You had thought you’d found the right online drone school for you, then a fellow buddy of yours began raving about what they learned at Altex Academy. Now you’re thinking maybe that could be the online drone school you should enroll in.
Are Altex Academy’s drone courses worth it?
Altex Academy drone courses are definitely worth the time and money. You can take a crash course on all things UAVs or learn specific topics such as real estate drone photography, DJI drones, drone surveying, and more.
If you’re interested in learning about Altex Academy and what this online drone school has to offer, you’ve come to the right place.
Ahead, we’ll go over all the courses Altex has available and discuss the things that matter to you when choosing a drone school, such as pricing.
What is Altex Academy? Who is the founder?
For professional-level drone training that’s accessible and even enjoyable, there’s Altex Academy.
This Canadian-based company, as it says on its Facebook page, “provides complete UAV/drone training for commercial operators” as well as everyday aspiring commercial drone pilots.
Altex Academy combines online drone lessons with hands-on learning for students in Canada.
The company has a team of talented, esteemed flight instructors: Frank Santos, Martin McCulloch, Edward Melnike, and Joe Markovic.
Frank Santos is an Altex Academy graduate himself, having passed the online drone school in 2018. Since then, Frank has become dedicated to helping others who want to follow in his footsteps and become commercial drone pilots.
Martin McCulloch has worked in public safety and military applications for nearly 30 years. An aviation expert, Martin makes a valuable addition to the Altex Academy team.
Edward Melnike is another Altex graduate. He boasts two decades of experience in property management and has a big passion for remote-piloted aircraft systems.
Finally, Joe Markovic has done a slew of construction monitoring, precision surveying, infrastructure inspection, and solar inspection projects over two decades. He can show you the ropes in Altex’s courses.
In addition to offering online drone courses, Altex Academy has a secondary company called Altex Technologies.
Which drone courses can you take through Altex Academy?
We’re sure you’re very eager to learn more about the courses that Altex Academy offers for drone pilots such as yourself. Here’s an overview.
Drone Ground School
At the top of the list is the Drone Ground School, which will ready you to pass the Transport Canada written exam. The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA does not have dominion outside of the United States, after all.
You can still take the Drone Ground School prep course even if you do live in the US, but the materials might not be directly applicable to your FAA exam.
Altex Academy calls the Drone Ground School a “comprehensive course” with live webinar components and self-learning through lessons. Altex is clear that you can learn the materials at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
During the webinars, the Altex team will gladly answer your questions. You can also link up with your fellow students through the webinars to learn among your group.
Here is a breakdown of the curriculum:
- Intro to Drones
- Theory of Flight
- Airspace Management
- Air Law
- Airframes & Flight Instruments
- Human Element
- Radio Communications
- Flight Operations
- TC Drone Pilot Written Exam Prep
The course requires 24 learning hours. Once you enroll, the course materials are yours for 90 days. You can extend the duration of your access to the materials for another 90 days by paying $50 extra.
DJI Drone Training
Did you just buy a DJI drone, but you admittedly don’t know the first thing about flying one? With the DJI Drone Training course, you can learn.
The team at Altex Academy created the DJI Drone Training class so you can follow along as soon as you get your drone home and out of the box.
The course will cover the control system of your DJI drone, including the system settings, flight safety features, system handling, battery management, flight records, and drone maintenance.
The curriculum for the DJI Drone Training course is as follows:
- Drone Setup
- DJI Go 4 – Part 1
- Prepare for First Flight
- DJI Go 4 – Part 2
- System Safety Features
- Battery Management
- Drone Maintenance
- Flight Records
- Drone Flight Best Practices
- Bonus: DJI Fly App
This intro-level course lasts for six hours in all. You will receive three hours of video instruction from Altex Academy’s flight instructors. The next three hours should be used on self-learning and practice.
Your course access is good for 90 days from the date you purchase the course. As was the case with the ground school, Altex Academy gives you the option to pay for an additional 90 days of access, and this time for only $20.
Drone Real Estate Photography
Once you have your drone license, you can then use your UAV for commercial purposes (aka earning money). If you want to break into the real estate market with your drone, then enroll in the Drone Real Estate Photography course through Altex Academy.
You’ll learn how to take aerial drone photos, edit them, and deliver the work to your clients. Altex Academy does recommend that you have some photography abilities and that you know how to fly a drone (at least the basics) for course success.
Here’s the course curriculum:
- Fundamentals of Drone Real Estate Photography
- Camera Angles and Composition from the Air
- Lighting and Camera Settings
- Post-Production Techniques
- Drone Equipment
- Planning and Scheduling
- Course Review
- Resources & Practice Material
The Drone Real Estate Photography course as offered by Altex Academy lasts three hours in all. Your access to the course material is good for 90 days after the date of purchase. For $20 more, you can have the course materials for another 90 days.
Intro to Drone Survey & Geomatics
If you’d rather take your commercial drone career in the realm of drone surveying, the beginner-friendly Intro to Drone Survey & Geomatics course will teach you what equipment you need for drone surveying, which software, and how drone surveying works.
You’ll even get pointers for starting your own drone business!
Let’s look closer at the course curriculum:
- What Is Geomatics?
- Survey with Drones
- Equipment and Software
- Building a Drone Survey Business
- Case Study (Mission Planning, Data Capture and Processing)
This course only takes three hours to complete. You can pay $20 for 90 additional days of course access after the first 90 days expire.
RPAS Drone Compliance & Renewal
The last online-only drone course from Altex Academy is the RPAS Drone Compliance & Renewal course.
Intended for “seasoned drone pilots,” who are up for another round of drone licensure in Canada, this course will refresh students on flight records, operations workflows, personnel management, and more.
When you pass the course, you’ll be issued a completion certificate.
Here’s what the course includes:
- Regulatory Requirements
- Human Factors
- Flight Planning
- Operations Management
- Equipment Management
- Flight Records
The three-hour course is available for 90 days, but for $20 more, you can extend your course access by another 90 days.
How much do Altex Academy courses cost?
Several Altex Academy courses might have caught your eye, but you can’t decide which ones (if any) you’ll sign up for until you see the prices.
Without further ado then, here is an overview of how much you’d spend on each online-only drone course offered by Altex Academy. Keep in mind that all prices are in Canadian dollars.
- Drone Ground School – $195
- DJI Drone Training – $95
- Drone Real Estate Photography – $59
- Intro to Drone Survey & Geomatics – $59
- RPAS Drone Compliance & Renewal – $75
One US dollar is the equivalent of 0.85 Canadian dollars. Thus, all the courses cost less in USD.
In US dollars, here’s an estimate: The Drone Ground School costs $155, the DJI Drone Training is $75.59, the Drone Real Estate Photography and Intro to Drone Survey & Geomatics courses are $47 each, and the RPAS Drone Compliance & Renewal course costs $60.
How is Altex Academy rated?
Unlike a lot of the other online drone schools we’ve discussed in this series, Altex Academy’s website is not splashed with five-star reviews of its courses.
We scoured the Internet and couldn’t find any reviews outside of individual blogs like ours that discussed the ins and outs of Altex Academy. We can say that Altex Academy promises a 98-percent pass rate for its students.
Is Altex Academy worth it?
Are you debating whether you should take an online drone course or several through Altex Academy? This section will help you decide.
The caliber of instructors is undoubtedly top-notch, that’s for certain. The instructors have close to 100 years of combined experience in areas like surveying, drone flight, and aeronautics. You couldn’t learn from better pros.
The lessons available at Altex Academy are mostly video content with instructions for you to practice on your own. Most of the courses are very short, averaging about three hours. Only one or two courses are longer.
You can learn at your own pace, which is great if you’re studying at a university or working a full-time job and eager to make a career switch.
The variety of courses offered is excellent too. You can learn the basics of drone flight or delve into specifics like flying a DJI drone or using your drone for commercial purposes such as surveying or real estate photography.
Now, we have to mention some downsides too, as it’s only fair (especially since Altex Academy doesn’t have a reviews section for you to peruse).
For starters, let’s mention what could potentially be the biggest deterrent to enrolling in this online drone school. Altex Academy is based in Canada, and thus, the institution that oversees drone flight is not the FAA.
We mentioned this before, but we want to reiterate it again now.
That’s not to say that you won’t learn lots of great material on drone flight, rules, and mechanics. However, the materials are catered towards those who will take Canada’s written drone exam, not the FAA’s.
Most online drone schools gear you up for the FAA exam with real questions taken from past FAA tests. If you choose Altex Academy as your online drone school of choice, you won’t have that benefit.
That doesn’t mean you can’t pass an FAA test if you enroll through Altex Academy. You just won’t have as much personalized instruction, so to speak.
Of course, we must say that if you happen to be based in Canada, then this is perfect for you.
If anything, you might have been reading through our online drone school series wondering when, if ever, we were going to talk about a drone school from outside of the US!
The other downside of Altex Academy is course access. A lot of online drone schools we’ve discussed throughout this series give you the course material for life once you pay for it. That’s not the case for Altex Academy though.
You only get 90 days with the course materials. You can request extensions, of course, but those don’t come free, costing $20 and sometimes twice that.
Even still, 180 days is hardly lifetime access.
You have to renew your drone license in Canada by taking another exam just as you do in the US. If you wanted to refresh your drone knowledge through Altex Academy before the exam, you’d have to pay for the materials again. Your access would have long since expired.
Is it worth it? That’s for you to decide.
Altex Academy is a Canadian-based online drone school with offline, hands-on components. If sticking solely to the online courses, you can learn a lot of specific information to start your own drone business, get to know your DJI drone, or even pass your written drone exam.
However, since Canada’s drone rules are not mandated by the FAA, the drone exam practice materials you’ll learn through Altex Academy will not appear on an FAA exam. On top of that, no courses offer lifetime access.
If you don’t mind those two points, then Altex Academy can be a great place to get your drone education online!
Altex Technologies (link)