GPC in Action: New Year Edition

Here at GPC, we are inspired by the many ways you are flying into the new year. Check out some of the fascinating destinations our fans are already traveling to in 2016 with their GPC cases.

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Nick Lang tows his DJI Global Inspire 1 to Philadelphia’s City Hall with GPC’s Inspire 1 X5 Travel Mode Case. Our founding fathers would be so proud!
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Darryl, CEO of Action Drone USA, protects his AD2 in his special edition GPC case.
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The GPC Inspire 1 X5 Landing Mode Case makes its way to Las Cabanas Beach to capture beach aerial photography.
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Some destinations are easier to get to than others. Pat Weir transports his DJI Global Inspire 1 to Bolivia in GPC’s Inspire 1 case. Clearly, it serves well as a boat seat, too!

GPC in Action: Holiday Edition

Check out how GPC fans are getting in the holiday spirit with their drones.

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Mark Hawk’s DJI Phantom 3 Limited Edition Backpack is still going strong with more than 100 miles of hiking and adventures.
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GPC’s very own Julia put the smallest GPC fan to work at the FPV races in San Diego.
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Our friends at The SOAC had their favorite bento box for lunch today, AKA the custom GPC Nooner Case.
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James is making use of his MOLLE system on his Phantom 2 Limited Edition Backpack to carry his FPV racer.
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Robert Viskil snaps holiday GPC swag at the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego FPV racing event.

Women of the Drone Industry: Kelly LeClair

The drone industry has long been considered a male-dominated industry, and statistics prove it is. A whopping ninety-nine percent of drone purchasers are men, but time’s are changing. Some of the biggest movers and shakers in the UAV community are strong females in tech, proving that the gender imbalance is starting to shift. From award-winning aerial photographers to content creators for The Wall Street Journal, women are disarming the drone gender gap.

In our new series highlighting women of the drone industry, we will introduce you to some female power players that are shaping the future of the UAV community – and clearing a path for more.

Meet Kelly LeClair.

As a former television news reporter, Kelly knows the significance of conveying a story visually, especially through high-quality videography. So, when she made the transition into real estate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, she knew video would play an important role in selling her Southern California properties.

Kelly uses the DJI Phantom Pro 3 and GPC Phantom 3 Plus Case to show the landscape of homes on sale and provide potential buyers with context – lot size, proximity to the ocean, canyon, downtown, and neighboring houses. Drones allow her to tell the story of a property, educating potential buyers on the high-level intricacies of their future home, as well as capturing compelling birds-eye views of her listings.

Check out Kelly’s drone real estate work on her website, and subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow her on Facebook.

EXPLORING HAWAII WITH THE DJI PHANTOM 3 AND INSPIRE 1 COMBO CASE

As the chief pilot for Seagull Aerial and one of the lead aerial photographers with National Geographic Expeditions, I spend nine months out of the year travelling around the world. That said, I require high quality, protective gear. One of the biggest mistakes people make is investing a lot of money in their camera equipment only to skimp out on the most important asset of all: the gear that keeps their photography equipment protected in the field.

The peace of mind that I get when I use my GPC cases while traveling is invaluable. When I jump from one project to the next, I take comfort in knowing my gear will arrive safely at the destination. This allows me to focus on the filming, rather than worrying about repairs.

My most recent travels took me through some of the most rugged terrain that Kauai, Hawaii, has to offer. The mission was to capture the essence of the island in some of the most remote and harsh conditions that can be found on Kauai. Whether we were flown in to a location via helicopter, dropped off by catamaran, or spent days hiking to a location, I always took comfort in knowing my gear would be ready to go thanks to the durable GPC backpack and DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 Combo Case. There is no way this assignment would have been possible without the portability that the GPC backpack had to offer. It’s robust design allowed me to bring enough gear and batteries to keep me shooting all day long, too.

Not only is Kauai extremely difficult to navigate because the road network only covers a small portion of the island, but the ever-changing climate and weather patterns also create a challenge when shooting aerials. The weather on Kauai can go from sunny blue skies to downpour rain with high winds in a matter of minutes, and it’s always necessary to be prepared to face the elements. My GPC cases had to withstand blowing sand in gale force winds as we navigated the coastline, dusty conditions on the back of ATV’s during off road excursions, heavy rain as we trekked through the rainforest, possible immersion as we hauled the cases via kayak through rivers, and moisture and humidity from everyday island life. This kind of travel would never have been possible before I started using GPC cases to keep my gear safe. Thanks to the design of GPC’s custom cases, I no longer have to worry about my gear making it safely to a location.

Max Seigal is a photographer with Linblad Expeditions and National Geographic. View his work at www.seagullaerial.com.

Drones Give Back: Justin Woodcock’s Nepal Journey

Earlier this year, the world was shaken by the devastating news of the 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, killing more than 9,000 people and injuring more than 23,000. Moved by the story, Go Professional Cases donated the DJI S900 Tall Landing Gear Case to drone pilot Justin Woodcock, who was recruited for a special search and rescue mission.

This is his story:

In April, Justin was recruited by HaloDrop – a professional drone network that recruits premierly trained drone pilots for crisis response – to produce high resolution 3D aerial mapping of Nepalese structures, particularly hospitals and clinics that provided key medical services.

The 3D aerial map renderings, as Justin puts it, were like “Google Earth on steroids.” They were sent to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, better known as OCHA, where they were able to examine the impact of the tremors and estimate the dollar amount needed to repair or support the affected community.

During this time, many tourists in neighboring countries started photographing the fallen region; images of broken down Hindu temples rapidly started flooding the media. The Nepalese community, whose culture and religion went hand-in-hand, felt disrespected by the unwanted, negative media attention and shut down all drone operations – including Justin’s.

What happened next transformed the course of the trip.

More than $40,000 worth of drones were confiscated by the Nepalese police, and Justin and the HaloDrop team were arrested. After detainment and countless calls to the U.S. Embassy, Team Rubicon, and Nepalese government, Justin and the others were released. A Chinese ambassador’s drones were confiscated; since he had diplomatic immunity the Nepalese police were forced to return his drones, and in turn, they returned Justin’s drones, too. However, Justin’s troubles didn’t end there. He was at risk of having his Visa revoked.

Justin and the HaloDrop team communicated with another police station through a middleman to avoid re-arrest. The station offered to help the American crew in return for drone education and assistance locating earthquake victims with thermal mapping. His team said yes: they showed Nepalese police how to operate drones – specifically the DJI Phantom with GoPros® strapped on and DJI Inspire 1 for 3D mapping, and the S900 with Panasonic GH4k and thermal cameras for thermal mapping. Then, for three days, they drove caravans into the most remote areas of Nepal, also known as “dead zones,” to find villagers. They saw broken families, communities and homes, landslides falling behind their vehicle, and smelled the overpowering odor of putrefied bodies running down the Nepalese river, a religious ritual.

Justin feared the drones wouldn’t find people since thermal drones detect heat and many bodies were already decomposed. However, due to gases emitted after day four or five of body decomposition, Justin was able to find affected areas. Often times, he’d get home by 8 p.m., stay up all night for aerial renderings and provide coordinates to on-the-ground search parties to go out the next day.

It remains unknown how many lives were saved by the drone mission, but one thing rings true: drones saved lives. Justin even gifted an S900 and DJI Phantom to the Nepalese police before departing.

Today, he receives an influx of phone calls from search and rescue teams, as well as groups looking for thermal search and rescue drones. For now, though, he’s focused on leading the Reno Fire Department’s search and rescue team. And when he’s not saving lives with drones, he stays busy managing his aerial cinematography companies RaptorCam and The Drone Store, or doing heli tech work for Copter Kids.

Justin’s advice for drone pilots interested in participating in search and rescue missions: do it right. Partner with a legitimate organizations such as HaloDrop or Team Rubicon. Don’t just show up with a drone; it’ll cause more problems than solutions.

To learn more about Justin, visit RaptorCam.com or follow him on Facebook or Instagram.