Drone takes aerial heart photo at HIS

Robert Sedlak, of Skyview Aerial Drone Photography, used a remote-controlled aerial quad-helicopter (drone) to take a memorable photo for HIS students.

Robert Sedlak, of Skyview Aerial Drone Photography, used a remote-controlled aerial quad-helicopter (drone) to take a memorable photo for HIS students.

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Helena Intermediate School students were excited to have their aerial photo taken as all 900 gathered on the lawn to form the shape of a heart in honor of Great Kindness Week.

Robert Sedlak, owner and pilot of Skyview Aerial Drone Photography, arrived at HIS to take the aerial photo that, once posted online, had received some 9,000 views by the week’s end.

Sedlak, who partners with Stacy Cobb (husband of HIS teacher Dawn Cobb) in the business, sent the remote-controlled aerial quad-helicopterinto the air. It hovered at an angle for the snap, never directly overhead the group.

“People sometimes have a negative image of the word drone from hearing about them in the news,” Sedlak said, “and they forget the upside and many ways drones are helpful.”

Drones can be used to check on farm crops, to look for lost cattle, and, of course, can be very valuable in search and rescue.

“Our infrared heat sensors have 1,800 lumens of light – we can light up areas in the woods to search for lost kids or hikers. The unit also has GPS, so it can go into places a helicopter can’t reach.”

Aerial photography is becoming the newest tool for taking real estate videos and is used for inspections on high-rise buildings (eliminating the need to use scaffolding or humans), radio tower inspections, dam and bridge inspections, roof inspections and land views.

Sedlak recalled one enjoyable experience with the drone when, during a camping trip to north Alabama, he followed the exploits of a family of four black bears.

“Often people get a drone and don’t know how to program it; if they call us, we can instruct them properly.”

Back inside the school, throughout the week, students were called to various ways of expressing kindness—each student was challenged to do five acts of kindness each day and keep a record of them.

The week’s event was a part of the larger initiative Kids For Peace, kidsforpeaceglobal.org.