Drone flies over a city

Welcome to the SUAS Aircrew Standardization Training Program! Get ready to expand your foundational knowledge of Small Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (SUAS) and boost your flight skills.  Here at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, we are excited to guide you through an inspiring and challenging journey. 

What is the SUAS Aircrew Standardization Training Program? This program originated with the Department of State Air Wing, and is managed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Office of Professional Education. The training program is designed specifically for pilots with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Aviation (INL/A). The program goal is to help you meet the high standards set within the INL/A Aircrew Training Manual (ATM). 

How is the training delivered? All courses are online so you can learn at your own pace, anytime, anywhere. Our courses are asynchronous but fully supported by experienced instructors. You’ll learn through videos and readings, communicate in discussion forums, and engage in hands-on and simulator exercises.

Contact Us

For more information or to inquire about your professional education courses, please reach out to our Worldwide Office of Professional Education staff for prompt, personal assistance.

Phone: 386-481-9070
Email: training@erau.edu

Curriculum Details

Step 1

You must complete the ground school courses within the sUAS Fundamentals Segment. This step is ideal for new SUAS operators who have no prior experience. The SUAS Fundamentals Segment sets you up for FAA’s Part 107 non-recreational UAS certification, or similar qualification in your home country.

sUAS Fundamentals Segment

Note: If you already possess either a Part 107 Remote Pilot certification or host nation equivalent, then SUAS 2000 can be waived within the SUAS Fundamentals Segment.

The SUAS Fundamentals Segment curriculum delivers a comprehensive understanding of:

  • Components and Systems: Understand the various parts that make up an SUAS.
  • Flight Basics: Learn about airframes, rotors, and fundamental flight mechanics
  • Safety and Regulations: Dive into crucial safety practices and FAA Part 107 regulations.
  • Human Factors and Risks: Identify error potential and incident/accident prevention skills.
  • Navigation and Weather Reporting: Master how to navigate airspace and understand weather impacts on SUAS flights.

Step 2

You will attend the courses assigned within the specialized track that is appropriate for your mission. The tracks are Multirotor SUAS Certificate Track, and Fixed Wing SUAS Certificate Track.

This track provides basic flight training for multirotor drones with an emphasis on professional aviation standards, safety, and applications in accordance with the INL/A Aircrew Training Manual (ATM). You will use simulation and your assigned multirotor drone to complete assignments in basic and advanced maneuvers, photography, videography, and photogrammetry.  Additionally, you will use your assigned multirotor drone to complete assignments in advanced photogrammetry, commercial inspection, thermography, agriculture applications, and night flying. 

Upon completing this track, you will be prepared to:

  • Execute safe and efficient flight operations.
  • Perform detailed flight planning and safety risk assessments.
  • Handle drones in normal and emergency situations.
  • Capture high-quality images and perform data analysis using cutting-edge software such as Pix4Dmapper.
  • Successfully pass the practical flight examination.

Fixed Wing sUAS Certificate Track

The fixed wing sUAS track is designed to prepare the applicant to complete the 14 Base Tasks (Tasks 1000-1065) and the 4 Mission Tasks (Tasks 2000-2015) of the INL/A Office of Aviation Fixed Wing sUAS Series Aircrew Training Manual (ATM). These tasks are required for the Initial Qualification Training (IQT) and Mission Qualification Training (MQT). Applicants will complete assignments including aerodynamics, weight and balance, Ground Control Station (GCS) operations, photogrammetry, emergency operations, and night flying with the fixed-wing platform.

Upon completion of this track, applicants should be able to demonstrate safe and efficient flight operations and data processing while adhering to aviation practices, including:

  • Demonstrate an application of fixed wing sUAS controls, maneuvers, and procedures;
  • Implement best practices and unmanned airmanship skills supporting the safe operation of fixed-wing sUAS within the NAS or host-nation airspace;
  • Appraise operational conditions to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements;
  • Execute the duties and responsibilities of a Remote Pilot in Command during a fixed wing sUAS operation;
  • Demonstrate compliance with legal and regulatory requirements in the operation of a fixed wing sUAS; and
  • Implement fundamental fixed wing sUAS operational knowledge, skills, and abilities during the completion of example applications.

Step 3

If recommended to be an sUAS Instructor for your INL/A unit, you will attend the courses assigned within the SUAS Instructor Certificate Track.

sUAS Instructor Certificate Track

The sUAS instructor certificate track is intended to establish a high-quality flight instructor corps. This track exposes instructor applicants to the core elements of instructional knowledge as aligned with the sUAS industry. In the aviation industry, the Instructor Pilot is the gatekeeper of quality, responsibility, knowledge, professionalism, and skills. The sUAS segment of the industry began without the benefit of formalized, certified, flight instructors.

Upon completion of this track, applicants should be able to demonstrate competency with teaching sUAS fundamentals, including:

  • Interpret human behavior, needs, motivations and reactions;
  • Analyze the learning process;
  • Learning theory;
  • Perceptions and insights
  • The domains of learning and learning styles;
  • The elements of skill and practice;
  • Memory, retention and transfer of learning;
  • Recognize effective communication;
  • Discover the teaching process;
  • Examine student assessment;
  • Prioritize instructor responsibilities and professionalism;
  • Demonstrate the planning of instructional activity; and
  • Apply the principles of aviation safety and risk management

Launching Your Program

To embark on this transformative journey, prospective students must meet eligibility criteria (TBD by Department of State). The program is conducted fully online, asynchronously, and with instructor-facilitation for each course.

The streamlined program registration begins with the creation of a student profile within the Professional Education system. Once a student profile is created, the Office of Professional Education will guide students through enrollment for their assigned tracks to ensure course enrollment adheres to Department of State planned timelines.