Retraining our veterans for a career in the drone industry
A group of veterans reached out to Candrone with a desire to kickstart a new career: drone pilots, providing drone services for industries.
Candrone outfitted this keen group with the latest drone technology and provided industry training for a successful start. This was made possible with financial assistance from the veteran's affair program, which could be an opportunity for other veterans that may not have considered this path.
Our military veterans make up an exceptional group of people. They put their lives on the line on our behalf each day. As the veterans complete their services in the forces, some continue to seek opportunities to serve their communities. The veterans we worked with come from diverse backgrounds within the military: Hugh T., a combat engineer, Thomas G., a flight engineer, Graeme H., a military pilot, etc.
What do drones have to do with veterans, and how can they use the technology to help the community?
"I knew that it would be utilized after … being deployed over 12 years ago. It makes sense to carry out so many different roles with a RPAS such as SAR, Surveillance, Survey, I could go on."
The applications of drones are endless and evolving. Not surprisingly, the veterans were particularly interested in the Search & Rescue, which goes hand in hand with the military training they received.
"I was a military pilot. I flew both jets and helicopters. I also have all commercial pilot licenses. These are directly transferable skills."
Candrone had the honour of providing the technology and training a group of 6 veterans living across British Columbia retooling to enter the drone industry. Our team worked with the veterans to develop a drone and training package to present to veteran Affairs for funding.
Each veteran received a DJI Matrice 30T drone and a 3-day training "boot camp" on location. The Matrice 30T is a versatile and portable drone that offers powerful features like an infrared thermal sensor, 20x optical zoom, and much more. Making it the perfect tool for SAR and inspection.
-"I enjoyed seeing the next generation of workforce teaching Old Dogs new tricks and their level of knowledge and confidence in the industry."
The course transferred first-hand knowledge of various applications in which they can offer drone services. Over three days, we covered the theory of infrared technology, drone mapping, and various industrial applications, including SAR and asset inspection.
The veterans were able to leverage powerful features of the M30T:
- Flighthub 2 to plan and monitor missions of multiple drones in the air in real-time.
- Smart tracking capabilities allowed them to easily select a target boat, vehicle, or person for the powerful zoom camera to track and follow automatically.
- PinPoint tool, which used the built-in laser range finder to acquire a target of interests coordinates and location for a SAR team.
- Advanced dual operator mode enabled the team to work in pairs, with one operator controlling the aircraft and the other controlling the camera.
These were just a few features that the group got first hands experience with. "I enjoyed the practical training section of the course. Hands-on training is invaluable. My takeaway was how advanced the drone technology is as well as the capabilities and multitude of applications for drones."
The drone industry is in its growth stages, with endless applications yet to be discovered. The key is to find an area of interest and focus on whether that be SAR, inspection, mapping, etc. The advice to other veterans interested in this industry is to "get trained in drones. The capabilities and technology is virtually limitless. This is also a perfect profession for any veterans that might have physical injuries and/or disabilities."
Overall the training was a great success; the veterans walked away with a new toolset and the knowledge to pursue their new skill. We're excited to see how they continue to grow their drone services. If you are a veteran that would like to take advantage of the program, contact email@example.com or fill in the form below.
Hire a veteran drone pilot:
Thomas R Girardin: 778-585-2660
Graeme Hafey: firstname.lastname@example.org