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
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.
David BarkerDARTdrones Instructor David Barker is a public safety officer with over 27 years in the industry. David currently works for the Idaho Falls Police Department.
David has flown unmanned aircrafts for over 34 years and possesses over 800 flight hours. He is experienced in flying FPV drones, Yuneec Typhoon, Blade Chroma, Ryze Tello, DJI Mavic, DJI Spark, DJI Phantom, DJI Matric, Autel Evo, Skydio, and Parrot. Barker’s training specialties include public safety, tactical operations, search and rescue, and mapping for disaster management and mitigation.
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.
Danny BurkDARTdrones Instructor Danny Burk currently resides in Great Falls, Virginia where he is the founder and president of FnGravity, LLC. Prior to FnGravity, he spent many years as a technology lawyer and then as the owner of a computer consulting firm which was later sold to an aerospace firm.
Danny possesses his
commercial/instrument rating for single-engine land planes and has over 350 manned flight hours and over 300 hours unmanned commercial flight hours. Danny’s sUAS experience specialties include mapping and modeling, construction, education, sports, composting, agricultural, and real estate.
Danny is passionate about all things related to flying and educating aspiring drone pilots. Danny is versed in flying DJI Phantom, DJI Matrice, DJI Inspire, and Skydio drones.
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.
Dennis FisherDARTdrones’ Instructor Dennis Fisher is a drone business owner and manned aircraft pilot based out of Dayton, Ohio. Dennis possesses a Commercial, ASEL, AMEL, CFII, CFIG, and UAS pilot rating with 3,000+ manned flight hours and 300+ unmanned flight hours. Dennis’s business, Rapid Aerial Imaging, offers multi-rotor and fixed wing aerial platforms for real estate marketing imagery, mapping and 3D modeling products, building and infrastructure inspections, search and rescue, aviation accident investigations and more.
Dennis has been operating sUAS aircraft since 2015 and was one of the first 500 individuals to receive a 333 Exemption. Dennis sUAS specialties include construction, real estate, mapping, surveying, volumetric surveying, building & infrastructure inspections, thermal inspections, agricultural, and sporting events.
Dennis is versed in flying various multirotor aircraft including Phantom 4, Mavic 2 and 3, Mavic Enterprise Dual, Matrice 300 & 600, Autel EVO II Dual and Pro, eBee fixed wing, E-384 Fixed Wing, and Cinestar 8
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.
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.
After working 30+ years in public safety, Chris Grazioso is now the Operations Lead for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division’s Drone Team.
Chris is responsible for flying missions, the team's initial and recurrent training, coordination of emergency responses which include pre and post incident damage assessments and large scale transportation accidents.
Chris is the team lead for the Metropolitan Law Enforcement SWAT Tactical Drone Unit which assists with pre-mission planning, real-time situational awareness, live streaming, search and rescue, and indoor and outdoor suspect searching.
Chris is also a FAAST Team DronePro for the Boston FSDO and on the Board of Advisors and is a Public Safety Technical Expert with DRONERESPONDERS.
Chris's extensive aviation experience includes 11 years as a manned aircraft pilot and 7 years as an unmanned pilot. He has significant experience in all of DJI’s rotorcraft as well as the Delair and eBee fixed wing aircraft. Chris's sensor experience includes EO, thermal, multispectral and LIDAR. Chris's UAS areas of expertise include aerial mapping and inspections, aerial photography and videography, public safety operations, night operations, search and rescue, and indoor flying.
Josh HaddadJosh is a helicopter CFII and one of the first instructors with DARTdrones. He holds a B.S in aviation from Bridgewater State University. Josh has flown and provided instruction in helicopters since 2010 in the Pacific Northwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England areas. He started his UAS journey with DARTdrones in 2015. Josh is a Boston native, avid outdoorsman and powersports enthusiast. With over 20 years in corporate sales and service management experience he brings a detailed, engaging and fun experience to his classroom.
Roger is a retired firefighter who has not only dedicated his life to helping others but has also committed himself to elevating the efficiency of fire, police, and other municipal department employees across the nation by training fire, police, and EMP personnel to become proficient at flying drones before, during, and after emergencies of all types. Roger co-developed the DARTdrones Part 107 test prep program which has aided in over 15,000 students passing their FAA Remote Pilot Exam, becoming FAA certified drone pilots. Roger also co-developed our public safety UAS classes which were taught to emergency service personnel globally. These courses include Search and Rescue, Thermal and Night Operations, and our online Disaster Response class for licensed UAS pilots looking to assist after natural disasters like hurricanes in Florida.
Roger started working as a commercial UAS pilot in 2015 and started his own drone business in 2018. He acquired his Remote Pilot Certificate on the first day it was made available August 29, 2016.
Roger has over 940 UAS flight hours and has trained over 1,000 Florida residents, small businesses, educational institutions, corporations, public safety officers and others on how to fly drones recreationally and professionally. He has also taught over 500 Florida residents the knowledge required to pass the FAA Certified Drone Pilot Knowledge Test.
In addition to his training and encouragement of safe flying practices to Florida residents, Roger has served as an Ambassador for Aviation Safety Volunteers as a FAAST Team 'Drone Pro' Representative.
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.
Bryn LeRueA public safety officer with over 20 years of experience operating in both the United Kingdom and United States, DARTdrones Instructor, Bryn Le Rue currently resides in Haines City, Florida where he works as a Fire Officer and Instructor for the City of Auburndale Fire Department. Bryn has over 10 years of experience and 500 hours of flight time operating unmanned aircraft. His sUAS experience includes flying drones for search and rescue, disaster response, mass decontamination, infrastructure mapping and modeling for the public safety arena. Bryn has worked with a special focus on detection, inspection, and monitoring of CBRN (chemical, radioactive, biological, and nuclear incidents). Bryn currently possesses the AUVSI Top Level 1, SAR, and Disaster response drone certification and is experienced flying Matrice, Intell, Mavic Pro, Skydio, Autel Evo, and DJI Phantom hardware. Bryn is a passionate aviation trainer who loves educating other members of the public safety industry and creating safer and more effective public safety departments nationwide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gregory PrattAfter graduating from high school, Greg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves where he was trained to be an Air Traffic Controller at the age of 18. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. Shortly after college, he began taking flight lessons and earned his Private Pilot’s License. He was then commissioned as an officer in the Navy and spent six years as a Naval Flight Officer, flying in the S3-B aircraft off of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS George Washington aircraft carriers. After his time in the Navy, he applied for and was appointed to be an FBI Special Agent. He attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and was then assigned to the San Antonio office, where he spent his entire career (22 years from 1998-2019). While in the FBI, he worked white collar crime, Public Corruption, and Counter-Terrorism cases. His collateral (part-time) duties included Surveillance Pilot, Evidence Response Team member and Team Leader, and Hostage/Crisis Negotiator. He retired in December of 2019. After retiring from the FBI, he wanted to do something fun and rewarding. He started a drone business (DroneStarLLC.com) and began teaching drone classes for DARTdrones and Austin Community College. He enjoys teaching and sharing his love and knowledge of drones. He still feels a strong attachment to the public safety community, and tries to get involved and help them out whenever he can.
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.
Seth ZoraSeth Zora is a retired, disabled veteran and drone business owner and operator currently based out of Pittsburg, PA. Seth learned the capabilities of drone technology while serving in Afghanistan in 2008. After spending twelve years in the U.S. Air Force, Seth created AerdiA, a drone business primarily focused on the architectural, engineering, and construction industries. Seth has 300+ hours flying unmanned aircraft and is versed in flying DJI M600 Pro, DJI M210, DJI Phantom 4 RTK, DJI Mini, DJI Mavin Pro Platinum, and DJI Spark. Seth's training specialties include mapping, inspections, and LiDAR.
We are always looking for hardworking, entrepreneurial, innovative thinkers and dedicated drone pilots to join our team.