Drone Racing Becomes a Major South Florida Sport (Video)

Drone Racing League (blog.airstoc.com)

Approach and the first thing you hear is buzzing. It’s like a swarm of food processors flying overhead. Look up. In the twilight sky, Tron-like flashes of neon turn circles, some stopping midair before diving close to the ground at breakneck speed. They’re like tiny comets or steroid-stoked fireflies.

drone racing
Nelson Aquino scrambles to fix the wireless camera fixed to the front of his drone.
Photo by Jerry Iannelli

Suddenly, one of the darting lights does a barrel roll and stops midair. On a dime, it shoots down like a bullet toward a glowing hoop. It sails through and heads toward another. But the angle isn’t quite right. A propeller clips the hoop, and it spins out as if it were a fighter jet hit by enemy fire. Then it hurtles toward the ground and crashes in a heap.

F**k,” shouts a stocky, bearded 34-year-old Nelson Aquino, shoving a pair of white plastic goggles up onto his forehead. “Nobody fly anything for a second. I have to go get that.”

Welcome to an event called Night Fly at Davie’s Vista View Park, home to one of only five public drone-racing tracks in the nation. The kings of the park are unquestionably a group to which Aquino belongs — the Gravity Goons, sponsored, semiprofessional drone pilots who are becoming well known in the budding racing world.

NOTE: Earlier this year the Miami Dolphns Stadium was the scene of the first Drone Racing League challenge for 2016. From YouTube: 

Published on Feb 22, 2016 Check out the first race of 2016 for Drone Racing League at the Miami Dolphins Stadium. Some of the worlds best drone racers meet to compete for the top spot. #DroneRacingLeague