April 07 2022

Women's History Month - Celebrating Skydiennes: Shannon Sutherland

Kendall Martin

Women's History Month may have come to an end, but that doesn't mean we can't continue showcasing the efforts of the women at Skydio who achieved greatness by passing their Part 107 exam! This week we're featuring Skydio Technical Writer, Shannon Sutherland.

Tell us about yourself! What was your path to joining Skydio? What team do you work on?

I am a technical writer for Skydio working with the customer support team to create all of the end-user documentation, manuals, and how-to articles. My previous work was in the counter-drone industry, which makes it sound like I do not like drones. The truth is I love aviation and as a kid, I desperately wanted to be a pilot.

Why did you decide to get your Part 107 license?

I completed ground training and some flight hours but found that I just couldn’t afford to get my pilot's license. Not to suggest that drones are a replacement for a career as a pilot, but I found a love of flying in drones and a place for myself in the industry. Getting my Part 107 was something I wanted to accomplish for myself.

What was the process like? What tips and tricks would you share with someone just getting started?

I thought the hardest part of the Part 107 test was reading and understanding the sectional charts. Even after I passed the exam I continue to learn how to read them.

Female Fly Day Dronie

What are your favorite ways to fly? Any shots you're particularly proud of?

I like to fly to get a different viewpoint. Flying along the cliffs of Big Sur coastline to get a view of the valleys and beaches that I can’t access on foot. Or sending my drone up above the trees to get a birds-eye view of the landscape allowing me to see my world from a different perspective. I am not much of a cinematographer, but my Skydio drone does that for me.

What advice would you have for women who are interested in learning to fly?

Sometimes when things are intimidating or I think that the obstacles are too daunting, I find that I just have to put my head down and charge through. Usually, when I bust out the other side, I find that the journey was really fun and the challenge was worth the effort.

If anyone has questions about drones, getting your Part 107, or looking for support and community join us on LinkedIn in the Skydiennes group or join our Community Discord server to get to know, learn from, and be inspired by other Skydio pilots in the community.