Droves of drones spawn hobby flight school


Instructor Brian Ozga shows his students how to fly a DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter, in an empty lot in North Wales.

Instructor Brian Ozga shows his students how to fly a DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter, in an empty lot in North Wales. ED HILLE / Staff Photographer

Standing in the center of an abandoned Montgomery County parking lot Saturday morning, seven strangers huddled around a small remote control and waited.

“All right, take control now,” urged Brian Ozga as he handed the device off. “Just not too fast.”

Five yards away, a small, X-shaped drone blinked red, then green, and whirred to life, jumping 10 feet off the ground. For a moment, it glided peacefully, propellers slicing the sky. Then it dipped. Lurched. And finally regained altitude as the crowd below looked on.

At this unlikely meeting spot on a cold weekend morning, a local mayor, an Ecuadoran researcher, and a sailing instructor, among others, were united by just one thing: their desire to learn – formally – about drones.

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