Description: Shortly after Hurricane Matthew hit the East Coast last month, drone pilot Quavas Hart took to the skies. He flew his DJI Phantom 3 Professional around his town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, to assess the damage from the storm.
Hart shared the images of the flooded neighborhood on social media. It didn’t take long before a man halfway across the country reached out to Hart, asking for help.
“Shortly after that, some guy all the way in Texas contacts me back and says, ‘Hey, my brother is trapped in that house. Can you help him?’ Right when that happened, I thought the guy was trolling me or something because he happened to be in Texas and I was in North Carolina.”
After confirming that the man’s brother was indeed in trouble, Hart returned to the site of his previous flight and flew his drone again. After locating the man trapped in his house, Hart then led local rescuers to the scene — with his drone.
“I still had my drone in the air and I could see a boat off in the distance, so I flew the (drone) over there. There were two guys in the boat. I distracted them to look at us and we were like, ‘Hey, there’s a guy in the house right here.’”
The man, Chris Williams, and his dog, Lana, were both rescued thanks in large part to Hart and his drone. Hart, who served 10 years in the Army, has since done numerous interviews about the rescue.
With his drone rescue mission in the spotlight, Hart hopes he can use this experience to highlight the positives of drones.
“I want to have North Carolina be the leading state in a drone-friendly state as far as being a state that uses drones for rescues or commercial purposes or deliveries or anything like that. Just so we can be the first in the drone industry, just like we were the first in aircraft, first at flight. That’s pretty much my push, just let people see that, hey, we can use these drones for good things also.”
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