How to Host an sUAS Seminar

Multi-rotor model aircraft and other flying models that might be labeled as “drones” are becoming increasingly popular. Many new users of this technology have no previous experience with other types of model aircraft, which means they might be looking for some guidance!

If your club has a few individuals with a willingness to reach out to your local community, you might consider hosting a seminar for new drone pilots. It benefits all model aircraft hobbyists to help new pilots learn the basics of safe and ethical flying.

The Flying Wing Nutz Club of St. Mary’s, West Virginia hosted such a seminar by combining their resources along with information from the “Know Before You Fly” initiative and the Roswell Flight Test Crew. The following resources have been adapted from their efforts. 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

A team. You will need at least one club member who is comfortable speaking to groups for the main presentation. You will also need some experienced people on hand to answer specific questions about multi-rotor aircraft and how to fly them.

A facility. An appropriate space for your event will need tables and chairs, room to fly some small aircraft, plenty of power outlets, and access to restrooms. It is also nice to have access to a projector and screen. You might consider checking with a local library, community center, hotel, civic organization or clubhouse for a suitable space to host your seminar. 

Resources. Some of the people who show up will have their own aircraft to fly. Larger aircraft like DJI Phantoms and Blade 350QXs are not appropriate for beginners to fly, especially indoors. So, get together as many docile, palm-sized aircraft (such as the Blade MCX co-axial helis) as you can. It is also a good idea to have some quality RC flight simulators on hand (like RealFlight or Phoenix), with computers to run them.


Information. Here are some topics you’ll want to cover. Click the button below for a detailed PDF.

  1. The basics of RC flying
  2. How to safely handle Li-Po batteries
  3. Where and when to fly safely
  4. How to be a courteous pilot
  5. Why you should join the AMA
  6. Where you can meet other pilots

You can create your own original presentation, or download this detailed PowerPoint that has been created specifically for teaching new pilots about the topics listed above! Even if you won’t have access to a projector and screen at your location, it is worth reviewing the wealth of information in this file as you plan. There are notes included to help you speak about the various topics.

Click the link below. Choose "File," then "Download as."

Publicity for your event. It is recommended that you put out a press release to help make the local media aware of your event. A template has been provided- all you need to do is change the details that are specific to your seminar and club. Send it to every local newspaper, television station and radio broadcaster. Follow up with a phone call after a few days to answer any questions they may have.

Click the link below. Choose "File," then "Download as."

You may also want to write a letter to the editor explaining the importance of your event and asking for their assistance in making the public aware. A sample letter is provided.

Click the link below. Choose "File," then "Download as."

Posting flyers, like the example linked below, around your community is another great idea. Try checking with local coffee shops, grocery stores, libraries and small businesses to see if they have a community board you can share a flyer on.

Get your local hobby shops on board. Ask them to post flyers in the shop. They might even be willing to hand out information about your event with each drone that is purchased.

 Here’s a printable version of the pre-event checklist, to keep you on track.