Not so long ago a passerby referred to us as “dronies”. Well, that was the first time anyone had used that term to describe us and weren’t sure how to respond; we simply gritted our teeth, forced a smile and gave a friendly wave. What else could we have done?
Now Lunar Aerial Imaging doesn’t have a real problem with the word; indeed it’s a great descriptor for all the hobbyists out there and we remember that all that time ago we started out as hobbyists. We respect them and think the word dronie is an accurate and affectionate way of referring to them. Let’s get this on the record: we love dronies (as long as they keep to the rules).
Are we dronies? Well, we like to think the word doesn’t affect our professionalism, but wondered whether we were being a bit precious about it all.
So we went home, found a friendly pub and did a bit of brainstorming and came up the thought that we’d prefer to be known as UAV or drone operators. We felt there are a few things which make us (and the other serious players in our industry) different to dronies.
Here’s a few of them:
1. Nearly five years of flying experience with drones and drone photography.
2. We know the machines and their technology and how they work as we had to build them ourselves when we first started up.
3. We fly some serious machines – the DJI900 which has six arms and the big beast DJI100S with eight arms – as well as the Phantom (graceful little number and oh so useful).
4. We’ve done the training- with BNUC-S - and so have the pilot qualification.
5. We’ve passed the test – both practical and theoretical – which gives us Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permission to operate commercially in the UK using a drone with a take-off weight of up to 20 kg; the majority of pilots are only allowed up to 7kg.
6. We don’t just fly around in the local park – we video and photograph for clients from a range of serious industries, and we stick to CAA rules and regulations.
7. We generate industry standard photographs and videos using professional cameras and we handle all the post-production work if needed.
8. We know the proper term for the aircraft – they are UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. I bet most dronies don’t know that.
9. We have serious insurance cover. Expensive but essential.
There you are. We’re not too fussed about it all; we’re just jealous of our professional reputation, and calling us dronies just doesn’t seem right. Not for Lunar Aerial Imaging, anyhow.