WKU students play big role in helping with sinkhole

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) --The images from inside the massive sinkhole in Bowling Green are as fascinating as they are sad for car enthusiasts.

You can see one messed up, expensive Corvette after the other.

"It was incredible," WKU student Darren Tinker said.

Those incredible pictures would not have been possible without a man-made drone with a go-pro camera strapped safely to the bottom.

A group of Western Kentucky University engineering students made the drone, or quadrotor to be exact, right before getting that important call from geologists and civil engineers asking for help at the site of the sinkhole.

"They called the entire Western department out," WKU Professor Joel Lenoir explained.

"We were running to go set up and get everything ready to go," said Tinker.

Not only do they fly it, they watch live as images are recorded.

The guys had no idea at the time what a huge role their drone would play in the Bowling Green mess.

"Walls could fall, dirt could still slide, you don't know if it's stable. It's a risk of human life," explained Tinker

The drone allowed data to be gathered quickly. How big is the sinkhole? How stable is the bedrock? All questions were answered in seconds thanks to the machine.

It's showing the group of students the best lesson of all, your studies in school matter.

"It makes you feel good about what you do, because you know you're not just doing some math problem you'll never see again. This will effect people and this is going to make a difference," Tinker said.

The drone took over three months to make.

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