Wyoming is known for its rodeos, but Casper recently held its first of a different kind.
Drone pilots from multiple states came out to show their skills.
Casper Sports Alliance Director John Giantonio said, “We’ve got racers from south Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, so we’re very happy with the number of people who have come out here. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Event organizers want people to see not everybody who has one is out to do mischief.
“There’s been a lot of negative publicity about drones,” Casper Air Modelers Club President Josh Nelson said, “and we want to show people if it’s done in a safe, responsible manner, it’s just a good time.”
Giantonio stated, “Drones are a lot of fun. And you know, you have some ne’erdo wells that have been doing some stuff that kind of gives it a bad name.”
In racing, each pilot uses goggles attached to a camera on the drone, making the flying experience more exciting.
Giantonio said, “I put on the FPV—the first person view goggles—and got to see what the pilots are seeing when they’re flying. It’s really a wild experience. You start moving around because the drone is moving around.”
Some pilots are getting their kids interested in a hobby everyone can enjoy.
Event organizers say a good turnout this year can only mean more events in the future.
“Drone racing has only been happening for a couple of years. Technology has gotten to the point now where it’s even possible—all that futuristic stuff when you were a kid is now possible,” Nelson explained.
Reporter Landon Harrar put on a pair of goggles and watched while the drones raced. He said the experience is similar to playing a video game, without the pause button.