10:21 AM

Del. Officers' Virtual sUAS Classes Draw Across CAP

The Delaware Wing’s small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) officers, Lt. Col. Gordon Robertson and 1st Lt. Michael Panco III, have kept busy during the pandemic hosting a trio of virtual training sessions.

With in-person training curtailed, Panco initiated online training sessions in late March with Robertson’s assistance. Panco draws on his civilian experience as an sUAS operator and expertise gained from deployment last year with Civil Air Patrol’s sUAS team to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Dorian. 

Each virtual class involves five evenings of training a week for about four weeks. From 50-100 members, both senior members and cadets, from CAP wings across the U.S. participate in an average session.

A third class was added in August due to popular demand. Within a week, class registration reached the 200-member capacity. 

The sessions cover all requirements to complete UAS Mission Technician and UAS Mission Pilot qualifications, with participants receiving validation for all appropriate specialty qualification training records tasks once they’ve completed the relevant course.

The instruction also includes Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 training, mission planning and georeferenced orthomosaic imagery. Members completing the course are prepared for practical sUAS flight participation – the final step towards qualification as a mission pilot or technician.