Pilots from New York and Canada visiting the fairgrounds this weekend for a drone racing competition.
It’s the first of its kind, hosted by a local drone chapter. For some people, it’s a hobby they’ve stuck with for a long time.

“Started back when I was eight, going to the flying field with my father,” said Matt Quinlivan, who is flying his radio controlled helicopter in between the races. 

It’s an event not only for the drone community to come together, but also to introduce new people to the activity. 

“Most of the guys that are racing also literally build from a box of parts these drones, so they’re learning skills like soldering and electronic work. There’s some programming involved, things like that,” said Steve Bellamy, Coordinator of the Empire Drone Expo and Racing Competition.

The trade can be overwhelming, but those who fly say there’s a strong support system within the drone community.

“It might be intimidating but its not impossible, and I haven’t met a drone racer yet that isn’t willing to jump right in and help somebody when they’ve got questions,” Bellamy said. 

The races are taking place in the Expo Center at the NYS Fairgrounds on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.