Las Vegas Underground Parking Garage Drone Race

The Las Vegas Underground race just finished wrapping up and I want to say thank you to all of the organizers, sponsors and other pilots who made staying 12 hours in an underground parking garage in the desert not just tolerable but an exciting experience I’ll never forget. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get much video due to my own stupidity thinking I had forgot to pack the GoPro and I had a pitiful performance in the races due to all kinds of issues but I still had a great time.

For the 250 class I entered with a blackout quad that I hadn’t thoroughly tested or set up properly.

Race one I messed up my radio switches and couldn’t arm, lost concentration and went right into the ceiling as soon as I finally got off the line.

Race two right before going out to the line I saw the vTx antenna connection had broken so had to scramble to replace it. When I got to the line it was not on the right channel and trying to flip the dips under pressure I could not get it set right. I let them know I was gonna have to sit the race out since I had already taken so much time trying to figure it out and as soon as I sat down I realized I was looking at the dips upside down.

Race three I finally made it off the line and around turn one, but it didn’t feel right and the quad wasn’t responding properly to my stick inputs, or maybe I just wasn’t used to how it flew. I ended up sliding along the ground right into one of the concrete posts, killing the FPV camera and smashing up the front of the frame.

For the 180 class I was not able to get my Sigan180 fixed in time after killing a motor, so I asked Chris Thomas​ if I could enter with my TRK Honeybadger nano. He laughed a little and said ‘Sure! Why not!?’. I joked with him about it not having been ‘safety inspected’ and failsafe checked but it was pretty much a non-issue with the nano-size quad.

Race one I jammed the sticks too hard in turn one, bounced and flipped it over.

Race two I actually got around the first turn and through the starting line gate but again jammed the sticks too hard in the back section and flipped before finishing a single lap.

Since I had a few extra batteries, I took the badger out during the five minute practice before the next race and finally made a full lap before crashing and cracking my FPV camera lens.

Race three came up and I was gonna run it even though I had a cracked lens. As I got to the line everyone crowded around and wished me luck with the honeybadger. I got off the start really dirty, spinning around in my own prop wash and having to correct. The first few laps were pretty messy, almost missing the last turn on lap one and on lap two spinning out and flying the wrong way for a few seconds, but I was just trying to cruise and stay in the air and not flip over. At the end of second lap my spotter tells me I’m coming up on traffic and as soon as I saw the red lights I got on the throttle. Lap three I almost missed a gate and had a quick touch down that killed my momentum for a second. Final lap was pretty clean but about ten feet before the finish I hit the banner that was hanging down and didn’t finish the race.

Here’s the only bits of video I was able to scrape together from the Honeybadger in the 150 class race:

Congrats to all the winners and really look forward to seeing everyone again at the next event.

Lastly, sorry for being such a sweaty mess, dealing with all the issues on top of the heat and stuffiness made me pretty disgusting! lol