ABINGDON, Va. — Brad Deel flies over High Knob and Birch Knob.
He spies on the grounds of the Martha Washington Inn and soars like a bird above the Mendota Fire Tower and Hidden Valley Lake.
Deel sees what the birds do — with a drone and the camera on his cell phone.
Born in Wise and raised in Dickenson County, Virginia, Deel and his wife, Carrie, have two children.
He works as an instrument technician for a natural gas company.
Yet his soaring passion is tied to photography, using a drone with a commercial license, flying above Southwest Virginia.
“I’ve been flying drones for five years,” said the 44-year-old Deel, who lives on Caney Ridge near Clintwood, Virginia.
With the controls of his drone, Deel’s in-flight camera takes off above remote corners of Southwest Virginia, much like flying a remote-control airplane.
And he comes home with mystifying shots of what you just cannot see on ground —