About Us

| Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

David Young

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.

Previously, David worked for the FBI as a forensic accountant and financial analyst. He also previously owned DCY Consulting, LLC, a finance and analytics firm that consulted with Fortune 50 companies such as Google and various start up companies such as SoapBox Soaps, Razoo, and From the Farmer. Mr. Young holds a masters degree in Finance from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelors degree in Finance and Accounting from Florida State 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.

| Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

Andrew Zimmitti

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.

| Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

Maj. Nathan Green
(USAF Ret.)

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.

| Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

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 protected]
| Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

Alex Harris

VIDEOGRAPHY, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND POST-PRODUCTION

Alex Harris is an accomplished videographer, editor, photographer, and commercial drone pilot. In addition to filming for networks such as HGTV, ESPN, and Discovery Health, Alex also has experience in filming live performances of artists like Pitbull and Benny Bennasi.

As a former Hollywood editor for network TV and film, Alex has edited everything from animated features to broadcast television to commercials. His work has carried him all over the world, working on projects from LA to Europe.

Alex is excited to partner with Drone Launch Academy in order to make professional aerial cinematography, video editing, and photography skills accessible to everyone, even those who don’t have any experience working with drones or professional editing software.

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Josh Howard

PART 107 CURRICULUM

Josh Howard is an active, full-time commercial pilot who flies several passenger routes per week. In his spare time, he is the Part 107 Curriculum Instructor here at Drone Launch Academy. He comes to DLA with a wide range of aviation knowledge and experience. 

Josh holds his Remote Pilot Certificate (“Part 107” license), Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, Commercial Pilot Certificate for single and multi-engine aircraft, Certified Flight Instructor Certificate and Instrument Instructor Certificate.

Before Josh’s current job as an airline pilot, he worked as a Certified Flight Instructor logging over 3,500 hours of student instruction. 

We are excited to have Josh on the DLA team and be able to make his vast knowledge and experience available to our students.

Sinuhe Montoya

AERIAL ROOF INSPECTION

Sinuhe is Co-Founder & CEO of DroneQuote, a company that uses drones to inspect and survey roofs for the purpose of installing solar or new roofing.  Sinuhe was indirectly introduced to drones while on deployment to Iraq when his unit used drone imagery to assess road conditions looking for improvised explosive devices. As a result, Sinuhe has an appreciation of having  benefitted greatly from drone technology.

In the civilian sector, while working for a solar and roofing installer — Sinuhe found himself constantly climbing up and down ladders to measure and inspect roofs. In 2014, Sinuhe purchased a multi-copter and immediately saw how using drone technology could make his life easier and help develop the solar and roofing business. 

Since then, Sinuhe has created new methods and protocols to perfect the process of using drones for roof inspections. He is dedicated to further developing best practices to help train drone pilots by adding another valuable skill to their toolbelts. 

Riley Wiggins (1)

Riley Wiggins

AERIAL ROOF INSPECTION

Riley is the Co-Founder & COO of DroneQuote, a company that uses drones when helping homeowners invest in solar roofing for their homes. Riley was originally introduced to drones in the recreational and hobby scene as a younger man. This led him to find a passion for all flying machines and he obtained a general aviation license. 

Before co-founding DroneQuote, Riley worked for a large-scale installer helping homeowners buy solar and other roofing. He rose through the ranks of the sales department and later found himself working–and excelling–in the engineering department designing solar systems. During this time, Riley created methods and protocols for efficiency and higher-level customer service.

Riley is dedicated to further developing new and innovative methods in using drones for solar and roofing to benefit both the installer and customer. He enjoys creating new tools for pilots to improve the overall industry and generate new business. 

Steve Russell | Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

Steve Russell

Director of Finance and Analytics

Steve is the Director of Finance and Analytics at Drone Launch Academy. He is here to make the backend of the company run like a well-oiled machine. Whether that’s overseeing projects, taking care of internal business issues, or making sure our affiliate partners get paid out on time, Steve is here to make sure things are working as efficiently as possible.

Steve comes from the finance world where he previously worked as an analyst for Prudential Global Investment Management, and later as an analyst at the Department of Justice. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.

Jorge Casamiquela | Drone Launch Academy | Lakeland, FL | Get Licensed To Fly Drones Commercially | Launch Your Drone Business!

Jorge Casamiquela

Student Support Manager

Jorge is the Student Support Manager at Drone Launch Academy. His primary role is to make sure that each and every DLA student gets the support and help they need as they work through their course, whether that’s studying to pass the Part 107 exam or learning new skills with their drone.

Jorge holds his Remote Pilot Certificate (scored a 95% on the Part 107 exam!) and loves to fly his Mavic Pro.

Jordan

Jordan Honc

Accounting

Jordan joins Drone Launch Academy on the Finance and Analytics team. With a Masters of Accountancy from Florida Southern College, she dually works as a Financial Analyst in government consulting and a Drone Launch Academy Accountant. 

Jordan values data integrity, process improvement and maintaining a high standard of ethics. She is dedicated to working with both internal and external partners to ensure financial competency for the DLA brand. 

Nicole Headshot 2

Nicole Devlin

Operations

Nicole’s role at Drone Launch Academy is to help the drone industry grow–starting with getting licensed to fly. Believing she is making it easier for those interested in flying drones to be profitable, and helping people achieve this goal, is what makes her daily work purposeful.

Nicole has over twenty years of experience in business — administration, operations, coaching, sales, public relations, marketing and communications. More specifically, she has provided personal training, professional life coaching, sports coaching (crew) and small business training all across the U.S. In all things, Nicole brings her desire to work with integrity–in a way that businesses and individuals equally thrive.

Nicole lives in Brooklyn (as a New Yorker, she had the wonderful opportunity to take her photo from One World Observatory atop Freedom Tower). She has an MBA from City University of NY/Baruch College and a BA from Mills College. 

Audrey

Audrey Snow-Brine

Marketing Communications

Audrey’s main responsibility here at Drone Launch Academy is to provide our drone community with content and updates about DLA and the latest industry trends and news. From writing blog posts, monthly newsletters and other customer communications, she enjoys using her writing skills and creativity to inform and educate drone lovers.

Audrey has a Bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from Southeastern University. 

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