Instructors and training facilities

I am Dr. Chuck Getter founder and director of the Coastal Drone Academy. I have been a licensed pilot for over thirty years, have mapped thousands of miles of shoreline, have hundreds of hours flying manned and unmanned aircraft, and am currently enrolled and completing my USI Certified Instructor™ this summer which (combined with my State of Oregon Teacher’s License) will authorize me to teach Unmanned Safety Institute’s (USI) nationally recognized classroom and flight school curriculum to my student pilots starting in the Fall of 2018 utilizing USI’s proprietary technology, curriculum, and materials.

jason flying on rv pacific storm
Helping me carry out this program, I have six instructors three in coastal resources management and three in aviation.

Tony in fielddr tony 1

Tony D’Andrea (above), Project Leader, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, in field, then giving a lecture on estuarine ecology, prior to our Netarts Bay seagrass census mission. These Coastal Drone Academy pilots will fly their drones in support of Dr. D’Andrea’s projects.

Evan Hayduk, (right) Restoration Specialist, Midcoast Watersheds Council, giving an overview of the Yaquina Bay, Oregon Tidal Restoration project. These pilots will fly their drones over a 38 acre restoration project in support of one of Mr. Hayduk’s projects.

Ian Keene (below) of CTSI (Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians) is an award-winning urban forester, restoration ecologist, and fisheries biologist. He is currently the Aquatics Program Biologist and serves as the wetlands restoration scientist as well. Our students have worked with Mr. Keene for several years, learning forestry from him in his previous role as an urban and restoration forester. Mr. Keene is developing field methodologies with our pilots to census large areas of land using drone technology.

ian fixedThese are three of our guest lecturers/scientists who actively instruct our students in the project goals and areas of expertise. Students work side-by-side with our students, learning their trade while assisting them, doing marine science research tasks with them.

Flight Instructors: In addition to the natural resource instructors, land-based flight crew activities are coordinated by Career Tech staff Michelle Rogers.

ms rogers.pngMs. Michelle Rogers (above), Coastal Drone Academy Pilot, Teacher, Flight Crew Chief


Our instructors for ship-based launches are Todd Chandler (above as offshore drone instructor and whale spotter above training three of our Academy pilots) and Dawn Barlow (grad student below brief students before whale cruise). They both work for Dr. Torres, a marine mammal and megafauna expert from the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. These are photos of a recent training exercise with them aboard the R/V Pacific Storm.


Training facilities

We have a temporary classroom at the Newport Regional Airport (below right). We have an active curriculum based on current flight operations located at this airport. Note: We do not fly sUAS at the airport, since FAA doesn’t allow that.


Our indoor flight training center is the Oregon (US Army) National Guard armory in Newport (shown left), where we also have use of a large open indoor space for precision flying with our trainer drones.


“The Coastal Drone Academy is a model example of how high schools across America can implement successful career and technical education programs with successful student outcomes, and USI is honored to be a part of their story.”  Aaron Greenwald, President of the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI).