Last night was our final Friday Night Fireworks show of the season. Park guests watching the show may have noticed an additional flashing light in the sky. That was our HoliDrone!
Stephen, our Digital Media Developer (and drone pilot), lined everything up. He got a waiver from the FAA to allow the HoliDrone to fly after sunset, held a study session with Hannah the Intern and I, tested us on our new knowledge, and held a safety meeting with the fireworks team.
With all the hard work behind us, it was time to get ready for the show.
To make sure Hannah and I had enough time for our eyes to fully adjust to the darkness, we had to be in place half an hour before the fireworks started. Any exposure to bright lights like a back-lit phone was off-limits in that 30 minutes.
While waiting for the fireworks, we monitored the sky. Our chatter noting any air traffic we saw overhead. We needed to make sure there was nothing that would interfere with drone operations.
About 10 minutes before the show started, Stephen’s voice comes over my two-way. He lets me know a skunk just passed by him and was heading my direction! I inched closer to the corn field and away from the brush behind me.
My eyes scan the grass looking for any dark spots or a white stripe before returning to the sky.
I hear the first firework shoot into the sky to my left.
They’re surprisingly bright, so I shield my eyes. I have to keep the HoliDrone in sight and make sure nothing else enters the same air space.
It’s hard to be this close to fireworks and not be able to watch them, but we’re recording the show and will be able to watch everything shortly after we’re back in the Communications Office.
The big finale gets underway and the fireworks finish. The HoliDrone lands safely back on the ground.
Here’s the HoliDrone footage from the Friday Night Fireworks Show:
We got some great footage of the fireworks. And that skunk that Stephen saw never found me!