Coastal drone operations

In this course, students continue to explore integration and application of UAS resources in United States airspace.

boys in field

They focus on building and executing drone field operations. The content includes the second half of Part 107 ground school instruction. Each student is issued a ready to fly  quad copter or fixed wing drone which are used to create photo mosaics, topographic, vegetation, and 3D aerial maps while following lesson plans in radio communications, performance, physiological factors, decision making, airport operations, maintenance and pre-flight procedures. In addition students experience flying a fixed wing drone over larger areas (below is a sample plan for a flight for a marsh restoration area in Yaquina Bay).

flight path


Introduction to coastal drones

Students are issued an RTF (ready to fly) drone trainer and learn to fly them using lesson plans in airspace, weather, performance, loading, emergency procedures, and crew resource management.


First year pilot Matt Novy retrieves a Phantom 3 4K after flying a coastal mission (photo by Newport News Times)

This course introduces students to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and surveys current UAS platforms, sensors, terminology, challenges to integrating UAS to the national airspace system and operations under FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations for small unmanned aircraft (Part 107). Content includes first half of Part 107 ground school instruction. Field trips are planned to an airport, a tower, a flight museum, and a flight service center. All other field hours are dedicated to flying drones and building logged hours.