30 Years Of Experience In The Air
Andrew, it sounds like you’ve been with Skymatics since early days, what’s your history with the company?
I met EJ and Connor in the winter of 2014 and chatted about how to utilize UAV’s to service many different industries including agriculture and construction. In the spring of 2014, we started to test using fixed-wing UAV’s to potentially cover more ground at local area farms than quadcopters. We did hundreds of hours of flight testing and processing to determine what the best uses for UAV’s in today’s market would be. For the first 4 years, I did it as a part-time gig in-between my work as a cabinet maker but knew I always wanted to pursue it as an everyday job.
What has changed in the UAV industry since you started?
I have been flying UAV’s (Remote Controlled (R/C) helicopters, airplane, jets, etc) for over 30 years and I have seen a lot of change. The biggest change being all the automation and an almost ‘zero experienced’ person able to fly, due to all the onboard systems that keep today’s UAV’s in the air without any user input. This has positive results, but negatives as well. For the end user, if following the rules, drones are safe and with a little know-how can accomplish so much. On the negative side, if people to use them as a toy in an unsafe manner, they can lead to injury or more…
I hear you have a history with the Air Cadets? How is that important to what you do today?
I started in Navy Cadets when I was 9 but shortly after I went to Air Cadets. It was 1 night a week and they had a hobby class where I learned to build my first flying model and started to fly R/C gliders every weekend. When I was 10-11 years old I bought my first nitro powered R/C helicopter called a concept 30, ever since then I have been flying something. Presently I’m interested in turbine powered jets and try to get out to fly regularly.
How does Skymatics deliver something different than ‘using drones’?
Skymatics concentrates all its knowledge on delivering our clients only the data they need, in an understandable way. There is almost something they can do for everyone.
How do you see Skymatics impacting the construction industry?
There are so many positive impacts of UAV’s. From keeping people out of risky situations to our in-house data professionals delivering results in less time, to saving money by cutting time and manpower. In the end, to me, it seems like its a smart option for anyone in the construction industry to use UAV data for one thing or another and Skymatics can get-er’ done!