“Liz got the hang of things immediately so I envision a long and illustrious Part 107 career for her!”

– Instructor Keven Gambold

Liz is starting the Drone Pilot Boot Camp in a few weeks, but she had a chance to fly a drone for the first time a couple weeks ago. She just happens to live close to Instructor Keven Gambold and got to participate in the first flight test for his new drone (Matrice M210 V2). They needed to check out the functionality of the controls, the menus and the camera system. They stayed more than six feet apart the whole time – of course. No HeatSpring instructors or students were harmed in the creation of this video!

Flight training during the course is done using the Zephyr simulation tool that comes with the course. Students come from all over the world so that’s the best way to standardize the assignments and instruction. But whenever possible we get together in real life (in times where we’re not sheltering in place). Keven extends the same offer to all students: you can schedule a time to come visit and we’ll go fly together.

Liz will be using drones as a tool in her consulting business. She’ll be performing asset inspections and supporting agriculture and forestry management programs.

Here are some questions I asked Liz about this first lesson:

Me: How did it go?

Liz: First, Keven is an EXCELLENT instructor! He explained everything, we went over the Pre-flights checks, he flew other drones and this one while I watched (and took pics/videos.) By the time I took the controls, I felt prepared and confident that if I just listened to him, I couldn’t go wrong.

What was most surprising about the experience?

That the Matrice could maneuver in the gusting wind. Also, how responsive the drone is.

What was the hardest part?

Maneuvering with the camera pointed directly towards you compared to directly away from you.

Did anything feel easier than you expected?

Landing was easier than expected because of the way Keven guided me through it.

What did it make you want to learn in the course?

First, that experience really made me appreciate all the planning and coordination required for a commercial drone mission. I look forward to learning how to bring all the elements together in a plan: safety, flying location and pattern, weather, overall time for the mission start to finish, flying time for the mission/battery/power management, personnel management contingency plans, etc.

Second, it made me really want to master the controls through the Zephyr simulator.

The next Drone Pilot Boot Camp begins in about a month. We’re proud to be training the next generation of drone pilots for the renewable energy and building industry.