Drone News Roundup: Award-Winning Ski Video Shot Entirely by Drone, Impressive Freestyle Drift Shot by FPV Drone, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
24 February 2022

This week we’re covering an award-winning freeride skiing video shot entirely by drone.

We’re also covering an FPV video from Mr. Steele showcasing a freestyle drift run done by one of the world’s top drifters, a Mavic 2 Pro getting knocked from the sky by a planned explosion in South Africa, news that Urban Air-Port is opening the first functional vertiport in just a few months, and a petition from U.S. drone companies to drop the Blue UAS requirement for federal drone programs.

Now on to the links!

Award-Winning Ski Video Shot Entirely by Drone

This video showcases the raw talent of freestyle skier Sam Favret—all with footage captured by drones. The drones used to make the video include the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the DJI Inspire 2 (with a Zenmuse X7), and an unnamed racing FPV drone. The video was shot at the closed ski resort of Chamonix, which is located in the French alps. You can see that the slopes are eerily empty in the video—no surprise during these strange pandemic times. With its sweeping beauty and incredible shots, it’s no surprise this video won in the Best International Short Ski Film of 2021 category at the High Five Ski Film Festival in October of last year.


Impressive Freestyle Drift Shot by FPV Drone

Vaughn Gittin Jr's Freestyle Drift | Freedom Factory LIVE | FPV

Shot by the renowned FPV drone pilot Mr. Steele, this video showcases the raw energy and talent found in the world of drifting. The driver featured in the video is Vaughn Gittin Jr., one of the top drifters in the world. It was shot at the Freedom Factory SUMMIT Rival Burnouts Live event. According to Mr. Steele, “This run was freeform and I had no idea where he was going next. All of the chase cam movements are just quick reactions to keep Vaughn in frame.”


Mavic 2 Gets Knocked from the Sky by an Explosion


This pilot flew a little too close to an explosion they were monitoring with their Mavic 2 Pro, and paid for it with their drone. The operation took place in South Africa, near the city of Middleburg, and the job was to get footage during excavation work being conducted at a mine. The drone was hit by the rock you see hurtling toward it in the shot on the right, and hasn’t been recovered. Read the report linked below from the South African Aviation Authority to get the details on what went wrong.


Urban Air-Port to Launch First Functional Vertiport

Credit: Urban Air-Port

Urban Air-Port, the U.K.-based company devoted solely to making airports for taxi drones, recently broke ground on its first vertiport. Called Air One, the vertiport will be located in Coventry City Centre. The timeline for opening Air One is aggressive—right now, it’s slated to be showcased at a launch event in just over two months, on April 25. Projects like these are exciting, because they represent actual construction taking place to build the infrastructure needed to make Urban Air Mobility a reality. Before long, there may be so many efforts like this one underway that we’ll lose track—but for now, each one is well worth talking about.


U.S. Drone Companies Petition Congress to Remove Blue UAS Requirement

The Skyfish M4 and M6

U.S. drone manufacturers Skyfish and Terraview recently petitioned congress to remove the Blue UAS requirement for federal drone programs. Both companies are compliant with the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), which means they comply with specific security measures laid out in the bill regarding which drones can be used by federal agencies. Despite NDAA compliance, they can’t sell their drones to government agencies because these agencies have been limited to buying only those drones found on the Blue UAS list. Both Skyfish and Terraview tried to be included on the Blue UAS 2.0 list, but were told that the DIU (Defense Innovation Unit) lacked the funding to evaluate them for inclusion. Many U.S. drone companies are in the same situation, having made significant investments to meet NDAA requirements only to be told that, despite compliance, they weren’t available to government agencies because they weren’t on the Blue UAS list.


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