Oklahoma College Teaches Course On 'Latest Aviation Trend'

Monday, February 23rd 2015, 11:29 pm
By: News On 6

Drones are the latest trend in aviation and can be used for all kinds of things.

From the agriculture industry, to movies to weather chasers, they are becoming more prominent in the aeronautics industry and a Tulsa College is set to offer a new course to meet the demand.

2/17/2015 Related Story: Oklahoma Weather Drone Use Holds Promise For Earlier Tornado Warnings

Starting in April, students at Spartan College will learn how to build, program and fly unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.

Michael Brown said that he's loved airplanes since he was little, but didn't have the money or time to dedicate towards becoming a pilot.

Now, nearing graduation from Spartan's College of Aeronautics and Technology, one of his final courses will school him in the world of drones.

"The chance to touch it before anyone else gives me the chance to say I helped Spartan build that class and that program, so that kind of helped give me an edge out there in the field looking for next job," Brown said.

Spartan is one of the first in the nation to offer a program specializing in UAV technology, according to President Ryan Goertzen.

"Such a critical educational niche that focuses on careers that mean something and lead to good jobs," he said.

Students will learn the FAA regulations that come with drones and build them from the ground up.

"A lot of moving parts, literally, a lot of moving parts. Very sharp blades. This is known as a quadcopter. It has four blades and works kind of like a helicopter but works more like an airplane," Instructor, Paul Wells said.

But the contraptions are finicky.

"We've had a few accidents already. The throttle is very touchy. Once it goes to pick up off the ground it can shoot to 4 or 500 feet like that," Wells said.

But, as drones become more widely used and the technology improves, students will have no problem keeping up.

"When I knew they were going to build program I said make sure I'm in on it," Brown said.

You can enroll for the new program starting March 5th with classes beginning April 6th.

The program is expected to last 17 months or less and cost around $36,000.

The FAA recently approved more uses for certain types of UAVs, opening up all sorts of jobs for the soon-to-be graduates.