WHO ARE WE?
We are long time commercial pilots of drones, airplanes, and helicopters. We are the oddballs who actually enjoy reading regulations and teaching people about them. We are here to help you understand the complex Canadian and American drone regulations, and how you fit into them. Basic or Advanced? Part 107 or TRUST? We are here to help!
We believe quality education for all drone pilots will help make this industry more productive, safe, and efficient. With years of commercial aviation experience under our belts, we know what it takes to build a business in a rapidly changing yet highly regulated environment. As instructors, we pride ourselves in clearly communicating the information that will allow you to reach your goals.
We believe we can make drone technology more accessible by providing people with a path to pilot certification, and an opportunity to thrive as a professional drone pilot.
Our leadership Team
Ian Wills | President
Coming from a decade in the Commercial Helicopter industry as a pilot, operations coordinator, and business development representative, and prior to that a decade in Information Technology and Systems Administration, Ian applies his passion, education, and experience in Commercial Aviation now to the drone industry.
Ian leads strategy, operations and innovation at Coastal Drone Co. and the Remote Pilot Network and looks forward to the exciting growth of the drone industry as new regulations offer more permissive activities such as BVLOS, heavier drone delivery operations, and a transition towards eVTOL automation.
As a product of a family of educators, Ian demonstrates a passion for continuous skill development through personal growth and sharing that knowledge with others. Launched in 2021, the Remote Pilot Network, a Coastal Drone Co. initiative, offers a network of Advanced Certificate pilots with expertise and experience in various industries across Canada.
Finn Leahy | RPAS Instructor & Flight Reviewer
A commercial airplane pilot and instructor, Finn joined Coastal Drone in the summer of 2022. Since that time, Finn has “drank from the firehose” and absorbed an incredible amount of knowledge in the RPAS space, having quickly obtained his Advanced Pilot Certificate and found himself instructing and co-developing content for courses and community engagement.
A graduate of Simon Fraser University, Finn has demonstrated an incredible passion for learning and aviation education. Finn speaks English, French, and Mandarin.
Jenn Bachalo | Customer Service & Success
A commercial helicopter pilot and experienced retail manager, Jenn has recently joined Coastal Drone to assist with Customer Service and course development.
Jenn is new to the RPAS space, but already working on her Advanced Pilot Certificate and ensuring our customer inquiries are taken care of promptly and professionally.
Adam Besse | Co-Founder / Director of Creative
One of the best creative minds in the Westlund group of companies, Adam brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from creating engaging content to being responsible for the cinema quality courses Coastal Drone is known for. He holds an arts degree in video production and has 15+ years as a visual creator. He is a director on Coastal Drone’s board, and leads strategic marketing projects for the company.
Andrew Westlund | CEO, Westlund Group of Companies
Andrew is the CEO of the Westlund Group of Companies, a group that Coastal Drone is proud to be part of. Andrew has grown companies from start-ups to sustainment and is the lead advisor and director for the Coastal Drone team.
He grew Apex Wireless for 25 years before it was acquired by Telus, and has 8 other companies which he leads and advises. Andrew creates an environment for entrepreneurs and like-minded thought leaders to thrive in.
Andrew has been a leader in the BC business world for the last 30 years, and is showing no signs of slowing down. His most notable companies are SKY Helicopters, Apex Wireless, Agency Media, Fluid Spa, Vinyl Labs, and Coastal Drone.
Our Flight Reviewers & Instructors
From coast to coast, we have a Transport Canada approved RPAS Flight Reviewer in nearly every major centre of Canada. We maintain a high standard of reviewers and all are active within the industry with either extensive traditional aviation experience, or RPAS experience operating commercially (many from prior to 2019).
Our reviewers and instructors are professional and courteous and are happy to accommodate and assist in your growth as an Advanced Drone Pilot. To book a flight review or drone pilot training session, find out more here.