“It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, it’s Mr. Knight’s Drone!”

Madison Polack, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Mr. Chris Knight, father of senior Cam Knight, is well known at NDA for flying his drones in the sky and for his aerial photography, particularly at school events.

For Mr. Knight, seeing the world from a different perspective and experiencing life from a different viewpoint than normally seen everyday is the main thrill of flying.

The chance to use my drones in search and rescue missions is also appealing to me,” he said. “I love aerial photography, aerial cinematography and being able to broadcast aerial live video for sporting events.”

Mr. Knight has always had a dual interest in remote-controlled vehicles and photography. By 2012 through 2013, the two worlds emerged enough to create the possibility of a multi-rotor unmanned aerial system that could carry a GoPro camera, or one like it, up into the air.

Most consumer drones today are under 3.5 pounds or about the size of a big bird. Most planes today are built to withstand bird attacks. Thus, Mr. Knight believes the typical 3.5 pound or smaller drone would either bounce off a jet plane or pass through its engine without bringing any risk to the aircraft.

“That said, every drone pilot has a responsibility to learn his duties as a responsible drone pilot, to understand the laws and guidelines when flying in the National Airspace System (NAS).”

As far as drones being a risk to humans, more people are hurt or killed everyday by cars than have ever been hurt by a non-weaponized consumer or pro-level drone, explained the pilot. The majority of consumer drones have plastic props which are much safer to humans than carbon fiber props, but this often all comes down to the experience of the drone pilot and whether he flies in a safe and responsible manner.

Mr. Knight believes “drones are just robots that do things for us. In the future, they will be involved in every industry in some capacity, from transportation to security to agriculture. There will not be an industry that isn’t touched or impacted without the help of drones.”

Right now, Mr. Knight is currently doing commercial work with drones for Hollywood film productions, product commercials and live sporting events plus aerial photography for various commercial interests.

He hopes to create educational products, courses and workshops this year that will help others not only learn how to be a safe and responsible UAV/Drone Pilot, but he also hopes he will help others learn how to not crash.

“Flying a drone is easy,” he said. “Not crashing is what takes experience, and I hope to help the millions of others who will be purchasing drones in the coming decade to have more fun while being more productive with their drone.”