Drone Racing is Taking Flyers to New Heights with the Fargo-Moorhead Quad Squad
That's how flyers feel when they are 20 feet in the air, whizzing 80 miles an hour
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Whether you enjoy thrill seeking adventure or looking down from tree top heights, drone racing could be your new favorite sport.
This one of a kind experience is taking flyers to a new level.
“They’re excited; it’s fun, it’s exhilarating, adrenaline rush,” said Tony Bjerke, the President of the Fargo Moorhead Quad Squad.
That’s how flyers feel when they are 20 feet in the air, whizzing 80 miles an hour.
“Once you’re up there you see the tops of the trees or everything just coming up fast and ya know like I don’t know some type of predator bird, what you see is a beautiful picture I mean it’s just awesome,” said Darrin Devine, a Fargo Moorhead Quad Squad Flyer.
“It’s like a videogame but you can actually experience it it’s about as close to flying as you can get without actually leaving the ground,” said Chris Lundberg, a Fargo Moorhead Quad Squad Flyer.
Drone racing has taken off throughout the country and when people show up to the Fargo Moorhead Quad Squad races, most are amazed by what they see.
“They come out and their like, ‘wow, I never knew something like this existed,” Bjerke said.
For some, flying is about the experience…
“If you ever wondered what it is like to be a bird flying around, or wanted to fly in an airplane but just don’t have the funds to do it,” Bjerke said.
…strap on the goggles and learn to fly a drone.
And for others, the sport has been life changing.
Eightteen years ago, Darrin got into a dirt bike accident…leaving him paralyzed.
“Flipped over the handlebars and broke my neck but racing has always been in my blood I used to race like ATVs and motorcycles,” Darrin said.
“He’s flying around and he’s not in his wheel chair anymore. He’s in the air flying, racing feeling that adrenaline rush, loving life,” Bjerke said.
Each race is two minutes long, but a lot can happen in 120 seconds when you are so close to the action.
“You are in the cockpit; you are that bird flying around,” Bjerke said.
“You’re not actually going to get hit but when you’re flying through a gate, you see it and you see it coming towards your head you still instinctively want to duck,” Lundberg said.
Every flyer has their own style some are bobbing and weaving but regardless, every flyer’s feet are planted on the ground while their drones are going through the gates racing.
And if you happen to race too hard, fixing your machine is far from impossible.
“If you know how to turn a screw driver, you can fix a quad,” Bjerke said.
For Darrin and flyers everywhere, those goggles give them the magic to see the world from a whole new perspective.
Quad Squad competes all over the region, the state and the country with other drone racing groups.