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Insights from Drone pilot training company DARTdrones


DARTdrones is a female owned, military founded, family business focused on drone pilot training

With the growth of this market the need for excellent drone pilot training programs is more important than ever.  When we saw DARTdrones receive their section 333 exemption we reached out to learn more.

Q. Could you tell us a bit about your team at DARTdrones?

DARTdrones is a female owned, military founded, family business. My dad is an entrepreneurship professor and was teaching an online military MBA to my now co-founder, Army Major Chris Costello. I was in the MBA program at Babson College, the number one school for entrepreneurship, and my dad brought the three of us together on the idea of a drone pilot training flight school. Since our launch, we have won two business plan competitions and over $30,000 in cash, became an Authorized Dealer of DJI products, and have built out our Level I and Level II curriculum for the Phantom 2, Phantom 3, and the Inspire.

DARTdrones hires primarily military veterans as our trainers and support staff. Being a DARTdrones Flight Captain is an awesome job, and we believe that military vets bring a special expertise to our training program.

Q. What makes your drone pilot training programs unique and why should UAV pilots come to you?

The DARTdrones Flight Captains are what make our classes special. We are very particular when bringing on a new Flight Captain. We look for someone who is a military veteran, an expert in UAS, and can bring some fun and personality to the course. Learning to fly a drone should be the time of your life! We aim to make the course an experience, not just a “class”.

Q. Congratulations on getting your Section 333 exemption, how will this impact your drone pilot training business?

Being granted the 333 Exemption is absolutely amazing! We are growing rapidly and currently offering DARTdrones Basic Training and Advanced Missions courses throughout the East Coast and New England. We continue to expand our team and offer courses in new cities. It feels great to have the backing of the FAA.

Q. On your home page you note: “DARTdrones helps new drone pilots choose the right drone for their needs, understand how to fly legally and safely, and learn to fly.” What does the process to find the right drone for your needs look like? How does it work?

Purchasing a UAV is a big decision. For most people, it is a big deal to spend over $1000 on a piece of equipment that very well may end up in a tree on their first day (if you don’t get trained properly!). We want to make sure that aspiring drone pilots understand the different drones available on the market and the pros and cons to each. We have spent countless hours on the phone with customers trying to help them figure out if a Phantom 2 with a GoPro or FLIR camera is best for them or to go big and get the Inspire.

Q. The FAA is making solid progress, especially over the course of the last couple of months. What would you like to see them doing in order to better enable commercial drone use as well as your drone pilot training business?

The FAA really is moving very quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the UAV License implemented sooner than everyone thinks. They have a huge job to do. There are a lot of moving parts with implementing this technology. Our mission at DARTdrones is to help the FAA promote safety in the national airspace and that definitely begins with training. If you are going to take on the responsibility of becoming a drone pilot, you need to invest in training.

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