Reginald Francklyn has been a part-time DroneBase pilot for over two years with a specialization in real estate in the Colorado Springs area. Reg has completed multiple stockpile missions for DroneBase, and surveyed one of DroneBases’s most complicated mining locations that required access to a snowmobile.
What area do you work in?
Colorado Springs, Colorado
How long have you been flying with DroneBase?
Are you a full-time drone pilot? If not, what is your primary occupation?
Part time. I shoot real estate and am a Google Trusted photographer shooting 360-degree Google Tours for clients.
What drone do you primarily fly with?
What are your favorite things to shoot?
What is your favorite aspect about being a drone pilot?
I like to be able to work independently, and enjoy the challenge of figuring out how best to accomplish the mission.
What was your best piloting experience?
Riding a snowmobile up to 12,000 feet in winter to shoot a windy quarry location above timberline. Many challenges but I was able to get the map images.
What was your worst piloting experience?
I was shooting a nighttime Christmas Light display in a canyon called Seven Falls in Colorado Springs. I got great footage of the lights covering the trees on the way up the canyon. As I reached the end of the canyon where a lighted series of 7 waterfalls was revealed, the drone lost GPS lock due to the canyon walls and drifted into the cliff. That was bad enough, but then the drone crashed into a deep pool. I waded into freezing cold water (December in Colorado) to retrieve the drone, which was destroyed.
The happy ending was that all the files were recovered even though the last shot had an end of file error which was tricky to recover. I had purchased the drone with a credit card that had insurance on the purchase, so it all came out in the end! Flying at night is hairy and challenging because your proximity sensors are disabled, and the wide angle of the lens can let you fly closer to trees and dangerous obstacles than you should.
Describe your "dream drone"
A drone that can avoid obstacles at night! The Phantom 4 Professional is a great platform that I have a lot of confidence in. I am learning to fly the DJI Mavic Enterprise that we will be using for search and rescue. It has a lot of great features to use in Search and Rescue, like a spotlight, beacon, and speaker built in.
Anything else you'd like us to share?
You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.
— Amelia Earhart