Salina Drone Program Going on the Road
KSAL Staff - April 8, 2017 6:30 am
Travis Balthazor, UAS flight operations manager for Kansas State University's Applied Aviation Research Center, prepares students for the written FAA exam during a Part 107 training course.
The nationally ranked unmanned aircraft systems program on Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus is taking its Part 107 preparation course on the road and heading south.
Designed to help professionals successfully complete the Federal Aviation Administration’s new remote pilot in command certification, Kansas State Polytechnic is offering a UAS commercial pilot training course in Dallas from Friday, May 12, through Sunday, May 14. It will focus specifically on preparing attendees to pass the FAA’s Part 107 written test, which is required for anyone who wants to operate an unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes and does not have a manned pilot certificate. The UAS commercial pilot training course complements the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s annual conference, called AUVSI Xponential 2017, which is in Dallas earlier that week.
“Since the UAS program was established on K-State’s Polytechnic Campus 10 years ago, it’s been aim toward helping broaden the commercialization of the industry, so expanding our reach to another state is a significant contribution to that goal,” said Kurt Carraway, UAS executive director of Kansas State University’s Applied Aviation Research Center, which is on the Polytechnic Campus. “This course is perfect for any professional who wants to fly an unmanned aircraft for commercial operations and needs to pass the FAA’s Part 107 exam because it explores complex topics covered in the test that those outside the aviation industry might not understand. It also provides a personalized experience where interested UAS operators can connect with our program experts and have their questions answered immediately.”
Kansas State Polytechnic’s three-day course will be at the Cooper Hotel, Conference Center and Spa, 12230 Preston Road, Dallas. Participants will receive instruction on elements covered in the written FAA Part 107 exam, such as different classes of airspace, meteorology, UAS performance, loading and center of gravity, and Part 107 itself. They also will learn how to create essential documents for safe operations, like standard operating procedures, a preflight checklist and flight logs. Following the completion of the UAS commercial pilot training course, participants must go to an approved FAA test center to take the exam. After passing it, they will be awarded a remote pilot in command certificate from the FAA.
The cost of the course is $1,000 for individuals, with a discounted rate for companies sending multiple attendees. The cost of the FAA exam is an additional charge. More information on the course, including registration can be found at ksu-uas.com/fly-with-the-experts/training/dallas-suas-commercial-pilot-training/.
Kansas State Polytechnic launched its first UAS commercial pilot training course on Aug. 30, 2016, the day Part 107 went into effect. Since then, several courses have been delivered. In a survey taken by course participants, 100 percent of the attendees recommended the instructional class and said they are extremely confident now in their ability to adhere to FAA regulations pertinent to small UAS. They also noted that the course is a convenient way to network with other individuals and companies looking to use UAS technology for a variety of applications, which could lead to future collaborations of resources.
In 2016, Kansas State Polytechnic’s UAS program was recognized by Drone Training HQ as No. 2 on its list of the Top 20 Unmanned Aerial Systems Colleges in the United States. The honor reflects Kansas State Polytechnic’s leadership within the UAS industry. The campus established the country’s second UAS bachelor’s degree and since then, has added an additional four-year option in UAS design and integration as well as a minor. It became the first entity in the country to receive approval from the FAA for statewide flight operations in February 2015; received the country’s first Section 333 exemption for flight training in November 2015; and has created multiple UAS professional training courses and a hobbyist course for beginners.
Story by: Julee Cobb / Kansas State University