History as a Helicopter Pilot
Mike’s fascination for flying was ignited in his youth by his grandfather, a farmer and helicopter pilot. As a reward for helping with the chores his granddad would take Mike up in his helicopter, where they would explore the land from above—like birds in flight.
At the age of 12 upon sighting a radio-controlled helicopter flying over the farm, Mike’s immediate response was, “I want to do that!” He took action and began training with the top pilots of the day.
15 years ago he became a radio-controlled helicopter pilot. His passion for flying has taken him all over the world—to London, France and even as far as the Netherlands— for eight years he traveled with the top pilots as he participated in radio-controlled helicopter competitions and winning prizes.
Mike even built his own helicopter landing pad at his last home in Elkhorn Estates subdivision in Twin Falls, which he developed.
A Visionary and Innovator
Long before drones for the everyday man came on the scene, Mike was envisioning a radio-controlled helicopter with a camera that allowed you to see what you were photographing in real-time. His passions for photography and building created the impetus for this pursuit. Once again he took action by joining forces with his friend, a computer genius. Together they created a computer program that made his dream a reality. Mike’s innovation allowed him to utilize his invention for commercial use—years before camera-drones became available to the public.
Drone Footage Utilized in the Building Process
Hovering above your property with his drone—the Phantom DJ1—Mike observes the lay of the land and digitally draws a layout of the new home into the aerial photo, as to where he envisions your home. From inception to completion, each phase of the building process is recorded in video and photos from an aerial point of view. The benefits of this process are far reaching—from this perspective the lay of the land in its entirety is made available for both aesthetic and pragmatic considerations (i.e. aerial pictures of subdivisions).
FAA Regulations for Commercial Drones
Mike holds the distinction of being a licensed commercial drone pilot in Idaho. Since 2012 the FAA has required commercial drone pilots to hold a Section 333 Exemption. This means that the drone operator must have a traditional manned aircraft pilot’s license; Mike is a licensed helicopter pilot both full scale and radio controlled. Since Mike is licensed, it allows him to use his aerial video footage for his TV commercials.