The Macomb Daily’s coverage of the recent search for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains included livestreamed video shot by an aerial drone.
No human remains were found at the Michigan home, so the former Teamsters president’s 1975 disappearance remains a mystery. But while authorities were digging for remains, the search made for some interesting news.
Executive Editor Richard Kelley said the video was provided by Harry Arnold, a freelance videographer the Macomb Daily has used before for livestreaming. Arnold uses a remote-controlled quadrocopter drone to provide aerial videos to Detroit-area clients.
Kelley passes along this explanation from Arnold:
I am using a radio-controlled drone to lift a camera for aerial photos and video.
It’s mostly been applied to working with construction companies to document their work. In a lot of instances, they had been using real aircraft, but a radio-controlled drone will let you get much closer and get more intimate shots. Also, there is no way a full-size aircraft can maneuver in close quarters like a drone. Lately I have been getting requests for many other types of shoots, even ENG (electronic news-gathering) and streaming.
My main focus is having safe, incident-free flights.
I’ve been a longtime (20-plus years) videographer and radio-controlled enthusiast. In the last couple of years, technology has come within reach of individuals to build camera-carrying, radio-controlled airships. These are also known as a “drone” or “UAV”. My interests naturally led me in that direction.
I got a broken drone from a friend and rebuilt it using off the shelf components. I’m always rebuilding and trying to improve it and the images it gets.
Basically my drones consist of:
Main frame: carbon fiber
Electric motors: 350-watt (x4)
Flight Controller: Manages stabilization and GPS navigation
Downlink: Sends video to ground
Here’s Arnold’s video of the search: