Motlow State offers drone education classes

Motlow State Community College is sponsoring drone education classes in March and April to prepare drone pilots for the FAA part 107 License that is required for commercial drone operation. Pictured are Kristin Luna and Scott van Velsor, owners of the multimedia agency, Odinn Media, Inc., who utilize drone technology to complement the promotion and advertising work they perform for a variety of clients throughout Tennessee and beyond. Motlow staff photo.

Motlow State Community College is sponsoring drone education classes in March and April to prepare drone pilots for the FAA part 107 License that is required for commercial drone operation. Pictured are Kristin Luna and Scott van Velsor, owners of the multimedia agency, Odinn Media, Inc., who utilize drone technology to complement the promotion and advertising work they perform for a variety of clients throughout Tennessee and beyond. Motlow staff photo.

The Department of Workforce Innovation at Motlow State Community College will be sponsoring drone education classes March 11-16 on the Moore County campus and April 1-6 at the Smyrna TCAT and Motlow Smyrna campus.

The course is to support and prepare professionals or drone enthusiasts who need to pursue the FAA Part 107 License. The FAA license is required for anyone utilizing a drone for business purposes.

We are excited to offer the drone pilot licensing prep course, through CrossFlight Sky Solutions, which supports our goal to provide high-tech workforce skills training locally.
— Kathy Parker, executive director of Workforce Innovation

“We are excited to offer the drone pilot licensing prep course, through CrossFlight Sky Solutions, which supports our goal to provide high-tech workforce skills training locally,” said Kathy Parker, executive director of workforce innovation at Motlow. “The course will offer much more than online platforms of study because of the knowledgeable and well-trained instructors’ applicable experience, collaboration, and interactive learning activities they use to reinforce learning.”

The commercial use of drones by business has begun. Drones have quickly become tools for tech and retail giants like Amazon, Facebook, Wal-Mart, and Google. Industries such as real estate, police and fire departments, farming, cinema, construction, and photography benefit greatly from commercial drone use.

Business executives with their finger on the pulse of technology trends and updates realize the myriad of benefits drones can offer by integrating the technology into their operations.

Scott van Velsor and Kristin Luna, who own and operate Odinn Media, Inc., a local multimedia marketing agency, successfully use drone technology to complement the advertising and promotional work they produce for an impressive list of local, national, and international clients.

“A few years back we started dabbling in video, as many destinations wanted more of it,” said Kristin. “We quickly learned that if we could be at the forefront of the drone movement, we would be even more marketable as an agency.”

Their frequent collaboration with Tennessee’s state tourism agency, as well as entities across the state from Memphis to Knoxville, is evidence of the increased marketability of the agency. Clients such as the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce, Visit Rutherford County, and the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, benefit from beautiful, eye-catching video and photography provided by the Phantom 4 Pro drone that Odinn purchased two years ago.

Scott pilots the drones for the agency and has four years of flying experience. He began flying with a less expensive “trainer” drone. Then, for a total investment of about $2,700, he upgraded in 2017 to the Phantom 4 drone.

“Like most things, practice will make you better,” said van Velsor, commenting on the process of learning to fly. “Having the less-expensive trainer drone was key to learning the dynamics and physics of flying a quad copter. Additionally, knowing how to create smooth video that is useable just requires on-the-job training, and trial and error.

“Prior to the advent of drones, getting a unique vantage point was cost prohibitive. Now, with the introduction of these RC (radio-controlled) devices, opportunity is there for work in multiple industries; such as construction surveys, tourism marketing, agricultural analysis, real estate marketing, storm damage assessment, and even scientific exploration.”

According to van Velsor, the biggest challenge facing drone users is the increase in restrictions. National parks and forests, many state parks, and some cities have banned drones.

“I understand the (restriction) dilemma,” he said. “It’s because so many people are buying drones with zero training and, thus, are a danger to the people around them, not to mention the environment. I am excited about the Motlow drone education and training program.”

For more information, and to register for the drone education classes, go to motlow.cc/workforce or call 931-393-1760. To learn more about Odinn Media, go to odinn-media.com.