This is a two-fold post: First, it’s going to point out some really stellar FPV piloting on BASE jump videos. Second, it’s going to be a refresher about simulators, practice, and passion.
You’ve no doubt heard about BASE jumping before. But did you know BASE is an acronym for the various locations from which these people jump? It stands for buildings, antennae (like radio masts), spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs). In short, it’s everything one could jump from with the exception of an airplane.
It’s a high-adrenaline sport that is not without risks. But – wow – we can only imagine the rewards.
The Ace of BASE
We’re referring here to the pilot, whom we’ve featured before. His name is Nikolay Anishchenko, and we highly recommend following his Instagram account. He shoots with FPZFilmz, where his brief bio reads as follows:
Nikolay’s background in paragliding, speedflying, and skydiving has given him a solid foundation in aviation. Add to that an obsession with filmmaking from a young age and you get a pilot who takes orbit and chase shots to the next level. Nikolay’s passion for editing keeps him busy crafting exciting content from his laptop most nights of the week.
That background in aero-sports, combined with a talent and passion for FPV flight, has produced some remarkable videos. You’d think Nikolay has been piloting drones for years.
From zero to hero
So how do you go from not flying first person view drones to becoming someone who can shoot FPV on BASE jump videos? Well, obviously Nikolay’s own passion for skydiving, paragliding, etc. gives him a better understanding of the flight trajectory during a BASE jump. But what about his FPV skills? Where did those come from?
Truth is, he didn’t start piloting until early last year. And he spent 60 hours on a simulator before transitioning to real FPV flight. Here’s what he told us earlier:
The first time I flew an FPV drone was Feb 15, 2020. After a skiing injury kept me from skydiving and speedflying for a few months, I reached out to my good friend Carter Hansen to see if he could teach me the ways of FPV drones. I ordered the parts Carter needed to build my first drone and as I waited for them to come in, I put in 60+ hours on the DRL Simulator which helped solidify the controls and nuances for flying FPV. Once Carter built the drone, flying it for the first time felt natural. I had so much fun I ended up cutting the flight time by half because I was flying so fast and crashed into a snow bank when I ran out of battery for my first flight.
In other words: practice, practice, practice.
FPV and BASE jumping
Nikolay’s Instagram account is always filled with little gems. And he clearly has following BASE jumpers down pat – even when they’re flying from a moving vehicle:
A road trip
After seeing one of Nikolay’s recent IG posts go by, we thought we’d check out his YouTube channel. And there, waiting, was a longer vlog-style post about a recent five-day road trip with his BASE-jumping pals. There’s some great piloting in here (and some amazing jumps), so check it out:
And, a little FPV BASE jumping bonus
What triggered this post initially was a new Instagram post. This time, Nikolay wasn’t in Washington state: He was in Panama:
Wait, there’s more!
Seeing all of this BASE jumping reminded us of one of our favorite books. It’s called Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight. It’s by American journalist Matt Higgins, who spent (we’re going by memory here) about a year following some of the world’s top BASE jumpers, with a focus on the development and use of the wingsuit and proximity flying. That’s where people fly low and close to obstacles with the aid of a wingsuit, which essentially turns you into a human flying squirrel.
If you’re familiar with wingsuit flight, you’ve probably heard of Jeb Corliss. He was one of the first to really nail this sport, and a good chunk of the book follows his career. The book goes into great detail about Jeb’s accident at South Africa’s Table Mountain, where he sustained a horrific injury to his legs and briefly considered not deploying his chute and simply ending it all.
Jeb is still at it, btw, and in March returned to take a flight on the same mountain – seven years after that accident. This is a 360° video, so you can scroll around for different viewpoints:
And that book we told you about? It’s a fantastic read. If you’re into the world of books, check it out.
FTC: DroneDJ is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links