I knew nothing about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s). I’d just left college and was looking for full time work. I came to my interview at Heliguy relatively blind to the UAV industry, but keen to progress with a career in electronics. My interview went well and I got offered a full time position and I haven’t looked back. The part of the job that was impressed upon me was the random nature of the enquiries I would be dealing with. The enquiries have become a lot more random in their specialist fields, but the requirements from us are still the same; to carry a load appropriately whether it be a sensor or a camera, for as long as is safely possible, learn to fly it, and work out how to manage the vehicle safely. I have got to learn about the different uses and the follow up issues associated with UAV platforms. I advise customers on what I believe would be right solution, diagnose the loads and flight ability. I then assist in best practice and problem solving with the day to day management of the rigs, and ultimately work with my clients to help them make money as efficiently as they can from their new drone purchases. . My job has not been helped recently by the bad news associated with drones in the public spotlight. Whether this is the glory chasing paparazzi, or football fans misusing the drones for propaganda, prison drop offs, Estate Agents breaching privacy or the confused messages that the press like to scaremonger the masses. The Daily Mail loves a bad news story and the drone industry is theirs for the kicking, and a front page awaits. Like any new technology industry, idiots will abuse the opportunity especially if there is an ability to financially gain from the action. The lack of understanding and even the integrity within the retail industry itself has a likelihood that this front page may well occur sooner that we would like.
Serbia vs Albania where a fans used drones to deliver propaganda The fact that UAV’s (drones) are not toys, their ability to climb to 400ft easily, and if coming to the ground can cause damage, this needs to be addressed even before you purchase the item. The UAV can be used for a lot more good than bad, is the real story here. Lots of our customers are doing well and have no problems in the industry. I think its time we focus on making the most of this technology rather than hiding from it because of the bad press we hear. In the right hands we’ll be saving lives
, and removing risk, which is the untold story of the UK drone industry. At Heliguy we need the public to gain a greater understanding of the ability to compliment the working day, with the ability of the UAV to reduce personal risk, when managed correctly. We work hard to manage our side of the industry, and work hard with clients to make sure they succeed in safe usage of their aerial vehicles. If only every one else towed the party line we’d be in a good place. In America the FAA is dealing with this by just saying “NO” to UAV usage, please let’s not let the UK and Europe fall fowl to this too, and let us steal a lead in what we see as a massive future opportunity for UK industry.
An aerial shot of the Star Wars film set, where drones are being used.
Drones are good...
The industry has flourished in the previous year and has allowed the technology to become cost effective and available to the average consumer. Anyone can spend £500 on DJI Phantom
and become an Aerial Photographer. I am introducing UAV’s to everyone from film to farmers; I have farmers using their DJI phantoms to manage all aspects of their farms, from security and surveying, to being able to see if their drainage and irrigation systems are working correctly. I don’t have a farmer that hasn’t saved some money in the long term, whether through better efficiency, yield or even just a reduction in miles undertaken in the farm Landrover. The Sochi Olympics was a nice catalyst for us, to showcase how drones could be used to add a new dimension to the snowboarding, at the winter sports event, and we are being used to advise on every TV programme genre, we have Kirsty Allsop and Tony Robinson regularly under filming drones. Game of Thrones, and the new Star Wars VII are our jewels in the crown, with Bollywood now just starting to get their RED Epics airborne. We have sold platforms to the BBC for news coverage and to explorers and geologists heading off to Antarctic. You name it we will have a route to getting there. I will enjoy continuing to learn and help to move the business on in whatever direction the clients take us to. So if you are looking at an interesting career, or have a kid yourself, about to leave school, seriously, get them to look at the UAV opportunity, it may not be on any school curriculum yet, but is definitely going to be the opportunity to aim at for the future. Once commercial sectors start to apply UAV’s more readily there is one guarantee; that the press will change their tune and start to bemoan the UAV skills shortages and lack of UK insight into accepting the future of drones for good. All it will take is a life saved by a man and a drone, and we’ll have that win-win scenario... at that point remember this blog post, as I’ll very probably in some way been a direct influence into that good news, somehow.
Christian Caton at Heliguy HQ My name is Christian Caton, I am presently 18 years of age and I came to Heliguy 5 months and 10 days ago, straight from college.