A 14-week sUAS Remote Pilot Ground School course will be taught at New River Community College beginning Aug. 28. The course will prepare individuals to take the Federal Aviation Administration part 107 drone regulation exam.
Each Monday evening session will include instruction on topics to prepare for the exam including flight/weather maps and regulations and guidelines governed by the FAA relating to both drone and small Unmanned Air Systems (sUAS) and traditional fixed wing aircraft. Other topics will include drone maintenance, programming the graphical user interface, electronics, building and taking apart the device and hands-on time on a virtual drone simulator. Later in the semester, students will fly drones in an air space yet to be determined.
Registration is open to the public. The course (UMS 107-M6, course # 52216) will be held on Monday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the college’s NRV Mall site in Christiansburg.
Jeff Levy, head of NRCC’s engineering and design program which is the department offering the course, says due to the expansion and roles of the first responder using drones, this exam prep course could be a benefit to emergency medical service, fire and rescue, and police and sheriff’s department personnel. Students do not need a drone to take the class, but for those who wish to use their own during the flight portion of the course later in the semester, a .55 pound drone is recommended. Students will be using the FAA hobbyist set of rules.
Bob Harrison will instruct the course. He is a former airline pilot and former owner of an aerial photography business. Barney Blankenship will teach the hands-on drone portion of the program.
Prospective NRCC students may visit www.nr.edu/admissions/ for enrollment information or call the Admissions Office at 540-674-3603.