FAA Drone Pilot CertificateNHS students earn FAA drone pilot certification

December 4, 2021by helo-10

The Nolensville High School has produced its first Unmanned Aerial Systems class (UAS)  licensed FAA certified remote pilots. 
 Andrew Dunn is one of the Nolensville High seniors that passed the test.  He

Two Nolensville High students have become their school’s first certified drone pilots, and the pair hope the federal recognition will help them get their business off the ground.

Andrew Dunn and Mitchell Waller, both rising seniors, recently passed the aeronautical test required to become a certified remote pilot with the Federal Aviation Administration.

“They both would meet me after school and on weekends to practice their pilot skills and to study for the FAA Remote Pilot certification test,” said Elvia Klym, who teaches the Unmanned Aerial Systems course at NHS—the first of its kind in the state.

“They both put in the extra work, and it has paid off,” said Klym. 

In the course, students learn the nuts and bolts of unmanned aircraft systems–technology that allows the pilot to get an aerial view by using a hand-held transmitter.

RELATED: Nolensville High’s drone program takes off

The teens are introduced to aerial systems, computer programming and federal regulations for UAS, along with hands-on instruction for piloting the devices.

Nolensville High students Mitchell Waller and Andrew Dunn have become the school's first licensed Federal Aviation Administration Certified Remote Pilots.

UAS, commonly known as drones, were first introduced for military uses. But, in the last decade, the market for commercial drones has exploded, creating jobs in real estate, media, agriculture, construction and security.

Commercial drones are expected to bring 100,000 jobs and $82 billion to the U.S. by 2025, according to an economic report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

In 2016, the drone industry employed around 385 people in Tennessee, that same report notes.

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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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