On May 11th-12th, 2017, Leading Edge Associates held the first small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) training course designed specifically for mosquito and vector personnel. The training was completed at two separate locations in Northern California; the Sacramento Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control district property and the Western Center for Agricultural Equipment near UC Davis. A total of nine attendees from California and one from Michigan spent over 16 hours learning how to prepare for the FAA’s Part 107 sUAS exam. Topics covered many vital components of aviation from reading aeronautical charts to understanding Zulu time. As a bonus to the learning experience, the California Department of Public Health approved 11.5 Continuing Education units upon completion of the two courses.
To get hands-on experience piloting a sUAS safely, all of the students took their turns at flying a small drone, the Phantom 4 Pro. The Basic Flight Course included pre-flight inspections, take offs and landings, level flight, as well as figure 8, flying around a point and flying in reverse flight patterns.
The instructors, Shanon Kern and Bill Reynolds are not new to the world of piloting aircraft, big or small. With more than 5,000 hours of flight time in manned aircraft, instrument ratings and sUAS pilot licenses, Shanon and Bill offer the highest quality of training available for unmanned aerial systems and applied technology.
Piper Kimball, sUAS course organizer and vector biologist, can be contacted for more information on upcoming trainings in unmanned aerial systems at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned in 2018, as we expand our training curriculum to include multispectral imagery, aerial applications for mosquito & weed control and precision agriculture technology.