Aerial drone video of “High Falls” on the Baptism River. The Baptism River “High Falls” in Minnesota’s Highest waterfall at 60 feet. During spring run-off it flows heavily and is a great time to visit and hear the thunderous roar of the falls. Mid-summer you can swim the pool at the base of these falls. Tettegouche State Park is one of the best campgrounds on the North Shore of Lake Superior. http://dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/tettegouche/
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.
The expected release of new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regulations later this month and the recent commercial drone incident with TGI Friday’s in New York (TGI Friday’s Dumb Mistletoe Drone Cut Somebody’s Face Open) have me thinking about the future of commercial drone use. Perfect Duluth Day has been somewhat on the forefront of the use of drones since I purchased a quadcopter capable of shooting photography and video back in 2013.
Current FAA Drone Guidelines
I utilize my 4 drones (DJI s800evo, Tarot FY680 Pro, DJI Phantom 2 Vision & Vision 2+) to shoot content for digital media, which has drawn attention beyond PDD via the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, MPR and also Duluth news outlets. I was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration in early 2014 after shooting the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and told I was in violation of FAA regulations because my footage was considered commercial.
I won’t get into the specifics of what the current regulations entail, but needless to say they are bit vague and need clarification. The National Transportation Safety Board felt the same way, dismissing multiple instances in which the FAA fined UAV operators $10,000 for commercial operation. There has been kind of a wild west approach to commercial use of UAVs since then, with little risk of citations or fines until the new regulations are released.
Drone fly over of the Thomson Dam and Munger Trail foot bridge on the St. Louis River near the entrance of Jay Cooke State Park. This is also home to the UMD Outdoor Program Outpost on the St. Louis River/Thomson Reservoir.
Aerial Footage by www.liftoffaerials.com
Quick video at the High Falls on the Pigeon River last week. This waterfall is the highest in Minnesota at 120 feet. It was a very windy day but my new rotopixel two-axis gimbal performed well to keep the camera pretty steady. You can visit the falls at the Grand Portage State Park just a few blocks from the Canadian border on Highway 61. Aerial Footage by www.liftoffaerials.com
The PDD Drone’s latest mission took it to the skies of Grand Marais last week, hovering across the icy shore of Lake Superior. Before the trip, however, the drone and its “pilot,” Cory Fechner, spent some time with the Northland’s NewsCenter’s Kevin Jacobsen for the report below.
Apologies for the commercial before the clip, which we can’t control.
The PDD Drone was back in the skies yesterday capturing the start of the 30th annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. The weather was great and the winds held off just long enough to get in some air time above the race starting line at Duluth East High School.
This is the first PDD Drone video, shot at Split Rock Lighthouse on Christmas Day. It was only the fourth flight in the drone’s young career, and we are still in the practice mode of getting smooth flyovers and panning when shooting video. We are improving with each flight and I personally think it is a huge accomplishment that the PDD Drone is not sitting at the bottom of Lake Superior … yet. So enjoy this unique perspective of Split Rock Lighthouse and let us know what you think.