You Do...What? Episode 7: Drone Pilot

Host Toh Yan Wei (left) flies a drone indoors, under the supervision of full-time drone pilot Wei Ming Xian.
Host Toh Yan Wei (left) flies a drone indoors, under the supervision of full-time drone pilot Wei Ming Xian.PHOTO: ZAOBAO.SG

What sets professional drone pilots apart from their recreational counterparts? How do you ensure your drone doesn't become a safety hazard in the sky?

After some hands-on experience, host Toh Yan Wei is convinced that being a professional drone pilot is by no means easy. It is much more than simply flying the drone with a remote control, for there are lots of logistics planning and preparation to be done prior to deployment. These include handling client expectations, making critical decisions in emergency scenarios such as bad weather or technical faults.

Despite rapid technological advancement in the drone industry, accidents are still common. Nowadays, recreational drones have become increasingly smaller in size, with some weighing less than 1kg, while professional drones can weigh as heavy as 10kg. Controlling the latter is therefore a more complicated affair.

Professional drones are used in a wide array of applications, from aerial photography to parcel delivery to surveillance, across both civil and military fields.

Full-time drone pilot Wei Ming Xian, 28, believes that being meticulous, having good situational awareness and leadership capabilities are key qualities a drone pilot should possess.

In this final episode of You Do...What?, host Toh Yan Wei meets Ming Xian to learn more about his career. What interesting activities did they do together? Watch to find out!


About "You Do...What?"

As technology advances, some jobs that were non-existent in the past have emerged, while some others have withstood the test of time. 

In this 7-part series, join host Toh Yan Wei (Chinese Media Group NewsHub Journalist) as she gets hands-on experience with some unconventional jobs in a journey of new discoveries. 

"You Do...What?" is one of 16 short-form video series produced by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), as part of the second season of SPH's Public Service Broadcast content. Viewers can visit the zaobao.sg or use the mobile app to watch all 7 episodes, which come with Chinese and English subtitles.