Drone Expert Visits Ward Melville

Drone Expert Visits Ward Melville

Corey Emery, Features Editor

This past Tuesday, the Ward Melville technology department welcomed Mr. Hal Staniloff, an expert in the field of drone aviation, to speak to students in the auditorium, addressing topics including drone operation, drone construction, and what the actual definition of a drone is. The lecture was intended to raise interest in the drone industry, especially because this field possesses great potential for future development and can provide a large number of career opportunities to our generation of students, in areas such as law enforcement, advertising, construction, and many more.

One of the biggest distinctions Mr. Staniloff made is his presentation was between what is and what is not a drone. A drone is defined as a device that moves autonomously, and thus remote-controlled aircrafts are not actually drones since they are under human control.

“The goal is to have fun and learn about drones, and this can be done responsibly,” Mr. Staniloff stated during his presentation. Many civilians who buy a remote-controlled aircraft often do not understand the capabilities of the machine, and often fly the machine in violation of FAA regulations by operating the machine, which qualifies as an aircraft, without a pilot’s license. This could possibly create conflicts with other airplanes occupying the same airspace.

While promoting safety in drone operation, Mr. Staniloff also displayed the abilities of drones, flying a small model over the heads in the audience to close the lecture.

Overall, the assembly was very effective in clearing many misconceptions about the drone industry, and in educating Ward Melville students about the vast amount of opportunities the rising field can provide. Junior Harriet O’Brien said, “It was interesting to see the role drones play as recreational devices as well as the restrictions implemented on their use by the FAA.”