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Faculty and Staff Learn About Modern Day Drones

December, 2018
  • Drone Staff Development
    From left: QCC staff and faculty Bryan Brophy-Baermann, Nancy Donohue-Berthiaume , John Solaperto,Tom Hebert and Thomas Dotson

Is it a bird? A plane? A motorized toy? Many people are still a bit perplexed when they first see a unmanned aircraft, commonly called a drone. QCC Senior Technical Specialist John Solaperto gave a recent talk to faculty and staff interested in learning about what a drone is all about and enlightening them to the recent phenomenon. Mr. Solaperto discussed the basics on drones and drone piloting in a staff development meeting, after attending a two-day workforce development course where he then took it upon himself to become a licensed drone pilot.

“I showed everyone the drone kit and explained that these are not toys,” he said, demonstrating the Maverick Pro Platinum drone. “I got this because it was quieter than earlier drone models.”

He explained that to fly a drone you must be aware of many conditions such as weather, what airspace is and where you are when you are flying a drone in that airspace.

“The rules are very specific. Whether or not you fly commercially, you must adhere to the rules such as not flying more than 400 feet off the ground and always maintaining visual sight of the drone,” he noted. “You also need to be careful around metal as they are magnetic and make sure the GPS is on, or they have the potential to drift away.”

 Airspace is similar to an “upside down wedding cake,” with aircraft flying at different altitudes, Mr. Solaperto said.

“It’s up to the drone pilot to be aware and get out of the way of everyone else,” he added. “You should always fly with a team.”

To find out more about QCC's drone program, visit the Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education