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Drone Launch Academy: Is It Worth It? (For Beginners)

You’ve read our extensive reviews on Drone Pilot Ground School and Pilot Institute, but you’re not sure if you’re interested in either of those online drone schools. Instead, you’ve been seriously contemplating joining Drone Launch Academy, but you haven’t yet. Is this school worth your while?

Drone Launch Academy is a viable, worthwhile resource for learning to fly a drone and passing your Part 107 exam to earn your license. Outside of drone flight instruction, Drone Launch Academy also offers a variety of resources for finding jobs, buying drone accessories, and more.

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This guide to Drone Launch Academy will tell you everything you need to know about pursuing this online drone school. You’ll learn more about the company’s history, the courses offered, extra materials, and course pricing. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know whether Drone Launch Academy is the right online drone school for you. 

What is Drone Launch Academy? Who’s the founder? 

Drone Launch Academy is an online drone school that offers training and courses in an assortment of drone-related areas. As we touched on, you can learn all the basics to earn your Part 107 drone license, which is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA for commercial drone pilots.

For those who don’t need a Part 107 license (such as recreational drone pilots) or already have one, you can still get plenty of use out of Drone Launch Academy. 

The online school provides courses on many areas of drone flight as well as guides for earning money or mastering a specific model of drone.

Who founded the Drone Launch Academy? That would be David Young. Young is certified through the FAA as an Advanced Ground Instructor. He’s also an FAA Private Pilot certificate holder. He’s maintained that certificate from 2007 onward.

As a graduate of the College of Aeronautics at the Florida Institute of Technology, Young’s drone knowledge is extensive. He also has experience as a financial analyst and forensic accountant for the FBI. 

Young selected an excellent team of instructors for the Drone Launch Academy. They include meteorological operations managers, current commercial drone pilots in areas such as surveying and real estate, and drone photographers and videographers. 

What can you learn at Drone Launch Academy?

Drone Launch Academy offers nine online courses in all. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Part 107 Exam Prep

Here’s the course that everyone comes to the Drone Launch Academy for, the Part 107 Exam Prep

As we’ve discussed, commercial drone pilots who are over the age of 16 must have a Part 107 license as issued by the FAA to use their drone as a source of income. The Part 107 license is only good for two years and then requires further testing, so a course offered through the Drone Launch Academy can be very valuable. 

According to Drone Launch Academy, 99.54 percent of their students will pass the Part 107 exam the first time they take it. Considering the online drone school has received 15,000+ students over the years, this is an extraordinarily high pass rate! 

The Part 107 Exam Prep course includes video lectures in crystal-clear HD quality. The videos are mobile and desktop-optimized so you can learn in a way that works for you, be that at home, at work, or on the go.

To help you apply the knowledge you’ve gathered, you can take a practice test that has more than 200 questions. The Drone Launch Academy culled those questions from real FAA exams so you’ll be more prepared to pass your test.

Further, the course includes an eBook study guide that’s more than 75 pages. You can download it, print it, and bring it with you anywhere and everywhere so you can study whenever you have downtime. 

Part 107 flashcards are another useful way to practice your drone mastery. Plus, Drone Launch Academy throws in a Part 107 Exam Study Guide Audiobook if you prefer to learn through listening rather than reading.

As if all that wasn’t incentive enough, when you buy the Part 107 Exam Prep course, you gain access to weekly live office hours. You can connect with Drone Launch Academy’s pilots during live Facebook Q&As. 

Drone Business Mastery

If you’re serious about getting your drone business started, the Drone Business Mastery course could be just what you’re looking for. This course was put together after the staff at Drone Launch Academy consulted with thousands of experts in the drone industry.

The course will teach you how to create a digital presence, how to network, how to make a digital marketing plan, and how to successfully launch your business.

The Drone Business Mastery course has five sections:

  • Drone Business Foundations
  • Powerful Online Presence
  • Drone Business Back Office
  • Landing Dream Drone Clients
  • Google Ads for Drone Business

Aerial Video A to Z

Could your drone videography use some sharpening? The Aerial Video A to Z class from Drone Launch Academy will show you how to adjust drone settings to get the best videos, how to fly your drone to take excellent videos, and how to edit your footage once you have it. 

Aerial Photo Pro

A nice accompaniment course to the Aerial Video A to Z class is Aerial Photo Pro. Drone Launch Academy’s drone photography course will help you find the best software for photography, learn which settings lead to incredible shots, and teach you which filters are worth using. 

Aerial Roof Inspection Pro

Do you envision yourself getting into drone inspection once you have your Part 107 license? Drone Launch Academy has an Aerial Roof Inspection Pro course that ought to be right up your alley. 

The course will teach you how drones are important to the roofing and solar industries. You’ll glean what drone inspections entail, which drone models are recommended for the job, and how to begin making money doing drone inspections.  

Drone Mapping and Modeling Fundamentals

The Drone Mapping and Modeling Fundamentals class will help you carve out a unique career niche by getting into the mapping and modeling industry. You’ll be able to create data points and present those to clients to impart crucial data on projects of various kinds. 

Drones 101

What if you don’t know much of anything about drones? That’s okay! There’s always Drone Launch Academy’s Drones 101 course that you can use to brush up on the drone basics. 

This class for beginners will teach you about all the parts of a drone and how everything comes together so drones can fly. You’ll also come away with a series of practical flight exercises for you to practice in your backyard. 

Mavic Mini 101

Few drone brands are more iconic than DJI, which is why Drone Launch Academy has not one, but two courses dedicated to DJI drones. The first of these classes is called Mavic Mini 101

Whether you just bought a Mavic Mini or plan to soon, you’ll learn how to set yours up, what hardware and software are included, how the remote works, how to use the DJI Fly app, and what all the features do.  

Mini 2 Mastery

The last course Drone Launch Academy offers its students is Mini 2 Mastery, which is recommended for owners of the DJI Mavic Mini 2. The course is akin to the Mavic Mini 101 course but formulated for the Mini 2. 

What are the other features of Drone Launch Academy?

The online courses are only the half of what Drone Launch Academy offers. Here is what else your money will get you when you enroll in this online drone school. 

Drone resources

If you want to learn more about certain areas of drones beyond what the Drone Launch Academy teaches you in its classes, their list of resources is quite extensive. You can access this resources list for free, although you may have to pay for some of the services offered. 

Here are some resources you can take advantage of courtesy of Drone Launch Academy:

  • Drone job networks for finding your first job as a drone pilot, photographer, or videographer
  • Drone insurance to insure that valuable new drone you just spent a large sum of money on
  • Drone repair resources in case your drone takes a bad tumble and needs some work
  • Legal resources so you can cover all your bases when starting a drone business
  • Flight management and airspace resources so you can always be sure you’re flying in allowed airspace
  • Drone mapping and flight automation services for taking your drone to the next level
  • Drone accessories that will make flying and taking photos and videos with your drone a more delightful experience
  • Weather resources so you always fly when the skies are clear
  • Accounting resources, which will also come in handy when you start a drone business

Podcasts

Besides the extensive online courses, David Young and company also have a drone flight podcast you can listen to wherever you download and enjoy podcasts. 

As of this writing, the Drone Launch Academy podcast, which is called the Drone to 1K Podcast, has three seasons. Here is an overview of the episodes in Season One:

  • What is the Drone to 1K Podcast?
  • Alex Castillo from LA Aerial Image
  • Jeff Lewis from Special Point of View
  • Bill Holderby from Eagle Eyes UAS
  • David Dengler from Robotic Air Services
  • Robert Koenekamp from Aerial Look
  • Tom Ihrke from Swampfox Aerial
  • Bill Pendley from Billy Productions 

Season Two featured these episodes:

  • Andrew Hicks from SkyPix Aerial Photography
  • Sinuhe Montoya from DroneQuote
  • Dustin Hunt from Full Scope Inspections
  • Alex Harris from AZ Corporate Video/Drone Launch Academy
  • Mike Jensen from Sacramento Drone
  • Leo Adams from SkyeLink Aerial Photography 
  • Preston Jensen from Jensen Air LLC
  • Jeremiah Oschwald from Beardhouse Media
  • Cody Retlich from Midwest Arial Productions
  • Fred Light from Nashua Video Tours 

The following episodes are all listenable in Season Three: 

  • Liam Abrigg from Bentley Studios
  • Nick Frandjian from Open House Foto
  • Chris Dantonio from Chris Dantonio Drone Photography 
  • Spencer Boyd from Aerodrone Solutions 
  • Alex Castillo from LA Aerial Image
  • Jonathan Stettler from Steady Focus Media
  • Philip Hurst from Philip Hurst Media
  • Rut Patel from Voyager Industries 
  • Jorge Casamiquela from JFC Productions
  • Caleb Randall from Randall Productions

As you can tell, the podcasts are in an interview format where the team behind the Drone to 1K Podcast picks the brains of the interview subjects. Some of those subjects include Drone Launch Academy instructors! You’ll glean nuggets of useful information on how to make money from your drone when you tune in. 

How much does Drone Launch Academy cost?

Are you interested in signing up for a course or two that Drone Launch Academy offers? The pricing of the classes varies by content. This is how much the courses cost currently:

  • Part 107 Exam Prep – $199
  • Drone Business Mastery – $1,595 
  • Aerial Video A to Z – $397
  • Aerial Photo Pro – $199
  • Aerial Roof Inspection Pro – $499
  • Drone Mapping and Modeling Fundamentals – $399
  • Drones 101 – $49
  • Mavic Mini 101 – $49
  • Mini 2 Mastery – $49

How is Drone Launch Academy rated? 

Drone Launch Academy doesn’t hide its reviews, as the testimonials are viewable right on the homepage. You can also choose to read more testimonials by following a link on the page. 

That said, the testimonials overall are quite sparse, and since none of the reviewers rate the services of Drone Launch Academy between one and five stars, it’s hard to get a graded feel for their services. 

Jobs resource Indeed.com has reviews for Drone Launch Academy that use a star system. Although there aren’t many reviews, the people who took the time to leave their feedback have rated Drone Launch Academy 4.9 out of five stars.

Since the Indeed page isn’t affiliated with Drone Launch Academy, you know the company isn’t deleting negative reviews. People are just that happy with their experience when they choose Drone Launch Academy as their online drone school. 

Is Drone Launch Academy worth it?

Now comes the question that everyone has been waiting for. Is Drone Launch Academy the right online drone school for you?

If you’re trying to pass your Part 107 exam, then yes, Drone Launch Academy is an excellent choice. That course is a little on the costlier side, but think about what you’re getting for the money. It’s more than video instruction, but flashcards, audio learning, and practice tests. 

You’ll be more than well-equipped enough to pass the Part 107 exam!

Drone Launch Academy offers a pass guarantee that promises a refund for what you spent on the course if you fail your Part 107 exam. That ought to give you peace of mind!

We like how the course costs are commensurate with the drone pilot experience level. For example, the beginner’s drone course is available for $50, whereas the Drone Business Mastery is far costlier at $1,500 because only pros will want to enroll.

This reduced barrier to entry could in part explain the success of the Drone Launch Academy.

The resources afforded to you are excellent as well. You can buy a drone, get it insured, and even get it repaired thanks to the wealth of companies Drone Launch Academy introduces you to. Of course, for the commercial drone pilots, there are plenty of great job resources as well. 

Conclusion

Drone Launch Academy is an online drone school that focuses on Part 107 exam prep as well as starting a drone business from scratch. Many of the school’s courses go very in-depth, offering resources like audiobooks, study eBooks, and practice questions.

Besides its expansive roster of impressive drone courses, Drone Launch Academy also has a free podcast that drone pilots at any experience level can enjoy. 

The courses are priced individually so you can select only what you need and stick within a budget. For that reason and many others, we recommend the Drone Launch Academy to further your drone piloting skills!

References:
Drone Launch Academy
Indeed.com