Ric Stephen’s drone class take its UAVs for a high-altitude spin around campus
Photos and Story by James Hill
Last month, Portland Community College drone pilot students put their skills into action. Under guidance of a pro, the students tested their pilot skills over the Rock Creek Campus airspace for a bit of advanced flight training.
This activity focused on aerial photography and videography techniques. Instructor Ric Stephens has been teaching the non-credit continuing education classes “Drone Pilot Basics” and “Drone Photography/Videography” at PCC since 2016, building the local base of drone enthusiasts.
He has 40 years of experience in aviation as a pilot, remote pilot, consultant, author and educator as well as possesses a FAA Remote Pilot Certification, which requires passing the FAA Part 107 test. Stephens holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Cal Poly Pomona and a bachelor’s degree psychology/physics from UC Riverside.
“This activity was flight training for student remote pilots to learn maneuvers and photo/video shots,” Stephens said. “Students learn the history of drones; safety regulations; privacy, private property, nuisance issues; drone technology; commercial/recreational applications, photo/video composition/editing; and FAA test preparation. The classes include flight training at different locations by invitation.”