The Weekly Advertiser

Nathaniel Kuchel flying his drone from Ararat to the world

ON THE WING: Ararat and Australian drone-racing star Nathaniel Kuchel and his racing drone. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

ON THE WING: Ararat and Australian drone-racing star Nathaniel Kuchel and his racing drone. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

By DEAN LAWSON
An Ararat teenager forging a reputation as one of Australia’s leading exponents in remote-control FPV drone racing is now ranked fourth in the country.
Marian College year-12 student Nathaniel Kuchel, 18, has found himself rubbing shoulders with the world’s best after finishing in an elite group at a FPVR.org Aussie Open event in Sydney.
As the fourth fastest pilot in Australia, he is now preparing for his next major challenges – a Royal Adelaide Show Drone Racing World Cup in August and Australian national titles in November.
Kuchel, who was part of a national team that competed in an international Drone Champions League event in Switzerland last year, competed against about 70 competitors in the three-day open event at Mowbray Park.
After completing a Friday practice session and time trials, he found himself in a shortlisted group of 32, with pilots then going through group-elimination rounds.
He finally competed in an elite-four group, alongside world and Australian number-one pilots.
FPV or first-person-view racing involves cameras on the drones sending real-time video imagery back to special goggles worn by the pilots on the ground.
Ararat drone racer  Nathaniel Kuchel with his drone.

Ararat drone racer Nathaniel Kuchel with his drone.

The first-person imagery provides pilots with a view similar to what they might experience if they were actually on the drone. Racing includes manoeuvring a drone at speed through a course of gates and flags from a designated distance.
Some of the machines, similar in size to remote-control hobby aircraft and with four motors, are capable of speeds up to 160 kilometres an hour.
Kuchel has been involved in drone racing for about three and a half years, builds his own racing machines, has international sponsors and plans to pursue his sport as a future career.
He said he first came across the sport when he saw a YouTube clip.
“I thought oh my gosh, what’s this? After some research I thought ‘I really need to give this a go’ and it has gone from there,” he said. “I was really happy in how I went in Sydney.
“I was seventh on championship and time-trial tracks on the Saturday, and that was despite needing to go to hospital after being bitten by a bullant.
“It all came down to Sunday, which was basically head-to-head racing between groups of four pilots over four rounds and the finals.”
Kuchel said he collected three firsts and a second in his round to secure a place in a winners’ final and ultimately finished fourth overall.
“It’s the highest position I have achieved in major competition,” he said.
“I was pretty ecstatic about it. The pilot in third place overall is the current world champion and one of the others is a former world champion.”
Kuchel established an inaugural Ararat Drone Racing Cup last year as part of Ararat’s Golden Gateway Festival, an open event that attracted about 30 competitors and is likely to grow. The event is on again later this year.
He encouraged more people to consider taking up the sport across the region.
“After year 12 I plan to start an online store selling drone parts, but then hope to later expand into drone photography for events, real estate, farming and so on,” he said.

Ararat drone racer  Nathaniel Kuchel with his drone.

Ararat drone racer Nathaniel Kuchel with his drone.

The entire March 20, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=75407

Posted on Mar 20 2019

Posted by on Mar 20 2019. Filed under Education, FEATURED, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Advertising:


Consortium Private Wealth


3WM


MIXX FM


Bowel Cancer Australia

Photo Gallery

The Weekly Advertiser - ACE Radio Broadcasters Pty Ltd