Flying a drone into a waterfall would be a disaster for most pilots. Yet, for a professional drone pilot and YouTuber Instagrammer who goes by the handle Blastr, it’s a common occurrence and one that yields fantastic results.
In the video above, spotted by DPReview, it looks as if he has managed to pilot a drone into a raging waterfall and, after floating underwater, it emerges again. While the video is amazing, it’s not exactly what it seems.
The video seems to show the drone as it enters a raging waterfall, tumbles with the current, and then floats leisurely under the water’s surface before emerging again. Thanks to the excellent editing, it appears as if this is one long take.
Blastr uses a modified Deep6 drone for the aerial and submerging scenes which is an FPV frame kit that’s waterproof. Of course, waterproof doesn’t mean it can survive a waterfall, so Blaster significantly customized the drones used in his videos.
Thanks to a terrific bit of editing, it looks like the Deep6 is also capturing the underwater footage, but that’s actually from a second drone, which means the video isn’t the single long take that it at first appears to be. Around four minutes into the video, Blastr takes out a second drone, the Dex HydroH to capture the underwater scenes, which is a waterproof and durable drone with a carbon fiber shell.
At around the one-minute mark, the Deep6 emerges from the rapids and flies back over the same waterfall seen at the start, giving the illusion of one smooth flight.
Of note, the Dex Hyrdo X is capable of flying and submerging, as is seen around the four-minute mark, however, the drone is kept upright in the current by a tube and it is unable to emerge from the water once submerged. In other words, once it’s in the water, it is essentially a floating camera.
The video itself does not purport to be footage from a single drone, and even building a drone that can enter a churning waterfall and emerge unscathed is still a massive feat.
Even more impressive is the seamless editing created by Blastr that makes the viewer feel like they’re watching one extended continuous cut. Until a drone is made that can fly in the air and also maneuver underwater, this is the closest viewers are going to get to the experience of plunging into the water and then retaking flight.
This video’s media coverage and some comments indicate some viewers think the video is one long shot with a single drone and while there is no inherent problem in making a video combining footage from two different drones, it just seems to have led to some confusion.
Author’s Note: PetaPixel reached out to the creator of the video to see if he would share his name and any other outlets for his work but did not receive a reply as of publication time. The story will be updated with any additional information should that change.