Part 107 Pilot Spotlight: Joshua Miller
Written by Greg Barnes
Recently, another local man got Part 107 certified! At 2cofly, we love the drone community and want to begin featuring stories on new Part 107 pilots. This is the first of those features. Everyone, meet Josh Miller!
Josh is in his early-20s and was first exposed to drones over 5 years ago by his friend Richie. Josh can’t remember which drone it was — maybe it was a Phantom — but he does remember that it was awesome! He was blown away watching Richie fly it around (like a maniac? maybe?) and shoot amazing photos.
Fast-forward years later, to just this past May, when Josh graduated with his MBA from UOG (jeez, that’s a lot of letters), shortly thereafter founding a brand new company, Ethos Data Analytics & Branding. He uses a drone to help local businesses shape their branding. Josh’s drone, a brand new DJI Mavic 3, is perfect for taking stunning aerial photos and videos that are great for businesses to showcase themselves. But it’s also great for just flying around for fun, which he does a lot of!
About Josh’s company, Ethos Data Analytics & Branding: It’s a company that helps local businesses and consumers close the gap between each other. Ethos collects data analytics from customers, which helps the business make better decisions — decisions based on cold, hard facts rather than simple opinions, which may often be wrong. That data can also help businesses see which parts of their identity is lacking, and it can help them better shape their brand as a result. Ethos is a Greek word meaning truth (as in, business facts over opinion), and Josh named his company with a Greek word because he wouldn’t be here today had his parents not met years ago — in Greece!
Around the country (…not talkin’ bout Greece…), there are lots of business owners with drones who don’t even know that they need to get their Part 107 to promote their business — in fact, many don’t even know what the Part 107 is, or haven't ever heard of it at all! Josh knew, though, but how? “Before I get into anything, I like to do my due diligence. And I found that out on YouTube.”
To anyone out there considering whether or not to take the plunge and buy a drone, Josh gives similar advice: "Do your due diligence. There are rules associated with drones." Learn those rules, he says — and those rules need to be learned by every drone pilot.
Recreational drone pilots are required to learn the rules and regulations by taking the TRUST Test. It takes a little as 30 minutes, right from home, and is totally free.
Commercial drone pilots are required to learn deeper knowledge by taking their Part 107 test.
To any recreational drone pilots who are on the fence about getting their Part 107, Josh, like Nike, has 3 words for you: “Just do it,” he says. Josh thinks that getting the Part 107 is worth it because of the deeper understanding you’ll have of the drone rules, but getting it is also good because you’ll be forced to stay current on the rules. That’s because with the Part 107, you need to take a recurrent test every 2 years. In contrast, recreational pilots with their TRUST certification are never required to take a recurrent test, so how would they know the latest rules? (We at 2cofly agree with Josh: Bite the bullet and get your Part 107. We wouldn’t recommend anything unless we really believed it, including this. And trust us — as long as you do the proper studying for it, it’s not nearly as bad or impossible as you might think.)
Josh is not an impulse buyer, and even though drones are super cool, he recommends that people not rush into making a purchase, but instead, take their time. “Don’t just jump the gun and get one because everyone else has one,” he says. “Think about why you’re getting it. Think about what you’re going to use your drone for.” That means that realistically, if you’re not going to use it, don’t get one. But it also means that if you do choose to but a drone, get one that’ll suit your needs.
When you do decide it’s time to buy and you finally put your not shiny, very plasticy new baby up into the air, “network,” Josh says. “Reach out to people who have the same interest as you.” Don’t do it alone. The local drone community is larger than many think — and it is thriving. There are a number of local Guam-based Facebook groups which revolve around drones, and some more on WhatsApp.
Since getting his Part 107 mere weeks ago, Josh has followed his own advice and reached out and networked with other local drone pilots, even if that is as simple as getting to know them. And it’s been good for us to get to know him as well — he’s a great guy.
From us at 2cofly, congratulations, Josh! And from us in the drone community of Guam, welcome — you are now one of us! Represent us all well out there!
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