A Drone Event Like No Other

Held in Albuquerque, NM, the purpose of this awesome three-day event is to provide practical, hands-on flight instruction so pilots attending can immediately practice what they’ve learned as they actually get to fly their drone throughout the entire conference; not just sit and listen to a speaker in a room. Thus, the conference is intimate with ONLY 100 AVAILABLE SPOTS and will give you endless opportunities to build community, get inspired, and fly better.

The Fly-in is designed around multiple “flight missions” or stations that include obstacle courses, search & rescue exercises, public safety exercises, mapping, and real-world, business-like operations. You will be taught by niche specific experts that will help you as a pilot, regardless of experience, grow in your knowledge of various drone specialties, advance your flying skills, increase confidence, and foster relationships with fellow enthusiasts.

New this year are two optional add-on’s held one day early on Thursday, August 2nd.  Both will be LIMITED TO 30 SPOTS ONLY!  The first one is our Business Boot Camp, while the second is our Light Painting training.

BUSINESS BOOT CAMP – The “camp” is specifically designed for those currently operating a drone business, regardless of how long you’ve been doing so.  This add-on will include training on best practices in areas such as systems, marketing, growth strategies, time management, and outsourcing.  We will also lead a very active and engaging mastermind where you can discuss and receive immediate advice on specific struggles, ideas, or questions you have in your business right now.  This will be an intensive, full-day boot camp for those serious about taking their business to another level.  Join us on Thursday, August 2nd.

LIGHT PAINTING – On the night of August 2nd, we will also have an optional training on how to do Light Painting.  One of the more fun and cool things to do with a drone today, Light Painting will enable you to offer a unique service in your drone business as you learn how to bring out texture and dimension in a subject by flying at night with lights on your drone.  So don’t be left in the dark.  Add this option to your Fly-in experience and you’ll leave with a whole new niche for your market.

This event will sell out fast! So register now to join us from August 3-5 (or even on August 2nd) at the world-renowned Albuquerque International Balloon Field & Museum. We hope to see you soon.  Fly safe!

Flight Mission Descriptions

One of the biggest things that makes the Drone U Fly-in so unique is all the different exercises you get to actually do, instead of simply sitting in a room listening to someone talk about them. This conference is completely hands on so you can learn, practice, and become a better pilot. Here's a list of the "flight missions" or exercises you'll get to do at the Fly-in.

Subject Tracking

Consisting of three separate exercises, the goal here is to show you the best strategies in capturing cinematic shots while filming a moving object. You’ll practice using specific cinematic movements around the moving objects meant to simulate fasting moving items like cars and boats. The movements include half-moon orbit, tilting reveal, establish, track, and reveal out, close proximity tracking, overhead tile or the crane shot, and lastly, overhead approach to de-elevating orbit, and into a reverse punch-out reveal.

Real Estate Videography

Learn and immediately put into practice movements and strategies to get the best real estate videos. This exercise will have two areas where you'll capture footage using various cinematic movements around the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. You couldn't ask for a cooler setting to participate in this activity.

Investigative Dronin'

For this fun activity, you will participate in a timed flight where you have to take off, fly over to an HVAC unit, locate the serial number, take a picture, and relay the unit’s number before time runs out. This is a judged activity where awards will be given for the fastest time.

Obstacle Course

The Drone U obstacle course will help you learn how to fly with speed, control, and cinematic precision, while also building confidence in your abilities to capture and showcase exceptional shots. This course will test your spatial awareness, agility, and speed, as well as push you to a whole other level in your piloting skills and confidence.


With this "cool exercise", you'll be looking for "warm bodies" as you focus on systematically covering a large area so you can learn how to use thermal cameras. You will have an allotted amount of time to take off and come back with a detailed description of how many thermal sightings you saw. It's a rare and fun treat to get to use some higher end equipment.

Fast Water Rescue Challenge

This exercise will test your abilities to fly under pressure while. But don't fret, there's not actually any fast-moving water in Albuquerque. Instead, we'll be using a grappling hook to mimic the action of taking a guide rope to a person in distress. This is always a popular station for all attendees.

Target Practice

In this cool exercise, you'll be using a Drone U splash drone. Flying at an altitude of roughly 75 feet and at a minimum speed of 10 miles per hour, you'll be challenged to fly and drop a life preserver at a designated target on the ground. Your closest distance to the bullseye will be recorded on your Fly-in grading log and go towards your running Fly-in score.

Mapping Mobile Command

Here you'll be tasked with completing a mapping mission inside of Ground Station Pro. We'll give you specific instructions so you have just enough data to create a 3D model of the mobile command station itself. It will also have a "cell phone tower" afixed to the station, making the mission difficult as you must be able to manage a vertical facade mapping mission flight. Therefore, this exercise will test your ability to follow photogrammetry orders and complete a vertical facade mapping mission. You will also be tasked with processing your data later, or you can attend the mapping class on the final day of the fly in.

Crime Scene Mapping

Here you'll once again be tasked with completing a complex mapping mission normally reserved for public safety and police officers. This mission will have you fly multiple acquisition flights to acquire all necessary data in order to model the "crime scene." This type of mapping requires free flight with crosshatching missions in order to acquire all the data necessary to produce the model. Although the processing of this data is more time intensive than other photogrammetry rectification, it will teach you how to combine processes to create one high-resolution model.


Times and details are subject to change and will be finalized before the Fly-in

Time Session Speakers Venue
8:00 am to 6:00 pm BUSINESS BOOT CAMP (ADD-ON)
8:00 am to 9:00 am Welcome & Introductions
9:00 am to 10:00 am Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (click for brief description)
10:00 am to 10:15 am Break
10:15 am to 11:15 am Systems & Time Management (click for brief description)
11:15 am to 12:00 pm Outsourcing (click for brief description)
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm Lunch & Networking
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm Marketing & Branding (click for brief description)
2:30 pm to 5:00 pm Mastermind (click for brief description)
5:00 pm to 5:15 pm Break
5:15 pm to 6:00 pm Q & A
9:00 pm to 12:00 am LIGHT PAINTING TRAINING (ADD-ON)
Time Session Speakers Venue
8:30 am to 9:30 am Welcome & Pilot Debriefing
9:30 am to 12:30 pm Station Rotations (see descriptions below)
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Station Rotations (see descriptions below)
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Pilot Mixer
Time Session Speakers Venue
8:00 am to 8:30 am Pilot Debriefing
8:30 am to 12:00 pm Station Rotations (see descriptions below)
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm to 5:30 pm Station Rotations (see descriptions below)
Time Session Speakers Venue
9:00 am to 12:00 pm Classroom Trainings
12:00 pm to 1:00pm Lunch
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Classroom Trainings
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Open Flying


Join us at the world renowned Albuquerque International Balloon Field & Museum so you can...


Not sure what to do? Not sure where to start? Come get inspired as you get a taste of numerous types of drone specialties and skills.


There's no better way to build community than to do it in person as you get to fly drones. The relationships and bonds you will form at the Fly-in will be long-lasting and give you a resource pool that you can tap into like no other place.


One of the primary goals of the Fly-in is to give you hands-on time with drone experts so you can improve your piloting skills, no matter how experienced you are or not. So come watch, learn, and practice so you can lower your learning curve and fly better, faster.

Reserve Your Spot

Only 100 spots are available for Drone U Fly-in event and only 30 spots for the Business Boot Camp and Light Painting add-on's. First come, first serve. Don't delay!

2018 Fly-in Main Event



Three full training & flying days

Pilot Mixer

OPTIONAL: Light Painting


OPTIONAL ADD-ON (30 spots)

Held on Thursday, August 2nd

Time is 9 pm to 12 am (tentative)

OPTIONAL: Biz Boot Camp


OPTIONAL ADD-ON (30 spots)

Intensive full-day training

Business Mastermind

Fly-in Reviews

See what others who attended last year had to say about this event...

service image

Randall Whittinghill

"Went flying today and noticed a marked improvement in my confidence. Drone U Fly-in: Priceless…"

service image

Grant Siggins

"It was awesome meeting everyone finally and learning so much from you all! Thanks for the great times this weekend, and I look forward to seeing everyone continuing to succeed and being at the forefront of this industry. Outstanding job again DroneU, and see you pilots at the next fly-in!"

service image

Jim Kreisman

"What a great time weekend and opportunity to experience some new activities I would have never done on my own! Thanks to all the Rock Stars that made it happen!"

service image

Sean Stevens

"Special thanks to all the Drone U crew for an awesome event. I learned lots that I will take back to the frozen north to become a much better pilot, editor, marketer and member of such a great community!"

service image

Chris Sheridan

"We all know this is a great online community, but it's an even better community in person. At times, I allowed myself to become a fly on the wall, watching and observing the other members, and I can definitely say that the majority of the attendees most likely feel the same way based on the interactions I saw. Cheers to the First Annual Drone U Fly-In! Can't wait until next time!"

service image

Joe Schwartz

"Well guys, this was one of the most fun weekends I've had in a long time. The knowledge and new friends I gathered was priceless!!"


If you're looking for a place to stay, check out these hotels we've negotiated some discounted rates with for you...