Drone pilot license prep training at Southeast Missouri State University

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Drone pilot license test prep-training will begin on March 28 at Southeast Missouri State University.

The 18-hour course will provide the training needed to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aeronautical knowledge test and receive a remote pilot certificate, according to the university.

Jim Peterson, SEMO Assistant Professor of Polytechnic Studies, will be one of the instructors.

"We know the region needs it," Peterson said. "There's not a lot of people licensed in this region, but we know there's a lot using it and we want to help them have a professional business and not get fined 10,000 dollars starting."

Peterson said that the minimum fine for someone caught operating a commercial drone without a licenses.

Outside the legal aspect, Peterson said safety is a big reason why it is important to have a commercial licenses.

SEMO Agriculture Technology Coordinator Andy Chronister knows that drones have become a big thing for the AG industry, but also knows what it's like from a pilot's perspective to encounter a drone from the cockpit of a plane.

"It rattles you and distracts you from what you need to be doing and you got enough things going on flying an airplane that you don't need the distraction of someone flying a drone," Chronister said. "It can cause accidents. So, it's very important to get certified and learn what you can and can't do legally with a drone and it's all with safety in mind."

Classes for the unmanned aircraft Small UAS Part 107 test prep training will be on Wednesday evenings for six weeks. The classes are from 6-9 p.m. March 28 to May 2 at the Economic and Business Engagement Center located at 920 Broadway, Room 112.

The cost of the course is $350.

Registration information is at engage.semo.edu/part107.  Questions can be directed to Andrew Chronister, achronister@semo.edu or (573) 651-2929.

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