School Drone Program

School Drone Program

The School Drone Program educates future generations to operate drones safely and to arm them with the knowledge and understanding of aviation guidelines, and the rules and regulations specific to drone operations.

The Ripper Aviation Academy is a CASA-approved drone and RPAS training organisation. We are able to tailor a drone training package to suit your school community that includes teacher and student training.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the community, the Ripper Group has commenced a School Drone Program within the Ripper Aviation Academy.

The School Drone Program is specifically tailored to various levels, and runs courses in schools for both primary and secondary students, ranging from Drone Fundamentals through to Drone Advanced.

Contact us if you’d like to introduce a drone training course into your school’s program.

About Our Courses

Certificate courses emphasise the safety and social responsibilities of a drone operator. Senior students will learn how drone technology is being applied across a multitude of industries. This will provide future study opportunities, with Southern Cross University and other universities, for students to apply this new technology in their chosen careers.

There is also the opportunity for senior students to complete a Certificate III in Aviation together with a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Licence (RePL).

The Ripper Group’s School Drone Program:

  • Integrates drone technology into schools
  • Educates students to fly drones safely
  • Provides courses for different age groups
  • Gives practical, hands-on flying
  • Can lead to tertiary education in aviation
  • Can provide a stepping stone to a career in commercial drone operation

The School Drone Program courses consist of multiple levels suitable for different age groups:

Course 1: Primary Students Years 5 & 6

Course 2: Secondary Students Years 7 & 8

Course 3: RPAS Intermediate Certificate Course Years 9–12


Drone Fundamentals:

  • Duration :2.5 hours
  • Class size: Minimum 12 students/2 instructors

Course Outline

These courses are designed to be fun and cover everything a young pilot needs to know to fly drones safely, including the key rules and regulations with an emphasis on social responsibilities when flying.

  • Theory and Practical Lessons
  • Basic flight fundamentals
  • Flight safety
  • Rules and regulations
  • Remote control
  • Drone set-up
  • Flight control
  • Take-off
  • Landing

Case Study – Schools Package for TSS - The Southport School, Qld

(Source: Brisbane Times

TSS robotics and engineering technology teacher Mark Lockett said TSS was one of the few schools in Australia to include drone pilot training in the curriculum. While Mr Lockett would teach students the practicalities of drone piloting, the CASA exams would be assessed by Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver.

‘We’ve embedded the remote drone pilot’s licence into our Year 12 engineering and technology course,’ he said.

‘The main reason we’ve done it is that forecasts are showing that, by 2020, there are going to be about 20 million drones worldwide and about a third of those are going to be commercially flown.’

Even if there was not a huge market for professional drone pilots, Mr Lockett said the technology would become increasingly invasive in many industries.

‘Within the next five to six years, most jobs will involve some kind of drones,’ he said.

‘You could take the example of a plumber. The forecast is, every plumber will have a drone flying over the top of a roof and they use infrared sensing and see where the leak is in the roof or out in the garden.

‘So I think the idea of drones is more than just being these things you fly around. It’s about the technology you put underneath them and that’s the main point.’ That included parcel deliveries, damage and risk assessment and as-yet unthought of applications.


Has been a great learning experience. Thanks to you and the team for the support through this. Great engagement all round.

Andrew Darragh RePL 25KG and Radio Operators Certificate March 29, 2024

Thank you so much for such a great course, it was a very safe learning environment and you were a great informative instructor with a lot of knowledge to share.

Madi Meyer RePL 7KG Townsville September 7, 2023

I really enjoyed the RePL B course. I think it was an important milestone in my life. The tutoring videos are very helpful, easy to understand and they are on very high professional level.

All those people who completed the RePL courses with your company are lucky.

Ferenc Marek RePL B January 30, 2023

My experience with Rob today was fantastic! His clear instruction, passion, enthusiasm and knowledge was a highlight. Robs organisation and method of delivery was highly professional in every way.

His capacity to impart knowledge through experience while giving me confidence in my ability to demonstrate the required tasks, capped off a great day.

Mark Brombal RePL 25KG Sydney January 17, 2023

The Chief Instructor Darren was very helpful, knowledgeable and approachable and it was a pleasure to be mentored through the whole of the theory videos and assessment by such a great teacher and instructor who also has a great sense of humour.

The other trainers Sonya and Heather were also very helpful and it was a pleasure to have them watching , instructing and assessing our flying skills when the weather actually permitted us the opportunity to take flight.

This will be a life changing event for myself and with the ReOC unit now underway it will hopefully open the door to start my way in the ever expanding world of multi-rotor opportunities.

I would also like to thank and mention that Nigel was my first contact with the Ripper Academy and was always prompt to reply to messages and calls and was very helpful.

I would Highly recommend the Ripper Academy to anyone with an interest in becoming certified as a pilot and feel honoured to be part of the Ripper team of students.

Many thanks again to all those involved with the course.

Michael Page RePL Adelaide November 14, 2022

I've just completed the RePL B course in Townsville on 8-10 Nov. It was great!

Regarding the online content, the site is well presented and easy to navigate. The lessons are thorough and easy to follow (or pause while frantically typing notes because I had so much to learn!) Darren is a great instructor and I enjoyed how he weaved humour and personal stories into the lessons. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish what I needed to memorise and what he was just saying for fun, but this was outweighed by how engaging he was as a presenter, so I wouldn't change a thing. The content was thorough and well explained so I felt well prepared for the theory exam.

Mel Bracs RePL Townsville November 14, 2022

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved on my Drone training/ program.

I can't remember all names but the friendly staff such as Darren, Michael were keen to the development of my skills and also the dinamic of the course.

Fabio Fontes RePL 25KG and Night Sydney November 5, 2022

Thank you for the information and the presentation for the RPA course, it was a great watch, and I learnt a lot. Your videos made studying for the exam very easy.

Onto the practical side, Robert was fantastic. He was passionate about flying but really hammered home the risks and responsibilities of the RPA and pilot respectively. His teaching technique was great, and I felt relaxed and confident by the end of the practice. I really enjoyed how much he nerded out about his flying experience and greatly appreciated the times when he made mistakes but learnt a lesson from it. I feel very comfortable flying an RPA after his tutelage.

To anyone interested in a RPA course, I will definitely be recommending Ripper Academy and Robert as the instructor.

Lachlan Gadd RePL 25KG and Night, Sydney November 3, 2022

I have been signed up to attend the REPL Sub 7kg Remote Pilot License B, REPL NVLOS Night Endorsement and Rapid REOC through my workplace at the Burdekin Shire Council and just wanted to say how much I am enjoying the courses so far. Your videos you have made are awesome and I feel very confident with the knowledge you have provided. I am about halfway through the REPL course now and enjoying every minute of it.

Mark MacDonald RePL 7KG, Townsville October 28, 2022

I started my training having never flown a drone. Through excellent instructions and a hands-on approach, I quickly built my flying skills and confidence. Thank you, Rob Brus, for bringing a wealth of knowledge and awesome teaching skills to our lessons. I particularly enjoyed using the thermal imaging camera on the night flight – it was wicked fun!

Hugh Jones RePL 25KG October 17, 2022

The capacity of the instructor training is a gift. We need more people like Nic and Rob. They did a super awesome great job. “THANK YOU RIPPER ACADEMY.” Some say that there is always room for improvement. For me, I was happy that they can touch base more on the things I was lack with. WOW! AWESOME INSTRUCTORS. Thank you RIPPER.

Navi Artfield Sydney RePL 7KG and 25KG August 20, 2022

The course was fantastic ( Michael Povey ). Your teaching methods and knowledge made it all the more enjoyable, Learnt a wealth of experience.

Ted Fletcher June 14, 2022

Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

Support from Michael was exceptional - always felt as though I was in safe hands.

Linda Clements RePL Course April 27, 2022

I signed up for the RePL "Flight Crew Transition Course" and the "Night Upgrade". I found the training to be nothing short of first class. Both Mark and Nick were highly professional and shared their many years of experience with our group which helped answer the dozens of questions we all had. I enjoyed learning on the smaller machines however the real fun started with the bigger ones. If you're thinking about getting this qualification I highly recommend the Ripper Academy. You won't be disappointed.

Robert Brus Flight Crew Transition and Night Training, Sydney March 21, 2022

Just wanted to drop you an email to thank you for the opportunity to complete my RePL licence last Friday, 18th March. And to thank the weather gods for fine weather on Friday !

Also wanted to especially thank Mark and Nic who provided me with excellent flying instruction that allowed me to pass a very thorough and demanding Flight Test.

Malcolm Pooley RePL 7KG 25KG and Night - Sydney March 21, 2022

With drone filming tasking becoming more complex, we’d reached the limits of the CASA sub 2KG OPs 101-10.

Clients want and need reassurance that their supplier is competent and qualified.

Ripper training took me as the Principle of my business through REPL, Night Ops, 25KG rating, my radio certificate and ultimately the ReOC Certificate.

My experience with Ripper was seamless and time efficient.

We are planning Ops that we couldn’t contemplate before, One 500 metres from the Runway at Avalon!

Could not be happier with the process and outcome.

Thank you Darren and the back office team at Ripper!!

Tim Maloney Managing Director RePL 25KG Melbourne March 17, 2022

The Sub 2KG was a really enjoyable course, I feel confident to now fly the drone and create some amazing content!

M Anderson November 3, 2021

"Thanks again for patiently helping me out Darren; you’re a great instructor ( and I know as I've been through few CFI's ) with a very English sense of humour! - 10 out of 10"

Michael Mangano RePL Sub 7KG Course September 15, 2021

Thanks again for all your help and support through this course, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The zoom classes were really good and easy to follow along, plus being able to access them after for revision was great. The practical days were Awesome plenty of learning and great teacher knowledge and experience to be passed on to us the students.

Damien Andrew Gold Coast August 3, 2021

Huge thanks to the Ripper Academy team and particularly Darren. There is a lot of work involved with achieving the RePL but Darren and his team have supported me to ensure I had a complete understanding of the material being covered. Sincere thanks.

Kevin Rolfe Gold Coast / Bribie Island August 3, 2021

Recently completing my RePL through The Ripper Corp I was slightly apprehensive, however the instructional style and the way information was conducted allayed any issues as Darren was a very knowledgeable and professional instructor. The course was a pleasure to undertake and The Ripper Corp is highly recommended.

Peter Ireland Gold Coast August 3, 2021

Great access to learning material via Zoom and Website portal, Engaging and thorough presentations from Darren, excellent practical flying setup and practice.

Graeme Orr Gold Coast August 3, 2021

Thank you for providing your students with fabulous learning. The course content is interesting, easy to understand and very well delivered. The experience was thoroughly enjoyable and now the sky's the limit.

Robert Watson Gold Coast August 3, 2021

Just to you ( Darren ) and the boys for the training - Courses were run really well, communication was excellent and couldn’t have asked for a more knowledge filled practical! Thanks mate!

Ben Campbell August 3, 2021

Our instructor – Darren – was exceptional with his knowledge and how the on line training sessions were facilitated. Any questions raised outside of the sessions were promptly and clearly responded to. This ensured we were well prepared for the theory and practicall examinations. Ripper are highly recommended to anyone contemplating formal training in RPAS

Darren Woodward Gold Coast August 3, 2021

Excellent place to do drone training. The gents at The Ripper Aviation Academy are the real deal, have plenty of available practice drones on course so your never standing around waiting. Mike the Chief pilot has a wealth of experience and knowledge after a lifetime of experience in the aviation industry. If your looking at doing the course, look no further as you'd be cheating yourself going anywhere else.

Damien King July 10, 2020

Outstanding training, concise, professional, dedicated , and a course delivered with such a high level of professionalism, every day was a pleasure to log in and sit for my training. The academy's use of technology enabling me to join the course from the remote far south coast town of Eden NSW, also meant I could get on my way towards obtaining my ReOC much sooner than would have normally been possible.

Phillip Small July 10, 2020

Great group of guys, very knowledgeable and helpful. Friendly and approachable with a wealth of professional industry skills and experience

Aaron Parker July 10, 2020

Highly recommend training and getting certified with the Ripper Aviation Academy. Mike, Ben and the team are highly knowledgeable and make it fun to learn. The team aren't just drone pilots they have been in aviation essentially all their lives. They know aviation and they know drones. Can't wait for the next course!

Kyle Simpson July 10, 2020

Training with the Ripper Academy was great, there was heaps of information to learn but it was taught clearly. The teachers know their stuff. Can't wait to do more training in the future.

Zephyrin Grilli June 10, 2020

Getting all of my licenses through The Ripper Group was an awesome experience. The team was professional, fun and taught me everything I wanted to learn and more! I am now very confident flying a variety of drones. I have been flying everyday since the guys at The Ripper Group taught me.

Crafword Elias May 10, 2020

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