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Drones: they’re big in the photography and video business these days. It seems like just about everyone is getting into the business. Myself included. I have thought about adding aerial drone footage to my business for some time now but never really looked into them until the end of last year.

Just before Christmas my wife asked me what gift I wanted, I said a drone. We did a little checking, a very little it turned out, and she got a lower priced drone from Amazon. I had heard horror stories of drones flying off, of the operators crashing them before they had learned how to fly, so getting an expensive drone didn’t seem very smart. I was right on that point by the way.

Before I go any further let’s go back a few years. Back in the day, and I am talking before Google, in the days of film I did some aerial photography. I would rent a plane and pilot at Visalia airport and they would take me up and I would photography whatever the client wanted. it was fun but became expensive for the client because of the plane rental and time involved. Now, with drones it can be easier, less costly and less time is involved. But…

There is always a but. The process of flying a drone is not as easy as I thought, and with government regulations, to fly a drone for business requires you become licensed by the FAA. The test and license are called a 107. If I am not licensed I can be fined, and even more importantly, my business liability policy will not cover me should something occur without having that 107 licenses.

So it will be at least a few months before I get proficient a pilot (yes, drone operators are called pilots)  Meanwhile, I can practice flying just for my personal enjoyment. 

The first few flights went well. I did have one bad landing where the copter tipped over and broke a propeller, but it still worked (with a new propeller) then I got cocky. I was at the point that I thought I was getting good at flying and pushed the wrong stick, the drone and right into my garage door. Another broken propeller and this time some wires got pulled out. After some careful soldering and reconnections, it is back to like new again. 

Lesson learned: More practice is needed. The controls are not in my muscle memory. back to the basics.