Ready to fly your drone confidently?
Enroll in one of our Basic Flight Training classes in Chicago
Walk away with the skills to become a safe drone pilot in our one day Basic Flight Training course taught by our expert instructor.
Trusted by Top Organizations Across the Nation
Why over 4,000 drone pilots have completed this course:
“I don’t want to crash!”
“I want to fully understand my equipment.”
“I need to know how to respond in an emergency.”
“I want to be confident I am doing everything right.”
Your guide to drone success:
Meet our Chicago instructor
Mark KurzinskiRetired Naval Officer turned Drone Business Owner and Instructor
Aviation Experience900+ hours
ExpertiseMapping/Modeling, Inspections, Photography/Cinematography
Pilot RatingPt 61 Multi PPT and Part 107
Mark 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.
Curriculum designed to ensure success
- Film, Photography, and videography
- Emergency services
- Mapping and surveying
- Precision agriculture
- Drones 101 review
- Primary drone types
- DJI overview
- Phantom / Inspire / Mavic specs
- Standard DJI systems
- Power system
- Propulsion & maneuvering system
- Command & control system
- Positioning & navigation system
- Imaging payload
- Downloading the app
- Connecting your device
- Performing firmware updates
- System status / flight mode
- GPS / link quality / battery level
- Camera settings
- Map / flight telemetry data
- Verifying system settings & status
- Performing a compass calibration
- Startup & takeoff
- In-Flight stick commands
- Landing & shutdown
- Flight logging
- Multiple flight modes
- Beginner mode
- Return to home altitude
- Maximum flight altitude
- Aerial photography and film
- Structural inspection
- Aerial mapping
- Loss of control link
- Fly away
- Low battery
- Accessing intelligent modes
- Course lock
- Home lock
- Point of interest
- Follow me
- Active track
- Tap fly
- Terrain follow
- Exiting intelligent modes
- DJI GEO System
- Battery management
- DJI Academy / Flight Simulator
- Flight records
- Precision landing
- Landing during inclement weather
- Medium / long-range exercises
Join over 4,000 accomplished pilots
Just got back from the Basic Flight Training class with instructor Kevin Coughlin. It was phenomenal! Kevin was very well prepared and explained, EVERYTHING!! with plenty of time for questions. When it was time for the flights, he just took time to ensure everyone was 100% comfortable with the drones we were using (Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4). SAFETY was priority 1!! So happy I took this hands on class, I will be back for others! Well done DARTdrones, well done!
Our curriculum was designed by drone experts to make you successful.
You’ll walk away feeling confident on your equipment.
A former Navy helicopter pilot, Amelia flew the SH-60F, HH-60H & MH-60S before transitioning to unmanned systems. She spent 5 years developing curriculum & training for the Navy’s MQ-8 Fire Scout UAS & has over 500 hours instructing Air Vehicle Operators in the MQ-8, & continues to instruct UAS operators as a current Naval reservist. Amelia is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy & holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate.
You'll learn about and fly one of our drones:
Students get 3 outdoor flight sessions
Ensure a successful first flight with our expert instructor at your side.
This flight session will equip you with the tools to appropriately navigate equipment failure and other in flight emergencies.
Fully utilize your drones capabilities by learning to take your current drone skills to the next level with intelligent flight modes like orbit, follow me, and point of interest.
You’ll get hands-on time with the instructor during each flight session, but your true skill development will come when you log your 10 flight hours after class utilizing our proven flight exercises.
This class is best suited for those:
- Are flying a drone for the first time
- Already fly, but want to take their equipment knowledge and skills to the next level
- Don’t want to crash their hardware
- Want to take full advantage of their drone's capabilities
- Want to join the thousands of DARTdrones Alumni across the country
WHY DARTDRONES? We have a proven track record for training pilots in dozens of industries.
Our instructors have manned aviation experience flying airplanes and helicopters and have gained the highest drone piloting recognitions in the industry. Many own successful UAS businesses themselves.
As featured on ABC's Shark Tank, we are the nation's leading drone training company with an extensive network of alumni and partners throughout the country.
Created and refined by UAS training experts, including our Director of Training, a UAS Navy Curriculum Developer and former Navy helicopter pilot.
With a community of over 50,000 drone enthusiasts across the US and internationally, DARTdrones is at the forefront of UAS technology.
Learn from our specialized team of instructors, comprised of manned pilots and drone business owners. Our classes are engaging, dynamic, and extremely informative.
Advanced Training Courses
We don’t just train our students on the basics. We also offer extensive advanced training courses to help our alumni succeed in mapping, inspections, disaster response, aerial photography, night operations, search and rescue, and more.
Industry Certified and Vetted Curriculum
DARTdrones’ curriculum is vetted and certified by AUVSI, the leading UAS industry association, to ensure professional quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many students that complete our Basic Flight Training course are brand new to drones and flying for the first time. The course starts with the basics for beginners, but also dives into more advanced processes. We receive great reviews from advanced drone pilots.
We have had many students who already fly drones say that during the course they learned new aspects of their drones. Although some people in the class will be complete beginners, the course is great for a more experienced pilot too.
This course is designed to allow students to try before they buy. Many of our students have not purchased a drone prior to class. Although the class materials cover the Mavic and Inspire, flight training is typically conducted on a Phantom that we provide.
Yes. The course rotates from indoor to outdoor training. You’ll experience 3 one hour flight sessions during Basic Flight Training.
For insurance and liability purposes, students cannot fly their own equipment during the course unless they provide proof of liability insurance with DARTdrones LLC named as an additional insured prior to the course. Any insurance company that offers coverage for sUAS flight is sufficient for this course. Many students have used Verifly as their provider. Verifly is available in most states and allows for coverage to be purchased by the hour.
Our Basic Flight Training course capacity is set to 8 students per class to ensure a well balanced student to instructor ratio.
We typically schedule one class per month in each city about 10-12 weeks in advance of a class. If your city is completely sold out, we recommend checking a nearby city, organizing a private group lesson (priced for 8 participants), or submitting a contact form as we do often have last minute cancellations.
We truly care about the safety of our students. If travel becomes dangerous, we will postpone the course to a later date and you can always select a date that works for you. If travel is not dangerous, we will still hold the indoor portion of the class and will reschedule only the outdoor flying portion to a later date.
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