ORLANDO, Florida — The Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) has launched an online training course to teach drone enthusiasts how to fly safely and minimize risk.
The course, known as SAFEGUARD, is a self-paced online course that is approximately one hour in length, and covers safety topics, including understanding airspace, identifying and avoiding hazards, weather effects on drones, planning safe flights, current FAA rules and regulations, and much more.
Over the past several years, the FAA has reported an increase in drone sightings by aircraft pilots. In 2015, the number of reported drone sightings surged to over 650 from 238 in 2014 – a 173% increase.
In December 2015, a drone nearly collided mid-air with a California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter, which was forced to abandon its pursuit of a stolen vehicle due to safety concerns. Also in California in 2015, firefighters battling wildfires were forced to ground aircraft several times for safety reasons after spotting drones nearby.
“By the end of 2016, there could be as many as 3 million consumer drones flying in the national airspace, posing a significant challenge and potentially serious risk to other aircraft flying with persons onboard,” said Aaron Greenwald, president of the Unmanned Safety Institute.
SAFEGUARD is available for purchase for $49 at FlySafeguard.com, or through the USI’s partners, including Amazon, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, and other retailers.
The course may be accessed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, and customers will receive a Record of Achievement that may be redeemable through USI’s insurance partners for a discount on insurance.