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Reflecting on Community. The Legends of Local FPV.
When we think of FPV legends, we think of the ones in the spotlight. The youtube celebs, the entrepreneurs, the Charpus, Trappies or Chris Thomas’ of the world. But there’s one type of legend we often forget.
I want to take a minute and talk about those guys (and gals). The ones that deserve more credit.
When I first got started FPV racing back in 2016, I spent more time on the bench than on the sticks (back when SIMs were less accessible), and I was mostly on my own. Sure, I would join forums like rcgroups.com, tune in to podcasts like Quadtalk and watch the latest videos from Rotor Riot, but I was a 1 man flying crew and the learning curve was steep.
After a couple months of learning the basics; figuring out how to get more into a sport I was already hooked on and beginning to develop our first prototype gates, I reached out to a local group here in Tucson, AZ and asked if they’d be interested in a meet up to test our new prototype FPV gates. The reaction I expected was hesitation with a little skepticism. “who is this random guy coming out of the woodworks with ‘new gates’ to fly".
The reality couldn't have been more different.
When they agreed to meet up and the evening came, I was blown away. Not only was everyone incredibly friendly, but the readiness to help one another was next level. There are few sports with that level of community support. On top of that, the turn out was unbelievable and the diversity of skill and experience spanned the whole spectrum.
Once the more seasoned pilots came up with a course layout, the group came together to help set up the race gates, starting grids and hoops to get the track in place. The support and interest I received about the LED race gates and The Drone Circuit business was motivating to say the least, but the support I saw amongst the group was really inspiring. Call me a softy, but you could say I was moved.
From that day on, my experience at every meet up has literally never changed. Regardless of turn out, the support each person offers the next always comes with patience and a real honest desire to see them improve, and to ultimately grow the community. Those people keep this sport alive. Period.
Day in, day out, they have been here to give a helping hand - to anyone who needs it.
Now, that was over 2 years ago and times have changed, but the ‘die-hards’ have remained. It’s those dedicated or addicted enough to keep flying, to keep organizing events and to keep supporting the newcomers that continue to keep drone racing alive at the local level. It’s those who I want to highlight, and give a massive amount of respect to.
Without them, FPV racing would dwindle and the opportunities that lay ahead may not be the same. They are legends of FPV - even if they won’t admit it. And I know this is not just in Tucson… it’s in Houston, Cape Coral, São Paulo, Manchester, Paris, Berlin, and Beijing. Every local group has its own ‘die-hard’ pilots; its own FPV legends.