InDronesWeTrust – A Conversation With James Holobetz
APV Drone is proud to write about a talented freestyle FPV drone pilot named James Holobetz. James is a 37 year old man who is passionate about freestyle FPV. He also happens to suffer from hearing loss.
James aka “InDronesWeTrust” got into piloting freestyle FPV drones in 2015 after going through a bad period of depression. It was so bad that he at one point contemplated suicide. Fortunately one of his friends reached out to help and got him his very first drone: an Eachine Wizard x220! The friend also got him a pair of box goggles and a Taranis QX7 controller. From then on James was hooked on learning to fly. He took every moment he had to practice. It goes without saying but he was, and still is to this day, extremely grateful to his friend for giving him the FPV system.
Although he can’t hear the “yeet” of the motors and props spinning up, James doesn’t let this get in the way of doing what he loves. He uses his eyes and the feel of the sticks to help him identify any signs of trouble while in the air. James feels that he is not at any disadvantage at all, and based on our time spent with him, we agree.
The OSD in his goggles is the most critical piece of the puzzle for James. If you’d like to learn more about what he has visible on his OSD make sure to contact him on Instagram!
James can not only solder and repair drones, he can build them as well. His dream is to one day have a career in the drone industry. He would like to eventually find a business partner who is as passionate about the FPV community as he is to start a drone store alongside.
James and his gear getting ready to rip some packs!
Photograph by MFontanez
James’ favorite part of the freestyle FPV drone pilot community is the people who have taught him so much.
He has learned a lot and passes on what he has learned to others, including @apvdrone38. James is always willing to help others. That being said, @apvdrone38 got a chance to visit and meet this great pilot and spent a whole day with him. Here’s some comments from James about how that day went:
James: “When I first met Nick, aka @apvdrones38, he was coming over to visit me and help me out with a drone of mine that was in need of repair. I was out flying my large orange drone, Syma X8C, and had my goggles on and obviously I can’t hear him pulling up my driveway at my house. I just happened to see Nick pull up into my driveway and I got so excited. My heart was beating fast knowing I was going to meet him for the first time. I knew we we’re gonna have a blast! I’m always excited to meet new friends. Nick was watching me fly for a little bit before I landed to officially greet him. I gave him a firm handshake and chest bump haha! I welcomed him into my garage where my drones, gear and tools are all stored.
After meeting I then taught him a few signs and he caught on quick! Once he learned some sign language, it was much easier to talk. 👍🏼 I appreciated his drive for wanting to learn that!”
“And a few hours later, FINALLY, Nick figured it all out on my radio and got my second drone ready to go fly.“
We then went ahead and got started diagnosing the “problem drone” in Betaflight.
James: “We plugged it in. ESC sounds are there, motors are moving when plugged in, and I started to get excited! We went ahead and setup Betaflight modes and on my radio and a few hours later FINALLY Nick figured it all out on my radio and got my drone ready to go fly. There was a setup issue in Betaflight that I was not seeing. I was so excited but unfortunately it started to rain. I was soooo desperate to go for a flight that I almost said “f%^k it, I’ll go anyways!” 🤣 But I had to keep it down and wait until the next day.”
Nick: “What can you share with those pilots who may have a disability like hearing impairment?”
James: “USE YOUR EYES! And use as much color LEDs on your drone as you can. You have to learn and understand RSSI, low voltage, disarmed, armed, and so many other things and you have to have them on your OSD. If you don’t learn these things before you fly, you won’t know how long to fly and how much battery you can use before it kills your drone midair, which has happened to me many times in the past. Since I can’t hear, and I don’t have a GPS device on my drone, I just use my mind, my eyes, my feeling. I’ve lost many drones in the past because of this.
If anyone has any questions I’m so glad to answer as much as I can for you. I’d especially love to hear from other deaf or disabled pilots out there. DM me @InDronesWeTrust on Instagram and I’ll be here for you guys! 👍🏼
Thank you to APV Drone for taking the time to come visit and spend the day with me. You got me back in the air and it means the world to me. I can’t wait to see you again and hope to meet the whole team. You guys rock!”
Check out James on Instagram @indroneswetrust
If you liked this freestyle FPV drone pilot profile please check out our previous post where we profiled Gino Carpio of Project Zen.
To see all of our stories check out our blog here.
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