Drone Pilot JobsHow to become a drone operator: Carys’ story

August 10, 2021by helo-10

Carys Kaiser – Drone operator

So what I really enjoy about being a drone pilot is going out and getting that shot. That might be a racing car going down the track or that might be something that is inaccessible to a normal crew with a camera and then when I see that go out on a TV programme it’s really exciting.

A typical day for me will be flying a drone for TV; perhaps getting exterior shots or even flying the drone live for BBC Breakfast on an outside broadcast.

I left school with GCSEs. And then went on to do A-levels but A-levels weren’t for me. I did an HNC in Business and Finance but really I knew I wanted to work in TV. So, eventually, I started as a runner for a small TV production company and I worked my way up through the ranks to an assistant producer.

Then I joined the BBC in the camera department and from there I went freelance as a filmmaker.

Work for a drone pilot is actually varied. It’s not just TV and film, it includes all sorts of other applications such as search and rescue. So you might end up working with mountain rescue or fire rescue. Drones can also be used where it’s unsafe for humans to go, like high structures such as wind turbines, communication towers or oil wrecks. So there’s plenty of opportunities that are outside of the creative side of drones, and those industries are using drones more and more.

My advice for anybody who wants to become a drone pilot is, first of all, get a drone to start practising and learn how it works. Learn all about the drone that you’ve got and then obtain permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, which means you need to go on a special course.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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