Face-to-face with a drone

After another long day in the office, my eyes glued to my computer screen, it was time for me to take a break, look outside and dream a bit.

That's when i see this her in person...Our eyes interlock, neither of us says a word. I'd known they were a few in the area but never had i seen such a beauty before. I rub my eyes as unable to get enough of her.

Pic: Come fly with me (Source: Sense Air)

To my utter frustration and before our love encounter could even start, the drone flew away and returned docilely to his “master”, a young boy maneuvering it from the bottom of my building.

Following this brief face-to-face between the man and the machine, I wanted to fly it too: if a kid could do that, it was now my turn to become a pilot! But to do that I first had to have access to a Drone and some basic knowledge. Some of my colleagues, knowledgeable with Drones, suggested that I go to DJi’s flashy shop in Causeway Bay, the reference in town and globally when it comes to drones. I understood that in just a few years, DJi (NO AFFILIATION), a HK-founded company, has taken over the whole drone industry adopting Apple strategy: high-branded products offered at a relatively high price. I reckoned it was a perfect place for me to acquire my very first Drones.

So, the following weekend, I rushed into DJi’s flashy shop and indulged myself with the easy-going, not-too-techy Spark model. Apparently a perfect fit for neo-pilots full of dreams. Wasting no time, the drone was out of its box, fully charged and ready for the big flight.

Let’s admit it, the outcome was slightly below my expectations: I did fly. But it was not long before the shape of my drone emerged on a building wall. My drone had crashed…

Pic 2: Feeling the air (Source: Sense Air)

After this explosive experience in the true sense of the word, it was time for me to cool down, meet a real drone professional and better understand this new animal. This is how my discussion with my neighbor and Localhooder Akasha, started.

Akasha is the founder of Sense Air, a company specialized in artistic and commercial aerial videography. Translation: the company supports movie directors, multinationals and event organizers for all their aerial shootings using drones and high-end cameras.

Over the years, Akasha has worked for several Hollywood movies (Skycraper, [Transformers]…) as well as top-notched international companies and is now recognized as the reference in this market in Hong Kong.

Along with his team, Akasha has taken this hobby to a completely new level, bringing an artistic touch to drone shooting. Today two-to-three pilots can be necessary to fly a drone, control its cameras and reach the angle, smoothness and precision requested by movie directors. “The rapid improvement in the performance of the drones has played a key role in the evolution of our approach. But this has also come with more constraints: the gap between high-end drones and helicopters progressively disappears. Soon, they will share the same space, the same radio channels… and as such droning will require a greater control”. As of today, the pilots of professional drones need to obtain a certification from Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department. Tomorrow, flight authorizations could also be necessary.

This is a very different story for personal drones which remain largely unregulated. Akasha recognizes that the control mainly relies on the sense of responsibility of the users. That is why he always recommends to follow some good practice: “When you start piloting, don’t fly anywhere near people, don’t fly at night and avoid windy environments. If the wind comes in your direction, so will the drone!! Also, always position your drone at waist level or 12ft high to avoid being hit in the eye.”

Over the years, drones have become more stable, benefiting from multiple redundancies. But if you are not yet comfortable enough, do not hesitate to take courses and better understand key notions of flying. “Nothing matters more than safety, insists Akasha. Make sure to know your limits. Find safe areas or even fly indoor! Today, you can find drones of good quality and small enough to be used in your bedroom. Train there before going to the wild.”

Pic 3: Red and Black Drone

With this important advice in mind, we wish you all enjoyable flights and plenty of fun.

And, in case, you decide to fly your drone next to my office, please make sure to knock at the window. For I would love to see one of those flying beauties again😃😃 !

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