Kalispell drone pilots tout life-saving technology – NBC Montana



Kalispell drone pilots tout…

KALISPELL, Mont. –  

The use of drones has continued to evolve.  What started out as a tool for commercial use has emerged into a tool that can be used by search and rescue crews.

They are versatile and can get never-before-seen vantage points on a specific area.

For two drone pilots in Kalispell, this has become their life.

Matt Ragan, the owner of Birds Eye of Big Sky, knew drones would become popular the first time he saw one flying through the sky.

“That’s it, that is the future. I know so many industries that I could use that kind of technology. I know it’s only going to get better, so I jumped in with both feet,” Ragan said.

He left the excavation company he had worked at for 17 years and brought on co-pilot Danielle DeLeon. She wants to see more pilots get involved.

“Once you have an environment and a coach who is willing to show you and kind of create that road map or at least show you down that road map of learning how to fly a drone it’s extremely easy,” she said.

Ragan assisted on a search and rescue mission in 2015 and discovered a whole new capability of drones.

“I hadn’t even got to use it for that up until that time. I know it could be, but until then I just had only in theory thought and had talked to other people who had done it,” he said.

Drones are an efficient way to help somebody in need and were used effectively to find two missing hikers in Denver last June.

Ragan says there is currently a group of volunteers working to create an app where drones can be even more effective. ​

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