‘GMA’ flies DJI drone over erupting volcano live

‘GMA’ flies DJI drone over erupting volcano live


Two drones piloted by aerial experts brought a one-of-a-kind view into an erupting volcano live today on “Good Morning America.”

The drones flew over the erupting Bardarbunga Volcano in central Iceland. The volcano is located on the northern edge of the Vatnajokull Glacier and National Park. The Vatnajokull Glacier is, at over 5,000 square miles, the largest glacier in Iceland, covering 10 percent of the country.

The drones’ technology allowed “GMA” viewers to see the volcano from just 380 feet above.

“It’s a very interesting technique, that you can really fly over there and looking into the crater without being there,” said Bjorn Oddsson, geophysicist for the National Icelandic Civil Protection.

“The volume of the lava is the largest we’ve seen in Iceland for 230 years,” he said.

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Oddsson was onsite at the volcano along with “GMA” chief meteorologist Ginger Zee and the drones’ pilot, Eric Cheng, director of Aerial Imaging at DJI, a drone-making company.

The trio, and the crew it took to make the live event happen, traveled 90 minutes from Reykjavick via a helicopter to reach the lava field, which, at 85 square miles, is around the size of Manhattan and has temperatures reaching 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“…When we flew right over it, it was hot,” Zee said.

The crew stood nearly one mile away from the volcano as Cheng and a second operator piloted the drones to its center.

The pictures captured by the drones showed the lava bubbling inside the crater and even erupting into a wall of fire.

“It’s changing every few months and we couldn’t have done this just a few months ago,” Cheng said of drone technology.

The Bardarbunga volcano became active in August 2014 and erupted in September. Authorities believe it may stop next month and stress it does not pose an immediate threat to humans because of its location.

“We have to also say that this lava field here is the middle of Iceland,” Oddsson said. “It’s far away.”