News

“You Never Know What’s Gonna Happen”

A Peek into the Life of an Equipment Technician
Daniel 20 Thompson2 jpeg
13 August 2021

There are a few things that are ever-present in our office. There’s the neon Cyberhawk light that buzzes over reception. The coffee machine that whips up the meanest cup of joe you’ve ever tasted. And there’s Daniel, our resident equipment technician.

“The guys need to know there’s someone in the office that they can approach and talk to when something’s wrong with their kit.”

To call him Mr. Dependable would be apt but might also do him a disservice because, to Cyberhawk, he is so much more than that.

While all our pilots and engineers can perform basic equipment maintenance, Daniel’s level of insight goes far deeper.

Thanks to him, we not only reactively fix drones damaged in the line of duty, but pro-actively employ preventative maintenance too. That means he is responsible for system-checks before and after deployment, scheduling services every 50 flight hours and doing a deep clean of internal inspection drones on return from dirty environments.

And that's not just for one or two drones - Daniel manages more than 100 drones and is responsible for testing, maintaining and fixing all of them – most of the time, on a deadline.

“We have a lot of kit and a lot of jobs. It’s my role to make sure as many of our drones are available to the team as possible.”

Drones 20no 20numbers 1 jpg

However, none of this is new to Daniel. He was fixing stuff up long before he joined Cyberhawk.

“I’ve always been technically-minded,” he says.

Even at the tender age of 10 years old, he was taking apart mechanical objects and putting them back together again.

“Sometimes things don’t go back together again quite the way they were before. But that’s important because those mistakes mean you have to go back and find out what you did wrong – and that’s how you learn. “

A lifetime of pulling apart watches, motors and computers was the perfect education for a career in technical repair – so much so, that you could say he now has an ear for it.

“A lot of the time, the sound of something tells you why it’s not working.”

"With an electric motor, if it makes a certain sound, you know instantaneously that there's a failing bearing, or if it makes another, that's a loose mount."

Microsoft Teams image 202 png

Not limited to technical repair, a quick look at Daniel’s resumé reveals a man unafraid to try new things.

When he initially joined university, it was to study naval architecture and marine engineering – a fine qualification steeped in prestige and with lots of opportunity waiting at the end of it. However, midway through the course, Daniel had come to the realization that it was not for him and pivoted towards something altogether different: Theatre.

His love for the big stage swept him around the world; from West End productions to ocean cruise ships, operating the robotics on sell-out musicals, including Dream Girls, The Lion King and 42nd Street.

Microsoft Teams image 201 1 png

However, with the recent fall of theatre work and the winds of change blowing in his heart once more, Daniel decided he wanted to try something new.

In October 2020, he joined Cyberhawk and oversaw the complete migration of our equipment control processes, moving everything from paper to digital. Now, thanks to Daniel, we can see at-a-glance, the state and location of a drone in real-time or to whom each drone is assigned.

None of that, however, means Daniel has left theatre alone by the roadside. He still helps A Team Productions, a charity production company that gives those unable to afford theater life the chance to try it. It provides school kids and drama students an opportunity to work on huge scale productions that they might not receive otherwise.

Seizing opportunity is something that Daniel feels very strongly about and urges people to be more adventurous in their careers.

“There’s more opportunity out there than people realize. If you aren’t sure what to do but you’re interested in something, give it a shot. It might not work out but the worst thing that can happen is you try something else.”

He points to his own experience and explains how he had never worked with drones before Cyberhawk. “It’s not about the skillset, it’s about the mindset. If you have that, you can learn anything. And Cyberhawk know that. That’s why we do recruitment so well.”

Let's get Acquainted

If you are interested in learning more about Cyberhawk or would like to join our team, you can find out more here.