Pilot Gives an Up-Close Look at Drones Flying Over Midland - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Pilot Gives an Up-Close Look at Drones Flying Over Midland

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Last week, we told you about unusual objects flying across the skies of Midland. Some people thought they were UFO's. It turns out they were drones. But we wanted to find out more about them.

At first, residents who spotted these drones thought they were toy airplanes, even UFO's. But Monday night, we joined the pilot to see how they work, and we even flew the drones ourselves.

"It's a drone, also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. It's got a GPS in it. It's got an altimeter. It's got a compass. Basically it flies itself," Mike Partusch, pilot of Midland drone, said.

Mike Partusch of Midland is the man behind one of the drones flying across Midland skies.

"One of my neighbors came over and he saw my flying. He says, 'I've got to have one!' So he bought one and we fly together for recreation, just for fun," Partusch said.

The sight of the two drones in the sky had many residents thinking UFO's.

"One guy, his wife was out jogging, and she came home and said, 'I saw a UFO!' If I hadn't of had one and known myself, I probably would have thought it was a UFO too," Partusch said.

With the wind, this 'Phantom' drone can fly up to 40 miles per hour.

"We don't even fly it with a camera. It has a camera but when we fly it around Midland, we don't even use a camera," Partusch said.

Partusch also flies bigger drones where he does put the camera to use filming Texas sights for his independent business.

"We've also done a nature preserve down in Independence Creek, south of Sheffield so they can put it on their website. It's just incredible," Partusch said.

"It's not dangerous. It's just fun," Partusch said.

Again, these drones are legal to fly as long as they're flown at 400 feet or below, if they're flown a good distance from the airport and they always have to be in sight of the pilot.

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