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Beck’s Partners With Indiana State University to Train UAV Pilots

Beck’s Hybrids is collaborating with Indiana State University (ISU) to train pilots on how to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) legally under Part 107. The new rule, which applies to small UAVs weighing less than 55 pounds being used commercially, was released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in August 2016. The company’s goal is to have 50 pilots certified so it can assist its customers with crop scouting throughout the growing season.

“At Beck’s, we’re committed to using agricultural innovations to help our customers succeed,” says Jim Love, Beck’s light robotics manager. “Through the use of UAVs, we’re able to help them determine cropping patterns and identify issues within their fields. This partnership with Indiana State University will allow us to make sure that the individuals operating those UAVs are trained at the highest level.”

Committed to continuing to support the University’s work in training future UAV pilots, Beck’s has donated a commercial UAV for use in its unmanned systems program.

“The Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rule has created quite a demand for trained and knowledgeable remote pilots or small UAS operators,” says Richard Baker, executive director of the Center for Unmanned Systems and Human Capital Development. “ISU is excited about our partnership with Beck’s and we wish them great success. Our faculty and students see this relationship as another way to demonstrate the capabilities of small UAS and their potential impact in food production.”

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