If you've ever dreamed of learning to fly a drone and becoming commercially certified, now is your chance.
Ranger College is offering a drone course from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 5-7.
The course, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, will teach students how to fly drones and prepare them for Federal Aviation Administration certification.
This course is a continuing education class so no college credits will be received. It will provide comprehensive, hands-on training that gives students all of the skills and information needed to start piloting drones safely and legally.
“Something we continue to do at the college is stay up with cutting-edge technology,” said Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development Dixon Bailey. “Kenny Weldon, he’s on the board at the North Texas Workforce Commission, and he was actually the one who brought the idea to us. He thought it would be great for the community and something the college could help create and build.”
When Weldon was still mayor, he paid a visit to the North Central Texas Council of Governments to see how the city could improve the airport.
“We found out there is a need to start a private pilot training program at the Stephenville airport. We also learned that while there is a big demand for pilots, there’s an even larger need for the use of drones and drone technology," Weldon said. “We had some discussions at Tarleton about what we might be able to pursue…and Ranger was very interested. They kind of latched on to the idea and said ‘Hey, let’s pursue this and see if we might be able to find the details about a drone license.’
“The training that they were talking about is not what people would envision going to the store and buying a small drone and learning how to fly. It’s actually getting licensed to fly a drone, similar to getting a private pilot’s license, so you’re authorized to fly the drone commercially and legally within the Federal Aviation Administration regulations. So, that’s kind of the ball that Ranger ran with and did the research to find out the details and lo and behold, we’re about to have the first offering of a course at Ranger where you can get certified to be able to fly a drone.”
In addition to teaching the best safety practices and piloting skills, the course also covers the types of flight systems available and its capabilities.
Students will also learn how drones can be used in business and industry applications, and drone photography and videography skills.
This course is also designed to prepare operators to successfully pass the remote pilot knowledge test and achieve FAA remote pilot certification.
The course will cost $1,500 and includes a workbook, training quadcopter with camera, a computer flight simulator with radio controller and 50 FAA sample test questions.
“I think they (the students) will enjoy it because they’ll be learning something that’s cutting edge and can be one of the first in this area to be certified to fly a drone under the rules that have been created so that’ll be a huge benefit for anybody who takes the class,” Weldon said.
For more information about the course, call Ranger College.