South Side high school students become licensed drone pilots

Friday, November 18, 2022
South Side HS students become licensed drone pilots
Some Chicago high schoolers are feeling sky high.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The buzz at Corliss High School is coming from the drone pilot program classroom.

"It is kind of like paying a video game and I love video games," said student A'Janay Lurry.

"It is really one of those things you wish you forgot how to do just to have the first time feeling again," said student Jonathan Turner.

Today, some of the drone pilot program students were honored at a school assembly for passing the FAA Drone Pilot Exam and becoming licensed drone pilots.

The students prepared for weeks for the 60-question test.

"It is sort of difficult, especially with the sectional chart and the runways," Lurry said.

The program began at the school several years ago. But it took awhile to get off the ground.

"The goal is to try to educate as many of the students who want to get into this emerging technology as possible," instructor Brandon Parks said.

Lurry is among the youngest licensed Black female drone pilots in the country, according to CPS.

The senior plans to major in engineering in college next year and fly drones to help pay for her education.

"It is a great opportunity and an amazing learning experience," Lurry said.

The drone pilot students try to encourage their peers at Corliss to take part in the drone pilot program. They believe it can open up future career opportunities.

"It is very inspiring just to have something like this at small school like Corliss," Turner said.