TL;DR – You can go and fly your kite, I’ll fly my drone.
Have you ever been asked a simple question that threw you off guard because you weren’t able to answer it?
A few days ago, I was on a date with this rather cute guy and he asked me this, “What are your hobbies?” Simple enough question, right? I mean it’s not like he asked me to solve a quadratic equation, but I was dumbfounded. And embarrassed.
I deliberated over things that could be considered a hobby (Haha, am not sure if sleeping and shopping online for new clothes are considered hobbies), but…
NEWSFLASH: I don’t have a proper hobby!
So needless to say, I was deeply troubled when I got home after the date. I fretted over it endlessly and decided that I need a hobby – one that gives me a sense of fulfillment, pride, and satisfaction with myself.
A few options came to mind, but this particular one won my heart and yesss, I think this shall be my new hobby – flying a drone!
Let me share 5 reasons why I think drones make a totally awesome hobby.
1) Take stunning photos and videos
You don’t have to invest in an expensive professional camera, climb the mountains and risk getting hurt just to capture those super stunning landscape shots.
With drones, you can literally(!) take your photography and videography to greater heights and take amazing shots!
2) Access and explore hard-to-reach areas
If you are an enthusiastic explorer, drones can become your trusty tool when you have to go out into the wilderness. You can explore the ocean caves, the top of a mountain without having to put your life on the line.
Some people have even used drones to explore volcanoes and managed capture footages such as an erupting volcano! Cool bananas!
3) Flying a drone is cool AF
Not only are you at the cutting edge of a brand new aviation and technological advancement, it makes you a legit pilot too – woohoo, drone pilots ftw!
If your drone’s 7kg to 25kg, you will need to sit through a pilot licensing scheme. Yeps, like how we take theory and practical tests for our driving licence. This is ensure that you are a safe pilot and you know how to handle the aircraft.
For heavyweight drones over 25kg, you may be required to obtain certification of the unmanned aircraft (UA), certification of the operator, and carry out maintenance of UA with a certified maintenance organization.
There are many training organizations you can approach. These training organizations are approved by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to provide training to equip unmanned aircraft pilots with the necessary skills and conduct the assessment.
SkillsHQ Academy is one of the training service providers. They provide both Basic and Advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Pilot courses which allow users to experience flying professional level drones. These courses also help to educate users about the legislations and regulations to fly a drone in Singapore.
These courses are eligible for SkillsFuture Credit too!
4) Great conversation starter and it gives you major brownie points for being cool
Not everyone has seen drones in action, let alone fly one. Wanna be the cool kid in town? Fly a drone!
When you fly a drone, be prepared to get asked ton of questions about it. You can also use this chance to show off your amazing pictures and it’s also a great pick-up line, hurhur.
It can also be your savage comeback if anyone ever asks you to “Go fly a kite”. Say this, “Sorry, but I fly a drone.” flips hair
- Total mass of drone, including a payload (such as a camera) is 7kg or below.
- Drone is flown at 60m (200 ft) above mean sea level or below.
- Drone is flown outside of restricted, danger, protected, prohibited areas and not within 5km of an aerodrome / airbase.
Otherwise, it is better if you check out the CAAS website and make sure you have the required permit to do so. If not later kena fine, you laokui in front of your date, very paiseh one.
So how do I know all these things about drones and all? It’s because I attended an Introduction to Drone Piloting workshop organised by NTUC’s UFLX last week.
5) Gateway to job opportunities
The global drone market is estimated to be worth $127 billion by 2020 and it will only continue to bloom. Experts have predicted a surge in drone-related careers.
For instance, in industries which formerly involve human workers to manually conduct inspections of equipment or structures, such as the construction industry and oil and gas industry, drones can improve work processes. These industries can greatly benefit by using drones to increase their efficiency and also to minimize occupational health and safety hazards in the work environment!
So, being a drone pilot doesn’t mean you fly the drone just to take photos hor.
Whilst there can be exciting new drone-related jobs in the future, what if the existing workforce does not possess the skill needed to do the jobs?
I think the Labour Movement may just be THAT unusual, or maybe they have a crystal ball. Maybe it’s both. Apparently NTUC has already been preparing for the transition.
NTUC, together with NTUC’s LearningHub, and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), have been pushing out different training programmes to help working people upskill, so that the workforce can be ready for future jobs that require future skills.
Which is good if you ask me. I don’t have a crystal ball, so at least if I ever want to change jobs, I’ll know where to check out to make sure I hop into the right one!
(Featured image via Jonathan Tan, NTUC)