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Chairborne Flyer

Cale262

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Just thought I would check in...


May 18th 2015 I broke my back in a bicycle race. It was a three day stage race and I was leading the general classification by enough of a lead that all I had to do was follow my coaches instructions, sit in and finish the last stage to an easy win...of course I couldn't just do that... I was feeling surprisingly fresh and I had an edge after spending the whole winter training in Arizona, I had to drive the rest of the field into the ground and set the stage for the season... Second corner as I was leading the field out I lost traction in a corner and went head first into a tree on the side of the road at just under 50kmh. My T5 exploded sending fragments into the spinal cord severing it. I was in the hospital for almost 5 months recovering.

I posted this dark selfie to Instagram 5 minutes before the race started, fitingly enough I posted it in B&W...




Five Months is a long time in a hospital, I was really starting to loose my mind with all the down time when one of the Nurses suggested I should find a hobby to keep me sane during the long nights.



The nights are very long and lonely so I got back in to a hobby I hadn't really visited in many years, RC cars and trucks. Building them was easy enough but I really wasn't in any condition to actually chase them around like I used to...

A couple I built while I was in hospital...




A family member of mine sent me a link to a news article about FPV racing with a message saying something to the effect of "Maybe this can get you out of the chair, if not in body...maybe in spirit. This really caught my attention and I was watching YouTube videos for hours at a time although I started off completely wrong by buying all the FPV kit I could find before learning to fly...

My first trip to the LHS,



I starting building 250 kits and the learning curve was steep. After building a couple I started flying them around the house...big mistake as I was breaking them faster than I could build them, I was in the hobby store buying new parts on a daily basis as I was crashing into walls, furniture and everything else until my wife had enough.

My first quad build...




I then throttled back a bit and bought a small fleet of micro drones and started to learn how to actually fly them LOS which was harder than I thought but at least those little guys didn't do any real damage compared to the 250's...the wife was happy again.

These little guys do less drywall damage...



Winter and the snow came to Alberta and it was time to head south where I got heavily into the flying cameras (Phantoms) and making videos which I spent the Winter in Arizona doing.

First camera...



Second camera...



Newest camera...




My first video...password is "phantom"


I haven't really been doing any FPV flying in the last few months, I wasn't really even thinking about FPV flying again until I recently bought a pair of Fatshark HD2's for my Phantom 4...Now I'm getting the FPV bug again and can't wait to get back to the house in Alberta where I left all my 250's and other FPV kit. Really hoping to find some racing groups in and around the Edmonton area when I get back in the next couple of weeks, I haven't done any racing yet but I hope that will change soon.

That pretty much brings me up to this point...

2B continued.
 
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Waylander

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Hi cale262

Great story and a good first time video post, ( so sorry to hear about your path to ariel FPV).

I'll be watching for your continued story :) you didn't say where you were in the recovery process, hope its good news, I crushed C3 and C4 in a motorcycle racing accident in 1997, however after a 4 month recovery process I came out of it quite well.

Those little quads ( I have 2 Hubsan X4's ) are great to fly around the house, very tricky to try and fly FPV though.

Good Luck, keep posting...
Waylander
 

Cale262

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... you didn't say where you were in the recovery process, hope its good news, I crushed C3 and C4 in a motorcycle racing accident in 1997, however after a 4 month recovery process I came out of it quite well...

Good Luck, keep posting...
Waylander

I had a good friend who was training in Colorado two weeks after my crash, he was clipped by a car and like yourself, broke two vertebrae in his neck...Also alike yourself, he was lucky that there was no paralisys involved. He was in the hospital for a few weeks, had one surgery and almost a year later is still dealing with pain issues but is up walking and training once more. In my crash the doctor told me I was very lucky (I don't think so) but he said one more inch to my right and I would have been a quadrapalygic or no longer among the living! Sometimes the difference between death and a scratch is just that close.

At this point in my recovery I still take some very hardcore drugs to help me deal with 24/7 pain. I have to wait until my one year anniversary to come before I go back to the hospital and start the second part of my rehab. They make you wait one year as to ensure that the surgery area is completely healed up (swelling etc.) before taking you further. I'm almost there and unless there is a medical breakthrough or miracle I will be living out my remaining days in the chair. I am lucky though as I have a great wife who has stubbornly stayed by my side and a family that has gone way above and beyond to help me adjust.

My goal is to keep getting better physically and also practicing my flying and hopefully find a new life path as the next world champion "drone racer" :) a long shot but at least it's something I can I can strive for that doesn't require the ability to walk to be competitive...flying FPV really does get me out of the chair in spirit 5-25minutes at a time. I also really enjoy making the videos...Here's another one I made that is kind of a compilation of several videos...a long one at about 15 minutes, enjoy!

Password is also "phantom".


To be continued...
 

Waylander

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Hi Cale262
Many thanks for the update, I do hope that your next op makes life a little less painful.

Good video, the terrain around where you live offers some great opportunities for some awesome shots, albeit a bit austere the desert can be beautiful if you have an eye for it, and man those pillars of rocks at the side of the road... would not like to drive past them in a storm.

Good luck with your future FPV racing, I think that I tried for too long to learn to fly and control my racer by line of sight, ( flying it like a high speed Phantom 3 ), it does not work like that Lol, now it's FPV all of the time, and some flight simulator time when the weather is bad, ( weather UK = Crap..! )

Ciao
Waylander
 

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