Founder / Chief Instructor
David is the Founder and Chief Instructor at Drone Launch Academy. He is a drone enthusiast and an FAA-certified Advanced Ground Instructor, which means he has been tested and approved by the FAA to help students take and pass their FAA knowledge exams, such as the Unmanned Aircraft exam required for the Remote Pilot Certificate (what you need to fly drones commercially). David has held a FAA Private Pilot Certificate since 2007, which he obtained while studying at the College of Aeronautics at the Florida Institute of Technology.
David is an entrepreneur who loves to help people by taking complex or arduous tasks and making them simple and easy to digest. As the owner of DCY Consulting, LLC, a finance and analytics firm, David has consulted with Fortune 50 companies such as Google and various start up companies such as SoapBox Soaps, Razoo, and From the Farmer. Mr. Young is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and holds a graduate degree in finance from Johns Hopkins University.
David is excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve the amazing drone community and to train the newest wave of remote pilots.
Instructor / Regulation
Andrew Zimmitti is our legal instructor here at Drone Launch Academy. Andrew has been practicing law for over 20 years and is currently a partner at the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Washington, DC.
In addition to advising and representing clients in legal matters relating to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Mr. Zimmitti is also a private pilot. He is currently working on his instrument rating. Andrew received his juris doctor degree from Georgetown Law and previously served in the United States Navy as a judge advocate.
We are thrilled to have Andrew bring his legal expertise to Drone Launch Academy and have our students learn from his experience.
Col. Don Berchoff (USAF Ret.)
Instructor / Weather
Colonel Berchoff is one of our weather instructors at Drone Launch Academy. As CEO of TruWeather Solutions, Don is engaged in operational weather by leading a company that provides the transportation industry (including UAVs) tailored, real-time and forecast weather information to improve safety, and operations efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to leading TruWeather Solutions, Don served as the Director of Science and Technology at the National Weather Service where he worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to implement the Next Generation Air Traffic Management System Weather Concept of Operations.
Don started his career in the United States Air Force (USAF.) In his military career, Don earned non-rated crewmember wings for over 300 hours as an airborne meteorologist on EC-135 command and control aircraft. He served as Air Force One meteorologist for President H.W. Bush and led several large weather operations centers focused on providing mission critical weather services to Air Force and Army operations. Don also led the Chairmen, Joint Chief of Staff, Afghanistan military policy and strategy from 2002-2004 and was the Base Commander at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, where he led 1,500 coalition forces and Kyrgyz contractors in staging personnel in and out of Afghanistan and supporting air refueling combat missions over Afghanistan.
Don brings amazing experience and expertise to Drone Launch Academy. We are excited for our students to be able to learn and benefit from one of the foremost experts in aviation weather today. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Maj. Nathan Green (USAF Ret.)
Instructor / Weather
Major Green is another of Drone Launch Academy’s weather instructors. As the Meteorological Operations Manager for TruWeather Solution, Nathan is in a unique position to see how weather specifically impacts drone operations.
Nathan began his career in meteorology with the United States Air Force (USAF), where he led weather operations for Air Force One and the Air Force Chief of Staff, was a Staff Weather Officer at the Pentagon, and led major weather operations on the battlefield, supporting more than 120 aircraft and 15,000 soldiers. Major Green is a Purple Heart veteran who participated in US military operations in both the Iraq and Afghanistan. After retiring from the military, Nathan contributed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s key weather modernization program, NEXGEN Network Enabled Weather (NNEW), instrumental for enhancing future passenger airline safety and reducing system-wide weather delays.
Nathan holds a bachelors degree in meteorology and a masters degree in geosciences. We are thrilled to count Major Green among our distinguished Drone Launch Academy instructors.
Customer Service / Manager
Julie is the Customer Service Manager here at Drone Launch Academy. Her job is to answer questions for those looking to obtain their Remote Pilot Certificate, as well as providing guidance throughout the study and testing process.
Recently, Julie worked as a customer liaison between the FAA and companies looking to obtain 333 exemptions. Julie and David make a great team, as they have been working together for a few decades now (they happen to be brother and sister).
Her bubbly and helpful personality has allowed her to excel in past customer service and managerial roles at large firms in the retail merchandising and banking industries. We are excited to have Julie on our team, helping to serve our great customers and students.