Drones in Sochi are not being used to shoot terrorists, but rather, their stealth and maneuverability are being used to shoot the Winter Olympic Games.
The drone that caught the public’s attention has been filming around the ski and snowboarding courses and belongs to the Olympic Broadcasting Services.
According to The Associated Press, the unarmed remote-controlled drone looks like a “huge flying spider” rather than military drones’ sleek airplane look.
In an interview with AP, pilot and cameraman Remo Masima said drones are cheaper and easier, and produce better quality live footage than traditional filming.
“We can go really, really close. And we are really quiet, so nobody is distracted,” Masima said.
Justin Pringle, who works for Heliguy, the British company advising the Olympic Broadcasting Services, told AP, “A drone with a mounted camera can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $37,000 for a top-of-the-line Ikarus.” A helicopter and crew can cost that much per hour, he said.
Camera drones are also less dangerous and are able to get closer to the athletes than helicopters.
When asked about a possible crash into the crowd, Masima said that the chances of that happening are slim to none and that a compact drone would cause far less damage than a helicopter with a whole crew aboard.
Drones are starting to become mainstays at ski and snowboarding competitions, but their TV use hasn’t been limited to sports broadcasting. Major filmmakers have used drones to film in cities, and HBO is known to occasionally use drones when filming “Game of Thrones.”