Drone piloting in high demand

Local News

Drones…drones are swarming into business that are seeing their value.

One such businesses is Penn State.
Matthew Wolf is a Maintenance Supervisor with Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant.

He’s taking a drone class to help him pass the FAA Part 107 drone certification test.
A test that will give him his license, and help him do his job better.

“If we’re able to have the real-time data, be able to fly different parts of campus, we can do a lot of mapping with it, maybe it’s pesticide or chemical control applications, integrated pest management mapping and that kind of stuff,” Matthew Wolf, student at the Part 107 Pro-Pilot certification course at South Hills School of Business & Technology, said.

His teacher at South Hills School of Business and Technology is Chuck Ferrell.  He believes drones are saving companies loads of time and money.

“It’s much more economical to buy a drone for fifteen hundred dollars, then to hire a helicopter for a few hours,” Chuck Ferrell, Drone Flight Instructor at South Hills School of Business & Technology.  “You’re gonna’ spend that and maybe a couple, three hours on a helicopter, where i’m going to be able to fly this drone for many, many hours.”

It’s not just the workforce that’s finding these flying devices handy…

“If I’m a homeowner, just the ability to take the drone off, and I can look in my gutters around the house to see if they’re clogged with leaves, “ Chuck Ferrell, Drone Flight Instructor at South Hills School of Business & Technology, said.

Jeff Stachowski, at South Hills School of Business and Technology says, a wide range of business now want people who can fly a drone.

 “Real estate folks are using them to document their real estate for sale, insurance agents are using them to assess damage that’s been done to a roof or a house,” Stachowski, said.

Stachowski says drones aren’t a toy, they’re helping make work more efficient, where else would you be able to get a bird’s eye,

First responders agree, the State College police department is about to launch their drone.
Chief John Gardner belives a drone can be used to direct large crowds of traffic better, at Penn State football games or at the scene of car crash.

 “We can see where the backlogs are, where the tie-ups are and maybe we can run traffic a little differently because we’re going to have that drone in the sky to see that,” C
hief, Gardner said.

Drones can also keep officers out of harms way.
“The scene might be unsafe, so we can utilize a drone to send them in there to see exactly what we are dealing with,” 
John Gardner, Police Chief at the State College Police Department, said.

Chief Gardner says if you’re going to fly a drone it’s vital to learn the rules.

 “You have to be mindful of what the law states and what safe operating is, because you could either intentionally or unintentionally interfere, whether it be with firefighting efforts, or law enforcement efforts,” Chief Gardner said.

South Hills School of Business and Technology is currently only offering their different drones classes to working professionals.  This Fall they will offer a new drone beginners class to their students.


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