NIACC Community Education offers courses for drone enthusiasts

North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) will offer a six-session “Intro to Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & Drones” course for drone enthusiasts of all skill levels beginning Thursday, Sept. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the NIACC campus in Mason City. The course is offered Thursdays Sept. 21 – Oct. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. and the final session will take place Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. The course will be instructed by Dirk Charlson of Forest City who has successfully passed the written examination to receive the FAA Remote-Pilot Certificate.

“My hope is for students to leave this class with a working knowledge of some of the key FAA rules, as well as having a greater appreciation and understanding of how drones fly and how to fly them safely for everyone’s enjoyment,” said Charlson.

The introductory course provides general knowledge to fly small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAVs). Students will learn about FAA regulations to safely operate sUAV’s for either hobby or commercial use in National Airspace. In addition, students will learn about the history and application of sUAVs, basics of flight and receive hands-on experience flying multi-rotor sUAVs. The course is open to all experience levels for both hobby and commercial pilots. No experience required but students must be at least 16 years of age. Tuition is $75 and the deadline to register is Tuesday, Sept. 19. To register call 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4358 or 641-422-4358. Reference course #110448.

The introductory course is a prerequisite for NIACC’s “Preparation for Remote Pilot Certification” course, which will be offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Oct. 24 and concluding Nov. 16 at the NIACC campus. The eight-session course, also instructed by Charlson, is intended to prepare students to take the FAA Knowledge Exam for Remote Pilot Certification to fly sUAVs commercially. The course builds on the introductory course and will help students gain in-depth understanding of FAA regulations, radio communication and national air space, aviation weather, crew resource management and aeronautical decision making and sUAV performance. Tuition is $75. To register call 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4358 or 641-422-4358. Reference course #110446.

Register by calling North Iowa Area Community College at 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4358 or register online at Direct other questions to Allison Lycke, Community Education Program Manager, at 641-923-2252 or

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