Written By: Allen Wheeler, UAS Service Technician

It was Christmas 2017. The whole family traveled to Macon, Georgia as we hosted the annual holiday festivities. When it came time for the gift exchange, I chose the most intriguing box under the tree. It was a drone! A bright, shiny, new aircraft. As my inner child began to come out, I hastily unboxed my gift and charged the batteries, ready for my first flight. Forget the manual, I didn’t have time to read that stuff. I set it down in the front yard, powered it on, and hit the throttle. This bird was fast. It lifted off, lunged forward, and BAM! There was suddenly a “new” tree in my yard that I had never noticed before…and I hit it. 

Luckily my drone was just a toy, but this story sounds a little too familiar to most of us. What if your drone is not a toy? What if it’s a highly-flexible tool that allows you to accomplish your work in a fraction of the time? In the Utility Industry, we build our reputations on reliability and we expect nothing less from our tools. Even when your most experienced pilot makes a mistake or experiences a malfunction, Gresco wants to help get your aircraft back in the air.

Gresco UAS began receiving requests for repair work a year after stepping into the UAS Market. Our first repair job was replacing the gimbal on a Mavic Pro in mid-2017. For the next 18 months, repair work was done on a “borrowed” café table, in the corner of an inside sales office. They were humble beginnings, to say the least. However, these beginnings gave us time to research and evaluate the need for a UAS Service Center here at Gresco. According to the FAA Aerospace Forecast 2018, an additional 300,000 Remote Pilot Certificates are expected to be issued between 2017 and 2022. The number of commercially used UAS will rise to 312,100 by next year. That’s a 33 percent growth rate per year. Twenty-eight percent of those aircraft will be used for utility and industrial inspections. For hobbyist drones, the number will rise to around 2.2 million aircraft by 2020 with a growth rate of 40 percent each year. As the use of UAS in our industry grows, the need for repair services will increase as well.

In January of this year, we moved into our new service center, located inside the Small-Parts Warehouse, the newest addition to the Gresco Georgia Warehouse. We immediately started testing tool kits, designing workbenches, and streamlining internal processes. As tools kits continue to come in, and software options are evaluated, our focus is on the goal of providing the best service possible to you, our customers. Not only do we strive to make efficient, effective repairs, but also to provide our customers with shared knowledge. On our website, you’ll find an ever-growing collection of articles and videos in our knowledge base. We have articles available for every stage of your UAS program. If you’re just starting and need information on how to choose the best equipment, or need help with updating firmware, we have information available for you. 

Though we are not fully operational yet, we are accepting repair cases. So if you have a new tree in your front yard too, email our team at [email protected] or give us a call at 478-315-0812.