On Friday, Systems Administrator Kevin Carne and ATC Director Jen Kiley provided a demonstration in drone flying on the ConVal athletic fields. The drone they used is an ANAFI Parrot, a foldable quadcopter with a 4K HDR 21 MP camera that supports up to 25 minutes of filmed flight time.
After listening carefully to the operating instructions, Assistant Principal Rick Simoneau and Technology Integration Specialist Helfried Zrzavy each took turns trying out the drone which proved relatively easy to operate and surprisingly stable in flight, despite some wind gusts.
The goal is to offer ConVal High School students a co-curricular opportunity that is devoted to drone flying, with instruction leading to a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This certificate demonstrates that the pilot understands the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones.
In addition to recreational flights, drone piloting skills can have practical career applications for students who complete the requirements for the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate. According to Zip Recruiter, “drone pilot” and “commercial drone pilot” are commonly searched positions in the current job market. The primary responsibilities of a drone pilot are to control and maintain an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Drone pilot positions are available with both the military and other governmental organizations, as well as private companies, such as agricultural operations, environmental scientists, film and television production companies, surveyors, and GIS mapping specialists. Drone pilots can expect to make $34,000-$70,000 annually.