Brandon Tenold thinks drones get a bad rap. He’s trying to change that, one flight at a time. “I want to show that they can do a lot of good.”
“I want to show that these are good because the media displays drones as killers, media displays drones as things that hurt people,” Tenold said.
The 17-year-old high school junior from Reva in northwestern South Dakota hopes to join the Air Force and eventually have a private-sector career in drone construction and operation. He has a good start, building and flying his own drones along with more traditional remote-control airplanes in his dad’s auto shop.
It’s big, beautiful country, but not without its complications. Strong winds and electrical storms will ground the battery-powered drones, which are affected by storms 30 miles away. Brandon doesn’t fly when the wind is more than 20 mph. But when he does send up his drone, it offers a unique look at the landscape. Equipped with a GPS system, auto pilot, video gear and a recorder, the drone can quickly offer images that would otherwise take horses, pickups and even larger airplanes. … (Read more)