Autel training courses drones

Autel training courses promise Manufactured Certified Operator (MCO) certification

Looking to bulk up your resume, or simply learn something new? A set of Autel training courses is set to make you a whiz on the company’s drones, targeting engineers, maintenance people, drone pilots and salespeople who want to level up their knowledge of drones.

Autel, which is based out of both Shenzhen, China and Washington state in the U.S., announced in the summer of 2022 that it would launch new Autel training courses.

This program is available to key Autel stakeholders, such as sales and dealer staff, other Autel employees, and to trainers who will train other staff. Consider it a sort of membership program for Autel’s biggest allies.

Autel training courses promise Manufactured Certified Operator (MCO) certification Autel Robotics Training Center

What’s covered in the Autel training courses?

The training courses center around the Autel Dragonfish series, which is the commercially-focused long-endurance, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone. The Autel Dragonfish promises 20 minutes of flight time, up to 18.6 miles of transmission range, and 4K imaging. This follows news from May 2022 that new versions of Autel’s unique, tilt-rotor drone, the Dragonfish, would finally become available in the U.S. in the form of the Dragonfish Pro and Dragonfish Lite.

With the training courses, expect to learn:

  • product and technical support knowledge.
  • walkthroughs of the programs that agents would likely use for customer service.

The entire Autel drone training program will start with a four-course online series called Dragonfish Ground Training. Once that section is passed, students can move on to an in-person training.

Upon completing both pieces of the course, you’ll receive what’s called a Manufactured Certified Operator (MCO) certification. That certificate is given through FAA (not any sort of government agency) and Autel said it is valid for two years.

As far as the four-part in-person courses go, they will include:

Ground Operations Training: Learn how to actually operate the Dragonfish drone beyond just practical taking off/flying/landing, but also safety. Get a deeper understand of the drone’s hardware and software capabilities, flight dynamics and tracking controls.

Sales Training: Though Autel says these lessons are still “under development and review,” this portion is aimed at Autel dealers and new Autel sales employees, teaching them how to best pitch the company’s products.

Engineering and Maintenance Training: Want to learn the internal mechanics of Autel’s Dragonfish drone? Whether to level up your engineering skills, or to help guide repairs or maintenance, this piece is for you.

Who are the Autel training courses for?

Not just anyone can sign up because they want something to do — at least not yet. For now, the Autel training courses are only available to key Autel stakeholders, which includes Autel sales and dealer staff, other Autel employees, and to trainers who will train other staff. In fact, right now the training is being conducted with Autel’s Customer Service Team.

But as the courses get a healthy handful of testers (by way of Autel’s own people) and the additional sections on sales, engineering and maintenance get added, it looks likely that the courses could expand to broader audiences.

For everyone else, what other sorts of Autel training courses are available?

Though, for other members of the public, there’s still an opportunity for you to get flying lessons of sorts from Autel’s staff. Autel offers a ‘Request a Demo’ service that’s open to the public, but you’ll also need to apply, and there’s decently-stringent criteria to get accepted.

To get a demo with Autel, you should:

  • Work at an enterprise or mid-size company.
  • Have clear business needs for drone adoption.
  • Have budget available for purchase in the next 3-6 months.
  • Have funding available in the case of special drone demo scenarios.

If you still don’t satisfy any of those criteria — say you’re just an everyday person or even a small business owner looking to get some drone flying lessons — then Autel’s official training courses or demo courses likely aren’t for you.

Luckily there are many avenues to learn how to fly drones in-person. There are two companies that I seriously recommend for in-person drone training courses: UAV Coach and DARTdrones.

UAV Coach offers two-three hour, personal drone flight lessons for individuals or small groups in more than 20 cities around the U.S. including Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Denver and Chicago. View all the available cities for UAV Coach training here.

DARTdrones has a long-list of in-person courses. Some are more beginner-focused (including a basic flying class), which is pretty similar to what UAV Coach offers. Then there’s also DARTdrones’ flagship program, the Professional Wings Program, which teaches you how to fly, how to get your Part 107 license and how to plan and execute missions all in one course. That course doubles as an AUVSI TOP 1 Certified Training program. And when you’re ready to take the next step and earn your AUVSI TOP Level 2 Certificate, DARTdrones offers a separate Trusted Operator Program™ Level 2 Remote Pilot Certification.

Why are Autel’s training courses significant?

The Autel training courses signal a couple different priorities for Autel as a company.

Customer service as a priority

The first is an emphasis on customer service, something that some drone companies have struggled with (perhaps unsurprising, given the complexities of a drone). Building up a fleshed out training program seems to suggest that Autel’s customer service is people who truly know the drone — and not a random call center in a foreign country.

Reliance on dealers to sell drones

The second point reveals something about Autel’s sales strategies: an emphasis on authorized dealers. Drone companies have long had a strategy of relying on individual, certified “dealers” to sell their enterprise products. DJI made an interesting pivot in 2021 when it added the ability to purchase enterprise drones directly through DJI’s website. In contrast, it seems like Autel would prefer you purchase it by a third-party seller who is knowledgeable about the product (and has gone through this training program).

Related read: Autel Evo Lite+ review: the best non-DJI camera drone you can buy

2 Comments

  • Topher Mira says:

    Any progress on this? I am looking for a Autel Evo 2 training that fits these requirements ”
    According the NOAA UASD Policy 1107, training must include normal, abnormal and emergency operations; aircraft specific elements (loss of link, weather minimums, controller set up, et. al.); include a practical flight assessment of all flight capabilities and features; and conclude with a certificate of training. An online training while advantageous, does not meet the practical elements of the training requirements. “

    • Sally French says:

      Hey Topher! I just ran an update to this piece, and it looks like it’s not super open to the public unless you’re willing to become a client. you might check out the training from DARTdrones and see if there is something they can offer you!

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