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Aerial Advantage Remote Pilot Program Offered at ACC

Alpena Community College started a drone program six years ago, but it was shut down at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, it’s starting up again, and ACC students will have the opportunity to earn a Remote Pilot Certificate.

“There’s so many different industries that drones impact, so once you get that certification, you can fly drones in agriculture, construction, utilities, roof inspections, real estate, and even just for fun,” said David Roush, Chief Instructor of the Aerial Advantage Remote Pilot Program.

The class is free, outside of the FAA exam, as long as you are eligible for the MiLeap Grant under which the course is offered. Roush has a wealth of experience in the drone field, and plans to use that experience to educate students through the course.

“I teach a lot of aspects that I’ve learned from leadership and situational awareness and from the military, and I apply it to this course as well,” he said. “Every experience I’ve had, I put a little bit of myself into this course to give the best experience to the students.”

There is a lack of qualified pilots right now, something they are hoping to rectify with this course.

“There’s a lot of community impact potential, and we’re not just trying to put butts in seats as they say, we’re actually trying to bring a new industry to the area,” said Anne O’Leary, Chief Administrative Officer of Aerie Collective.

The class won’t be easy, but Roush plans to give students the tools they need in order to be successful when operating a drone.

“Just learning how to take tests and simplify complex problems is worth the class itself,” he said.

The class begins at ACC on Friday June 16th from 4pm to 9pm, then Saturday and Sunday from 8am to5 pm. The course then moves to the Oscoda campus the following week.