Texas Drone Workshop is a Can’t Miss Training Event for Commercial Drone Pilots

Texas Drone Workshop to offer practical instruction from UAS experts

By Jim Magill

Operators of Unmanned Aerial systems (UAS) from both within and outside of the Lone Star State will have a chance to sharpen their drone skills at the Texas Drone Workshop, to be held March 19-20 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This two-day event, hosted by AUVSI Lone Star, will feature in-person, hands-on instruction, both in the classroom and out in the field, focusing on developing the skills needed to become a successful drone service provider.

Presenters will include experts in the fields of real estate, television, commercial film, surveying and mapping, inspection and agriculture.

“The main purpose for this course is that a lot of our members have voiced their concerns that there’s a lot of snake oil being sold in the industry,” Adrian Doko, president of the AUVSI Lone Star Chapter, said in an interview. Unscrupulous UAS course providers “are charging people thousands of dollars promising that after completing their courses, you can become a millionaire,” he said.

As a non-profit organization advocating for the advancement of drone-related technologies, AUVSI Lone Star has put together a comprehensive program of two days in the field, at a fraction of the price charged by some commercial drone instructors. For only $150, UAS operators will be able to receive instruction from well-respected professionals in the various segments of the drone industry, Doko said.

“The key takeaway from this is we’re not trying to make money off this event,” he said. “We’re trying to educate and make sure the drone community flourishes, businesswise.”

Seminars will be conducted in Lewisville, Texas, while hands-one instruction will take place in nearby Carrollton, Texas.

Day 1 instruction will include comprehensive talks on each of the drone verticals of mapping, cinematography, thermal applications, first-person view and real estate, with a special talk on getting started in the drone industry. Attendees will learn how to use the basic tools, as well as the tips and tricks to get started in each of the drone specialties described.

New drone operators will also learn how the featured entrepreneurs each found their way into the industry and how they established their companies. The professional presenters will talk about what kind of experience and the tools are needed to thrive in the drone industry.

Day 2 will take the conversation into the field with hands-on classes for each vertical. This setting will give attendees a unique insight into how the job is done and can provide attendees with an opportunity to ask questions and observe processes and workflows.

Special guests and events are also planned for this weekend.

Speakers for the event will include:

  • Greg Reverdiau, one of the founders of Pilot Institute, the most highly rated educational platform for manned and remotely piloted aircraft. Reverdiau also hosts several shows including PIXL and other popular educational platforms.
  • Jon McBride, one of the forefathers of remotely piloted systems. His current role as director of training at Autel Robotics has proven to benefit the drone community and he brings decades of expertise to the table.
  • Ken Dono, owner of Apex Imaging Media, which focuses on residential real estate photography. Dono’s 979 video uploads have attracted 54,000 YouTube subscribers and 9 million YouTube views. His YouTube channel, OriginaldoBo, has become an invaluable resource for education and opinion on the consumer and professional drones from a variety of manufacturers.
  • Jared Janacek, the founder and president of Texas Drone Company, which focuses on providing drone services to the mining and aggregates, architecture and construction, and survey and engineering industries. The company maps construction sites, mines and new developments providing engineering-grade deliverables for its clients.
  • Robert Ables, a veteran in the world of radio-controlled aircraft, has flown fully acrobatic RC helicopters more than 15 years. His experience and expert piloting skills have transferred into a film career, in which he works with video production companies to bring the unique shots that only a drone can provide.
  • Sparky Sorenson, who incorporated drones into his video production company back in 2017 with his first Phantom 2. He has since focused on the film and video industry where he has provided aerial footage for many clients from all over the world including NBC Dateline, the BBC, Fox Sports Southwest and Netflix documentaries.
  • Adrian Doko, the founder of Imperial Aerial, a drone service provider in North Texas and the president of the Lone Star Chapter of AUVSI. He specializes in thermal applications and has held his Level 1 sUAS thermography certificate for more than four years. He also uses his equipment and camera skills in the tracking of polar bears in the Arctic.

texas drone workshopAs president of AUVSI, Doko has worked to advance the drone industry across the state of Texas. He also founded the Drone Club on the popular social app, Clubhouse. There he hosts a variety of shows bringing together the titans of the drone industry every week. The Drone Club is the largest community for drone enthusiasts and industry professionals on the platform.

Doko said the Texas Drone Workshop will also feature presentations from several lawyers, who will discuss local and state drone regulations, as well as Federal Aviation Administration officials, who will discuss FAA drone regulations.

“We’ll discuss in particular HB 423, one of the surveillance laws in the state of Texas, but we’ll also have attendees from all over the nation – from Florida, California and New York — who’ll be attending these sessions,” he said.

Read more about AUVSI and the Pilot Institute:

Jim Magill is a Houston-based writer with almost a quarter-century of experience covering technical and economic developments in the oil and gas industry. After retiring in December 2019 as a senior editor with S&P Global Platts, Jim began writing about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robots and drones, and the ways in which they’re contributing to our society. In addition to DroneLife, Jim is a contributor to Forbes.com and his work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and Unmanned Systems, a publication of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.