Drone pilots-in-training Rachel Morris, foreground, and Neal Brooks, partly hidden, focus on instructor Brian Golden, commercial pilot for Alpine Advertising, as he explains the ins and outs of air space – basically how to ask permission to fly in when you’re outside the part of it you want to enter. Other subjects include understanding weather, weather maps and weather reports as well deciphering aeronautical maps. It’s all part of the drill for becoming an FAA-certified drone pilot. Currently eight students from four different agencies in Blount County are in the group learning to fly the drone and basically meet FAA requirements for a pilot’s license. Most are either now qualified – or soon will be qualified – to fly the drone. They represent the four drone-sponsoring departments in the county: E-911, the Blount County Emergency Management Agency, the city of Oneonta, and the Blount County Sheriff’s Department. Others wishing to learn to operate the drone and feeling they have the aptitude to do so, may contact E-911 director Caleb Branch at 625-4911 to discuss the qualifying process and its requirements.