Local School Experiments With New Class

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is trying out a new class. Students are learning how to fly unmanned aircrafts. As fun as it looks, the flying being taught was not for recreation. The vehicles can be used for business and agriculture.

Dave Robertson, a school representative, said, "'We've got physical maintenance people from (the school) here taking the class. (Also), Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative sent five of their operations people to learn this technology."

He continued, "They can be used in business and industry, search and rescue, all sorts of things."

Phil Owen is a retired army helicopter pilot. He's one of two instructors heading the class.

"There's so many things the aircraft will do. So you have to know the basics of what makes the aircraft do what," he explained.

The students spent three days in the classroom and a fourth day in a flight simulator before heading out for hands-on training.

"We're going to see how it's going to go. We've already gotten inquiries about future classes, so we will be doing this again," Robertson said.

The three days the students spent in the classroom were in preparation for a required federal aviation administration exam.

This is a non-credit course.