Chernobyl Driver

The Chernobyl Driver

My name is Jimmy and my nickname is The Chernobyl Driver. My story starts with my first ever visit to Chernobyl, back in 2011 when I visited with a friend. My friend Dominik had invited me to join him on a trip he had arranged and from that first visit I was hooked! I fell in love with the silence, the emptiness, the freedom and the whole story of Chernobyl, the story told from behind every door and in every building. Since that first visit I've returned many times and often arrange tours for friends and I'm always the Chernobyl Driver.

The Star On The Top

Shooting The Video - Drone Of Pripyat In The Snow

After practising flying drones for 12 months I decided to take my DJI Phantom 3 Professional to Chernobyl, hoping to capture the unique view of Pripyat covered in snow. I was not disappointed by the results.

There was a couple of close calls with the drone almost colliding with trees and bushes, after all, Chernobyl has almost been reclaimed by nature. But fortunately luck was on our side, the weather stayed calm and the drone remained in one piece.

I actually started filming the video from inside the Palace of Culture, from there I filmed the sports hall and flew out to the fairground. After circling the fairground I made a few loops of the main square and flew around the city limits. Most of the footage on the video was filmed in just 2 batteries and from inside the Palace of Culture.

Some people have commented that they've seen someone walking by the Ferris wheel and have speculated who it might be. The truth is it was one of my friends taking pictures, I was always out of shot :-), though you can spot my car at the front of the main square.

FAQ

  1. What is it like exploring Pripyat?
    It's amazing! The sense of complete freedom from wondering an abandoned city, alone with nobody around is something most people could never comprehend. Whilst I walk down overgrown streets I try to imagine what it must have been like to live there before the accident. I sometimes walk into shops and imagine I'm there to buy something, or wait at a bus stop as though a bus was about to arrive. I now know Pripyat almost as well as my home city.

  2. Aren't you concerned about radiation?
    This is something I often get asked. The truth is that the radiation is only at dangerous levels immediately around the reactor. In Pripyat the radiation is often at normal levels, with the occasional hot spot spike. Providing I'm careful, the overall dose of radiation I receive is much lower than the dose I'd receive on a single flight to the Caribbean from the UK (9 hour flight). On a previous trip to Chernobyl I was lucky enough to be granted permission to visit the power plant and reactor 3 control room. After spending 4 days in the zone and half a day around the power plant I received less radiation dose than a single flight.

  3. How difficult is access to Chernobyl?
    I'm lucky enough to have friends/contacts in the zone which help me arrange special visits. If you'd like me to help you arrange a tour - contact me.