On February 12th, 2014, a massive sinkhole undermined the floor of the National Corvette Museum‘s Skydome exhibit space, and the collapse of the ground beneath it swallowed up eight cars. The area of Kentucky that is home to the Museum is known for extensive cave networks, and sinkholes are not uncommon, due to the underground karst geological formations that see soluble rock formations dissolved by ground water over eons, forming voids.
Bowling Green is also home to Western Kentucky University, and their engineering department‘s representatives were immediately called in to investigate the sinkhole. Using a quadrotor drone, they filmed a seriesofvideos. The quadrotor was piloted by mechanical engineers Will Johnson and Zach Lancaster, while the on-board camera was operated by Darren Tinker and Jesse Reesor. Professor Joel Lenoir and engineering technician Troy Robertson provided technical support and safety consulting. Troy Robertson shot the auxiliary footage on his iPhone.
In the video shown above, the WKU personnel take their deepest look at the massive void, discovering that in at least one direction, the hole had grown as far as it could. They also find out that the hole “breathes” differently at night, with turbulence buffeting the camera drone – a clear indication that the hole has at least some connection to another cave system.