Last updated on November 6, 2019
Did you know Nov. 4-10 is National Drone Safety Awareness Week? Did you know that you can learn about drones and become a certified drone pilot at the Geotechnology Institute at Brookhaven as part of the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) remote pilot certification workshop? It’s all true! To help celebrate, we want to make you aware of what you need to know before flying a drone.
Before You Fly Your Drone
Taking a class about drones and how to fly one sounds cool and we agree. However, before you go out and start flying, there are a few things you need to know. Just because you acquire a UAS certification, doesn’t mean you can take your drone out and fly it anywhere. Here are some things to consider before you fly:
- Register online with the FAA. Before you fly your drone, you must register it with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds. Even if you’re just flying for fun, you must register your drone. Also, be sure to label your drone with your FAA registration number and your contact information.
- Know when and where you can fly. Be sure to fly your drone in proper weather conditions and during daylight hours. Never fly your drone within five miles of an airport without notifying the airport and air traffic control in advance.
- Follow local laws. Check and follow all local laws before flying over private property.
- Remain a good distance from others. Do not purposely fly over moving vehicles and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and private property.
These are just some of the things you should be aware of before taking a class or purchasing your own drone. Read more about National Drone Safety Awareness Week and see how you can get involved and help.
When Is the Drone and GIS Workshop at Brookhaven College?
You can take a class on unmanned aircraft systems and how they relate to geographic information systems. Tuition for the class runs about $275 and lunch will be provided. Students can register online by visiting eConnect and visiting the register for CE/WT Classes page on the CE/WT student menu, or by calling 972-860-4715. To find the class on eConnect, search for science (SIEZ) course number 1000.
In the workshop, you will explore precise data collection techniques using prosumer-grade UAS (a platform combined with sensors), typically applied in geospatial technologies. The workshop will cover things like:
- Basic UAS concepts, designs and functions.
- Resources to help navigate implementation of UAS in GIS.
- An overview of GIS applications for drones.
- Safety and licensing.
- Flight planning and missions.
When Is the Remote Pilot Certificate Preparation Class?
Tuition for the Remote Pilot Certificate class runs about $299 plus, the cost of course materials. Students can register online by visiting eConnect and visiting the register for CE/WT Classes page on the CE/WT student menu, or by calling 972-860-4715. To find the class on eConnect, search for science (SIEZ) course number 1000.
The primary focus of the course is to prepare you for the written Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) remote pilot certificate exam. In the process, you will learn critical thinking techniques for successful performance as a drone pilot. This is not a drone flying class, but there will be outside demonstrations of drone flying. The class will include (but is not limited to) information on the following topics:
- Flight regulations
- Drone performance and loading
- Drone maintenance practices
Upon successful completion of this ground course and scoring at least 80% on practice exams provided in class, you will be able to take the FAA Part 107 written exam for the Remote Pilot Certificate.
Not Interested in Becoming a Commercial Drone Pilot? No Problem!
Hobby and recreational drone operators are also welcome to register for this course. You never know … a UAS remote pilot certificate might come in handy one day! Additionally, according to current FAA regulations, you’ll need the certificate in order to operate a drone at your place of employment, even if it’s just for one flight.
- Interested in learning more about the Geotechnology Institute? Visit the Geographic Information Systems program page on our website.