Experienced storm chaser Brian Emfinger had a close shave with a raging tornado a couple of days ago, but his drone wasn’t so lucky.
Eager to capture some dramatic footage of the extreme weather event, Emfinger sent his DJI Mavic 2 Pro right toward the action while being sure to keep a (fairly) safe distance himself.
The incredible footage (top) shows the tornado’s awesome power as it barreled across land near Yazoo City, Mississippi on Sunday, May 2, battering a forest and sending debris skyward.
While he managed to capture nearly eight minutes of astonishing material, the power of the storm eventually proved too much for the little flying machine, causing it to … well … we daren’t imagine what finally became of it.
Emfinger said that the sound you can hear in the video is mostly from his controller, though you can also hear his vehicle’s navigation system offering him probably the most important set of driving instructions he’s ever received, with the situation getting rather frantic in the final moments.
“Crazy close tornado video from drone,” Emfinger tweeted following his adventure. “I had to make a quick getaway and drone didn’t make it as it got caught in the inflow and I lost connection as tornado was cutting me off from the drone.”
He later said that he hadn’t intended to send the Mavic 2 Pro on its final flight, adding that the tornado had “nearly got me,” too.
Although the storage card and its HD content was lost in the mother of all drone flyaways, Emfinger could still use the surprisingly decent footage that transmitted to his drone app during the flight.
Oh, and if Emfinger’s impressive video has inspired you to grab your drone and head for the nearest tornado, do keep in mind that he’s been chasing storms for years and is still here to tell his tales. In other words, approach such extreme weather systems with great care. Or just stay well away.
For more daring drone videography featuring Earth’s natural wonders, check out this gorgeous footage of a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Unlike Emfinger, the pilot there managed to get his machine back to base, though not without some damage.