Drone Pilot Training

Drone field training

This course, Unmanned Aircraft Systems 1, is the first step to becoming a professional UAS (drone) pilot. It is designed to help people prepare to pass their FAA Remote Pilot Certificate Examination (FAA Part 107 Exam). Additionally, those students sponsored by their organization can complete a project based on their sponsor’s needs. This can include thermal roof inspections, modeling or other projects.

Learn unmanned aircraft best practices and the basics of data processing software.  Gain practical proficiency with hands-on flying, and learn about flight weather data interpretation, flight planning, airspace, map reading, and use of platforms to perform video and mapping tasks.

The course is intended for people who want to become more proficient pilots, flying safely and legally.  This includes people interested in using the technology for work or commercial ventures, as well as hobbyists and people who may be interested in becoming aircraft pilots.

There are very few courses that offer the knowledge level required for the FAA remote pilot examination and also teach and evaluate practical UAS flying," said Rich Ham, class instructor and the associate director of the Master of Sciences in Engineering Management and Operations Management programs at the U of A College of Engineering. "Anyone wanting to be a safe and compliant pilot should consider this course."


Every Tuesday

Oct 15 - Nov 12, 2024

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Includes instruction in use of software 3D modeling and basic thermal imaging, as well as preparation for the FAA Part 107 examination.

Cost does not include FAA exam or personal drone.

Group Rates

10% discount for five or more participants, 15% discount for ten or more participants. Contact Mark Berkowick or 479-464-5024.

Discounts cannot be combined.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the FAA Remote examination Airman Certification Standard by passing the FAA exam.
  • Demonstrate flight planning and safe operation of a UAS through a practical examination.
  • Understand how to make good aeronautical decisions and manage risk of UAS operations.
  • Understand how data programs are used to process data gathered with a UAS.


Course Requirements

  • Students must meet FAA eligibility requirements to take the exam before the final class
  • The FAA testing location in NWA is Bentonville Municipal Airport in Bentonville
  • Computer, computer camera, mic and speakers (or headphones) for online lecture and discussion
  • A drone. If purchased or owned prior to class, the drone must be approved by the instructor.

Approved drones include most medium to high quality UAS capable of real-time first person view for use with the remote controller, RGB camera capable of video and still shot photos. UAS (drone) must have stabilized flight control and remote capable of reading altitude, GPS coordinates, and capability to load flight plans for mission planning. Manufactures typically include Skydio, DJI, Yuneec, Parrot models with the features listed above.



There will be online assignments to be completed between sessions.

Class 1
  • Class orientation
  • Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • In-person
Class 2
  • FAA Part 107 Progress
  • Question and answer session
  • Hybrid  (in-person or Zoom)
Class 3
  • Practical instruction session
  • Final test preparation
  • Hybrid  (in-person or Zoom)
Class 4
  • Practical instruction session
  • Final test preparation
  • Hybrid  (in-person or Zoom)
Class 5
  • Field testing
  • In-person
Class 6
  • FAA Part 107 Exam


Participants are responsible for the cost of the FAA Part 107 License exam (approximately $150), course software ($50), and the cost of their personal drones, which are not included in the course fee.


Richard Ham

Richard Ham, Ed.D.

Senior Associate Director of the Master of Science in Operations Management, Department of Industrial Engineering
College of Engineering, University of Arkansas