The following is an interview with Cameron Gill on WomenAndDrones.com.
My name is Cameron Gill and I am 39 years old. Before I started working with drones, I was a ballroom dance instructor in Phoenix, AZ. I moved from The Valley of the Sun when I was 21.
How did you get started in the drone industry?
Distraught because I’d be leaving my treasured dessert, I picked up a camera for the first time and started documenting some of the beauty around me. I held a desire to learn to fly from an early age, so working with drones seemed like the perfect marriage of my two interests. I ended up in southeast Georgia, by way of Chicago, living with family and strongly wishing I was back in Arizona with my friends. I had sold my car before moving to The Windy City, knowing that I wouldn’t need it there and to have enough cash on hand to at least afford my first month of rent. So, by the time I arrived in rural Georgia, I was out of money, out of options and had no transportation to even begin to look for work. I made a very hard decision. I decided to join The Army.
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I tested very well and was offered many military occupational specialties. I chose to fly drones because it would take me back to AZ for training and I had hoped that I would stay there after my training was over. That is not what ended up happening. Initially, I was trained to be a Hunter, MQ-5Aoperator. When I started working with the Hunter Legacy System, the aircraft was flown using actual buttons and dials. The display was a monochrome orange and black screen. It looked like something from the TV show, M.A.S.H. After I arrived at my first duty station, I was told that my knowledge as a Hunter pilot wasn’t needed; The Army was buying a brand-new fleet of Shadow UAS. So, within one year, I learned two of The Army’s UAS platforms. I graduated from the second ever Shadow class as the first junior enlisted female in The Army to fly the Shadow 200 TUAV.
Since then, I have been deployed overseas for a total of 48 months; I have earned a B.S. in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and I have worked as a ScanEagle UAS pilot and maintainer.
Tell us about your organization
Currently, I am the owner and operator of a small business called Icarus Media Productions. I operate a DJI Phantom 4 Pro and I am reconnecting with my love of the lens. I do all my own image gathering as well as all the post-production editing. And I love my job.
What do you like most about being in the UAS industry?
I like the genuine sense of accomplishment I feel as a pioneer in this industry. I have seen so much good come of the work that I have done and I know that there is more do. So, my favorite part of being in the UAS industry is knowing that there are always new challenges and frontiers on the horizon. Continue reading the full interview with Cameron Gill on WomenandDrones.com.