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Hi! I'm Cheri. I've been flying drones for about 5 years and have had my 107 certification since 2016 (can't believe I'm due to take my 3rd knowledge test this autumn!) I've been flying commercially since before the 107 was mandatory, and I mostly cover sporting events, festivals/outdoor events, real estate and some artsy shoots along the Illinois River. I also teach STEM Camp to kids from 4th-10th grade. I recently joined my local chamber of commerce and am working on becoming certified as a Woman/Minority Owned Business, so I expect my business to (hopefully) double in the next year or two. I currently fly DJI Phantoms, but I'm probably going to get a Mavic Pro (or something similar...still doing the research) this year and a Tello for demo & teaching purposes. Glad to be here!

Edited by Peoria Drone-Cheri
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Hi @Peoria Drone-Cheri

Welcome to the UAV Coach Community Forum! It is great to hear about your experience with your business and your STEM camp. It is always nice to see drones implemented into education, I am sure the kids enjoy learning about drones! 

Being that you have been flying for many years, how has your overall experience been with having your own drone business? Feel free to share any challenges/advice that you may have for others here on the forum. 

Looking forward to your response! 

 - Chase 

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My overall experience with the drone business has been very positive. I'd say the biggest hurdle is getting people to understand what drone footage can show, and how it could help them (or their business), and getting them to understand the cost involved. Our biggest client is Bradley University, and we have shot footage for their cross country, cheer & soccer teams as well as providing clips of the Peoria area for their basketball team's intro video.

My biggest learning experience was to really listen to my intuition when flying. My worst crash happened about a year in--so I was feeling comfortable with the technology, yet had a lot to learn (I still do! Every job is a learning experience!) and wanted to capture some major flooding in the Illinois River Valley. It was a stormy day, but I thought I could still get a little bit of footage when there was a tiny break in the weather. I did get my footage, but it nearly cost me my copter!! The wind picked up as I was landing, flipped it over and my heart absolutely sunk, because I thought I killed it. No damage to any motors, but I did crack the case & broke 2 propellers. I still use this drone today, but she looks like a warrior.  (Note: I had qualms about flying that day, and if I had listened to my gut, my drone would still look like new. Trust your instincts!!!)

And, here is a photo of one of the STEM Camps I taught last year. We had 6 Tellos going all at once! It was absolute chaos, but they learned a lot, built their confidence and had fun, so the day was a complete success. I came back a couple months later to teach them how to edit their videos in Adobe Premiere.


Brimfield STEMMedium.jpg

Edited by Peoria Drone-Cheri
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