Drone Pilot SchoolWSU Tech launches new educational drone program for students

July 6, 2021by helo-10
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Private pilot Richard Moore checks out a drone from NMotion UAS during the Unmanned Vehicle Summit at the Nation Center for Aviation Training on Thursday. (Oct. 15, 2015) WSU Tech will launch its new drone educational program in August.

Private pilot Richard Moore checks out a drone from NMotion UAS during the Unmanned Vehicle Summit at the Nation Center for Aviation Training on Thursday. (Oct. 15, 2015) WSU Tech will launch its new drone educational program in August.

Fernando Salazar


The Wichita Eagle

Students can soon attend a new program at WSU Tech to learn how to pilot and build drones, as the aviation-related industry has grown in recent years.

The one- to two-year program, slated to begin in August, will take place at the tech school’s National Center for Aviation Training campus. Called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems program, it will specialize in piloting drones and Geographic Information System, or GIS, capabilities.

“We are witnessing private and public businesses and organizations across the nation investing in drones and unmanned aircraft systems,” Sheree Utash, president of WSU Tech, said in a statement. “WSU Tech is excited to be on the forefront of this rapidly growing area of aviation and it is our mission to provide an educated workforce for our region and prepare students for a career in this field.”

Students will also learn how to design, build and program unmanned aircraft systems. They will receive an FAA Part 107 license and rating, a federal requirement to fly drones under certain rules. In addition, students will gain experience in flying both quad copter and fixed wing drone systems.

Upon completion of the program, students will receive industry credentials such as an NC3 Meter certification and GIS certification.

Businesses and organizations have increasingly turned to drones to map, photograph, video, gather information and access areas that were previously unreachable. The technology has gained increasing attention in Wichita since AgEagle, a drone company from Neodesha, relocated here.

WSU Tech is the largest technical school in Kansas and has long been well known for its aviation and manufacturing education offerings.

“Any field that requires the collection of data or remote viewing is being disrupted by drone usage, especially in the areas dealing with geographic information systems,” Christopher Wyant, program director at WSU Tech, said in a statement. “UAS is a great program to learn a unique training that can be combined with other skills to provide value to these new industry growth areas.”

To learn more about the program or to apply, visit www.wsutech.edu/drone.

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Megan Stringer reports for The Wichita Eagle, where she focuses on issues facing the working class, labor and employment. She joined The Eagle in June 2020 as a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Previously, Stringer covered business and economic development for the USA Today Network-Wisconsin, where her award-winning stories touched on everything from retail to manufacturing and health care.





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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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