What sets us apart?
The two owners of Mid-Atlantic Drones, Mike Sobola and Luisa Winters, are both manned fixed-wing aircraft pilots with a deep understanding of aviation safety, procedures and terminology: these factors give them a significant advantage over other drone service providers, especially when applying for FAA Authorizations and Waivers. They have consistently obtained waivers to fly in Controlled Airspaces and Flight Restricted Zones, including the heavily-restricted DC-FRZ that encompasses downtown Washington, DC to 15 miles out from National Airport.
Luisa is a certified Private Pilot and a Commercial UAV Pilot. She’s been involved with video production and cinematography for over 30 years. Having spent years flying, Luisa’s priority is safety. It is this safety mentality that make Luisa’s missions successful: from preparation and planning, FAA Authorization and client expectation to flying and finally, post-production. Luisa shoots great UAV footage that can be incorporated in your projects with ease.
Luisa is certified for night drone operations and holds a night flight drone authorization (waiver) from the FAA. In addition to her aviation certifications from the FAA and Unmanned Safety Institute, Luisa is a Certified Electrical Thermographer, Level 1.
Luisa was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent most of her childhood in the Dominican Republic. She graduated in 1987 from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly before graduation, Luisa started working as a videographer in the Baltimore area. Since then, Luisa has been involved in Video Production and Post-Production. Today Luisa serves as a consultant for NBC, CBS, Showtime, FoxNews, Adobe, just to name a few.
Having won many technical and artistic awards, Luisa is well-known in the video community. She is a frequent speaker at NAB, Government Video Expo, NYC Drone Film Festival, Interdrone, and many others. She is an international celebrity in the video production and post-production world, and some of her training can be seen in Lynda.com and LinkedIn training, and TotalTraining.
Luisa is a certified instructor with the Unmanned Safety Institute and an Adobe and Apple Master Instructor.
Mike's background as a Private Pilot combined with his experience as a TV and Video Producer allows him to bring a unique approach to his aerial imaging projects. His methodical planning and collaboration ensures that each mission achieves its ultimate objectives. First-hand skill and familiarity flying major construction sites gives him the skill and proficiency to capture aerial data and images safely and efficiently.
His flight experience includes Hexacopters, quads, fixed gear and retractable platforms in single-pilot and dual-operator configurations. He has more than 700 hours flight experience over multiple platforms including the Freely Alta Hexacopter, the Inspire I Pro, the Phantom 4 RTK, the Phantom 4 Pro, the Yuneec H520 and the Phantom 3 Pro.
Mike is certified for night drone operations and holds a night flight drone authorization from the FAA and has been able to obtain FAA and TSA clearance for multiple flights into the DC Flight Restricted Zone or “NFZ”.
Mike spent the formative years of his career living and working in New York City and is now based near Washington, D.C. He has written and produced shows airing on NBC, CBS, HBO, and Discovery, and worked as Lead Producer at The Travel Channel in its early days. He has also had Writer/Producer roles with several companies, including Atlantic Creative and Moondog Entertainment. At Moondog, he was Executive Producer in Charge of Development and Production and served as Showrunner of the 26-part series “Techknowledge” for Discovery Science.
Mike has a degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Maryland and a Certificate in Filmmaking from New York University. It's no wonder he can get you the drone footage that you need!
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