Michael Cummings plans on growing the list of offerings his fledgling drone company has based on whatever needs his customers have but he doesn’t see an end to the growing list of applications his services could cover.
A lot of people have spent time on social media checking out cool images and videos shot from the aerial platforms, but a drone can do a lot more than just capturing photos of pretty sunrises and overhead views of the seasonal scenery.
As a remote-controlled platform for different sensors like LiDAR (a technology similar to RADAR that uses a laser instead of radio waves), infrared and more in the hands of a skilled and licensed drone pilot, the technology can be used in a gamut of industries.
“Drones offer numerous advantages for commercial applications, and it’s not just limited to getting great views of your properties,” Cummings noted. “Unmanned technology allows for safer inspections of assets like cell towers, commercial buildings, roofs, and utility lines. Mapping applications are revolutionizing agricultural data gathering and construction progress monitoring, with advanced functions like survey-grade contour accuracy, stockpile volumetrics, and geo-coded progress documentation over the life-cycle of a project.”
Cummings has been a member of the Dubois County Airport Authority since 2009. In that role, he’s watched as the Federal Aviation Administration has created regulations for the legal usage of unmanned aerial systems for civilian commercial purposes. As an aspiring entrepreneur, he saw the rising demand for drone usage as well as all the potential for future applications and decided to dive in and open MC Aerial Imaging.
“I had a number of concepts that I worked on but never went forward with. Back in June, I had briefly explored buying an existing local commercial photography business, but when that didn’t pan out, I knew it was time to give the aerial services a try,” he explained. “I’ve been hinting and joking for years that I was going to start a drone business, but it took almost a decade for the FAA to get the regulations and licensing in place.”
MC Aerial Imaging can help with construction management, aerial surveying, roof and structural inspection, real estate, marketing photo/video, insurance, agriculture, and much more.
“Because the technology has a lot to offer to so many industries, I felt inspired to offer these services to the Southern Indiana region. Everyone has known drones would be a game-changer,” he stated. “The accuracy, safety, and time-savings — these things are becoming more and more apparent. Now it’s a matter of bringing value to local companies by finding efficiencies and helping them stay at the top of their game with what they are already great at.”
Cummings loves flying the drone but the end product he can provide is a gamechanger across many industries. “The magic is seeing the data you’ve gathered come to life in post-processing,” he explained. “Generating detailed and accurate maps, contour lines, stockpile volumetrics, and 3D modeling are among the advanced capabilities I find exciting.”
Cummings lives in Ferdinand with his wife, Molly. The couple has two children, Zachary and Elizabeth.