Featured NewsTrending NewsPilots StoriesPilot Story: Eric Angerer


09 April 2024

By Eric Angerer

I've been flying drones professionally for over five years with a primary focus in Commercial/Residential Real Estate, Marketing, and Content Creation. I've been continually expanding my operations into inspections, thermal, and mapping jobs.

You might be wondering how my journey began into the drone world. Well, let’s begin...

After realizing my Bay Area-based software-sales job really wasn’t so fulfilling to me, I decided to pursue the next level of one of my loves—photography. I started shooting weddings, real estate, and any event anyone would hire me for.

At the time, I had always been capturing memorable moments—whether photo or video—and decided it was time to elevate my photography into the aerial space. It was also a request from some of my real estate clients, who badly wanted aerial videos to help increase their property value.

If any of you can remember—or ever actually got the chance—to fly the short-lived DJI Karma drone, that was my introduction to the world of aerials. It wasn’t until after the first flight that I knew this new creative venture was totally worth it. (Totally worth it—even though the price of drones were, and are, freaking expensive.)

After a few flights, my first drone crash happened. Luckily, it was in a safe spot and was not user error. Seriously—search YouTube for "DJI Karma drone crashes," and watch some crazy videos of these drones tumbling uncontrollably from the sky. These birds had some general design flaws where the drone propellers delivered so much force that they could dislodge the battery from the connection ports, causing in-flight failures. Fun.

After "graduating" out of my first crash and first drone, it was time to level up, where all things drone started to slowly consume my life.

From the first iteration of the DJI Mavic Pro to Phantoms and enterprise-level drones, I have flown my share, and I am continually looking to fly and master the next. (I've got my eyes on you, Fixed Winged Wingtras!)

The drone space has been a neverending learning mission to craft unforgettable client deliverables and unique stories from my perspective. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to remote parts of the world—throughout Asia, Europe, and South America—capturing content with hopes of traversing the rest of the world with drone in hand.

If you’re still reading, I’m here to apply my years-long passion and learning to all future client work. Through a systematic set of procedures and adamant belief in safety first, then teamwork, I’m excited to meet my next client who I can bring as much value to.

So if you have a project that needs a professional drone pilot that you don’t need to hand hold, let’s collaborate and bring the best of drone use to the world.

Don’t worry about your location, I am a traveling drone pilot. As stated above, I have traversed the world with my drone, and, nowadays, l'm looking for more clients throughout the United States. I love the idea of having a new “office” on a daily basis.

Something that really fascinates me about the drone Industry these days is the widespread adoption of drones in so many industries. Not only the industry factor, but the immense amount of education on the web to use these pieces of high-performance technology. I mean look at where you are seeing drones nowadays (everywhere).

One thing I have loved doing in the Aerial Industry is educating others and teaching my love of flying. For the last six years, I have taught drone flying classes in California, Michigan, and now New Mexico. Now, you might be wondering,what does a drone class look like?

Well, imagine this. You just bought a drone and have no idea what to do with it, now what? Still struggling with the setup, or just flying, hello! Or you might be someone who is interested in a test fly because as we know, boys and their toys, can be… expensive.

Before I had purchased my first drone, I wish I would have been able to have some practice flights or even speak to a firsthand pilot to guide my decision. Would have surely helped me in the short and long run. I digress…

Since I have been running these classes, I have advanced my aerial knowledge and have developed an immense gratitude for those who want to enter the industry or want to understand how UAV pilots make a living.

So what do you do if you’re someone who wants to get started flying Drones? Well if you can’t afford classes/traveling to a class and would rather put that money towards a drone, I would start there.

Find a used drone. Yes, used. Sure you can buy new, but if you are cash strapped you can find so many amazing deals these days to get your flight career rolling. Once you have your drone, find some wide open spaces near your home and start flying. Start flying, a lot!

When I mean flying a lot, this is exactly what I did when my first drone arrived at my doorstep. I would drive up to my local park about a mile away and fly my two batteries until they died. I returned home, charged both batteries and repeated. I did this until I was comfortable enough to start finding subjects to shoot and apply what I had learned over the course of those many, many, many (add another many) hours.

“But Eric, I’m worried about crashing my drone.”

Don’t let the fear of crashing stop you from flying. Yes, as I mentioned earlier in this memoir, I have crashed before, and actually have crashed a lot in my time as pilot. Luckily, never on a job site, but while practicing and refining my pilot skills.

It’s commonly agreed in the industry if you haven’t/aren’t crashing, you probably aren’t experimenting enough with dynamic shots or pushing yourself in terms of pilot development. I’m not saying be reckless, but when you see/fly the same drone shot over and over, it becomes a bore and a thing called, plateauing occurs.

When you are just starting, yeah, keep those sensors on so your new investment doesn’t come crashing down harder than the 2008 recession. But as your time on the sticks increases as a Pilot, don’t be afraid to push the envelope a bit and maybe fly a lower flight path than the same high and wides you see everywhere nowadays.

The point of all of this is to have fun while doing it and continually get better everyday. The best way for every pilot to evolve is from other pilots leveling up their game and making the pilots around them better.

If you have any questions about resources, flying, contracting me for work, let’s get together. Who knows, maybe I’m already on the road near your state and have a slot to elevate your project.

Let’s make it happen. And remember…

Have fun. Fly safe. And always be aware of your airspace and surroundings.

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