Posted July 16, 2019 08:51:11A pilot of a private cargo plane is making history.
His journey began at a remote airstrip near the Australian capital, Canberra, and ended in a remote field near Perth, with his crew strapped to a drone that was flown to the remote airstrips and ground stations.
The man who flies the plane said he would never have dreamed of flying in a helicopter, but he now believes it is possible.
“I have done a lot of research, and when I think about what I would do in a life-threatening situation, I don’t think I would be afraid,” the pilot, who wants to remain anonymous, said.
“It’s the closest thing I can imagine to flying in the helicopter, which I’m very proud of.”
The pilot, a 40-year-old Australian who prefers to be called John, said the simulator would allow him to fly his drone “to the point where I can’t take any more.”
“It would be like driving, but with your head down, which is not the safest, because you don’t have the head down and the controls you can’t make a mistake,” he said.
The pilot said he was inspired by a “little plane that flew for a long time” in a test flight in 2003.
“The first time I saw it was on YouTube and I was so impressed by it that I bought it and flew it on the simulator for two weeks straight, and that was it,” he told ABC Radio Perth.
“That was the first time that I had actually seen a flight in a real aircraft, so that was pretty awesome.”
The first flight took place in a small plane in the sky above Perth, and it was a difficult one for the pilot.
“We had to go through some pretty tough, steep terrain, but it was all worth it,” the man said.
He said the pilot was “thrilled” to be the first person to fly a drone on a commercial flight.
“You know, I can go down there, take off, fly a couple of hours, and I’m like, ‘Wow, I got it’,” he said, noting the simulator was designed for the small-scale test flight, which was only a test.
“There was no real plan, no real test, just a bunch of fun.”
John was also proud to be flying his drone into Perth Airport on his own.
“If you’re going to do that, you need to fly it on your own, you know?” he said with a smile.
The simulator, which will cost $500K, has already been tested in Australia, but this is the first commercial flight from Perth to Perth Airport, and John said he hoped the pilot would go through the process on his first flight.