Drone Pilot Training Begins Jan. 16

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Registration is still available for a professional development course designed to help students, faculty and staff become professional drone pilots and to perform research safely with drones.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems 1 professional development course is the first step to becoming a professional drone pilot. It is designed to help people prepare to pass their FAA Remote Pilot Certificate Examination, known as the FAA Part 107 Exam. Additionally, those students sponsored by their organization can complete a project based on their sponsor's needs, such as thermal roof inspections, modeling or other projects.

The course will be offered in-person at the U of A Global Campus in Rogers. It can also be taken remotely.

The program consists of four sessions: Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27. The course culminates with a live flight day, which must be attended in-person.

The course allows students to learn unmanned aircraft best practices and the basics of data processing software. Students will gain practical proficiency with hands-on flying and will learn about flight weather data interpretation, flight planning, airspace, map reading, and use of platforms to perform video and mapping tasks. Hands-on instruction with various drones, including thermal platforms, will be included.

The course is intended for people who want to become more proficient pilots, flying safely and legally. The course is open to researchers, faculty, staff and anyone interested in using the technology for work or commercial ventures. 

Instructor Rich Ham said the course is a good opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a drone pilot.

"There are very few courses that offer the knowledge level required for the FAA remote pilot examination and also teach and evaluate practical UAS flying," Ham said. "Anyone who wants to be a safe and compliant pilot should consider this course."

Participants are responsible for the cost of the FAA exam (about $150), eBook ($90) and the cost of their personal drones, which are not included in the course fee.

The eBook should be purchased at the following link:  Remote Pilot eKit

The course is $299 and group discounts apply, along with a 10% discount for U of A faculty, staff and students. For more information or to register, visit the Professional and Workforce Development Website.


Rich Ham, associate director
Operations Management - Industrial Engineering
479-575-5521, richardh@uark.edu

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu


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