drone pilot industryLake Area Tech hosts first drone training, offers new commercial drone piloting license

December 7, 2021by helo-10

Lake Area Technical College hosted its first drone camp for high school students Friday with high school students from South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota in attendance.

The drone camp taught a number of things, including how to fly a racing drone and how to program and write code. Each student also got to build and keep a drone of their own. The students also toured some of the college campus.

LATC hosted the event to encourage the next generation to consider becoming a commercial drone pilot as a future career.

“If you become a commercial drone pilot, you can get paid to fly,” said Carter Gilk, LATC’s chief flight instructor. “When you’re in the air, you have to think differently than you do when you’re walking across the street. This training will help make you a really good drone pilot.”

A variety of drones were put on display as students lined up to practiced flying drones during Friday's drone camp.

Gilk explained that LATC’s new commercial drone piloting certificate would go hand-in-hand with their current aviation piloting program.

“You will fly drones, collect data, manipulate and present the data. We are the front edge of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) programs,” said Gilk.

Michael Klarenbeek was a guest speaker for the event and discussed with the students how drones are the future, but the industry will need a workforce that can fly them. Klarenbeek is a Federal Aviation Administration certified flight instructor and drone pilot.

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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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