Editorial: Meet Genny

By Ed Downs

No, this writer has not misspelled the name of the legendary Curtis JN-4 training plane of WWI. The “Genny” in question is a drone, or more specifically, the Lily Next-Gen (https://www.lily.camera/), marketed as a “personal camera drone.” Naming a drone?  Sure, I also owned an airplane named “Whiskey” and a pistol named “Mike.” My stuff gets names. When you can take your drone for a walk, following you like a puppy, it gets a name… so there! But I am ahead of the intent of this article, so let’s go back to the beginning.

Several issues ago, In Flight USA recognized that our National Airspace System had a new arrival, by the tens of thousands… drones. This writer obtained a sUAS Pilot Certificate in 2016 and began teaching FAR 107 sUAS classes shortly thereafter.  Following attendance at a major drone trade show in 2017, the management of In Flight USA decided to embrace this new side of aviation and include a dedicated drone section in our publication. Knowing that the first major trade show of the 2018 flying season (Sun ‘n Fun) would probably have many drone manufacturers represented, it was felt that having an sUAS certified pilot on staff who also had actual drone flying experience would be a good idea. 

Go figure, the boss wanted genuine drone flying experience to back up our new column.  This writer got the nod to saddle up and learn how one of these things works. In Flight USA recognizes that our readers are contemporary pilots and airplane owners, not necessarily computer lovers or gamers. So, the assignment, should I choose to accept it, was to share the experience of learning how to fly and use a drone from the perspective of a contemporary CFI, while at the same time, learning more about the integration of this new-fangled technology into our world of flying. Yep, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

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