After months of planning, networking, and practice, Kona’s local club team had finally made it to the Hawaii State Championship Drone Race.
“Our team was greeted with overwhelming Aloha from all the other flyers,” team leader Richard Molina said. “It was a great feeling to finally meet these people in person after months of social media messaging.”
Unfortunately, the event ended for the team prematurely when a drone went rogue. Losing its signal and plunging into the brush, malfunctioning hardware created a fire within minutes. Local police and firefighters immediately responded, subduing the flames, but the damage from both the fire and water forced the coordinators to reschedule while the course was redesigned.
The second day started at 8 in the morning; an attempt was made to make up for lost time from the previous day. However, with 50 pilots in the field, it was too much to ask for. The team lost their chance to qualify for both the Drone Nationals and Drone Worlds.
“Sadly, due to the delay of an entire day of racing, the team ran out of time and had to leave the event before finishing the rest of the rounds,” Molina said. “Hawaii Drone Racing is still going to the World Invitationals, we will just not be on the official Hawaii State Team. Until then we will continue our rankings within the MultiGP league and run time trials once a month to stay competitive with the rankings.”