Williams Lake resident Ryan Ruttan hopes to bring the cutting edge technology of aerial photography and videos to the lakecity with the use of a unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

Williams Lake resident Ryan Ruttan hopes to bring the cutting edge technology of aerial photography and videos to the lakecity with the use of a unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

Love of aviation sparks new business

Ryan Ruttan plans to take his love of Williams Lake to new heights by promoting the area with an aerial photography company.

Ryan Ruttan plans to take his love of Williams Lake to new heights by promoting the area with an aerial photography company.

“I want to show people why they should move here,” Ruttan told the Tribune. “People should move here for the ice fishing alone.”

Ruttan uses an unmanned air vehichle (UAV), also commonly referred to as a drone, with a gyro stabilized HD camera to capture images and videos.

“I love aviation and I have to fly — this is my thing,” he said, adding he was disappointed to learn this week that someone had flown a drone into the White House grounds.

“To have people do stupid things like getting drunk and flying drones into the White House, way to ruin it for us guys.”

Present law by Transport Canada stipulates that Ruttan and other operators can fly to 300 feet of altitude and in line of sight.

There are so many things his machinery can be used for, he said.

“People are using them in agriculture now. They are starting to herd cattle with them, monitoring crops, all kinds of things.”

The drones are GPS-based so a rancher could sit in the living room, with a laptop, program four drones to go out and fly a certain pattern through the field to herd or look for cattle in a certain area.

“I haven’t heard of anyone doing it here or seen it first-hand,” Ruttan said.

He also thinks the technology would be an affordable option for Search and Rescue.

He named his company Star Air Vision because his grandfather, Charles Ruttan, was one of three founders of Star Air Service in Alaska in 1932, which later reformed to Alaska Airlines.

His father was also a pilot with a private airplane and his parents owned a travel agency in Nanaimo.

Ruttan has an aircraft maintenance engineer diploma from BCIT.

“I worked on the island rebuilding a Bell 206,” he said.

He graduated after 9/11 when he said the industry took a downward turn so there wasn’t a lot of work because people weren’t flying and airlines were letting mechanics go.

“Out of 45 guys that graduated I was the first to get a job and nine months later eight guys had been hired and let go and at the time I was the only one working in the industry.”

Ruttan and his wife Maisie moved to Williams Lake from Nanaimo three and a half years ago.

“We’ve loved it here and haven’t looked back,” he said. “We were able to buy a house at half the price and we paid off our student loans because we moved here.”

As he demonstrated how his remote control squad copter and camera hooks up to wifi and how he can view what the camera sees by using his iPad, Ruttan smiled.

“I cannot believe I’m a drone pilot,” he said. “I’m finally here.”

To check out some of Ruttan’s work visit his Facebook page by searching ‘Williams Lake Aerial Photography or go to his website at www.starairvision.com. Additionally you can view some of Ruttan’s work on our Facebook page, Williams Lake Tribune.

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