A Canadian pilot has told his story to a special feature on CBC News Network’s The National, revealing how he became the first Canadian to fly a drone from his home in Quebec to a remote airstrip in northern India.
The pilot, C.J. Prathap, says he was shocked by what he saw when he was in his backyard, a remote stretch of forest with a dense canopy of tall pine trees.
“I was like, ‘Wow, what’s going on?'” said Prathop, who also works as a medical doctor.
“It was quite a dramatic scene.”
Prathp’s experience, while unique, was not unique.
The first drone pilot to fly from the home of a private citizen to a location remote from the rest of the world, Pratham is a case study in how drones are now being used to explore remote and remote areas in a variety of ways, from surveying to medical care.
The technology has already been used to conduct research and monitor the health of people in remote areas.
But it has also been used in more dangerous ways.
In July, a man in Pakistan was killed when a drone crashed into his car, killing him.
And in June, a drone struck a helicopter near the city of Kunar in Afghanistan, killing one crew member and injuring seven others.
As part of its pilot program in the Horn of Africa, Royal Canadian Air Force has flown a variety in-person, drone visits to remote locations, as well as in-air training.
This week, the Royal Canadian Navy is planning to begin flying its first drone training mission in the region.
The RCAF, however, says the drone training will not be a regular practice.
“In terms of training and the program, the RCAFs main focus is on conducting training missions that are focused on air defence, and the RCS program is focused on training in all areas that are relevant to the operational needs of our forces,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Marc Pfeffer, an RCAf spokesman.
“However, as our military and civilian counterparts are working together, it’s also important to ensure the safety and security of all our forces.”
The RCS pilot program is still in its early stages.
The Canadian military has asked the public to stay away from the remote areas that it will be flying missions in.
There will be no aerial flights in those areas, and no drones will be allowed to land, Pfefer said.
In addition, the military has told people not to visit remote areas or other areas that the military will be using for training, such as caves, the sea, and water.
The air force will also allow people to bring their own cameras, but the RCCAF has asked for all photographers to sign a waiver that will require them to give their real names and photo IDs, so as not to compromise their safety.
Praths family has been flying drones from their home in Canada for more than two decades.
Prithap, who now works as an air force pilot, says flying drones has become part of his everyday life, and his dream of flying into remote areas is something that he hopes to fulfill.
“Flying drones has been something that has been part of my life for many years, and it’s something that I really want to do,” he said.
“My wife and I, we always wanted to have a remote location that was as close as possible to our home, and our family, and that’s what we are looking for right now.”
With files from CBC’s The Canadian Press.