Drone safety class offered through Whatcom

By Cail McLeod

A Community and Continuing Education class helped students learn how to safely pilot a drone March 11 through 13.

The class, supervised by the Unmanned Vehicle Institute, helped students develop an understanding of drone safety, aeronautical principles, and the commercial potentials of aerial vehicles.

“The first section is revolving around the rules and regulations the Federal Aviation Administration has set down and how all those apply to the hobbyist versus the commercial.” Stout said about the first day class lectures.

When students interacted with the drones first-hand on the second day of class, they managed to have some fun with them as they meticulously tried to gain control of them.

Students also learned how to check the surroundings of their environment to check for intrusive elements such as adverse weather, buildings, and magnetic interference that would mess up the connection with the drone.

“Unlike an airplane, an airplane has air surfaces that move like air elevators and ailerons and rudders, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles don’t have those, they are intercontrolled by different speeds to the different motors.” Stout said.

After the lecture, students launched a computerized flying simulator called Phoenix 5 and used a model of a drone to practice flying, which the students were also very engaged with.

As expected, students were very engaged with material about correct altitude heights and flying laws. Almost everyone had a question to ask if they needed clarification.

According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, potential career paths pertaining to UAVs include public safety, military, agriculture, management, and construction, as well as the production of, and the software development of UAVs themselves.

Stout said that the students had very much fun with the learning the ins and outs of piloting unmanned vehicles.

The UMVI’s official website states that their mission is to provide students and citizens skills required to pilot remote controlled vehicles, whether as a hobby or in a commercial setting.

Stout said the UMVI will be visiting multiple colleges in the future to give similar classes on not just aerial vehicles but on aquatic and terrestrial ones as well.







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