These days, when you’re yearning to find out bits and pieces of information about anything in particular, you don’t need to look much further than the “Facebook Group”. Now, on the matter of drones, there are dozens upon dozens of groups – I won’t go into the pros and cons of being a member of any of these groups as there are plenty of both.
I was lucky enough to stumble across one called “Three Counties Drone Flyers – Bucks, Northants, Oxon”. Despite the fact that I don’t live in any of those counties (I have family who do… loose connection!) I was still welcomed into the fold, and it’s been great fun ever since.
Not long after joining this group, having spent some time getting to know the fellow members, a ‘meeting’ was proposed and organised by the group’s creators, Will Beasley and Jeremy Costello (also a Fly Icarus ambassador). On a beautiful summer’s day, on a farm just outside of Brill, Buckinghamshire, a small group of us came together to do what we do best – fly our drones! Some people had met before at earlier gatherings, while others (like me) were brand new and introduced to everyone. The rules are simple – stick to the CAA regulations and be sensible. The great thing about a meeting like this is that it has no defined purpose or objective, i.e. we’re not there to network, we’re not there to try and sell something, no one (the farmer or the organisers) is reaping any sort of monetary reward. Instead, we go purely to enjoy our hobby with like-minded people. We talk about where we come from, what we do, what gear we’re all using, and allow each-other to try out different aircraft and share knowledge. When it all comes down to it, we’re all just there to have some fun, all facilitated by the wonder of social media!
There has been a good few more meetings since that first one in Brill, but I haven’t been able to attend all of them. Some have been glorious, clear days, some have been miserable – the perils of having to rely on weather to enjoy your hobby!
We now also have joint meetings with the local FPV racing group, bringing together even more knowledge. Some of those who attend are pure hobbyists, looking to get nothing more than the enjoyment of taking some decent aerial footage, some are a bit technically-minded who also like the engineering side to it all, creating their own contraptions, and there’s a few like myself who have decided to go down the commercial road hoping to make some form of living from this ever-growing industry. In fact, it was quite useful for me to attend meetings prior to taking my OE, as it allowed me to converse with two fellow Fly Icarus students, helping and supporting each other to get through and obtain our PfCO’s. It’s a great community!
In essence, what I want to convey here are the benefits of finding people in your area, if you can, or try to find a land owner who would be willing to let you meet up on their land and go and have some fun. Learn from each other, as well, and enjoy every flight.
I hope you’ll enjoy having a look at a few photos that I have taken at various meets.