Korean FAI Drone Racing World Cup pilot GaYeon Mo may have only started flying drones in 2016 - but she’s aiming for the top of the podium.
Born in 1999, this dedicated young girl is one of the few female pilots to have attained the level necessary to take on the top flight of competitors in this new and exciting airsport.
“I started flying drones in July 2016,” she says. “I was a bit hesitant at first, because I have always wanted to try airsports, but I was not sure if I could do well as a girl.
“However, the speed of the sport attracted me, and I wanted to challenge myself to do something new.”
Mo, who was introduced to drone racing by her martial arts instructor, says her years of Taekwondo and Wushu training showed her she could succeed in a male-dominated sport.
“The director at the Wushu training centre where I practice martial arts helped me to start drone racing,” she says.
“Learning and practicing Taekwondo and Wushu with boys since childhood has taught me that I can hold my own against male competitors.
“So when I learned that there were two areas, racing and drone, I chose racing where female pilots were rare.”
She believes female drone racers may have a natural advantage over their male counterparts.
“Drone racing requires you to undertake delicate manoeuvres while travelling at high speed, which can be easier for female pilots than for male competitors,” Mo says.
“So I hope to see many more women getting involved in the sport in the future.”
As for herself, she has not looked back since taking part in the 2016 ChunCheon Drone Race World Cup in Korea: her first competitive drone racing event.
“Since then, I have taken part in many other races held in Changwon, Ansan, Osan and other cities in Korea,” Mo adds.
“I have not yet climbed onto the podium to collect a prize, but I am working hard on my training because I believe that practice makes perfect.
“My goal is to participate in as many races as possible to get more experience and perform better, so that I can achieve my dream of becoming the first ever female pilot to take first place in an event.”