Mirragin Chief Remote Pilot Sue Osborn talks about her record breaking drone show project.

I first started working with UAS in the Australian Army in 2009, mainly BVLOS doing surveillance and reconnaissance operations. I left the Australian Army in January 2021 and took up a role as a Senior Consultant and Head of Flight Operations at Mirragin and now I’m also the Chief Remote Pilot for Intel Drone Light Shows in Australia. 

Elevate Sydney is a festival designed to bring people back into the CBD and show the world it was open again for tourism. It was the inaugural event. Each night of the festival culminated with a 500 Drone Light Show “SKYSHOW” and would have to be one of the most exciting things I have done within the industry. The SKYSHOW was designed by AGB Events Creative Director, Anthony Bastic, who worked with Intel to create an iconic Sydney Drone Light Show. The story paid tribute to Sydney’s past, present and hopes for 2022 and was set to an original soundscape. 

Intel identified early that they required some complex air approvals that they couldn’t do themselves, so they reached out to Mirragin to assist with that process. I felt honoured that I could fall back on my military experience operating UAS in complex airspace and thorough understanding of CASR and knew what was required. The team at Mirragin really pulled together to make this happen within a very short timeframe. The iconic location, nestled between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House is also home to Australia’s busiest ferry terminal at Circular Quay and as a result the operation was also a maritime operation.

It was exciting to be able to accomplish the authorisation to operate 500 Drones, at night, in Sydney Harbour at 500ft; then to stand back and call it work is hard because I had so much fun. I can’t wait for the next show.