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Drone Saves Last Voyage of US Naval Ship for Posterity

Posted by Glen Disque on

USS Ranger CV61 emblem

This a memorial for a US Naval Ship that served our country well. The final few miles of a famed United States Aircraft Carrier were memorialized by aerial videography and photography shot using a DJI Inspire multirotor. The USS Ranger (CV-61) was not only one of four Forrestal-class Supercarriers commissioned in the 1950s it was also seen on the big screen. The Ranger was most notably the carrier used in filming “Top Gun”; but was also the carrier seen in “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”. This old girl was decommissioned in 1993 and was stored until 2015 in Washington state. This summer she took her last trip out to see during transport to the Shipyards in Brownsville, Texas to be torn apart as scrap. Truly an end of an era.

There are a number of great video drones out there with the capabilities to capture breathtaking video. The embedded video was taken with a DJI Inspire. In addition to DJI, there are a handful of "out of the box" type of drones that will do this type of videography including 3DRobitics, Walkera and Parrot to name a few. The drone pilot and videographer is Captain Tommy Saenz from South Padre Island, Texas. Tommy is a gifted quad pilot and has a list of great videos in addition to being a great fishing guide. If you ever find yourself in South Texas, look him up at his website HERE to book a fishing/sightseeing tour. Most of his other videos are incredible too and we will begin to show in later posts. This one, however, is a bit more poignant as it is an historic event.

As you can see from the video, the USS Ranger passed through the Jetties on South Padre Island en route to the Port of Brownsville on an incredibly beautiful day. Clear skies made for some great opportunities to film and Tommy made good use of it. Imagine what you would need to do in order to capture this type of footage only a few short years ago. You would need a videographer with the right camera equipment, a pilot and a helicopter at least. Using drone technology, we can now simply put all the necessary equipment in the back of a car and be ready in a moment’s notice to capture incredible video virtually anywhere. On a few of Tommy’s facebook posts he mentioned being monitored by “they guys in black SUV’s” to not fly too close, or land on the ship. Glad he was able to take these shots. Enjoy this great clip, fly safe and send me your videos! 

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