Chad Copeland


Chad Copeland is a globaly recognized, professional UAS "Drone" pilot and camera operator who specializes in capturing stunning visuals in urban and remote locations around the world. Today, he continues to provide services for a plethora of clients (listed below) and has led Search and Rescue (SAR) missions by using FLIR thermal imaging cameras along side high resolution units. Below are a few stories from his travels. He was certified by the Federal Aviation Agency in the United States in 2013 and has been a licensed manned aircraft pilot since 2001. After retiring from the US Air Force, he was an Air Traffic Controller at Seattle ARTCC for three years before entering the private sector as a UAS specialist.

"CopelandRED LLC" carries a $5 million dollar insurance policy and will provide a document of insurance to professional agencies upon request along with the pilot license number.


Drone Stories from the Field

Stone Forest, Shilin, China

"Empire of rock"

In the early Fall of 2013 Chad went on a 6-week assignment with National Geographic to explore China's ancient limestone formations. His objective was to provide an aerial perspective of never seen before of the geological phenomena using professional climbers to provide scale.


"Jordn Valley Lava Study Area"

In the Spring of 2017, Chad spent 3 weeks "GIS" mapping from a drone the Jordan Valley Lava Study Area with specialized cameras to learn more about the flow. Starting at the Coffee Pot crater, where the lava flow originated, we learned the area is still active, now 3500 years after the initial flow and remains a hot spot.


"Droning THE tornado"

In the late Spring and early Summer of 2017, Chad will be "Hunting Storms" in search of tornados. He will fly FLIR thermal imaging cameras to see inside the tornado and photographing them with high resolution cameras.

Professional Drone Services


  • National Geographic
  • Disney/ESPN
  • NFL Network
  • Arc'Teryx
  • G-Technology
  • NBC
  • NBC Sports
  • PBS
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • FreeFly Systems
  • DJI
  • Oakley
  • The North Face
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Qantas Airlines
  • Toyota
  • Carls Cycle Sales
  • Polaris
  • Moment Lens
  • AquaTech
  • Ducati
  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • Land Rover
  • Iceland Air
  • US Geological Survey

Federal Aviation Agency

Under the blanket COA, the FAA will permit flights at or below 400 feet for UAS operators with a Section 333 exemption for aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds and for government UAS operations. Operators must fly under daytime Visual Flight Rules, keep the UAS within visual line of sight of the pilot and stay certain distances away from airports or heliports:

Five nautical miles (NM) from an airport having an operational control tower; or

Three NM from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower; or

Two NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower; or

Two NM from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure.


Recurrent training and certification as directed by the Federal Aviation Agency.