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  • X. Trang Nguyen

Pilot Spotlight: Interview with Paula Sullivan

Tell us your story. How did you get started in the drone industry and when did that happen?

Once I started flying a drone (March 2017) I met so many fabulous drone enthusiasts and one buddy introduced me to Mike Gearin & Petr Hejl, two of the owners of PhotoFlight Aerial Media here in New England. Mike encouraged me to get my 107, they both trained me and the learning is ongoing! I became a part of PhotoFlight in January 2018.

Tell us about your company/work/organization and your position.

PhotoFlight Aerial Media is a company that provides professional UAS/Drone Services to partners in News & Event Broadcast, Film Production, Marketing, Government Institutions and Industrial Companies. My position is as an operator, one of my major contributions is live news coverage, but I also do real estate jobs as well.

What kind of drone(s) do you fly and what's your favorite thing about it?

I fly the Phantom 4 Pro. I love the camera's capabilities and I love how versatile it is. I also on rare occasions get to fly the Inspire 2 and the M210.

Have you learned any valuable lessons being in the drone industry you can share with our female drone community?

I have learned that it isn't always easy in a profession dominated by men, but that I don't have to navigate this profession like a man would. I can do it my way.

Whether it's from a creative, commercial or humanitarian perspective, tell us about your most memorable drone flight you have piloted thus far.

I have a genuine love of urban exploration and going to California to see the Salton Sea and abandoned buildings in the surrounding towns was a trip and a day's worth of flying I'll not soon forget. The desert was incredible.

What would you say to women and girls about the drone industry to spark their interest in getting involved?

Everyone loves photography, drones give you a unique perspective that no one has ever seen before. It's exciting to be on the cusp of something new and trying to do something that hasn't been done before.

What excites you most about more women joining the drone industry?

Just the idea that there can be so much creativity to this art, that we all can enjoy it. Woman can expand the creativity.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

Not only do I love landscapes, but architecture as well! After a recent wedding venue, I would even love to explore a more portrait style with a human subject in that beautiful landscape!


Paula was born and raised in eastern Connecticut and works as a middle school Social Studies teacher as well as flying for PhotoFlight Aerial Media. PhotoFlight is a New England based, international professional drone service company, where Paula is often utilized to provide news coverage. She is an FAA certified drone pilot and loves capturing the beauty of New England, especially historical locations. She especially loves the stories behind each location she shoots. Paula attended Eastern Connecticut State University and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History & Social Science, and a Master of Science in Secondary Education. She is passionate about history & photography. If you would like to get in touch with Paula, you are able to contact her via instagram @drone_gurl

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