For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.
But Abbett, 35, is signing up for a new way of using her skills as a licensed drone pilot — for U.S. Special Operations Command.
SOCom, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, is looking for volunteer drone pilots for a new research effort called ThunderDrone.
Abbett said she has no hesitancy about turning skills she’s developed with her company, From Where I Fly, toward military use — perhaps even lethal use.
“Of course not,” she said. “My dad is a Vietnam vet who earned two Purple Heart medals.”
Located in a 7,000 square-foot space in Ybor City, and set up in conjunction with the Doolittle Institute defense research group, ThunderDrone has put out the call for Tampa-area pilots.