The Drone Dish: nelsonaerialpros


AirVuz contributor and pilot Jordan Nelson is a professional drone pilot based in North Carolina, in the Southeastern USA. His company, Nelson Aerial Productions, offers drone services of all shapes and sizes. One of his specialties is using drones to chronicle and otherwise assist with natural disasters.  In this episode, host Tyler Mason catches up with Jordan to talk about his aerial video work, and his desire to use drones to both document natural disasters and to help their victims.  

  • about 4 years ago
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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Tyler Mason: Today we're joined by Jordan Nelson of Nelson Aerial Pros. Jordan, thanks for coming on the show. Jordan Nelson: Yeah, you're welcome. No problem. Thanks for having me. Tyler Mason: One of the first films of yours I saw was the devastation of Hurricane Matthew down in North Carolina. What was it like to film that, and do you think drones can be used in the future for hurricane relief and documenting the devastation? Jordan Nelson: Yeah, it was extremely surreal to be there, to see it in person. Growing up we've always seen devastation and things from hurricanes, and natural disasters on TV. I knew that it was something important to document, and that's the main reason I do this, is just historical documentation of these events. Obviously I'm there as well to help if need be. If first responders or someone needs assistance in any way where a drone would benefit, I'd be happy to do that. They're dangerous situations. Definitely it's something that I would recommend professionals. Tyler Mason: That film on Hurricane Matthew was nominated for the Los Angeles Drone Film Festival. You have another one coming up for the New York City Drone Film Festival called "The Boom," and that one focuses on building implosions. As a drone pilot, what's the challenge to flying in those situations? Jordan Nelson: The use of drones in building implosions now is really pretty big. What we have to do is make sure that everyone's still allowed to be there and film it, but from a safe distance. Typically it's .2, .3 nautical miles, so a few thousand feet. Then also just working with the explosive demolition team to understand and know how the building is going to fall. A lot of things go into planning for the angles, not only for the drones, but for the ground cameras as well. It's important to understand the physics of how they want it to fall and what they're thinking and then looking at the environment around the structure. Then just, it's probably the most stressful of all of the things that I do just because you've got one chance, one opportunity. When they get down to one, and fire, you got to make sure all your cameras are running in the right positions. Tyler Mason: The last video I want to ask you about is, you droned your own proposal. Take me behind the scenes a little bit on that. How did you come up with the idea, and what was it like to execute that? Jordan Nelson: I've always wanted to use the drone in my proposal some way, and I thought about it for months and months on end. One thing I'm fortunate of is that I take my drone with me pretty much wherever I go, so I knew she wouldn't be asking, "Why are you bringing your done?" I knew she wouldn't be able to sniff out what was about to happen. So, we took a hike, which was actually, we took the same hike that we did on our first date, which was about two days shy of three years to the day. It was kind of like an anniversary type hike for our relationship. We went to the top of MacRae Peak, we're on one of the boulders at the very top, about a mile hike in. Had the drone out, and I said, "Hey, I'm just going to fly it around a little bit and put it on a point of interest flight." So, set us as the point of interest and put it on an orbit. As it was going around, I pulled her over to where I wanted it to happen at, and she thought I was joking with her at first because it was just past April Fools, just not long after that. She thought it was a late April Fools joke. So, proposed, and she said yes, and I picked up the transmitter, which had the video camera rolling, and got a close up of her reaction. Went back and put the video together and it went viral. Yeah, that was really cool to see what all came of that. Tyler Mason: Well, Jordan, you do some awesome work. Keep it up, and thanks again for joining us on the Drone Dish today. Jordan Nelson: Thanks, I appreciate it.