DARTdrones provides the nation’s highest quality drone training with a simple yet comprehensive model for enterprise clients, government agencies, public safety departments, and individuals.
Our comprehensive training programs are customizable and feature in-person hands-on training on flight training, instruction on attaining a commercial remote pilot license, scenario-based online training, and mission specific advanced training on search and rescue, thermal imaging, aerial mapping, inspections, aerial videography, and more.
We help organizations safely and effectively implement a drone program through customized pilot training, standard operating procedures development, pilot assessments, program management software, consulting, and new drone pilot support.
Our expert instructors are manned aviators with extensive experience in the field who utilize professionally developed curriculum.
Abby Speicher is the CEO and Founder of DARTdrones. Abby attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City and earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship at Babson College in 2015. She founded her first company when she was seventeen.
Chris Speicher is Chief Visionary Officer of DARTdrones. He currently teaches entrepreneurship at Marywood University and has successfully founded and started multiple companies.
Meet Our Instructors
Matt BettencourtMatt is a contract UAS instructor pilot for the U.S. Navy as well as a helicopter pilot in the Navy Reserve. He has 13+ years of aviation experience and over 3,900 hours piloting military aircraft, including over 1,900 hours instructing on unmanned aircraft systems. Matt is currently the Navy’s lead Contract Instructor Pilot for the MQ-8 Fire Scout, the Navy’s first rotary wing UAS. He also instructs in the Navy’s MH-60S multi-mission helicopter. He has helped train over 900 students in both the MH-60S and MQ-8. He holds his Commercial Pilot Certificate with single engine airplane, rotorcraft, instrument and sUAS ratings. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Systems Engineering and a focus in robotics and computers.
Sean PagliariSean spent six years as a Nuclear Operator on the USS Harry S. Truman. He has been a private pilot and commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems operator since 2015 and is an active member of the Civil Air Patrol. Sean has a Masters Degree in ocean engineering with a design theses and a patent for instrumentation devices. He has been a chief seismic navigator for offshore oil and gas and is the founder and CEO of Nautical Horizons.
Jim O’KeefeJim is a manned pilot who owns a Cessna 172. He’s been involved in aviation for 40 years. He holds the Single Engine Land, Instrument Ratings as well as the Remote Pilot certificate. He began flying sUAS when he realized their potential in the public safety sector.
As a 20 year member of his police department, he holds the rank of Sergeant responsible for the training division for his department. He designed and implemented the sUAS program for his city. He wrote the SOP’s, secured the COA’s and necessary FAA waivers that allow operation in the tightly controlled airspace.
He and his three Remote Pilots have used their aircraft for water rescue, crime scene documentation, accident investigations, and lost people searches.
Mark KurzinskiMark Kurzinski is originally from Syracuse NY where he enlisted in the Navy in 1993 and spent 10 years as an Avionics Electronics Technician working on the F-14A/B/D Tomcat troubleshooting and repairing radar, communications and weapons systems. Mark was selected to an officer accession program in 2001 and attended Navy flight school in Pensacola FL where he flew the T-6a Texan II. Mark retired at the rank of Lieutenant in 2013 and quickly founded MidWest Drone Services in Cary IL in 2014 blending multiple passions of flying, photography and video/audio production and editing. He started in real estate photography/cinematography but soon found drones were being used for mapping/modeling and inspections. He has experience in the inspections realm in solar panel PV arrays, building façade inspections and orthomosaic mapping. Mark has over 700 hours flying DJI sUAS from the Phantom 2 all the way up to heavy rotor aircraft Matrice 210 v2 and Matrice 300 RTK. He has been a Part 107 pilot since 2016 and a Part 61 Multi-Engine private pilot since 2006 logging over 900 fixed-wing hours in military and civilian aircraft. Mark received a BA in Communication Studies/Broadcast Journalism from the University of San Diego in 2003 and was recently certified a Level 1 sUAS Thermographer from the Infrared Training Center in Nashua NH.
Louis MoralesLouis is a US Army Veteran with over 16 years of experience spanning aviation, sUAS operations, sales, and customer service. He is an FAA Part 61 commercial pilot, Part 107 Remote Pilot, and a FLIR certified Level II Thermographer. He holds a B.S. in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is a current Unmanned Systems graduate student, bringing both breadth and depth of knowledge of the National Airspace System, aviation regulation, and sUAS applications to his classroom.
In his spare time, Louis enjoys traveling, exploring, and acquiring new skills and experiences.
Kevin CoughlinKevin is a Pulitzer Prize sharing photojournalist with more than 25 years of experience with numerous newspapers in the New York City area including: The New York Times, New York Post, and New York Daily News, among many others. His aerial photography is consistently published in Newsday on Long Island. In 2009, he started taking flying lessons and purchased his first airplane. He received his Private Pilot certificate in 2011 and has logged more than 725 flight hours in aerial photography, with more than 500 hours as Pilot in Command. In 2014, he started practicing on drones, particularly the DJI Phantom series, as he saw this was the future of aerial photography. Kevin is an active member of the United States Air Force Auxiliary where he holds the grade of First Lieutenant and is mission rated in airborne photography. He lives on Long Island’s South Shore with his wife, their pug, and four cats. When he’s not flying or taking photos, Kevin likes to kick back by jamming on his Les Paul guitar or attending summer concerts at the Jones Beach Theater.
Kent ChiversKent Chivers spent 27 years with the U.S. Navy serving on board submarines as a reactor operator. He also worked in the private sector as an engineer in the nuclear industry. Kent is a private pilot working on his instrument rating and is an officer in the Civil Air Patrol. Between all of this, Kent enjoys flying his drones commercially and for fun.
Randy EaryRandy developed a passion for aviation while growing up on Eglin Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida. He has had a private pilot certificate since 2002 and has recently become an Advanced Ground Instructor and Instrument Ground Instructor. He is the vice president of the board of directors for the Deer Valley Pilots Association, a 250-member strong organization advocating for the best that DVT has to offer pilots, aircraft owners, and tenants on the airfield. He graduated from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Randy owns most of the DJI product catalog and is principal of FLYUASAZ, an aerial photography company.
Mark FronrathMark has had a lifelong passion for aviation. He has held his private pilot certificate for over 35 years primarily flying Cessna 172’s, and Piper Archer’s. Mark has worked in the commercial drone industry full time since 2014. Mark is also the Owner/Chief Pilot for NC Drone Pro in Charlotte, NC. specializing in aerial data collection for a wide range of applications and industries. Mark is very proficient with the DJI Inspire, Phantom, and Mavic flight systems. He is an active member of; AUVSI – Top Operator Program, The Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, and The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a BS in Business Administration.
Jerry WhiteJerry White is an experienced professional commercial aviator spending several years as a commercial corporate pilot, charter pilot, and airline pilot. Along with his manned aircraft experience, Jerry is also a drone pilot, and aviation executive team member. His background as a small business owner, business consultant, and aviation safety manager give Jerry unique understanding of the role of utilizing and teaching sUAS operations. Jerry’s experience as a manned flight instructor with over 4,500 flight hours awards Jerry valuable insight into teaching the complexities of aviation. Jerry also has an expansive background in television production, spending ten years as a professional news producer and videographer.
Jerry currently owns and operates an award-winning media production company in Austin, TX. He has used drones for such clients as the Discovery Channel, OWN network, ESPN, FOX, HGTV, commercials, and two feature films. Jerry has been instructing with DARTdrones since 2016 and teaches FAA Part 107 Test Prep, Basic Flight Training, Aerial Photography and Videography, TOP Level 1, and TOP Level 2. Jerry is versed in flying Inspire, Mavic, Phantom, and Flamewheel hardware and possesses an Unrestricted ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) Certificate – Multiengine, 2 Jet Type pilot ratings, and is a Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument.
Josh HaddadJosh is a helicopter pilot and certified flight instructor with small engine airplane experience. He is pursuing an aviation science degree at Bridgewater State University. He spent ten years as a wireless sales manager and corporate trainer for 11 years. Josh is an avid outdoorsman who sees drones as a useful tool in filming downhill and freestyle biking and snow sports.
Karl SchwabKarl Schwab is a DARTdrones Flight Instructor, an sUAS pilot focused on tower inspections, and a member of the National Tower Erector Association’s UAS Committee. Karl is a US Marine and computer programmer who worked for many different Department of Defense contractors including BAE Systems, Raytheon, United Defense, and has accrued over 27 years of Software and Systems Engineering experience working on Weapon/Turret, Command and Control, Embedded Missile and other various types of systems. He is a commercially licensed pilot in both Multi and Single-Engine Airplanes with over 1,300 hours of flight time and has an instrument rating. He currently designs and implements multi-camera sensor systems for drone platforms and utilizes his Part 107 commercial privileges almost daily.
Kevin GillespieAn American Airlines pilot, Kevin has served as ALPA Chairman of Council 148 and a member of the ALPA Negotiating and Communications committee. He earned a Section 333 for California Precision Ag, an sUAS start-up that uses drones to help farmers increase their crop yields while minimizing waste and loss.
Michael MartinMike is an instrument rated pilot and a self described transportation enthusiast and weather geek. As a former light rail instructor for Harris County Metro, Mike trained new operators to safely operate trains on Metro's new rail extensions in the city of Houston. Mike returned to Austin and discovered Drone photography. Taking his new hobby to the next level by combining his aviation, rail trainer, and industrial sales experience, Mike joined DARTdrones to share his passion for aviation with student drone pilots to help them become safe, competent and confident drone pilots.
Roger HallAfter spending 25 years as a firefighter and a member of both hazmat and dive rescue teams, Roger became interested in drone aviation. He is a licensed sport pilot and Certified Level 1 Thermographer who enjoys flying weight shift control aircraft. Roger uses drones to film live events and trains public service departments while helping them implement drones into their organizations.
Alex AbatieAlex has more than 20 years of experience as a photographer and design director. He is the owner of Hawkeye Workshop, an aerial photography company serving the film, real estate, and construction industries in Southern California. A long time remote control hobbyist, Alex holds both a Sport Pilot and a Remote Pilot certificate from the FAA. His interests include aerial photography, drone journalism, aerial cinematography, mapping and surveying, and industrial UAV applications.
Chris GraziosoChris has worked in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) field for 30 years. He primarily focuses on EMS special operations and emergency management and has helped develop multiple drone programs. He serves as the Lead Drone Pilot for an EMS agency, a police tactical team, and for FEMA’s urban search and rescue team. Chris uses drones for pre-mission planning, real-time situational awareness, search and rescue, suspect tracking, aerial imagery and mapping, and damage assessments.
A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Chris flies with his family and friends all over New England, including an annual flight to the ice runway in Alton Bay, New Hampshire. He has piloted two cross-country flights from Boston to Alaska, and Boston to Florida in a Piper Warrior aircraft. He usually flies Warriors and Cessna Skyhawks, but also holds a High Performance and Complex endorsement and occasionally flies Piper Arrows and Cessna Skylanes.