An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.
In the United States, the United States Navy and shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration have adopted the name unmanned aircraft (UA) to describe aircraft systems without a flight crew on board. More common names include UAV, drone, remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), remotely operated aircraft (ROA).
These “limited-size” (as defined by the FAI) unmanned aircraft flown in the USA’s National Airspace System, flown solely for recreation and sport purposes such as models, are generally flown under the voluntary safety standards of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the United States’ national aeromodeling organization. To operate a UA for non-recreational purposes in the United States, users must obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to operate in national airspace. At the moment, COAs require a public entity as a sponsor. For example, when BP needed to observe oil spills, they operated the Aeryon Scout UAVs under a COA granted to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.COAs have been granted for both land and shipborne operations.
Job outlook for a drone pilot
UAVs are currently a $10 billion industry. Predictions are that it will be a $51 billion industry by 2018 and an $80 billion industry by 2020. Right now, UAV pilots typically earn between $30,000 and $70,000 depending on experience. Demand for UAV pilots is expected to explode in 2015 when the FAA opens up the national airspace to personal and commercial UAV applications. Intrigued?
Training Required for an uav pilot
Larger UAVs are viewed by the FAA the same as manned aircraft. The Predator and Global Hawk are military examples of these larger UAV airplanes. Large UAVs generally require commercial pilot’s licenses with instrument ratings.
Smaller UAVs have more relaxed requirements. The rules and guidelines will become much clearer over the next couple of years.
Unmanned Vehicle University
Unmanned Vehicle University is the first university in the world dedicated to higher education in Unmanned Air, Ground and Sea Systems. MS and PhD degrees are offered in Unmanned Systems Engineering as a totally online curriculum. The school also offers technical training in Unmanned systems though Online Executive Certificate Courses and 3 day short courses. Courses are offered in English, Greek, German, Italian and Spanish.…More at UAV Pilot Training | UAV and Model Airplane Design, Building and …
The University is the only university in the world licensed to grant degrees in unmanned systems engineering. Masters and Doctorate degrees are offered in Unmanned (Air, Ground, Sea and Space) Systems Engineering as a totally online curriculum. The school also offers technical training in Unmanned systems though Online Executive Certificate Courses and 3 day short courses. We just published the first University textbook in the world on unmanned systems.
They have a UAV Pilot Training Certificate. The course includes:
- A flight simulator will be mailed to your home
- On call instructors will teach you to fly the simulator on the phone
- Online ground school with 16 hours of videos
- Flight schools (3 days)
|After completion of the simulator exercises and online ground school they schedule a 3 day basic flight training course in Florida. After graduation you will receive a UAV Pilot Certificate.The course covers both vertical takeoff and fixed wing UAVs which may include a quadcopter, helicopter, small, medium and large sized fixed wing UAVs and a hexcopter depending on location. Propulsion systems are both electric and gas. …More at Learning to fly a UAV/Drone|
Randal Franzen was 53, unemployed and nearly broke when his brother, a tool designer at Boeing, mentioned that pilots for remotely piloted aircraft – more commonly known as drones – were in high demand.
Franzen, a former professional skier and trucking company owner who had flown planes as a hobby, started calling manufacturers and found three schools that offer bachelor’s degrees for would-be feet-on-the-ground fliers: Kansas State University, the University of North Dakota and the private Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
He landed at Kansas State, where he maintained a 4.0 grade point average for four years and accumulated $60,000 in student loan debt before graduating in 2011. It was a gamble, but one that paid off with an offer “well into the six figures” as a flight operator for a military contractor in Afghanistan.
Franzen, who dreams of one day piloting drones over forest fires in the U.S., believes he is at the forefront of a watershed moment in aviation, one in which manned flight takes a jumpseat to the remote-controlled variety….More at Anticipating domestic boom, colleges rev up drone piloting programs