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John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon 2015 Video

The PDD drone, piloted by Cory Fechner (liftoffaerials.com) was at the start of the 2015 John Beargrease Sled Dog marathon yesterday to shoot aerial footage. There were other drones at the starting line so we ventured out into the woods to capture the mushers a quarter-mile into the race.

Music: “Guit. Ditty” by Hattie Peterson from Twenty3 Years Into 4teen Songs.

12 Comments

Herzog

about 4 years ago

I used to run dogs for a living in the mountains, and I can tell you it is some dreadfully boring shit when you do it every day. Except when you're sliding face-down icy gravel tearing ligaments, or the team takes off after a moose. It's like how they describe war, endless hours of monotony punctuated by sheer moments of gut-wrenching terror. Very similar to watching the music scene in Duluth. The oxygen and nature are better though. Can you believe we got an inch of snow?  How is this possible?

bluenewt

about 4 years ago

I feel your pain, Herzog. If one more person tells me it's a nice day when it's 37 degrees and what little snow we have is turning to slush, I may go postal.

Niff Bimrod

about 4 years ago

Now, I'm not a privacy freak, or a conspiracy nut, but just want to go on record to say that I see no good coming from the increasing popularity of drones. While I usually hunt and fish for sustainability purposes only, I think a drone would look really cool on my wall.

Herzog

about 4 years ago

Thanks BN, knowing my pain is shared somehow helps. I just think its somewhat screwy New York is now officially more wintry than Duluth. WTF?  Well, I never deluded myself into thinking the climate here was ideal, but the lack of snow numerous years on end I could not foresee.   Mind you, I realize complaining about the weather being not foul enough for my taste or where lack of snow is concerned is as pointless/stupid as complaining about it being cold in winter.  Last winter was a dream come true though, and short lived. So a few weeks back I decided to stop crying in my beer, and went up to my local ski hole where much to my surprise, I could actually skate ski. Apparently I'm the only one who knows this in the entire city, so I've had the whole place to myself, logged a good 150k in that time, and all was not lost.  The moral for me was,  quit shedding tears, and get out and make it happen however you do.

Cory, did you get any shots of the dogs stopping to eat snow five minutes after the start?  Its a little known fact sled dogs only run this fast out of the gate and the rest of the race is a slow trott.

Privacy is the first thing to go in 2015 Biff,  a sacrifice we've appeared all too willing to make for the luxury of a tweet or flying camera.

Herzog

about 4 years ago

The other moral, somewhat again thread-irrelated, is to take advice with a big grain of salt. Doctors, dentists, ski shops all have different opinions, and yet the truth is out there.  This fall when I purchased a new pair of skis from Continental, and asked them why they didn't prep with the customary softer wax, they responded 'because it never gets above freezing in Duluth in the winter.'  This showcase of lack of firm grasp of reality on their part shows how important it is to always field multiple opinions then make your best guess.

Because the fact of the matter Continental, is that yes, it does get warm in Duluth in the winter to necessitate wax above blue or purple.  I'm sorry too that it's not 1986 anymore.

Nick Lansing

about 4 years ago

How do drone pilots negotiate airspace?  

I saw two drones at the Beargrease start.  Most of the activity was in a confined space surrounded by trees.  How do multiple people cover an event without interfering with each other's drones?  Are there courtesies or is it like the paparazzi at a Don Ness book signing?

Cory Fechner

about 4 years ago

Nick,

I also saw the multiple multirotors flying at the starting line, which is why I did not fly there.  When I was asked by Beargrease about shooting aerial footage at the race start I told Beargrease officials that I only fly if no other UAVs are in the area.  I also observed the tight fly conditions and big crowds at the race start and due to safety concerns I would not have flown there regardless. I choose to hike 1/4 mile up race route to get away from the crowds and cameras and find a more open area to shoot aerial footage.   I did talk to one of operators (surprise he was a rookie) after the fact about his negligent flying and he agreed with my assessment. I made him more aware of the major safety hazards and the fact that not everyone is comfortable with a 6 lb drone buzzing (loudly) over their heads. Other people are there trying to enjoy this event, what gives us as operators the right to disrupt that.  He says he learned a lesson and will put more thought into safety and will be more conscientious of others when choosing when and when not to fly his drone.  As for multiple UAVs flying in the same area at this event or in other areas, the operators,  mostly all with little experience, are in control to avoid each other with out any set courtesies or rules... yet...   So yep its basically same as paparazzi at Ness appearance,  maybe next book signing I should fly one of my drones and really stir things up.

Chloe

about 4 years ago

I'm with Niff Bimrod. I'm not paranoid nor am I particularly worried about privacy. However, the last thing I want on a trail or in a state park or near a beautiful waterfall is a silly drone doing whatever they do. I appreciate that Cory is respectful of safety and disruption but am willing to guarantee many other drone operators are not. Especially in a lovely quiet place, I don't want a "thing" disrupting my experience, whatever that may be. So I vote for less drones, especially in the wilderness or off the beaten path.

But at a Ness book signing? You go, Cory.

I also agree last winter (and the winter before) was a dream come true for snow, cold and xc skiing. It's nice to hear others say the same, and feel a part of this weird "club."

Cory Fechner

about 4 years ago

@Chloe -  I agree. Education and regulation is needed for both recreational and commercial use of drones.  Until then I feel the drone community needs to help educate the new operators and hope accidents are kept to a minimum. I think public discussion is also a good way for those new operators to learn and understand, so this conversation is good. We need more of these conversions on bigger platforms, not that PDD isn't big, I mean PDD is huge, but even bigger. haha..

From my post about Drones. (More here)
"People often ask what I think about the ban on drones at National Parks and other landmarks. I agree 100 percent with those bans. Many people go to those places to experience nature and they should be able to have that experience without disruptions. You are allowed to have your experience as you choose, only if you do not affect the experience of those around you. If you are a drone pilot you need to understand and respect that flying a drone does affect others around you — they can be loud, dangerous and bothersome in certain situations. I am very conscientious of my surroundings when flying, not just to respect others experiences but also for safety reasons. "

Herzog

about 4 years ago

And Im not saying that drones will ever go away at this point, so it's somewhat moot, cat out of the bag. But I also think its likely you'll be in the top 1% of conscientiousness Cory where drones are concerned and the rest of the tourists at Gooseberry will be flying them in and around your loved ones and chasing dogs over the waterfall until they enact legislation in 2035.  That's probably closer to the sad reality of where this thing is headed.  Aside from being able to spy on people which if you don't think that's what teenage boys will use them for let alone legions of other folks Chloe, then you don't know people.  I've got pictures on the internet of my house with my name attached that I didn't post.

Talk of the need for regulations and education is well and good and reminds of mining companies talking about how their new process is green and good for the planet now. The last time I was at Gooseberry,  the main promontory was being commanded by a family of ten and their drone.

Herzog

about 4 years ago

Maybe that was so last summer though, and things have changed as Cory suggests, as we're headed into one grand prismatic era of ethical drone usage that will elevate our souls to the plateau of the mother earth spirits.  The trollup at Gooseberry did appear to have that 'I don't know any better and aren't you impressed with my new toy, bet you haven't seen one of these before!' look.  And perhaps young teenagers of today are sufficiently doped on video games and antidepressants to worry about any illicit filming of their hot neighbor. 

All I know is, machines can't save rock and roll.

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