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Drone Pilot: Meet Evan Turner

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JShumate

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Name: Evan “HeadsupFPV” Turner
Age: 16
Hometown: Maryville, Tennessee

Matt Rudd**k: How did you come up with your call sign?
Evan Turner: Well, my friend (the one who got me into mini quads) and I were out flying our mini quads around some trees. This was one of my first flights. I don’t think I had more than 10 flights on a quad.

We were standing under a shade tree and (being inexperienced at the time) I was unaware of my surroundings. I actually managed to hit my friend in the face with my mini quad. I was flying extremely slowly, but the propellers cut his face and he had to get eight stitches. Therefore, HeadsupFPV has always been a fitting name for me.

I do not think of this as a laughing matter, and since this experience, I have been very diligent about flying in a safe manner. In the end, though, the friend I hit in the face flies with me weekly and we have remained great friends.

MR: How did you get started in the RC hobby?
ET: I got started with RC airplanes when I was 7 years old and I’ve been flying ever since! I got into drone racing about 2 years ago, but my first drone race was in 2017 at Joe Nall [a weeklong RC event held in May at Triple Tree Aerodrome in Woodruff, South Carolina]. My grandfather owns a full-scale airplane and that is what sparked my interest in aviation.\

MR: Do you prefer racing or Freestyle flying, and why?
ET: I prefer racing simply because of the compet*tive aspect. I am very compet*tive and in Freestyle, it’s all subjective on who’s better. There’s no real compet*tion to that side of the hobby. In racing, there is always a definitive winner and there is a lot of strategy and skill involved. It really suits me for what I enjoy.

Although I might be a good racer, I envy the creativeness and skill of anyone who can fly Freestyle. I am not very creative and overall just an awful Freestyler. I have fun doing anything FPV related though, and I have made countless friends from all around the world that I will have forever. That is what RC is about to me.

MR: What’s your favorite piece of gear right now?
ET: My go-to setup right now is a HyperLite Floss 2.1 frame with 5-inch arms, HyperLite 2207-1722 motors, PiroDrone F4 OSD FC, and a prototype HobbyWing 6S ESC.

MR: What’s the most challenging part about flying FPV?
ET: The most challenging part of FPV to me is racing strategy. In FPV drone racing, strategy plays a huge role in winning races. There are many strategies used by different pilots; some like to go slow and wait for other pilots to crash, while others prefer to go as fast as possible and attempt to make other pilots crash while catching them.

MR: What’s one piece of advice that you give to new FPV pilots?
ET: If you get into racing, don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a bunch of guys flying their drones in the middle of a field. It’s not the end of the day if you end up losing a race because of bad video, midairs, etc. Just have fun.

You will have your good days and your bad days, but most importantly, no matter how well you are flying, you should be having fun. That’s what matters.


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