"I was losing my mind": Drone pilot captures stunning Canadian avalanche footage (VIDEO)

May 11 2023, 2:44 pm

Stunning drone footage of an avalanche in BC is going viral, and we caught up with the man and drone pilot behind the awe-inspiring video.

It started as just a day of long-range mountain surfing on Vancouver Island. And if you’re asking what long-range mountain surfing is, it isn’t what it sounds like, and keep reading.

Just before the drone pilot was about to pack up and leave, he saw a massive avalanche coming down the mountain, and that’s when the adrenaline started pumping.

Daily Hive connected with MactacFPV, the YouTube channel behind the stunning 4K video.

Due to privacy concerns, we’re referring to the pilot by his YouTube channel name, Mactac.

The footage was captured around Port Alberni, BC, near the Nahmint area.

“Just when we were getting ready to leave, I looked up and saw a huge avalanche coming down the mountain right in front of us! I scrambled to get a battery on my long-range FPV drone, fumbled with my GoPro, and booked it out towards the mountain as fast as I possibly could.”

Thankfully for Mactac, it was fast enough.

“I was losing my mind!” the Mactac drone pilot recounted.

The whole thing ended up being because of an accident. A fellow drone pilot had crashed their drone, and it took nearly an hour to get it back. But this extended stay was why the group was there when the avalanche was triggered.

After some technical struggle, he got the drone recording. The pilot had actually previously built the drone that captured the footage.

“I got it up in the air, and I booked it out to the bottom of the mountain faster than I’ve ever flown that drone before.”

All the while, the pilot was scared about his well-being. The way this sort of drone photography and flying works is the pilot has goggles attached that show him everything the drone is seeing. That means that while flying the drone, he can’t see his own surroundings. So he was worried there was a chance the avalanche would find him.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

One of the main reasons he was worried was the sound of the avalanche. According to Mactac, “It was huge.”

He said it “sounded like a nuclear bomb going off” and like it was right on top of the group.

One of the top comments on his video says, “This is National Geographic level work man.”

His video might be one of the most educational clips of an avalanche anyone has seen.

Avalanche BC has reached out to Mactac, as have climbers who have asked for more footage of that mountain.

The video was also quite timely, as numerous avalanche alerts and tragic incidents resulted from avalanches in BC within the past couple of months.

What the heck is long-range mountain surfing?

Long story short, long-range mountain surfing is akin to a virtual reality thrill ride, except without the “virtual” part.

Basically, drone pilots will fly their drones up near the tops of mountains and “come barrelling down at 140 kilometres an hour.”

Remember, while they’re doing this, they’re wearing goggles that make it feel like they’re the ones that are barreling down these massive mountains.

Talk about a rush.

The man behind Mactac is hoping to create a documentary about it. If you’re interested in helping him with his dream, connect with him here.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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