Monday, August 14, 2017

Aviation Explorer Post 787 to zero in on drones at its August 26th meeting

Participants with the Aviation Explorer Post 787 toured the Greater Pittsburgh International air traffic control tower and radar facility during an outing July 31. 

WINTERSVILLE — Participants with the Aviation Explorer Post 787 were treated to a tour of the Greater Pittsburgh International air traffic control tower and radar facility during an outing July 31.

“This is something that not many people are able to see or accomplish because of the extremely high security measures in place at the facility that serves as the main air traffic control facility for all aircraft flights in and around the Pittsburgh area,” explained area resident Dan Otto, the adviser for the Ohio Valley-based Aviation Explorer Post 787, which is designed for young men and women ages 14 to 20.

Monthly meetings typically are held on the fourth Saturday of the month at the Jefferson County Airport terminal building in Wintersville, beginning at 9 a.m., if not arranged to be held elsewhere. The annual cost is $30 to participate, which helps cover insurance costs, according to Otto.

Otto noted that, according to the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the Pittsburgh International Airport in June provided service to 832,781 passengers, 12,813,096 total cargo and roughly 2.5 million pieces of mail. “Its total operations, which is each time an aircraft moves on the airport, was 13,139 times in the month of June alone. We were very impressed and interested to learn all about the facility,” Otto noted.

The post’s next meeting will be held Aug. 26 in Wellsburg at the Brooke High School soccer fields, beginning at 9 a.m.

“We will be talking about drones and what it takes to operate drone aircraft commercially and providing demonstration flights,” Otto explained.

“Our September meeting is scheduled for Sept. 23 at the Wheeling Ohio County Airport where we tentatively are scheduled to participate in flights in Black Hawk helicopters provided by the West Virginia National Guard,” Otto added. “Please note that these two dates and times may change at any time,” he pointed out. “For the must up-to-date schedule please always check our calendar on our website at,” he suggested.

It also offers information on who can join and its purpose, which is to educate and inspire young adults into a career in the field of aviation “and, man, are we having fun doing so.”

While most people think of pilots when they think aviation, that’s only the tip of the iceberg as far as the many different career paths available in the field of aviation, according to Otto.

Opportunities also include air traffic controllers, airplane mechanics, airport managers, radar and weather facility technicians, flight instructors, medical teams, fire rescue personnel, the military and remote pilots who are professional unmanned aircraft pilots.

For information about the organization visit the website There also is a Facebook page — The e-mail is

Original article ➤

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