Drone Pilot SchoolDrone class set to take off at Palm Beach Lakes High School

August 19, 2021by helo-10

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A new drone course at Palm Beach Lakes High School will launch students into a high-demand career field.

Come this fall, seniors will learn all the ins and outs of how to operate a drone.

Alicia Jones-Prettyman will be one of the students taking the class.

“I think it’s cool to have the opportunity as we’re growing up,” Jones-Prettyman said. “We don’t have to find another way to do it, that we can get it free at school.”


Alicia Jones-Prettyman is one of about 20 students at Palm Beach Lakes High School set to take the drone instruction class.

About 20 students will be enrolled in this new course.

Teachers say Florida Power and Light recently donated five drones as part of this new program.

Students will be taught a class in introduction to aviation. Then they will learn how to fly a drone, allowing every senior to be certified.

The goal is to pique a student’s interest in a field with a growing demand for jobs.

Jonathan Oakley


Instructor Jonathan Oakley says the class will allow students to become certified to fly drones.

“They will pass the FAA certification, so they can be a drone operator. And they’re going to get an additional safety certification that says they’ll have X amount of flight hours, and they know how to safely operate a drone aircraft for commercial purposes safely,” said drone instructor Jonathan Oakley said.

“We’re trying to open up their possibilities to greater careers where they can actually fit in and be relevant, not just today, but for tomorrow,” said Tera Hands CHOICE program coordinator.

Jones-Prettyman said it is about having innovative classes that will prepare her for life success.

“Technology keeps changing, and it’s giving us a new way to think, like a new view on our lives ahead of time,” Jones-Prettyman said.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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