Vernon Shurtz

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Vernon Shurtz last won the day on May 24

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  1. Thank you Chase. Happy flights are here again! Vern
  2. Hello all. Glad to be here and starting my drone career off for the second time. First and foremost, I would like to thank Alan and the rest of the UAV Coach team for a well thought out and presented training course. I have gone through a couple others and NOBODY compares to the quality and breadth of information covered by Alan and his team. Well Done! I took my test yesterday and got a 95%. Even Old Dogs can learn New Tricks. I'll apologize in advanced for the long post but it's an interesting story, or at least I think it is. My name is Vern and I am a Service Disabled Navy Nuclear Submarine Veteran from back in the days of the Cold War. Spent 13 years on fast attack boats chasing and spying on those pesky Russians. Loved it so much I married a wonderful woman from St Petersburg, Russia and its now going on 18 yrs together. Anyway, back to drones. As I had mentioned this is my second time launching a career flying drones. Back in early 2014 I did some contract work for BNSF Railroad providing 3D Visualizations of various proposed UAV test programs they were trying to get approval for from the FAA. After leaving the Navy in 1995 I pursed a career in 3D Modelling and Animation, a skill I taught myself during the last 3 years in the Navy as an Engineering and Submarine Damage Control Instructor. Fast forward almost 20 years and I have created more 3D technical visualizations and training apps then I can remember and for some of the biggest and best out there like Lockheed-Martin and the Navy's Space and Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR). Over the course of 2014 I continued to create and refine numerous visualizations for BNSF and they were instrumental in getting the FAA to approve there test programs. During this time my interest in Drones flourished and I applied for and was issued a Section 333 Exemption, bought a drone, and off I went. Working with a local Lidar Scanning firm I was instrumental in getting their drone program up and running. Having several drones by then and my 333 Exemption played a big role. Those exemptions were like gold back in those days. I felt like that kid in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Am I showing my age yet? So, I flew all kinds of missions from a detailed photographic survey of Ft Myers Florida's Water Treatment Facility for Autodesk University, part of a marketing push to showcase their latest version of Recap, to mapping Quarries and Surveying stockpiles for international giant Carmeuse throughout the Midwest. It gets damn cold and windy in Wisconsin. Was stuck there once for a week waiting for the weather to clear and wind to die down so I could fly. Burrrrr.... But my drone flying was secondary to being a 3D Artist Developing Training Apps and Virtual Reality (VR) was also in it's infancy. Long story short I put the drones on the shelf and put on a VR headset and dove headlong into VR. Fast forward to early 2020 and several VR training apps later we were ready to launch our latest VR app, an Active Shooter Response Training for Educators, and my wife and I just got our Escape Room and VR Arcade open after nine months of hard work and tons of money spent. Then came COVID. With schools shutdown our VR app gathered dust, and I hope it will continue to and will never be needed again, and the state shut our venue down after 4 months of operation. A month after that the building went up for sale and we had two weeks to move out. Ugh... What now. I know! DRONES!!! So late last year I decided to resurrect my drone business and planning to fully launch it this summer in sunny Northeast Florida. My 3DR Solo, Phantom 2 and Phantom 3 Pro are a bit dated so now I have the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. I also had this unrelenting submariner urge to get back underwater so I also purchased the Qysea Fifish V6 submersible. My new business is called "Helo & Sub" and I will also be producing a Youtube channel of the same name that will be similar in ways to Mike Rowes "Dirty Jobs" but drone related. I want to showcase the use of drones in all manner of industries from Infrastructure Inspection and Mining Surveys to Real Estate and Weddings. I'd like to promote not only my own service company but other drone service companies as well. We all have interesting stories to tell. I am finishing my 6x12 Blackout Edition Cargo Trailer Conversion (CTC) which will be a combination Drone Workshop, Data Processing lab and Bunk Room. Also known as the Ultimate Rolling Man Cave or URMC for short. This will allow me to travel extensively for on-site work, go on extensive backwoods adventures, and hopefully hold drone camps and public awareness events. I really like to teach and train people and plan to use my skills and knowledge in VR development to it's fullest in this endeavor. Although COVID was a big downer I am really looking forward to hitting the road and doing some cool stuff real soon. Please feel free to comment, provide advice, ask questions, etc. Have Fun and Fly safe, Vern aka: "Sub"