Considering its size and population there must be a lot of drone schools in Texas, right? You might be surprised. So far, there is only one degree program that I know of and I just found out about it.
I am talking about LeTourneau University’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Bachelor of Science program. This program starts Fall, 2015 and offers a choice of three concentrations:
- Pilot – the Pilot concentrations is the best fit for students who want to fly unmanned aircraft.
- Technician – the Technician concentration is the best fit for students interested in RPA maintenance
- Electronics – for students interested in designing or improving upon electrical systems used in RPAs
However, if you don’t need a degree, and just want to learn how to fly drones, DARTdrones offers classes in Dallas and Houston at various times throughout the year.
They have classed designed for complete beginners, which introduce “you to the basics of flying: FAA rules and regulations, drone safety, an introduction to the equipment and software, and more.” They also discuss the 333 exemption, what you need in order to get one. Also, you can also get a discount off the price of their training course, if you click on the link above and enter the coupon code: DRNHQ10.
In other developments, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, led by the Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (LSUASC) was selected by the FAA to be one of only six test sites in the country, to study how to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the National Airspace System. Despite this, the university does not yet offer any UAV-specific degrees. Hopefully this will change in the near future.
That being said, the state is not completely devoid of UAV training. Midland College employs drones in both its Energy Technology and Aviation Maintenance programs. Students in the Energy Technology program learn how to operate small drones, while the Aviation Maintenance students are taught how to take them apart and put them back together.
In the meantime, while not offering a degree program, Drone Pilot LLC, a veteran-owned small business located in Austin, advertises “a training program to promote safe and professional flight practices for the hobbyist and provide expertise to new and emerging market leaders.”
Also, there are 3 drone users groups in the Lone Star State which could probably both offer a lot of help to a novice, as well as be useful in establishing connections:
- North Texas Drone User Group (Plano, TX)
- Central Texas Drone User Group (San Antonio, TX)
- South Texas Drone User Group (Houston, TX)