Darkwing Aerials was founded in 2012 by Dean Engela after completing his Qualification in Art Direction and Graphic Design at the Red and Yellow Creative School of Business.

He was joined in 2013 by Thomas Mc Leod after he completed his studies at AFDA. Dean and Tom with their combined creative flair set about creating magic moments filmed from the air.

Combining Creativity with Safety is the Magic that we strive for every day.  We have extensive drone cinematography and film experience and have worked on several local and international productions. Darkwing Aerials is committed to delivering and accurate, efficient and cost effective product to all its customers.

This ambitious approach in a relatively new market necessitated the use of experienced individuals that shared and understood our vision.

We have developed drones with numerous specific applications and evolved into a versatile company that offers Film, Survey and Industrial Inspection of the highest standards.

Darkwing Aerials is one of the first fully licenced Drone Companies in South Africa. ROC No: CAA/G1271D


  • We managed to perform a 3D Lidar test on a Bulk Storage Tank, One of the first Drone companies in Africa to do so.

  • Darkwing started in the Renewable Energy sector performing Wind Turbine inspections and PV Solar Plant Inspections.

  • Performed a Wind Turbine inspection (demo), a first for the client and probably the first successful drone inspection in Africa.

  • Performed a visual inspection on Floating Roof Storage Tanks & a Smoke Stack at a refinery, owned by a internationally renowned oil company.

  • Darkwing added NACE coating inspection, to their service line-up, with the first job in Durban harbour July 2018.

  • Involved in the FIFA WC 2018 Budweiser commercial. Challenging as we had 2 drones on it and were flying indoors most of the time. Showing all around the world during every FIFA world cup match.

  • Carnage- TV-Show, Challenging shoot in the Karoo, 3 weeks of dust, Hein managed 2 drone teams and came out with a good product and the gear survived.

  • Lepricaun / Lake placid- Movie

  • Affiliations with key-players in industrial markets




Dean identified drone technology as a big part of the future and has pioneered several innovative applications over the past few years. Dean and Darkwing Aerials are committed to regulatory compliance.  Dean is client orientated and always strives to achieve the best possible results for his clients. His creative and technical background enables Dean to interpret the clients vision and produce images of the highest quality. Getting the job done on time and within budget is very important. Dean’s personalized approach ensures that he hand picks and personally approves only the best pilots for Darkwing Aerials.



Tom is the guru in the office that keeps us all on the ‘straight and narrow’ ensuring top class Quality and Safety standards at Darkwing. Tom plans, implements and coordinates all of Darkwing’s Quality, Safety and Security Protocols. He ensures that Darkwing is compliant with Aviation Safety regulations, procedures and policies. Tom is passionate about aviation, live music and skate boarding.



Hein oversees the Operations department at Darkwing.  Including all the flight documentation and clearances. He has his Private Pilots Licence as well as Remote Pilots Licence. Hein has extensive aviation and ‘on set’ Film experience making him a valuable member of the Darkwing Team. Hein is a nature lover and adventurer.  He is always up for a new challenge.



Marius started his working career in 2004 in the Oil and Gas industry, working offshore in Angola and Congo as a Rope access and Inspection Team Leader for 6 years. From 2011-2017 Marius worked as a Business Development Manager for prominent Oil and Gas service companies focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018 Marius joined the Darkwing team to bring a new service lineup to the company in the form of Industrial Inspections and Techniques in new markets such as Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, Power and Maritime.

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