About

Jay Bernstein

CoFounder

Jay Bernstein, co-founder of Clarity Aero has experience in aviation, maritime operations, yacht sales, aerial photography and cinematography.

Jay has the distinct bragging right of being the only person we know who can say that he flew his prom date in a Cessna to dinner on an island in the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest.  Growing up near Seattle, WA and skiing almost as many days as he attended school, Jay learned at an early age that it is possible to get paid to do something you enjoy.  While a career as a professional ski instructor did beckon, Jay elected instead to attend Arizona State University studying aviation.  His studies included Technical Calculus, Physics, Aviation Safety, Aircraft Structures, Aviation Law, and Aviation Weather.  His collegiate internships included Northwest Airlines as well as DHL Airways.

Becoming a Certified Flight Instructor, a Single and Multiengine Commercial Pilot, an Instrument Flight Instructor, Advanced Ground Instructor, and Instrument Ground Instructor, Jay taught primary and advanced flight students before moving on to be a Pilot Recruiter for cargo airline Ameriflight.  Moving to Honolulu, Hawaii Jay worked as an Airline Dispatcher for Island Air when he wasn’t out surfing, racing sailboats, and exploring the islands.

Returning to the mainland, he spent a decade as a yacht broker and professional boat Captain.  During this time Jay developed a passion for photography often shooting underway video of his listings including power and sailboats. Jay discovered the almost limitless creatively of using a drone to capture aerial images.  Applying his aviation background Jay became adept at flying drones for a wide variety of applications including Photogrammetry, Real Estate, Advertising, and Event Coverage.  He has written and taught much of the curriculum currently in use by a major drone training provider.  An active member of Toastmasters, Jay enjoys public speaking and is frequently asked to speak about drones.  He enjoys overcoming technical challenges and has a passion not only for drones, but also for providing excellent customer service.

Jim Bonnardel

CoFounder

Jim Bonnardel has been flying Radio Control virtually his whole life. His first solo was at the age of 6. It was not long before he was sponsored by several companies, and travelling the USA competing in events all across the class spectrum.  From club level contests to precision aerobatics Jim honed his skills and customer service attributes by representing top level manufacturers.  Jim has actively participated in the leadership of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Jim holds and holds an extensive list of organization’s credentials including leader member in Scientific, Education, Administration, and certified Contest Director.  Jim is a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s FAAST UAS Team where he stays abreast of the latest regulatory trends and volunteers his time educating pilots about how to fly safely.

Jim started his first RC Company in 1979 and has brought several products to the marketplace. Jim holds patents on products that are currently being used today by manufacturers.  In 1985 Jim started providing aerial media services using RC Helicopters and Blimps. His credential list of clients he has worked for is extensive and impressive.  He has travelled the world getting photos and videos in locations that were impossible before the technology existed.  As soon as multi-rotor technology was available, he instantly adopted to that platform and has thousands of hours of flight time logged providing services as well as training pilots in the art of cinematography and aerial media.

Throughout his career Jim has been paramount to the drone community.  As the president of the 4th largest club in the AMA, Jim single handedly worked to remove restrictions that prohibited autonomous and flight controller assisted flying.  Next, by creating the first “Rotorplex” multi-rotor drone park in the USA, he was able to get the largest RC Flying site in the USA approved within 2.5 miles of an international airport. Jim also was the Event Director hosting the largest “International Drone Day” event in the world in 2016.  Jim is also the pilot for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Air Sampling Project, where they are doing low level air particulate sampling providing data to NASA.

Jim’s teaching style is relaxed, yet precise. Whether it be in a classroom setting or in the field, you will learn the tips and tricks to become the professional that companies desire, and pay highly for.  He will have you understanding the finer nuances that make your productions stand out and give your clients what they want the first time. You will learn that setup is as important as skill level.  Jim takes a keen interest in ensuring that a set up for a given job does not hinder the final production. As an experienced pilot, Jim is exceptionally well qualified not only to fly a job for a client, but also to teach students how to professionally represent themselves when they offer aerial media services.

Gary Buzel

CoFounder

Gary Buzel co-founder of Clarity Aero, has extensive backgrounds in aviation, law enforcement, journalism, and broadcasting.

Gary received his private pilot certificate when he was 17 and has been flying ever since.  He currently holds an ATP – Airline Transport Pilot certificate, the highest level of pilots certificate issued by the FAA. Gary is also a holder of the Certified Flight Instructor certificate for airplane, instrument and multi-engine aircraft.   Recently, Gary just acquired the newly created FAA pilot certificate for drones called a Remote PIC small sUAS certificate.  Gary has logged over 3700 hours in various types of aircraft and rotorcraft.  He worked as a commercial pilot for various companies throughout the country flying for air charter, air ambulance, and cargo operations.  He has managed 2 large flight schools, and is the developer of curriculums for sUAS (Drone) flight instruction for 2 major sUAS training providers.  He currently is working on writing a textbook for sUAS flight instructors.

While working as a young pilot, Gary was a full time police officer in Connecticut for nearly 11 years. While a police officer, he became certified in fatal motor vehicle accident investigation/reconstruction. After retiring from law enforcement, he went on to pursue a career in broadcast journalism while still maintaining his roots in aviation and education.

Gary’s TV career has taken him across the country most recently to San Diego as a TV reporter for CW6 News.  In 2015, Gary was the first station employed TV journalist in Southern California to obtain a 333 exemption from the FAA to fly a drone (UAS) for TV news.  He won an Emmy Award in 2014 for breaking news coverage at CW6.  He also has received an Excellence in Journalism award from the San Diego Press Club.

Gary graduated from Ashford University with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Arizona State University with a masters in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.