During this year’s Traverse City Film Festival, someone was observed flying an unmanned aerial system over Front Street crowds. Earlier in the summer, EAI, LLC of Grand Rapids spent a day shooting photography and cinematography using a low-altitude unmanned system at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme.
The presence of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in northern Michigan’s skies is on the rise – moving beyond the traditional military applications (i.e. “drones”) the general public associates with them – into civil aviation uses such as surveying of crops and acrobatic aerial footage in filmmaking.
“We wanted to capture a greater sense of destination, and what better way to do that than a couple of hundred feet above the ground,” says the resort’s eMarketing Manager Luke Mason.
It was a two-man crew, says Mason, with one controlling the camera and the other flying the quadcopter-type unmanned system. Mason says the company has a background working with defense contractors and the resort relied on it to be following all regulations around the UAS’ use.