By Jason Om
At an abandoned warehouse in Melbourne’s west, about 30 drone racers have gathered for a high-speed showdown.
They have spent hours custom building their multi-rotor machines and fitting them with onboard cameras.
Known as FPV racing – or first person view – the racers use special goggles, some held together with gaffa tape, giving them a drone’s-eye view as they manoeuvre around the course.
Clocking speeds of more than 60 kilometres an hour, Darren French loves the adrenaline rush.
High-speed crashes and collisions are inevitable and add to the pre-race nerves for the competitors.
But Chad Nowak says it is all part of the action.
Chad Nowak is one competitor to watch if FPV racing becomes a fully fledged sport in Australia.
I fly full size aircraft and I like being up there but there’s no way you would catch me in my glider flying between two trees because if I get it wrong I’m going to end up in a coffin.
But with something like this, I can go out there and do it, and if I get it wrong, the worst thing that happens is that I have to rebuild the frame.
It gives you this freedom. That boyhood dream of just doing crazy things. You can do it now in a fun and safe way.