Mount IT-Cybersecurity major, Kelsey Cueto of Hopewell Junction, N.Y. (center) and students operating drones in the Hudson Auditorium during the “How to Fly a Drone Safely” demonstration.
Mount Saint Mary College’s Center for Cybersecurity hosted a live demonstration on “How to Fly a Drone Safely” with Mount student Kelsey Cueto of Hopewell Junction, N.Y. and the Drone Cadets company on Thursday, October 20.
A Mount IT-Cybersecurity major and licensed drone operator, Cueto led the demonstration along with the founder and top instructor of Drone Cadets, a local drone education program, who Cueto currently works for.
“Tony Reid is the one that started Drone Cadets right before I came on board,” said Grace Cantwell, co-founder of Drone Cadets. “Together our passion is to bring drone technology to underserved communities.”
The importance of drones and their purposes have become more prevalent in recent years. Now, they’re used for everything from military operations to delivering Amazon packages to customer’s doorsteps. And especially now, Cantwell explained, there is an urgent need for drone pilots.
Reid, co-founder of Drone Cadets, was stationed at a job site covering the California wildfires. It’s been discovered that the reason these fires are occurring is because of unmaintained transformers on power lines, which then blow up and cause a fire. Sending people up to inspect the poles can be timely and very costly, yet a drone team can go out in one day and check out a mile of power lines. This allows for not just inspection, but also takes 360-degree images for an engineer to view afterward to decide next steps. This is one of the projects that professional drone operators can complete.
Prior to the start of the demonstration, Cueto and Joe Desiderio, Drone Cadet Chief Connection Officer, discussed the types of drones they brought, explaining sizes and price ranges, and the purposes of different features on the drone.
After explaining the proper way to maneuver and safely takeoff and land, students, staff, and faculty had the chance to pilot the drones themselves using iPad controllers.
“Drones are doing things better, faster, cheaper and safer than ever before,” said Cantwell.