being released, and it features 3D models made with the Elios 3 and sweeping aerial shots of Iceland captured on a Mavic 3. Despite the beautiful shots, the documentary’s topic is dire: the glacier is melting quickly, and its deterioration is just one more sign of the ways that climate change is impacting the planet.


Beautiful Cinematic Drone Video Mountain Song Inspired by Ansel Adams

This cinematic video featuring drone shots of lonely mountain peaks was shot by Russian creator Vadim Sherbakov. Describing his motivation for making the video, he writes: “I was inspired by Ansel Adams’ black and white contrasty landscape photos and wanted to create similar imagery, but within a video.” The tense instrumental music accompanied by the stark, sweeping shots of snow covered crags make for a beautiful journey through the mountains.


Rogue Drone Obstructs Firefighters During Crucial Time at Mount Helena Fire

Credit: MTN News

Rogue drones have been an issue for firefighting operations for years now, and especially for wildfires. Whenever a drone is in the air over a fire it means that supporting aircraft can’t fly and firefighters can’t do their jobs. As the Forest Service succinctly puts it, If You Fly, We Can’t

One of the most recent incidents of a drone pilot flying over an active fire happened at a wildfire in Mount Helena, California. The drone kept firefighters from doing their job for 12 minutes—a long time when a fire is raging through an area. And it’s important to keep this in mind when there’s a fire near you. Although you may want to put your drone up to see what’s happening, please don’t—chances are, you may end up interfering with important work to end the fire.


Lawsuit Challenges New York City’s Outdated Drone Ban

Credit: Goh Rhy Yan

New York City has had a full ban on drones for a long time. Since 1984, in fact. That’s right—the law that keeps drones from flying in the Big Apple is actually an avigation law (i.e., a law that regulates airspace) that bans anyone from taking off or landing an aircraft in the city, and it was created far before the advent of consumer drones. But a lawsuit brought by aerial cinematography company Xizmo, which is based in Brooklyn, may change things. The lawsuit claims that the city’s blanket ban on drones violates the FAA’s authority to oversee the national airspace. It also claims that the ban violates the First Amendment by “excessively restricting the right to artistic expression through aerial filmmaking.” The case was recently allowed to proceed to court by a US district judge, indicating the courts may be open to the argument.


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