Hi, I’m Desiree Ekstein, “Drone Diva Desi.” Yes, I am one of the few female sUAS pilots and I have a huge passion to fly. Ok, it’s more than a passion, but I love it and can’t wait to share and teach others!
Lucky for me, my awesome family will put up with me and my love for flying! My father (God rest his soul) was a private pilot and owned several small planes. I’m sure I got my love for flying from him! I enjoy outdoor activities, motorcycles, horses, camping and of course flying. My passion for filming family vacations and editing them is the reason I started flying which was about 4 years ago. My husband and I would ride bikes in the desert and film everything with a GoPro and then I would turn everything into a movie. We had the best “home movies” and everybody has enjoyed watching our family vacations!
My very first sUAS was an AR Parrot which came with a camera on it so I got a whole different perspective which usually was either upside down or from the vantage point, stuck in a tree top! I eventually bought a second Parrot and learned to repair the first while I mastered my flying technique.
My passion turned to obsession in July of 2014 when I got my first DJI Phantom Vision 2 (I named it Fanny). Fanny has a following among my friends. My video’s really skyrocketed! Since then, I now own several DJI Phantoms, several custom built platforms and a Yuneec Q500. I am hoping to purchase an Inspire someday to add to my small fleet, but the Phantom 3 Pro and P4 does everything I need it to do.
Over the last four years, I have taken many unmanned courses and educational seminars. I am Part 107 Certified and a member of the FAA Wings program. I am a graduate of the Gold Seal UAV Ground School and have a night endorsement. I gain most of my knowledge through hands-on experience which is simply by flying and talking with other pilots at the flying fields. My favorite thing is when I first arrive and people look and me then at my drone, and say “is that yours, are you going to fly that”?!
My goal is to “reach and teach.” In doing so, I have written many blogs regarding safety and I have worked with the
company called She Drones in STEM/STEAM education. I have started reaching out to people to teach them how to use their drone and to use it safely. Flying safely and being able to education others about safety is very important to me.
I know that unmanned aerial systems also known as drones are the future and I am excited to be a big part of the beginning of the next generation. I’m proud to be able to share my knowledge and show people how to have fun and be safe. 🙂