Learn to fly (legally) with Wake Tech drone class

Posted September 22, 2016 6:11 p.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2016 6:16 p.m. EDT

It's the age of the drone. People are buying them for their personal use, and many are looking at ways to make money with the spectacular pictures and videos that unmanned aerial systems can capture.

A new class at Wake Technical Community College gives pilots the training to take to the air and stay off the FAA's radar.

Any drone (or UAS, an unmanned aerial system) used for commercial requires the user (the pilot) to pass an exam offered by the FAA. The Wake Tech course is a way for drone operators to prepare.

The day-long course includes classroom training, simulation and experience flying a commercial-level drone.

Instructors say it's a great way to get prepared for new job opportunities that the rise of drones will bring.

One industry already capitalizing on drone photography is real estate.

"In the higher-end estate homes, large homes with large pieces of property, with conventional photography, you're unable to produce the photography that you need," said Wake Tech's George Staryak.

Another instructor, Ken Shorsher, said, "You can take wonderful videos of real estate, farms, weddings. You name it, it's out there."

The drone class' next meeting is Saturday, Oct. 1. It will be offered again in November.

The class costs $450 and includes practice on one of Wake Tech's drones.