Jeremy Dewalt gave himself a unique vantage point during and after the Family Day weekend snow storm; from the sky.
The radio controlled (RC) device enthusiast decided to take a break from endless shoveling to see what his neighbourhood looked like as Kitimat was pounded by snow, and the result was uploaded to YouTube and viewed nearly 25,000 times.
He has also posted a follow-up video showing his street — Dunn — glowing with sunlight under mounds of snow.
Dewalt has lived in Kitimat since 2011, after moving here from Prince George. So he’s not unfamiliar with winters, even though he said the recent snow storm was only comparable, from his own history, to a snow storm in 1996 in, of all places, Victoria.
Dewalt, an enthusiastic outdoorsman, has had a passion for the RC hobby growing over years, since he was a kid.
“It’s my passion, my hobby,” he said.
Many of his neighbours are used to seeing his quad-chopper — well, that is his Blade 350 QX2AP — hovering around the neighbourhood. He has a few videos on his YouTube account of flying through his neighbourhood, as well as a video of a pass through the air at the Kitimat Air Park.
“It’s amazing what you can capture with that thing,” he said.
The technology is impressive, even for a minute forgetting it’s a portable flying device. He said he can wirelessly link the camera on his RC to his smartphone and enjoy a live view of above.
That means he can also control it when it’s out of few. It has come in handy as he has piloted through Moore Creek, beyond the waterfall near Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter.
It’s not only aerial vehicles he has though, but a range of air and land based vehicles, from boats to trucks to cars.
The device he used to grab the snow storm video on Dunn Street uses a GPS lock to find its way. He notes that in the video you can see the quad-chopper drift in the wind but move back automatically to the GPS designated spot.
Wind was a factor in not going much higher as well. Wind drifts that high up can be disruptive.
Any other local RC enthusiasts may soon see more of Dewalt’s name.
He’s hopeful to form an RC club sometime in the future, perhaps linked to other clubs in the region to take advantage of established tracks.
“It’d be nice to have a track to race around,” he said. He takes his boat to the lakes sometimes too, but he said he has to be careful when there are people around as his RC boat roars at typical, full-size boat speeds.
He at least has hopes to build a track for RC vehicles on his own property and he has a garage full of parts.
His ultimate dream is to open a specialty RC shop, and looks forward to the chance to do that in Kitimat, a town he’s grown to love in his over three years here, where he works as a carpenter.
If anything though, the hobby of RC is great for people with families, he said, as a way to get kids outside away from non-stop video games.
Dewalt has two children, a five-year-old and a six-month-old, and he said his oldest is already getting in to the hobby too.
Taking hikes with their RCs and playing around with them provides great family opportunities, he said.