Drone workshop for interested pilots this Saturday in Tehkummah

This drone with camera attachment falls in the less than 35 kg hobby category.

TEHKUMMAH—A seasonal resident of Manitoulin who is also a certified UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), or drone, pilot is hosting a learning session on the popular gadgets this Saturday, May 21 in Tehkummah.

“UAVs have become quite popular ever since they have become affordable for the consumer. People operating them must abide by Canadian Aviation Law,” Darren Clarke, proprietor of Hummingbird Aerial Productions, told The Expositor.

He noted that no drone can be flown closer than nine km (or five nautical miles) of any aerodrome, built up area, helipad or seaport, “and that is a big area of airspace. If you want to operate within these areas or use your UAV in any way for business or for gain, you must get an SFOC (Special Flight Operators Certificate).” Mr. Clarke noted this has become a very strict rule with Transport Canada “and the rules are going to become much harder later in 2016.”

Mr. Clarke and Hummingbird Aerials has a ground school licence and meets the requirements of Transport Canada with a Restricted Operators Certificate – Aeronautical (ROC-A) for avionic transceivers use. He also has a UAV Coach certificate from the United States.

Mr. Clarke is hoping to invite owners of drones to Mary Yett’s Tehkummah property to learn about the many rules regarding UAVs lest they inadvertently get into trouble and to see first-hand his drone work while mapping Ms. Yett’s property. Mr. Clarke flies a DJI Phantom 3 Professional with a 4K camera mounted on a three-axis brushless gimbal.

“What we would like to eventually do is educate people in Northeastern Ontario and folks on Manitoulin of the world of aerial imaging, aviation law and what is involved with owning, flying and performing an operation legally,” Mr. Clarke continued, “and also what is involved in submitting an SFOC, which is very tricky and a lot of hard work.”

“As you know, a lot of kids (and adults) have these aircrafts but are not flying them safely and in the wrong places around people,” he added. “Transport Canada is cracking down, so we want to educate them. Nothing worse than getting a big fine ‘because you did not know’.”

The drone workshop will take place this Saturday May 21 at 9 am at the home of Mary Yett, 199 Townline Road, Tehkummah.

For more information, contact Mr. Clarke at uavpilot2016@outlook.com