Monday, October 19, 2015

Hernando, Florida, man becomes county's first commercial drone pilot

Jay Rowden has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a commercial drone pilot. His wife, seen here flying a drone with him, is Hernando County Commissioner Diane Rowden.



SPRING HILL --   A Hernando County man has become the county’s first commercial drone pilot.

Jay Rowden is a pilot who flew helicopters for the Army during the Korea and Vietnam wars. Now when he gets behind the controls of an aircraft, it’s to fly his unmanned aerial vehicle.

"I started flying when I was 13 years old," he said. "I couldn't even reach the rudder pedals on the airplane. They had to put a pillow behind me."

Drones are becoming more and more popular these days, especially since they can shoot video from high above the ground.

And now flying drones is no longer just a hobby for Rowden – it’s actually his job. Rowden has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a commercial drone pilot. He says he’s the only one in Hernando County.

His wife, County Commissioner Diane Rowden, thinks his position is pretty cool.

"There are probably about 2,000 nationwide that have their 333 exemption and in Florida it is less than 100," she said.

Rowden is already putting his skills to work by documenting road work, utility projects and more.

"You get a whole different perspective than you do from the ground," he said.

The Rowdens have set up a website to promote Hernando County and they posted some of their drone videos.

- Source: http://www.baynews9.com

No comments: