South Phoenix school teaching sophomores how to fly a drone

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- For most teenagers, flying a drone is just a lot of fun, but for some students at South Mountain High School, a drone class could lead to so much more.

"Right now we are on precision flying five, means they start from their spot, they go to the elevated position here we call the 'aircraft carrier', then the elevated position here we call an 'oil platform'," said Ken Gulliford, Aerospace Magnet Manager and Instructional Lead for Aerospace at South Mountain High School.

The class is a drone class for sophomores at South Mountain High School. The students have a task to land a drone safely on one of the boxes.

"You need to land all four legs on your spot. That's not an easy thing either," said Gulliford.

Some went well, and some didn't, but they're all learning the right way to fly a drone.

"The way you said the drone would go in that way so the drone won't move too much, it helped me a lot that day," said student Jose Felix.

Felix hopes to fly professionally some day. This class will help him get the so-called "FAA Part 107" license that will let him do that.

"My goal is to get my Part 107, and probably try to make something out of it," said Felix.

Gulliford says these drone fliers are off to a good start.

"We will do varying different obstacle courses or task related courses, so that they get good at a task," said Gulliford. "They get out in real life, they've seen it, they've already done it."

Safety is, of course, paramount at South Mountain. Students learn to fly safely indoors before they're allowed to fly drone missions outside.