Drone pilots take off

The drone pilot course at Callaghan College Jesmond Campus has grown from nine graduates last year to 22 Year 11 students enrolled this year. They are undertaking a Certificate III Aviation  - Remote Pilot Line of Sight delivered at school in a partnership between the school and a local Registered Training Organisation, UAVAir.

The students learnt about the hardware and software involved, the safety and legal aspects of piloting drones, aeronautical radio operation, and get at least five hours' flying time before the final examination. Inclusions in the school's course such as additional information technology, including 3D mapping, ensure graduating students exceed the current qualification requirements for commercial piloting by providing real world applications and experiences.

Students learn to fly using a computer simulator followed by a micro drone and then the latest DJI phantom 4 quadcopter. Demand for pilots is growing rapidly as drone technology improves and applications multiply in a huge range of employment fields including agriculture, mining, energy, surveying and engineering.

Jarod Beck, Year 11 student with a drone.

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