CCAC South to offer commercial drone intro course
Flying a drone isn't as simple as taking it out of a box and launching it into the air to see how high it can go and the amazing views it can capture.
There are laws in place for when and where a drone can be flown, and anyone looking to use one commercially needs a license.
In the Pittsburgh area, unmanned aircraft system pilots are finding careers in the real estate and construction markets, utilizing drones to photograph areas and terrains, said Lori Paluti, an FAA-certified unmanned aircraft systems pilot and an instructor at the Community College of Allegheny County-South Campus.
Paluti will be teaching an introductory course on unmanned aircraft systems this spring.
In the meantime, CCAC-South will host a seminar, “An Intro to Part 107: What it Takes to Become and Operate as a Remote Pilot,” on Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The course will introduce people interested in getting certified to the topic. The event is sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
The free seminar — which is not for the hobbyist — will provide an overview of what it takes to become a certified DRONE, Paluti said.
Attendees will be able to network with others in the field.
“More people are looking at it generally as a career,” she said. “We see all of the emerging technology happening with Apple and Google and hopefully Amazon and we want to be a part of that.”
Youths as young as 16 can get their FAA unmanned aircraft license, Paluti said. It's a career that would work for many high schoolers, she said.
“Instead of working at a burger place, they could be working here,” she said.
Law enforcement and fire departments have found drones as a vital tool in their line of work, she said.
Someday, drones are expected to be used for package delivery at homes, Paluti said.
When flying a drone, there are things to take into account — where you can fly it and how high, the make-up of the aircraft, your personal safety and that of others and what the weather is like. You have to be able to read a weather report.
“It's not just looking at WTAE. It's a little more extensive than that,” Paluti said.
All of these things will be taught in the spring course at CCAC. Paluti said she encourages people to take a course about drones before going for their FAA certified pilots license.
Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.