Drone News Roundup: Drone Footage of Great White Sharks Swimming Near Surfers, DJI’s New RC 2 Controller, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
3 August 2023

This week we’re covering drone footage of a great white shark swimming dangerously close to surfers at Jeffrey’s Bay, a famous surf spot in South Africa.

We’re also covering DJI’s new RC 2 controller, a fun FPV freestyle video shot at an abandoned movie theater, the U.S. Air Force’s partnership with the Drone Racing League, and a program from DJI that lets you try new drones and camera equipment for free.

Now let’s get to those links!

Great White Shark Swims through Surfers in Intense Drone Footage


That shark is huge! YouTuber Nathan Florence was shooting surf footage recently at famous surf spot Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa when he saw several surfers rushing to get out of the water. The reason? According to Fisher, “they saw a huge white shark close enough to see its eyes swim by them.” He quickly put his drone in the air and caught sight of the shark, then followed as it swam through the bay, closely approaching several surfers, including pros Rio Waida and Ian Gentil. Fisher helped warn those surfing and the water was soon evacuated. Skip ahead to 5:17 to see one of the more up-close moments between the surfers and the Great White.


Meet DJI’s New RC 2 Remote Controller

Credit: DJI

DJI just released the Air 3. One of the big upgrades that comes with the Air 3 is a brand new remote controller, the DJI RC 2. The RC 2 has a built-in screen, allowing you to get out your drone and start flying right away. Although the RC 2 looks similar to the original DJI RC, there are some key differences:

  • Double the antennas. The RC 2 has two external antennas and two built-in antennas, making for stronger signal strength.
  • Better processor. The RC 2’s upgraded processor improves performance for CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Units), making for a smoother flying experience.
  • Better transmission. The RC 2 comes with O4, DJI’s newest video transmission technology, providing greater transmission stability at a longer range (up to 12.5 miles, to be exact).


FPV Freestyle Flying in an Abandoned Movie Theater

Uncut FPV Freestyle in the Cinema

What a perfect spot for flying FPV! This high-speed FPV freestyle video was shot by YouTuber and drone pilot ManvsBando, who overlays the drone footage with footage of his hands on the sticks as he flies. In addition to the impressive flying, we love this video for its simplicity—there’s no music, just the sound of the drone’s whine as it flies incredibly fast—and for the surreal setting. With its graffiti and apocalyptic  feel, the abandoned mall where this was shot almost seems too cinematic to be real, and kept sending us into the video description and comments to make sure we weren’t watching footage from a video game.


U.S. Air Force Continues Partnership with the Drone Racing League

Credit: DRL

The Drone Racing League has renewed its partnership with the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The partnership serves as a recruiting mechanism for the USAF, who uses it to bring in drone pilots. As part of the partnership, the upcoming 2023-24 season will feature a drone pilot sponsored by the USAF, as well as drone pilots competing from a U.S. Air Force DRL Flight Deck. The USAF is DRL’s longest-running sponsor—it first started sponsoring DRL way back in 2017.


Want to Try the DJI Air 3? Apply to the Skypixel Product Tryout Program

Credit: DJI

Want to get a free loaner DJI Air 3? If you’re selected, you could get one through the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program. The program loans out DJI drones to a select group of influencers, letting them borrow DJI gear in exchange for creating content. Skypixel is DJI’s social media arm best known for its annual drone photo and video contest, which has been running for eight years. The Skypixel program only opens up to applicants during specific periods of time, usually around a DJI product launch. And it’s open now for the DJI Air 3. Even if you’re just getting started with producing content with drones or that features drones, it’s worth applying to the program. You never know—it could help expand your Instagram or YouTube following, giving you a boost to get to the next level of your content creation journey.


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