How I learned to stop worrying and love the drone….a bomber pilot’s change of heart.

(Thanks Dr. Strangelove;)

We love flying at CalDrone! We love aviation at CalDrone! However, I have to admit that for the majority of my 20+ year aviation career I have been tepid towards drones. In fact, I was downright hostile to them up until a few years ago. Why?

They threatened to bring me out of the cockpits I love so much, and back down to earth. I’d seen it happen to some of my colleagues, and to some of the student pilots that I trained. After their last manned-flight, I watched them ride off in the sunset, with a grimace, and I felt their heart break. No more loops, rolls, smooth landings, or exhilaration of being above the fray.

This ego-driven love of being in the air, and the superiority I secretly felt flying over the poor mortals on the earth, made me a Luddite. I secretly rejoiced when a drone crashed, as long as nobody was injured, because it meant there was one less of those dreaded things available for me to fly. A great song by a couple of fighter pilots underlined my sentiments.

What changed?

Some of it was driven by own selfishness. My son was getting older and more independent. He didn’t want, or need, to spend as much time with me anymore. We had some shared interests, but none of these things motivated him to want to really want to hang out with me. I knew he really liked aviation, but I could not afford to fly with him very often…general aviation is really expensive and time-consuming. A drone is inexpensive, and less time-consuming, in comparison. As such, I determined that learning how to operate a drone together might be something that would allow me to spend more time with my son. Fortunately, I was correct. We have had some amazing times together flying drones and building out our company. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life sharing my love of aviation, and learning what the future horizons of this very exciting field are, with my son. As someone who recently graduated 32nd grade…I love learning.

Another reason my sentiments towards drones changed is my pull to serve (thanks Mom and Dad). I retired last year after twenty years in the military, but I continue to fly in manned air ambulance aircraft, and I teach a national security class to members of the Department of Defense. I have always tried to meld what I love doing with a service that helps others. Despite my initial dislike of drones I came to understand all of the amazing things they can do and all the problems they can help solve. For instance, it is unsafe, and a really hazardous nuisance, to operate manned aircraft to take aerial photography, gather aerial data for maps, test solar fields, monitor construction sites, do roof inspections etc. – but these hazards can be mitigated with drones. As such, formerly dangerous and arduous jobs can be accomplished more efficiently and safely than before.

What does this mean for our customers? We really want to “put your world in view.” We want you to be able to see some of the amazing things we get to see so that you can get a different, and more beautiful, perspective of the world we inhabit. It has become one of our goals to develop standard operating procedures to apply some of the amazing things our drones can do to serve other people and make their lives safer and easier.

Is the view really better from up there? You better believe it! Come let us put your world in view.