UNIONTOWN, Pa. — Hannah Sutton said flying drones runs in the family, according to our news partners TribLive.
The Uniontown native, who graduated last month from Laurel Highlands High School, wants to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps that saw him serve in the U.S. Air Force and later earn a license to pilot a drone.
Sutton, 18, like her grandfather is certified to fly drones. She completed a training program earlier this year at the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc. and then passed a test to earn her license.
“It’s a real competitive business and this gives me a head start,” Sutton said. “My grandfather had his own drone, flew his own drone. He did it for himself, it was a kind of privatized kind of thing. But I want to do this commercially because I thought it was kind of cool to work with drones.”
Sutton and seven other teens who graduated from the agency’s drone education program this spring put their skills to the test Saturday, showing off their flying abilities as they navigated drones through an obstacle course in the parking lot in front of the Private Industry Council’s facility in Hempfield.
The two-year old program, financed through a $79,500 grant from the Westmoreland-Fayette Work Force Investment Board, taught 14 students, ages 16 through 18, to fly drones. The program provided classroom and online instruction as well as hands-on, in-person training.
The program catered to low income students who also meet other qualifying factors set by the Private Industry Council.