In between preparations for International Drone Day and filming for the upcoming documentary, The Drone Invasions, GPC had the opportunity to squeeze in some phone time with Sarah Oneal, one half of the married duo of That Drone Show.
Sarah, who entered the UAV industry without an RC background, was introduced to drones by her husband David. The two are passionate about advocating for the positive uses of drones, which have led them to create the International Drone Community.
“The purpose is simple: show the world that “Drones are Good” – fly responsibly, educate new pilots, continue to have fun!” Sarah explains to GPC.
At the time of publishing this post, Sarah was on her way to the NYC Drone Film Festival. Below is an excerpt from our conversation where we chat about That Drone Show’s early beginnings, International Drone Day activities and the evolution of a fledgling industry.
How did That Drone Show start?
My husband, David, saw a drone being used on a film shoot he was part of in December 2013. He loved the different perspective it provided and set his heart on getting one! We spent a lot of time researching them online, and bought our first Phantom in January.
We, like so many new drone pilots, do not have RC backgrounds so we had a lot of questions; how do we fly safely? How do we store and transport batteries? How do we take the perfect photograph?
We wanted to know as much as possible as soon as possible, and the more we learned the more excited we became about the many wonderful things it is possible to do with drones.
We started That Drone Show because we wanted to immerse ourselves in the drone world as much as possible. There was no central place to share knowledge, so we created one!
What will International Drone Day look like, and what will you be doing?
There are 150 International Drone Day teams in 50 countries, and each event will be great. I would love to attend them all. However, unless time travel is invented before Saturday, March 14, to make that possible, I will be in Las Vegas, or “Drone Vegas” as we refer to it.
In the morning, I’ll be taking part in flying events including a mock search and rescue mission, FLIR demonstration, aerial photography tutorials, and FPV racing.
In the afternoon, I will be avidly listening to drone celebrities including the Roswell Flight Test Crew, Jim Bowers of S.W.A.R.M., and Sally “The Drone Girl” French chat about topics such as how to be a successful entrepreneur in the drone industry, using drones to save lives, and the importance of flying safely.
We want the world to realize that drones are used to save lives in search and rescue missions, for environmental research, conservation and preservation, in agriculture, by law enforcement, in fire fighting, to produce wonderful film and art, and in many other ways. We founded International Drone day to highlight these uses.
We will also be filming the day for our upcoming documentary, The Drone Invasion.
What was the motivation behind your documentary, The Drone Invasion?
Similar to how International Drone Day started, we wanted something that would stick around and show both sides of the story. David has a documentary background and is very passionate about film and drones. International Drone Day will play a big role in the documentary; we’ll be interviewing key players in the industry, including lawyers, members of the FAA and drone celebrities.
How is the industry evolving?
The drone industry is growing every day as new pilots come on board and people learn about the wonderful things drones may be used to achieve.
As it grows, the need for drone pilots worldwide to have fair guidance and regulation that will allow them to fly both for fun and commercially increases.
Members of the International Drone Community are playing a vital role in making this a reality by flying responsibly and educating new pilots to do the same.
When Sarah’s not immersing herself in the drone space, you can find her spending time with her two puppies, Nugget and Biscuit, and three kittens, Sam, Sundae and Francesca or enjoying a coastal bike ride. Or, spot her donning her Minnie Mouse ears at Disneyland; an attempt at prolonging her title as a newlywed (She and David married last summer).