DRONE OPERATORS: David Pendleton and Hadyn Wilson have established their business Optix Aerial in the Gympie region.
DRONE OPERATORS: David Pendleton and Hadyn Wilson have established their business Optix Aerial in the Gympie region. Philippe Coquerand

Former Tin Can Bay motel owners launch bold new enterprise

FROM running a hotel to flying drones in the Gympie region, these business partners are changing the way drones are perceived.

David Pendleton and Hadyn Wilson established Optix Aerial two years ago whilst running the Tin Can Bay motel. They sold the motel five months ago and have been focussing on their new company ever since.

Hadyn Wilson with the DJI Matrice 200 w/XT2.
Hadyn Wilson with the DJI Matrice 200 w/XT2. Philippe Coquerand

"We have been interested in drones for quite some time but it wasn't until we bought one that the passion grew,” Mr Wilson said.

"We immediately saw the potential for drones once it was up in the air, it's not invasive so it allows us to shoot wildlife footage and allows us to do many types of things.

Mr Pendleton said since they have their ReOC certificate, anyone employed under their wing is qualified to fly a drone above 2kg. With that in mind, he's hoping to create jobs in the near future.

"We're hoping to build something in the region where we are employing younger people to work in the media or capture media for us,” he said.

The pair lives in Glenwood and service all over the Wide Bay through to the Sunshine Coast.

The drone DJI Matrice 200 w/XT2.
The drone DJI Matrice 200 w/XT2. Philippe Coquerand

Mr Pendleton said they he and Mr Wilson both hold ReOC certificates allowing them to work commercially (and) for profit in compliance with CASA's laws.

Currently there is only 1455 ReOC certificate holders in Australia.

"Our main focus is using thermal camera's for a wide range of operations including search and rescue, fire and wildlife services, solar panel inspections, surveying, crop spraying and asset inspections” Mr Pendleton said.

"We also offer visual services with high end camera's for commercial advertising, as well as survey mapping, 3D modelling and asset showcasing.

"The applications of both UAV technology and thermal technology are literally endless and we hope to employ a new perspective of aerial operations in the Gympie region and to expand on our services to eventually change the current stigma surrounding drones.”

Find out more at their website www.optixaerial.com.au