pilot summer camp

There’s a pilot summer camp for high school students

Most high school students will be studying for their SATs or scooping cones at the local ice cream parlor.

But for some lucky high school students, they’ll head to pilot summer camp. The camp, held in Kansas, focuses on manned aviation. But given the crossover between drones and manned aircraft, it could be a must-do for Drone Girl readers, too.

The four-day high school pilot summer camp, called Fly K-State Academy, will be held at Kansas State Polytechnic. It runs from July 22-25, 2019 and costs $1,200 (inclusive of all program supplies and instruction, 3.5 hours of flight time and 1 hour of simulator time, all meals and lodging in K-State Polytechnic residence halls).

The Fly K-State Academy camp is open to high school students entering their freshman through senior year.

During the camp, students will learn how to take off and land manned aircraft, perform flight maneuvers. They’ll participate in ground school, use a flight simulator and complete 3.5 hours of flight time. It all culminates in perhaps the highlight: taking a flight from Salina to Wichita, where they’ll have lunch at the renowned Stearman Field restaurant.

In addition to working in the Stevens Flight Center and hands on learning on the flight line, students will stay in the residence halls, use the student life center and experience life as a K-State Polytechnic pilot student.

Here are some of the things students can expect to learn:

  • Mission #1 – pre flight inspection, take off and landing, traffic patterns (1 hour of flight time)
  • Mission #2 – flight maneuvers (1 hour flight time)
  • Mission #3 – instrument flight (completed in flight simulators)
  • Mission #4 – cross country flight (1.5 hours flight time)

While the camp is geared toward manned aviation, that might actually be a good resume boost for someone who wants to eventually work in drones. Many drone jobs, like this widely-talked-about post from Uber for an UberEats drone pilot, give preference to applicants who hold a FAA Private Pilot certificate.

And if you already have a Private Pilot certificate, then getting your FAA Part 107 license is significantly easier (you can take a shortened test online rather than have to take an in-person test, which comes with a fee).

Learn more about the summer camp here.

There are tons of opportunities out there for students in both drones and general aviation as the industry looks to ramp up the amount of available talent to fill the increasing amount of open roles in the drone industry.

Drone Pilot Ground School is currently hosting their 2019 drone scholarship contest open to high school and college students. The prize is $1,000 — almost enough to cover the cost of this very camp. Students and teachers are also eligible to get massive discounts on drone gear from DJI through the DJI Education Discount program.

A study by DRONEII found that in summer 2018 alone, there were 903 drone-job-related advertisements. And job growth is not even close to slowing. In most fields of the drone industry (ie. software engineer, sales, marketing, HR and piloting) there are actually more open positions in 2018 than there were in 2017. And you don’t just have to settle for building or flying drones. Other career paths in the industry include drone costume designer and UberEATS drone pilot. And there’s money in the industry too: it’s not uncommon to hear reports of drone pilots making six figure salaries.

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