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Maple Grove Voice

Behind the Drone: Gopher Aerial

Mar 29, 2016 09:14PM ● By Wendy Erlien

Gopher Aerial owners and Maple Grove residents Brad Perdue and Joey Stone. (Photo by Wendy Erlien)

From a cranberry festival to the ice skating loop at Central Park, two Maple Grove residents go above and beyond - via drone.

Two years ago, friends Joey Stone and Brad Perdue decided to take to the sky. Traveling to their hometown in Iowa, recording their first drone videos was on the agenda - including the Trestle Bridge. An upload to YouTube and a website feature later, the aerial experience has been viewed more than 31,000 times.

“Every time we make up a video, it blows up [online],” Stone said.

Fast forward to 2016, Stone and Perdue own Gopher Aerial and have produced more than 20 drone-recorded videos, including a journey around Maple Grove’s Central Park and the ice skating loop.

Currently, they consider all of their projects a creative venture will they await a response from the Federal Aviation Administration whether they can go commercial,  according to Perdue. Projects range for drone photography to video, filming and editing travel destinations, events, and personal projects. 

Their projects primarily focus in the Midwest, the top viewed drone-video yielding more than a half a million views of an ice fishing tournament in Brainerd. By choosing the Midwest, it “highlights areas people might know now about,” according to Stone.

“We try to see who our viewers are and bring that to them,” Perdue said.

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