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Build a drone program, step by step

A curriculum developed by a former military helicopter pilot is at the heart of a new offering from DARTdrones that details a systematic approach to building an organizational drone capability.

Engineer Michael Whitcomb, left, consults with his teammate, retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Shelby Goudy, during a mapping exercise led by DARTdrones instructor Colin Romberger (background) during a class held during a 2019 AOPA Fly-In. Jim Moore photo.

The DARTdrones Professional Drone Training System is the latest product fielded by a company that has established itself among the industry leaders. Training provided by instructors who hold pilot certificates for both manned and unmanned aircraft has been crafted into a comprehensive system designed to propel the industry forward by offering a turnkey training solution for organizations as well as for individuals seeking to begin commercial operation of unmanned aircraft. Standardization of documentation and training are hallmarks of well-run UAS programs, and DARTdrones co-founder and CEO Abby Speicher said in a news release that a dearth of comprehensive training on how to create that from scratch based on real-world experience inspired the company’s latest creation.

“Drones are a new innovation and implementing them is a guessing game for just about everyone,” Speicher said, noting that the system was developed over years of working with large programs. “What’s special is the comprehensiveness of the program. You can’t find this anywhere else.”

The DARTdrones Professional Drone Training System covers a six-step process that begins with planning a program, then moves to basic pilot skills training, practice, advanced pilot training, and mastery of advanced missions. Step six is to launch drone operations, having set the stage for growth.

DARTdrones offers discounts on various products to AOPA members, including its FAA test prep, and two-day, in person, hands-on remote pilot training programs offered in cities around the country. AOPA members (who are logged in to their online account) can obtain applicable discount codes on this page, which links to the DARTdrones website. AOPA members got a firsthand look at the two-day version during an AOPA Fly-In at Frederick, Maryland, in 2019, and participants said they appreciated the program, particularly the hands-on instruction in drone mapping and modeling.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Unmanned Aircraft, Advanced Training

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