We’ve all been there, white-knuckling the controls of our drone as we inch ever so closely to that tree, that water, or gasp, that house. Flying a drone can bring its own set of challenges for beginner to veteran. But imagine not only being in a war zone, but standing behind the controls of a drone flying over one. A drone in a war zone is a relatively new concept.
But Joey Lawrence is already in the game. Lawrence is a Canadian-born photographer and director and he’s decided to see how difficult flying a drone in stressful situations can get. So he chose the war zone as his canvas.
Lawrence recently spoke at Hardwired NYC this year. There he talked in depth (a 21-minute chat below) about catching the goings-on in the skies over war zones in places like Iraq and Syria. And if you think he’s lugging over big bins of gear to put the biggest drones in the sky, think again. Small and compact is the way he flies – which is probably smart. In…out…get the shot and move on. Like he wasn’t even there.
Lawrence says he used “the most basic, cheap consumer drones that are available to everybody now.”
“In the past, you’d have to ride in a helicopter, which is an extremely dangerous or expensive thing, in a war zone,” he says.
He talks about the difficulty of flying a drone in a war zone. There’s the obvious challenges: trying not to be spotted, to flying through the scalding flames of oil fires to dodging enemy fire from rival militias. He escaped the shoot out with the militia and put his drone into ‘return to home’ mode and the device made it out of the carnage intact.
Lawrence even says at one point, when flying his drone over an area where airstrikes were occurring every couple of hours, his drone got jammed by an electromagnetic pulse.
If you’d like to learn more about Joey Lawrence follow him here:
If you know of any fascinating drone pilots we should know about and could possibly feature on this site, drop us a line.