The Farmer with Altitude!


Phantom 3When was the last time you took yourself way out of your comfort zone? Perhaps you absailed down the side of a building, cycled to Paris or swam the channel? Since June I have spent much time well away from my own personal comfort zone. I have been learning not just how to fly a UAV or drone, but have leapt the many hurdles in order to do it properly, safely and legally. I’ve passed my first exam for over forty years, written a unique 57 page flight manual with authority and yesterday passed a flight test in Lincolnshire. And all in my Sixtieth year!
However I didn’t do it on my own. Not only were there some great co-masochists in the Newcastle classroom at the end of June, but also those guiding us forward towards success were of the highest calibre. Sion and Daniel are military men, and as we all know our military is the best-trained in the world, so it came as no surprise when their training of us proved to be so successful. There were times when I didn’t know whether to honour it, salute it or remove its parachute and kick it out of the open door, but those two simply led from the front with unwavering belief that we could do it.
When I was told after my test that I’d achieved a ‘skilled pass’, all that this ancient farmer could utter in surprise was, “bloody hell, thank you!”
When are you going to leave your comfort zone…

Yesterday I went to film a tree,
my final test to fly a drone you see!
Daniel and Sion gazed on with awe,
“looks like he’s chased a tree before!”
They looked around the panorama,
“He’s used to fields as he’s a farmer!”
Just then the drone came into land,
Like a runaway tractor except planned.
When they recovered their shock at last,
“He didn’t crash, I think he’s passed!”
I heard them tell the non-existent multitude:
“He’s our farmer, he’s got altitude!”
TreeWith tremendous thanks to Sion and Daniel from RUSTA ( How they managed to guide me through the three months without a sheepdog I’ll never know. If you want to use a drone properly, take it from me you need experts to train you, and I thoroughly recommend these two be the ones that help you achieve your goal. If they can get a simple son of the soil over the hurdles, they must be the best!

© Baldock Bard 2015
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