Flying drones is a lot of fun and I am really glad I went through the legal and administration hassle in order to become a legal drone pilot. Flying as such is not that difficult - at least not for me because I have had flight training and experience as a glider pilot since I was a young adult. What is a bit more tricky, is understanding where how and when you are allowed to fly your UAV or UAS. Over late 2021 and the beginning of 2022, I went through the processes of studying and passing aviation exams in order to get both my international drone pilot and drone operator licenses.
I have already pointed out in a former post that I am not at all into FPV flying for the moment. My main goal remains to use my aircraft as a super tripod giving me perspectives that I could simply not get otherwise for my photography. International drone regulations can be tricky to navigate though. The core rules remain the same but it is still very important to keep checking local restrictions and regulations as you travel since the law and its application vary by quite a bit. If you care, go read how Captain Damiano got busted by the Madrid police on the very first trip I took with my drone. A great lesson to start my drone pilot career and probably a relevant read if you’re thinking about getting into flying drones yourself.
I’d like to use this post for a shout out to Ken Geschwind, a former Luxembourg Poker buddy who is now not really playing anymore and spending most of his professional and leisure time flying drones and consulting people who are getting into UAV/UAS flying. He helped me quite a bit to get into flying seriously. I’m very thankful for that!
My long time photo buddy based in Portugal, Alex Rotenberg, has also been going through the joy of studying aviation regulations lately. I’m looking forward to his upcoming aerial photo-and videography. Let’s meet again soon, irmao!
Together with Ken, Alex and a bunch of other people like David Pichler and the LUkraine community, we are currently discussing one of my wishes to form a mobile crew of drone pilots based in Ukraine with the mission to help documenting and mapping damaged zones and buildings in order to assist in the rebuilding process of infrastructure and housing.
David had a drone with him during his recent trip to Ukraine but he didn't bring it back. He ended up offering it to friends since the demand for drones was/is very high in Ukraine. At the moment, the people we met use UAVs to help spotting enemy positions. David's drone is probably no more by now since the risk of being shot down is very high in armed conflicts but this anecdote emphasised the need for drones and for competent pilots.
The general idea would be to finance the acquisition of a few drones, to cast a crew, to train them in operating drones safely and effectively with the aim to provide aerial photo/video services to administrations or private individuals in collaboration with the Ukrainian Aviation Administration.
Flying drones in times of war is a military only activity and any attempt to fly our drones as civilians would likely end up with the aircraft being taken down by one side or the other and we might get into serious legal trouble on top of that. We need peace or at least a peaceful situation to actively start working on this project but it’s not too early to start preparing reconstruction projects for Ukraine. One of our beliefs is that, after a first phase of emergency interventions, we should try to work on ways to share our knowledge for reconstruction initiatives as soon as possible.
If you think you can help with this, please let us know!
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