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Sheldon College Drone Program Reaches New Heights

Wed, August 02, 2017

Job opportunities in many industries are flourishing including News Imaging, Surveying and Mapping, Environmental Surveying, Photogrammetry, 3D Imaging, Bushfire Monitoring and Risk Assessment as well as First Response Emergency Deployment.

In 2017, Sheldon College has successfully negotiated with ACE Aviation to deliver a Drones Program which has been offered to Years 10, 11 and 12 students. This course gives attendees the opportunity to gain the foundation knowledge they will need for the Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight) to be offered in 2018.

ACE Aviation CEO and Aeronautical Engineer, Mr. Mark Viswa Nathan and Air Traffic controller and Air Crash Investigator, Mr. David Wyman delivered the course which was a huge success.

The trainers commented on the outstanding ability, focus and behaviour of our students. Bence Major took out the coveted prize for the highest test score and also the flight competition. He actually landed the drone on the cross bar of the goal posts on the oval. Bence received a drone as his prize and also the support of the trainers to assist with the building of the drone and flight training.

Comments from Bence Major Year 10

“The ‘introduction to drones’ course presented by the two members of Ace Aviation was, in my opinion, both fun and informative, and a great experience throughout. Not only did the two presenters clearly know what they were talking about, but they both had lots of experience in the industry, and could, as a result, easily answer questions. The combination of this essential knowledge, which was imparted in an enjoyable way, along with the naturally great experience of getting hands-on flight time with some very expensive toys, meant that we came away from the two-day course not only having greatly enjoyed ourselves, but having learnt skills and knowledge which will most likely be of great use to us in the future.

The course consisted of two parts; the first day, which was mainly classroom learning, and the second day, which was half briefing and half flying time. On the first day, we were taught about various things from general drone safety, to dealing with the batteries which drones use, the rules and regulations currently in place, and the phonetic alphabet and radio calls. Additionally, we spent some time talking about the industries and ways in which drones are, and can be incorporated in the future. The whole time, the instructors were freely answering questions, and imparting a sort of ‘drone street-smarts’, namely, their personal experiences and viewpoints on how these things relate to working as part of the industry. In addition, they used short videos from different official sources to better communicate information, and to let us ‘see’ how things work.

On the second day, we first re-capped on the safety laws relevant to us, and then went through a safety briefing and looked at some real-life mayday calls, before heading outside to do some flying. We got to fly Phantom 3 drones in pairs, which meant we were doing something nearly all the time, either actually flying the drone, or ‘spotting’ for our partner. In addition, the presenters demonstrated their advanced Hexi-copter, which gave us an example of the industry standard. Finally, we had a mini-competition, which was a great opportunity to demonstrate the skills which we had learned, and have a bit of fun in a (semi) competitive environment.

Overall, this course taught us both the vital rules and regulations necessary for drone flight, and laid a solid foundation upon which to further gather knowledge, all in a fun-filled, safe environment. I personally really enjoyed not just flying the drones, but also learning about the concepts behind how drones fly and some of the aerodynamics concerned with drones, and I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is already flying drones and wants to learn more, to anyone who wants to start flying drones, and to anyone who plans to go into a career which will involve drones. Certainly a great opportunity. Thanks for offering this course!”

In 2018, Year 11 and Year 12 students enrolled in the Certificate program will gain a deep understanding of the drone’s technology and how it works. Topics covered will include how to read aeronautical maps, CASA Rules and Regulations and UAV Maintenance and ‘hands on’ drone flying experience. Students who complete the course will receive a Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight), an Aeronautical Radio Operators Certificate and a Phantom 3 Standard Drone.

We look forward to providing further courses in our Drone Commercial Pilot program and would welcome inquiries regarding this and any other programs within our Aviation and Space Academy to Mrs Diane Vandermeer, Director of Senior Schooling, Sheldon College on [email protected] or call (07) 3206 5550.


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