Pilots of the Caribbean: Man vs. Tech

From jet-pack flying to walking on water, Richard Browning, aka the "real-life Iron Man", and pro kite surfer, Jeremie Tronet, are no strangers to pushing the limits of what's possible.

Now, the two have taken their exploits to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to shoot a breathtaking showdown on the high seas: Pilots of the Caribbean: Man vs. Tech. Check out the video, then read on to find out more about this epic adventure!

An Unlikely Duo

As one of the biggest productions Insta360 has ever undertaken, months of careful planning and preparation preceded the shoot, plus a whole lot of Zoom calls!

Combining the talents of two such distinct athletes was the biggest challenge of the shoot. For Tronet and Browning, it was a case of understanding how their opposite number moves in flight and what the potential dangers are.

"The last thing I wanted was to tangle him in my kite line and be responsible for sending him in the water," Tronet explains. Browning, meanwhile, had to learn where Tronet’s lines would be and fly as close as possible, but maintain enough distance so as not to burn him with his jet pack (though other uses were found for this)!

Richard Browning using his jetpack flames to cook some meat, held out to him by a guy cooking a barbecue

Both Tronet and Browning also have their own limitations in flight that made shooting together extra difficult. For Tronet, wind and weather conditions have to be just right, while Browning’s flights are time-sensitive based on fuel. As Tronet recalls: "We often had only one attempt to get the trick done while he was flying, so I had to make sure not to be the one to miss the trick and ruin the shot."

Jeremie Tronet walking on water while carrying his kite surf board, with Insta360 X3 attached to his harness.

On top of that, the shoot schedule was also very demanding. Browning notes: "It was often hot, sandy, tough terrain and moving from small boats to remote beaches. So I can honestly say four days in it was a significant physical and mental workout shooting over a dozen flights a day.

Think Bold

The two athletes helped push each other's limits, with ideas for never-before-tried sequences. Famous for his insane island-hopping jumps, one such stunt saw Tronet jump right over Browning while he was hovering mid-flight!

Jeremie Tronet kitesurfing over Richard Browning, who is hovering near the water with his jetpack.

And "thinking bold" means trying things that don't always work out. One idea was for Browning to "tow" Tronet along the water using the jet pack. Possibly doable, possibly dangerous! As Browning started pulling, the drag brought him closer and closer to the water before he could get enough speed to pull Tronet. The attempt had to be abandoned but both are confident they could find a way to make it work in the future!

Flying with Insta360 X3

Both Tronet and Browning regularly use Insta360 X3, a 360 action cam, to film their flights, creating unique content for their social channels.

"X3 is for me the future of action sports filming... the fact that you can film yourself and have the selfie stick disappear is something I would never have imagined could be possible. The stabilization is also amazing, especially for action sports; the video is super smooth even if the camera is shaking like crazy," says Tronet.

"The big touchscreen is great! It’s much easier to see what it’s seeing and most importantly, that it’s rolling!" Browning adds.

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WRITTEN BY @Insta360
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