Drone racing comes to Lynchburg

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) It may seem like just a hobby, but drone racing is bringing pilots of all ages to downtown Lynchburg.

Soren Monroe-Anderson is a native of New Hampshire and is the youngest pilot competing in this qualifying event for the Drone Nationals.

"It's all good," Monroe-Anderson says, "I mean I love building them and experimenting, but then just flying them is the thrill."

Soren's older competitors agree.

"It's just like a real-life video game. The things that you're doing are actually affecting the real world. So, if you crash this thing or you hit something with it, it's not like you get a do over. You break something, it's for real," says Nelson Aquino, Team Manager for the Gravity Goons.

Pilots must fly their drones around the track three times. They wear special goggles that allow them to see where their drone is flying.

Teams that complete the race in one minute will qualify to go to Drone Nationals in New York.

While Soren is hoping he'll make the cut, he thinks he'll have a better shot next year.

Forty countries total are holding their own drone nationals. The top five competitors from each nationals will get to compete in Drone World, which will be held in Hawaii in October.