A General Atomics subsidiary has produced the first batch of graduates from its North Dakota-based Unmanned Aircraft System Flight Training Academy on Aug. 12.
The graduating class of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.‘s training academy includes three pilots who are now qualified to operate the Predator A UAS and will join approximately 230 globally deployed GA-ASI aircrews, General Atomics said Thursday.
GA-ASI opened the flight training academy in June to provide UAS training that can be completed as fast as two months through 15 flights, 25 simulator lessons and 114 hours of academic studies, the company added.
The first flight of a Predator UAS at the North Dakota training facility occurred in July.
General Atomics said the academy will launch a training session for the Predator B system this year to give students the opportunity to qualify for both Predator UAS.
The academy requires UAS pilots to have a bachelor’s degree, a Federal Aviation Administration commercial instrument pilot rating, 300 hours of experience as a pilot-in-command, a Class II FAA medical certificate and a Defense Department security clearance.
GA-ASI also offers sensor operator training for individuals with a commercial pilot rating or a private pilot license as well as a Class II FAA medical certificate and DoD security clearance.
The academy aims to graduate five more pilots and six sensor operators soon, General Atomics noted.