Joshua Pruitt has a deep public safety background specializing in fire rescue and hazardous materials operations. He also holds a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. Josh has been flying drones for 3 years and logged 3016 flights and over 300 hours on all kinds of multirotor aircraft. As an operator, Josh has flown missions for National Geographic, The Spartan Race series, HGTV, Mercedes-Benz AMG, CBRE, and NBC Sports.

Josh also holds the distinguished title of having logged the most flights on the Kittyhawk platform as a single user for over two years in a row.

As our latest team member, Josh will be working on Customer Success for Kittyhawk. We couldn’t think of anyone better to help Kittyhawkers than the #1 Kittyhawker.

Josh! First, welcome to the team. It’s clear you’re no stranger to flying in challenging places that would have other pilots putting their gear back in the car. What’s the weirdest place you’ve flown and the most challenging place you’ve flown?

Well, first off, I am incredibly excited to be joining the team!

I would have to say the weirdest, most beautiful and most exciting place I’ve ever flown was during the time I spent living on Easter Island, Chile. I was introduced to the Chilean Parks Service and was able to fly in and around the Moai statues that dot the landscape of the island. These hand carved statues represent the 7 tribes of Rapa Nui. They are incredibly sacred to the Rapa Nui people.

Josh flying a race.
Josh flying a race.

The most challenging place I’ve ever flown, aside from stressful production work, would have to be in the Rainbow Mountains in the Sacred Valley a couple hours outside of Cusco, Peru. Taking off at 15000’ in moderate wind with a Phantom 3 Standard was a bit of challenge. Not to mention the 9-mile hike in (and out) carrying the monstrosity that was(is) the Phantom 3 backpack.

Speaking of … You’ve done a lot of traveling with your drones. How many different continents have you operated on?

I’ve flown in 11 countries and 3 continents from high in the Andean Mountains dodging condors and extreme wind to the ice fields of Patagonia where I had to keep the batteries close to my body to keep them warm enough for take off.

Coming from a public safety background, you have a lot of experience in dealing with risk. How do you apply that experience to your drone work?

I try to take a common sense approach to my personal flying. However, when I’m in the field training first responders, the adage of “ Risk a little to save a little, risk a lot to save a lot” comes into play. That’s a common teaching point in the fire service that seamlessly carries over into public safety UAS operations.

When you’re not flying or helping people operate their drone program more safely, what do you like to do?

I consider myself an amateur foodie. I went to culinary school right out of high school so food has always been near and dear to my heart. Not just eating great food, but all of the thought and planning to prepare that perfect meal. I’m fascinated by every single aspect of food. From best farming practices to sourcing the best ingredients seasonally and at their prime.

And what is your favorite thing to eat/cook as of late?

My girlfriend and I have been on a big Korean kick here lately becoming regulars at a 24 hr Korean BBQ spot. Atlanta is a hotbed for excellent food & drink and every neighborhood has its own amazing offerings.

Josh meticulously preparing some Bibimbap.
Josh meticulously preparing some Bibimbap.

 

What are you most excited about working with Kittyhawk?

I am incredibly excited to be in a great position with an incredible company growing as the industry develops and matures. The team has helped build me up and elevated my status in the industry long before I became a part of the team. I look forward to passing that on to my colleagues as we grow. The product, talent and the culture we have here at Kittyhawk are second to none. The UAS industry is not going anywhere and I’m looking forward to working on bringing drones into the enterprise for years to come.

Wait a minute! Isn’t there another Josh at Kittyhawk? How can users get in touch with you if they need help?

Well if you dial into the Kittyhawk hotline and press 3 for support, chances are, it’ll be me on the receiving end. I can also be reached at pruitt@kittyhawk.io. I stay active in a lot of industry forums and if you’re so inclined, you can also find and follow me across most social media platforms.

We’re all excited to have you on the team and can’t wait to see how you use your unique background to help Kittyhawk’s large and diverse user base.