The Art of the Building Dive

What is it about diving down tall buildings and towers that appeals to FPV pilots so much?

Splash

Do You Even Building Dive Bro

What is it about diving down tall buildings and towers that appeals to FPV pilots so much? You see it everywhere, it's a skill that many pilots aspire to and it does make some impressive video footage. I think freestyle FPV flying is a lot like skateboarding. It allows personal expression and flow using the features you have around you. Skateboarders have skate parks and FPVers (is that even a word?) have tall structures to play with.

Let's be real, zipping around a tree line or small building is still fun, but it only gives a second or two at most of that free fall feeling before you have to power up and fly away. When you see a structure that is hundreds of feet tall, you know you have to dive that thing. Getting more than a few seconds of vertical free fall right next to a structure is exciting and pumps you with adrenaline. It's just such a cool and unique feeling. That sense of speed and scale cannot be achieved by flying in open sky. It's why proximity flying is so popular.

So how do you dive? If you are a freestyle pilot you likely already have what it takes. Just fly right up to the top of a building (assuming it's safe and legal...), pull the power back, push or loop over and pick a line straight down right next to the building. You can roll on the way down and work on getting closer and closer to the building. Please don't be a menace and fly over people or hit the building causing damage. Practice somewhere out in the open if you are uncomfortable and then find a structure with no one around to work on your technique. If you need some inspiration, check out the video below.

What is it about building dives that excites you? How did you learn how to do it? Have any tips you can share with those new to diving? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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May 07, 2021, 02:49 AM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
What the hell, Jason? Are you serious?
May 07, 2021, 03:46 AM
Registered User
dragonblade's Avatar
"Skateboarders have skate parks and FPVers (is that even a word?) have tall structures to play with."

Skateboarders have skate parks? That's not all we have. We've got the whole street to play around with!
May 07, 2021, 05:14 AM
Beach Bum
SteveFlysloco's Avatar
Populated buildings and city streets? Itís ignorant to do such a thing. Goes against our own RC flight codes, lacks sensibility and common sense.
May 07, 2021, 06:38 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Piece, of course I’m serious. It’s a real thing that people do.

Steve, note I said safe and legal. Meaning there is a way to do this when no one is around or using abandoned buildings and towers. I’m not condoning flying near or over an actively used structure in the middle of a city.
May 07, 2021, 08:26 AM
Registered Fanatic
IMO, DJI is going to be credited for causing an exponential explosion of freestyle flexibility by introducing a GIMBAL onto FPV drones. I've always been impressed by what current freestyle pilots are accomplishing with fixed-position cameras. Adding a gimbal is going to make freestyle flying even more insane.

Disclaimer one: I'm sure someone will say DJI isn't the 1st company to dabble in adding a gimbal to FPV drones. So who was the 1st?

Disclaimer two: Yeah sure the current DJI FPV drone is certainly not optimal for extreme freestyle. It's way too heavy & fragile, and the camera isn't as good as it can be. But,, it is introducing FPV gimbal flying to the masses, & probably setting an interesting bar for the industry to try & improve upon.
May 07, 2021, 08:40 AM
I think I just want to fly
Rhea's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
Piece, of course Iím serious. Itís a real thing that people do.

Steve, note I said safe and legal. Meaning there is a way to do this when no one is around or using abandoned buildings and towers. Iím not condoning flying near or over an actively used structure in the middle of a city.
It sure appears to be condoning this irresponsible behavior.

This article should be removed from the site.
May 07, 2021, 08:53 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
It sure appears to be condoning this irresponsible behavior.

This article should be removed from the site.

Not true at all. There are certainly ways and places to do this safely and legally.
May 07, 2021, 09:00 AM
I think I just want to fly
Rhea's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
Not true at all. There are certainly ways and places to do this safely and legally.
But the video in your first post is neither a safe nor legal place to do it. If you want to promote it safely then show a video of a safe and legal place.
Last edited by Rhea; May 07, 2021 at 09:04 AM. Reason: grammar
May 07, 2021, 09:01 AM
www.gunnphotoservices.com
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
It sure appears to be condoning this irresponsible behavior.

This article should be removed from the site.
I disagree. it should NOT be removed from this site.

I think the allure of the building dive is that it literally tricks your eye and gives you a feeling that you're flying on a different plane (horizontal, not vertical). Back when the Horizon Hobby Indoor Event was still going on, I would fly my FPV foamie inverted and follow the ceiling. Same principal and what a cool feeling. Great article, Jason.
Latest blog entry: www.gunnphotoservices.com
May 07, 2021, 11:17 AM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
Quote:
Steve, note I said safe and legal. Meaning there is a way to do this when no one is around or using abandoned buildings and towers. Iím not condoning flying near or over an actively used structure in the middle of a city.
Even if the structure is in the middle of the desert with no other person around, it's literally someone else's private property that you risk damaging for a cheap thrill and YouTube views. "Don't crash" is fantastic advice, bud.

If you hold a document of ownership for a structure "hundreds of feet tall" that's not close to any people or populated streets, go for it. Otherwise, by all means, show me a single structure "hundreds of feet tall" that fits the criteria of A) no people, B) no traffic, and C) unrestricted public access for drone flying. The one in the video obviously doesn't fit those requirements.

Would you also recommend pulling up to a random cornfield and flying a giant-scale model over the crops? Or even just plowed dirt? Forget the landowner and his silly property rights - it's a big ole field just sitting there, soooo have fun, don't crash!
May 07, 2021, 11:33 AM
Registered User
aymodeler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
Not true at all. There are certainly ways and places to do this safely and legally.
Please name at least one location in the US where someone can do this "safely and legally".
May 07, 2021, 11:34 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Appreciate the comments Piece. As I've said, there are ways and places to do it safely and legally.
May 07, 2021, 11:40 AM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
Appreciate the comments Piece. As I've said, there are ways and places to do it safely and legally.
The video shows neither. Are you planning to offer examples or just keep hand-waving it?


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