For years I have gone into the classroom and talked with sUAS students (Principles of Aeronautical Science, UAS, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations, and Engineering) about my profession. I take great responsibility in the mentoring of students who seek a profession as a drone operator. Most recently, I was asked to join Fletcher High School sUAS students and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical students during the Blue Angels practice day here in Jacksonville, FL.
Being a Jacksonville native, I have been to this air show many times as a spectator, but being there with the students on practice day gave me an entirely new perspective. I got to see it through their eyes. They watched in awestruck amazement, taking in the skill, the training, the passion …
From talking with them in great detail and answering their questions, it was humbling to remember what it felt like to be in their shoes, to be that interested in something and not even realize just yet that it would become a lifelong passion.
Being there with them reminded me how much of a privilege it is to be able to make an impact on the next generation of drone operators. By sharing my same passion and career success with them at an event such as this, I can only hope that I am helping to fuel their own passion and motivate them to pursue their dreams.
I truly believe that when we deliver an elevated level of education to up-and-coming drone professionals, it not only leads the way for their individual success, but it also strengthens the industry with a higher degree of talent and professionalism.
Being front and center to witness the incredible skill of the pilots and airplanes, not only did the students leave with a newfound respect the industry and for the strength of our United States air space, but they also saw the possibility of what their futures may hold.