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31 May 2016

Alumni Profile: Mike Campbell, ckmm|photographic

Mike Campbell, ckmm|photographic

Mike Campbell

Mike worked as an engineer for many years and now operates ckmm|photographic, based in Brampton, Ontario. ckmm|photographic provides commercial and corporate photography and video services to small and medium-sized businesses in the Greater Toronto Area. They specialize in event photography and videography for conferences, seminars, and promotional webinars and recently added aerial photography and videography to their offerings. ckmm|photographic is also a member of Unmanned Systems Canada (USC) and Canadian UAV Alliance (CUAVA).

Mike became interested in integrating UAV in the company’s operations as more and more projects required placing the camera at higher levels, which proved challenging in some cases. Mike decided to incorporate the use of UAV so the company could better meet client needs. At first, he started out with hobby multirotor UAV so he could learn to fly and land (or crash!) and then moved on to more suitable custom-built heavy lift aircraft.

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In January of 2015, the company decided to go full scale. ckmm|photographic already had experienced RC pilots with decades of experience flying fixed wing UAV on its team. However, the company was also interested in obtaining a SFOC as there was a firm belief in flying within Ministry of Transport safety guidelines. While researching the SFOC process, Mike noted that attending a ground school was one of the key Transport Canada requirements. Based on the strong recommendations for Aerobotika he received from USC members and alumni of Aerobotika’s ground school, Mike and his team decided to attend Aerobotika’s UAV Ground School over other choices and were very pleased they did.

We had sent pilots to other local ground schools, and the Aerobotika course offered way more value and way more information versus what we had seen with the other courses. The other courses did not provide anywhere near the UAV information and coaching that Kate [Aerobotika pilot and training lead] and Aerobotika provided.

Mike noted in particular that Kate’s instructional style was appropriate for “a bunch of guys trying to figure this UAV thing out”, and it was apparent that Kate has “expert and current knowledge in UAV”. He also credits the course for accelerating ckmm|photographic’s progress toward obtaining a Standing SFOC, which they received this April. Mike does not hesitate to recommend Aerobotika to others looking for a high quality ground school and invites other alumni to join the Aerobotika Alumni Facebook page.