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Ric Stephen’s drone class take its UAVs for a high-altitude spin around campus

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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.”

PCC offers a wide array of drone-related classes in its Community Ed Program.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »