Flight Instructors, 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. My instructors at Coastal Drone Academy are Michelle Rogers and Jason Miranda, both are licensed drone pilots and teachers. Also helping me carry out this program, I have a team of instructors from other organizations

helping my students enter US airspace to study Natural Resource Management, including the following:


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. In Spring 2018 these Coastal Drone Academy pilots flew their drones in support of Dr. D’Andrea’s projects. Here is a collage from the field lab and teaching exercises taught by Dr. D’Andrea.


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 fixed


Dave McQuillan is our fixed wing instructor (below). Here he is doing initial training for our crew at Netarts Bay, Oregon: DCIM100MEDIADJI_0633.JPGOther Than Mapping: We have a new module in using drones for photography and videos, that starts this fall. We are actively training with Oregon State University/Sea Grant personal photographing whales as part of a team aboard the R/V Pacific Storm.

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 a local airport (shown 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 arena flight training center is a nearby National Guard armory (shown above left), where we also have use of a large open indoor space for precision flying with our trainer drones.