HOUSTON – September 21, 2021 – UAS (unmanned aerial systems) service providers Soaring Eagle Imaging (SEI) from Brandon, Mississippi and Skynetwest from Chandler, Arizona, today announced a definitive agreement to become a leading drone data collection and processing company with the creation of Soaring Eagle Technologies (Soaring Eagle). The company, owned and operated by Houston-based Iapetus Holdings LLC (Iapetus), will lead the charge in markets such as critical infrastructure inspections and reporting. The Soaring Eagle team of experts including Army Veterans Noah Ruiz from Skynetwest and Will Paden from Soaring Eagle Imaging, will service a broad national footprint, combining resources to provide reliable utility, energy, and infrastructure inspections for hard-to-reach and complex structures with emerging technology solutions, including visual and infrared thermal imaging. Soaring Eagle’s main office is in Houston, Texas. Will Paden will preside over the team of eight experts with 100 years of combined manned and unmanned aviation experience.
Iapetus owns and operates infrastructure services companies Atlas Field Services, Gold Coast Utility Specialists, and Hyperion Safety Environmental Solutions. This makes Soaring Eagle the only company in the space with user expertise leveraging risk mitigation data, mapping, and imagery for inspections and audits. Iapetus companies service national clients, including the world’s largest utilities. Operating company, Atlas Retail Energy, partners with commercial and industrial clients to optimize energy procurement and incorporate sustainable energy solutions.
The joint company enables clients in the U.S. to leverage aerial mapping, inspection, surveying, and overall imaging and aviation expertise. Soaring Eagle has completed over 60 large scale SGI (special government interest) waiver, class G airspace missions across the U.S., more than any other competitor. It has been trusted to perform critical inspection flights to harden the grid and prevent wildfires, including for VM (vegetation management) ROW (right-of-way) and storm response, search and rescue, controlled burn fire over watch, and wildlife and fishery. Soaring Eagle is certified with CFR Part 107 waivers, which allows the company to legally perform night operations and BVLOS Operations.
Will Paden, president of Soaring Eagle said, “We listened to our clients’ needs. As a result, we have joined forces to establish a large geographic footprint with enhanced unmanned systems to inspect large infrastructure safely and effectively. The increased demand for our services makes this merger a natural next step for our company. The UAS space is growing rapidly, and the technology is evolving quickly. By being smarter and more efficient in the way we do business, we are more proactive to our client’s needs. The merger with Skynetwest further increases our capability to service utilities, surveyors, and engineering firms, as well as other large clients. The combined company provides our clients with emerging-tech capabilities, including LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and BVLOS solutions. We are proud of the fact that no other company in our space has been FAA approved to fly more BVLOS flights than Soaring Eagle. As veteran pilots, we have a keen focus on safety. The two companies complement each other very well and share common philosophies and values.”
“Given the growing demand for technical UAS aerial data collection services and infrared imaging, it makes good business sense to leverage efficiencies to continue expanding and meeting client demand. We look forward to what this juncture brings as we plan to make a greater statement in the drone industry”, stated Noah Ruiz, president of Skynetwest. “Soaring Eagle will continue to expand its capability to service our growing list of clients, providing premium aerial imaging solutions and inspections for utility and energy infrastructure, transportation, long range operations, search and rescue operations, aerial mapping, GIS (geographic information system) applications, surveying, and real estate marketing. The merger broadens our combined aviation expertise. We share a client-centric focus as well as an interest in offering the latest aeronautical advancements, including the use of advanced BVLOS systems such as the Censys Sentaro V2 VTOL aircraft. We particularly value SEI’s expertise and their experience from coast to coast. As a combined team, Soaring Eagle brings a larger scope with former flight helicopter pilots. What sets our business apart, aside from our technical capabilities, is the focus on doing the job right; every pilot is trained in safety and etiquette.”
Soaring Eagle is strategically partnered with UATI, the Unmanned Aviation Training Institute. UATI offers a variety of unmanned aviation training programs to certify new candidates in the fastest growing section of aviation. UATI also provides recurrent training to stay current with FAA regulations. The UATI team features more than 30,000 hours of manned aviation experience, thousands of hours in UAS, and more 60 combined years of experience in the aviation industry. Courses taught near Jackson International Airport and Chandler, Arizona include the Part 107 Initial Course and Advanced Electrical Utility course. “As a company founded by manned aviation personnel, Soaring Eagle strongly endorses formalized pilot training. Establishing a manned aviation training standard that all of our pilots meet is critical to our safe operations. We believe UATI will set the standard for UAS training until the FAA provides one”, stated Paden.
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About Iapetus Holdings
Iapetus Holdings LLC is a privately held, minority and veteran-owned portfolio of energy and utility services businesses and alternative investments. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Iapetus brings an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking approach and a deep bench of experienced individuals with diverse backgrounds in finance, energy, safety, risk management, marketing, human resources, and various other spectrums. The Iapetus suite is a multimillion-dollar portfolio with more than 400 employees across seven U.S. offices in TX, FL, CA, NY, AZ, MS, and MA, efficiently structured to deliver optimum results for clients. The operating companies include Atlas Commodities, Atlas Field Services, Atlas Retail Energy, Soaring Eagle Technologies, Gold Coast Utility Specialists and Hyperion Safety Environmental Solutions. Iapetus is the proud sponsor of a 501c3 non-profit, Atlas Scholars. For more information, visit Iapetus Holdings LLC.