MAAA Wingspan

24 WING SPAN NOVEMBER 20-year-old from Melbournite, Thomas Bitmatta has been crowned the 2019 Mission Foods Australian Drone National Championship, showcasing skill, precision and agility, while reaching speeds of up to 150 km/hr at the event which was held in Canberra from October 18-20. Thomas Bitmatta, the current World Multi GP champion, took out first place, second place was awarded to Michael Douglas from New Zealand and third place Racing to Granger Woolley from Victoria. The competition was hot with participants competing against 96 pilots for the forth annual Drone Nationals competition. As one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, First Person View racing (FPV) is growing in popularity across the country and around the globe. The Model Aeronautical Association of Australia (MAAA) is leading the way to a stronger focus on safety and privacy with drone use, ensuring the sport of FPV continues to grow and be supported around the globe. FPV racing is an exciting, adrenalin-pumping, thrilling sport, combining high-tech drones, on-board camera and high-speed racing. Pilots operate their drones by wearing goggles or using a screen, creating a virtual personal flight experience, as judges time the races using state of the art technology which measures each of the drone’s lap times. Thomas Bitmatta, who first became involved in FPV racing in 2014, said he was honoured to take out first place in the racing category and second in the freestyle category. He has also recently defended his title and won first place at the MultiGP International Open World Cup in the US. “It was really special to have won at the Drone Nationals this year competing against some great pilots,” he said. “Australia is in a unique position, even though we aren’t a big country, we still produce some excellent drone racing pilots. “Everyone flew incredibly well; it was a great competition and I’m so thrilled with how well I went.” Thomas is now off to the US Multi GP Championships, before flying to China for the official FAI World Drone Racing Championship. Some of the finalists from the 2019 mission foods australian drone nationals