Desi Ekstein

Learn the safety side of things. See how you can be a safe, proficient pilot. When you’ve mastered it, share it with others. Be safe, but have fun with it as well, because you want to make sure that you still have that passion in the long run.”

Desi Ekstein

This Week’s Key Question

“What’s it Take to Grow Your Brand in the Drone Industry?”

This Week’s Guests

Desi Ekstein is founder of “On The Go”, a drone services provider and educator for the UAS industry since 2015. On the To Video provides consulting, training, and safety education services. I interviewed Desi five years ago, when she had just entered the drone industry.  At that time, her passion for drones earned her the nickname, “Drone Diva”.  And over the years, that passion has continued to drive her forward.  Since 2015, her list of accomplishments is impressive.

Desi is one of the first women to obtain an FAA Certified 107 Remote Pilot certificate and a member of the FAA Wings program.  She is a graduate of the Gold Seal UAV Ground School, a Lead FAASTeam Representative Drone Pro in San Diego, an AUVSI San Diego Board member, and a AUVSI TOP Level 3 pilot. She is an UAS Operations instructor at TCI MiraCosta College and has a night endorsement. Desi is involved with several STEM and STEAM outreach programs such as, the Elementary Science Institute “Girls Take Flight” program for young women. She is also an advisor to Women and Drones.

What We Learn

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Desi traces her path from part-time hobbyist to full-time commercial drone operator and educator.  She shares her experiences, provides some advice and lessons learn and shows that anyone with a passion and time, can establish a successful presence in the drone industry.

In This Episode

Desi’s been flying drones since 2012 and has grown with the industry.  She started out doing  the classic flying camera routine and fell in love with the new perspective. Now she runs a drone videography business and is actively involved in STEM and STEAM education programs, and educating others in flying safe.In the five years that Desi has been flying drones, she’s seen opportunities grow for just about anyone who works for it.  Today, she feels there are a lot of opportunities, a lot of opening doors, and this is going to continue.  This is particularly true for women in the industry.  It was a challenge when Desi began flying drones, but today she feels people in the industry see the value that the women offer, not only as drone operators, but as CEOs and innovators.

She loves helping others, and she became part of the Girls Take Flight UAV program in San Diego, which inspired her to do more and she landed an opportunity to teach at MiraCosta college.  She has a long association with Women and Drones, as a safety advisor.

She’s always appreciated history, and with her newly found drone skills, she’s mapping and modeling old mining claims in the desert to preserve that part of the local history she enjoys.

Her advice to new drone operators – Definitely learn the drone that you’re going to be using, learn all about the mechanics of it and its abilities and what it can do. Once you’ve mastered flying and building a business, share that knowledge with others.  Always have fun with drones, because you want to make sure that you still have that passion for the long run.  And of course, be safe!

Mentioned Links