🔹Preparation🔹 This is the first "multirotor" drone flight in Iceland. February 2013


Winds reported at 35-55 knots are to be sustained over the next three days. It’s the middle of February in Iceland’s North West Fjord’s. The Mountain Hardwear team is less than 5 kilometers from the Arctic Circle boundary; an imaginary line that nature doesn’t bother to recognize. Exposed to -25 Celsius with the added wind chill means keeping the aircraft’s 12 Lithium Polymer batteries next to my warm body a dangerous necessity. Trekking 8 kilometer’s into a remote cirque across ice proves challenging with the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) strapped to my back and 45 kilo’s (100lbs) of camera gear, RC radio, batteries, water and food hanging from my front. The approach that was seemingly supposed to last a mere 45 minutes has turned into a 3-hour nightmare and conditions are escalating.

"Northwest Fjords" 5 kilometers from the Arctic Circle.

Dawn Glanc is the expedition lead with Tim Emmett at her side. I’m joining photographer Keith Ladzinski and native guide Runar Karlsson on an epic 14 day journey to locate and climb world-class ice formations. This is the first time in history a multi-rotor “drone” has ever been flown in the skies above Iceland and the word spread quickly.

Upon landing in Keflavik from Seattle, I drove to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall located on the Southern coastline and assembled the UAS from its transport case. Flying the waterfall felt amazing knowing that I was the first to do so. During the flight a few locals showed up and watched. They were as curious about it as the birds seamed to be. After the flight I drove straight to Isafjordur located 650 kilometers to the north and by the next morning at breakfast, people were asking if I was the guy who had been flying at the waterfall the day prior. In this country, the statement “word travels fast” is full on!

The team stands on a boulder filled road. It's common to see rocks the size of vehicles flying across the road in the Northwest Fjords.

Watch the Air Reel




Special Thanks 〰 Keith Ladzinski Dawn Glanc Tim Emmett Runar Karlsson



Share This Story
  • karen


  • ChadCopeland

    @karen -This was my first assignment with the UAS. It was so much fun and a very steep learning experience! I'm just loving this app so much!

  • karen

    Incredible. The scale of the ice formations is crazy! I'm so excited to see your work on Steller and can't wait for follow more of your adventures!

  • starshapedstars

    This is amazing! I love it 👏👋💜💙💛

  • whitneypannell

    Perfect music selection to enhance your awesome video!

  • PhotoJBartlett

    Very interesting. Drones are controversial in Canada right now, getting kicked out of many public places. But they sure allow for great photography.

  • whereswalle

    Epic Chad - mega commitment, love it!!


get the app