Being a part of the Flying Labs network is quality training. For example, in October 2021, I led technical training for the local drone experts in the Southern African region. The goal was to turn students into trainers, which would expand their training offering and create a new source of income.
Members of Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia Flying Labs came together to the University of Zambia to learn and get to know each other in person. The training was tailored specifically to the Flying Labs’ needs and knowledge level. The packed program covered a broad range of topics from theoretical knowledge on drone rules and regulations, flying safety, ethics, photogrammetry, and data analysis to hands-on exercises including flying, data capture, drone data processing, analysis, and visualization.
- Intro – goals of training
- Rules & regulations
- Safety & ethics
- Checklists, SOPs
- Hardware intro
- Photogrammetry & image acquisition
- Flight planning
- Basics for drone data acquisition
- Image acquisition in the field
- Hands-on exercise
- Putting theory into practice for checklists, SOPs, etc.
- Data processing
- Data management
- Data products & visualization
- Data analysis
These four days were intense, but the Flying Labs experts already have a solid knowledge base and experience to keep up with an intense training schedule. My colleagues and students turned out to be great learners—curious, passionate, and attentive. These four days helped me grow confidence in my new role as a teacher and gain a ton of valuable experience.
My favorite outcome of this event? Since a vast majority of our work takes place online, meeting the Flying Labs members in person for the first time was eye-opening! In addition, I enjoyed every minute spent getting to know them and their cultures.