Racing drones steal the show

Air Force and Army drone racing teams created a buzz for kids at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

CAPTION: Army Sapper Alex Brown and Air Force Flight Lieutenant Jake Dell-O’Sullivan with 11-year-old Marlin Mott at Queensland Children’s Hospital. Story by Captain Sarah Vesey. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.

As part of ‘dream big’ week, the teams spent an afternoon with the hospital’s dedicated TV channel, Juiced TV.

They filmed an episode about drones, skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the fun and excitement of flying drones.

The episode was hosted by 11-year-old Marlin Mott, who put the drone racers to the test.

The teams navigated their tiny-whoop drones through a tricky obstacle course around the Kids Zone play centre, much to the delight of the children watching on.

Three-year-old Charlee Sydes was enthralled with the tiny drones, viewing them through the first-person vision goggles with Private Daniel McCullock.

The drone racing teams then visited other children’s wards and spent time with 8-year-old Jack Bemrose who interviewed the pilots about their passion for drones, how to get involved and who was the better pilot.

Flight Lieutenant Jake Dell-O’Sullivan said the experience was rewarding and humbling.

“It was an incredible opportunity to spend an afternoon with the kids who were so interested and fascinated with drones and drone flying,” Flight Lieutenant Dell-O’Sullivan said.

“As it is such an adaptive sport, even if they are unable to get outside, the kids can still build, code and practise their flying skills on the simulators.”

The episode will be aired on the hospital’s TV channel and go into the running for the annual Queensland Children’s Hospital awards for the best episodes later this year.

The drone racing teams are regularly involved in youth and community engagement, bringing the thrill and excitement of the fast emerging sport to audiences.

It is also made more exciting and accessible by the low cost of equipment and first person – or ‘pilot’s view’ – of the race action.

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CAPTION: Flying Officer Nicholas Eberl and Australian Army Private Daniel McCullock show a drone to 3 year old Charlee Sydes during a visit to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Southbank. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.





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