Piel leads 4-H drones workshop

LEARNING ABOUT DRONES–Pictured are members of the 4-H Drone Photography Club at a recent meeting. Alan Piel of Red Bud led a workshop recently for the group.

Soaring at speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour, a small drone hovered over the wheat fields and farmlands of rural Randolph County as local 4-H members had a hands-on experience with the equipment. Alan Piel, local resident and owner of Flyin High Photography and DAM Drones LLC, led a workshop on the use of drones during the 4-H drone photography club.

During the two-hour event, Piel demonstrated how to properly mount propellers and calibrate the drone. Unlike the propellers on airplanes, drone propellers are angled opposite so they can lift straight up and keep the equipment steady. The GPS location settings allow the drone camera to stay stable even during windy conditions and the map on the tablet screen will record the route of the drone and assist with navigation.

The specific model that was demonstrated uses DJI Go app software, which allows for high quality 12 mega pixel images to be captured. The drone can take still photos and videos as far as one and a quarter mile away. The point of interest setting allows the user to program the elevation and distance from a subject and will continuously rotate around the point of interest. Once the drone reaches a battery life of 30 percent or less, it will indicate a warning. Once that drops to 15 percent, the drone will land itself.

For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.