Kurtis Damerow, owner of Emmet Drones, loves what he does.
“I’ve owned a drone for about 3 years now but I started flying RC airplanes about 13 years ago,” Damerow explains.
He’s also a student pilot, with an obvious excitement for all things airspace.
Growing up in Owosso, Damerow has always been drawn to things that fly.
“My grandfather use to build little plastic model airplanes and I loved playing with them. When I was 15, I mowed the grass for an entire summer and bought an RC airplane. I loved that thing and flew it every day I could,” Damerow reminisces.
At age 27, Damerow is making himself known in the community. Creative thinking and hard work helped to earn him the top spot within the Northern Lake Economic Alliance’s Emmet Entrepreneur Challenge and runner-up at the Grand Event pitch competitions in 2018.
“Drones can do a lot more than you think, if you need some sort of inspection or documentation, about anything you can make a business decision on, don’t be afraid to reach out,” Damerow says.
Drones can make 3D models from a still image. They can also map out an area, measure distances and volume.
“Some of my favorite projects have been for architects, businesses around town, and the music video with the Accidentals. I also love being able to take a drone to chamber of commerce ribbon cuttings since I am a Petoskey chamber ambassador,” Damerow says.
When hiring a drone operator for commercial purposes, “a lot of the operators aren’t licensed,” Damerow warns. “If something goes wrong, if you injure someone, a drone falls out of the sky and hits a bird, a person, if that drone pilot is not licensed, the insurance claim will be denied.”
“Go to the FAA drone pilot lookup registry; airmen inquiry. Using the last name and first name, the system will give all of credentials for flying a drone. If the operator is not in that database then they are not licensed to fly a drone.” Damerow explains.
If you’re thinking of a project that could benefit from a drone, contact Damerow. He’d love to get a cup of coffee with you and discuss ideas.