Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New drone flight-school designed to boost local businesses

State College, Centre County, Pa. - Drones are the future of flight school and class at South Hills School of Business and Technology in State College is in session.

Jeff Stachowski, Outreach Coordinator for the South Hills School, said drones are transforming from toys into a key tool for businesses.

For the first time, the school is offering a pilot certification class for drones.

The program is designed for anyone who wants to use the device for business.

"Drones are being used for surveys, mapping, for civil engineering types of work," Stachowski said.

A set of six classes are available in September and October and will take place during evenings and weekends .

The instructor, Chuck Ferrell, said it's a hands-on course to learn the essentials of flying.

"Learn to fly, get your license and when you go out don't be a drone cowboy flying past people's windows," Ferrell said.

Ferrell added that  with speeds up to 80 mph and hundreds of feet in the air, businesses may not realize the opportunities that come with drones.

"The 'a-ha!' moment is really coming to business that have gone 'ah-ha' we should use a drone, but they don't know how to use it yet," Ferrell said.

The course is $495.

 Students will learn flying techniques and the rules set by the Federal Aviation Administration to be part of the National Airbase System.

"You have to take into consideration, what airports are nearby, what helipads are nearby," Ferrell said.

After 18 total hours of class students should know what it takes to earn certification for commercial drone use.

And Ferrel said he's excited to share the air with fellow flyers.

"To teach people to fly legally, responsibly, and ethically," Ferrell said.

For more information on the course and enrollment, email Jeff Stachowski at

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