Drone U Appoints PJ Kirkpatrick as the Director of Operations

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Drone U, founded in 2014, is one of the pioneers in drone training in the United States. Having trained over 20,000 drone pilots both in-person and online, Drone U is now at the forefront of enterprise drone training via its PROPS Flight School platform. To spearhead its enterprise training division, Drone U has appointed Mr. P.J. Kirkpatrick as its Director of Operations.

Drone U, founded in 2014, is one of the pioneers in drone training in the United States. Having trained over 20,000 drone pilots both in-person and online, Drone U is now at the forefront of enterprise drone training via its PROPS Flight School platform.

To spearhead its enterprise training division, Drone U has appointed Mr. P.J. Kirkpatrick as its Director of Operations.

Before entering the drone industry, PJ spent 18 years leading and training RF (Radio Frequency) Engineering teams for cellular networks such as Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

After a successful career in the telecom industry, PJ has dedicated the last seven years to the Drone Industry.

A high-flying drone career
PJ’s drone career has been an illustrious one.

In 2017, PJ co-founded and became Vice President of Drone Operations of Terra Vigilis Security Group, an airspace security company dedicated to enhancing the safety of the airspace from unwanted UAV intrusions around critical assets.

In 2018, PJ Co-founded Loc8, a software technology company that develops image scanning software to search for people and objects on the ground based on color and other characteristics of the person or object.

In 2021, PJ joined Menet Aero, a manufacturer of tethered Unmanned Aircraft Systems used to enable rapid aerial intelligence for government and critical infrastructure.

Along the way, PJ has carried out numerous complex drone missions setting new benchmarks in the drone Industry, including search and rescue operations, various mapping engagements, and infrastructure inspections, just to name a few.

Involvement in critical drone projects. .

PJ was the officer in charge of managing the first FAA-sanctioned use of drone detection equipment at a general aviation airport in Wisconsin.

He also demonstrated capabilities of WhiteFox Defense Technology solutions to Federal Government Agencies, Law Enforcement, and critical infrastructure facilities across the US.

He Conducted Research and Development flight testing on new tethered drone systems. Having participated in ANTX (Advanced Naval Technology Exercise) - Coastal Trident 2021, PJ assisted with the demonstration of the takeoff/landing of tethered drones on a moving ship.

He was the Remote Pilot in Command of a tethered drone system flying at an elevation of 11,000 feet MSL (200 feet AGL) for ten consecutive hours for the 2020 PPIHC Race.

And so many others.

An elite drone trainer
PJ is among the handful of drone pilots in the United States with incredible depth of knowledge in mapping, modeling, search and rescue, and inspections.

PJ has been one of Drone U’s Elite Pilot Instructors since the group's inaugural event back in 2018. He is the on-camera instructor for Drone U’s Construction Mapping and Cell Tower Mapping online classes. In addition, he’s trained over 1,200 students across the US in data acquisition, post-processing data for mapping deliverables and 3D models, and advanced UAS flight maneuvers.

His popularity among drone students and enthusiasts is second to none.

As the Executive Director of Drone U Elite, PJ was responsible for managing Elite Pilots and training hundreds of remote pilots on aerial data acquisition for mapping and modeling, drone flight mastery, and conducting search and rescue missions with UAVs..

He trained NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) on the M600 Tethered Drone System and authored the corresponding operators’ checklist.

Contributing to the Drone Safety for the Community and Society

PJ has contributed his knowledge and expertise to help government and private organizations to practice safety and security.

As a FAASTeam Representative with the FAA, he volunteers his time actively promoting safety and helps educate Remote Pilots by presenting at aviation safety seminars hosted throughout Wisconsin.

He has presented at over 20 conferences and seminars as an FAA Safety Representative, conveying safety principles and practices while establishing partnerships and encouraging the continual growth of solutions to enhance the safety of the National Airspace System.

A New Chapter in the Drone Training Industry
We are extremely excited and proud to have appointed PJ as the Director of Operations at Drone U. We look forward to ensuring his expertise and experience benefit the drone Industry at large for years to come.

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Pj Kirkpatrick
Drone U
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