Jason Otrin

by Jason Otrin on May 1, 2020

SAFE #: S0005262

Website: https://oncoursedrones.com

Hometown: Westbrook CT, United States

Home Airport: KGON, KIJD

Occupation: Drone Instructor

Education: UConn, US Army

Pilot Certificates: Private Pilot ASEL

Airplanes Flying/Flown: The usual suspects! Plus a Citabria – what a blast!

Educational Specialty: UAS/Drone Part 107 and Operations Training, Drone and Aviation Presentations

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: This is Dad's fault! He was a Marine Corps NCO in 1st Marine Air Wing in Vietnam, then a maintenance crew chief in the National Guard. I loved visits to the hangar and could identify a helicopter by its rotor clap and knew what zinc chromate primer was for by age 10.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: Since I left my corporate job a few years ago. I had more time to share my interest in aviation and drones.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Showing kids all the cool things they can do in aviation. Also, helping people interested in aviation careers make connections so we all can grow and learn from each other.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Watch people give up their dreams.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Bringing my son to his first airshow and seeing his face when the Air Force Thunderbirds flew the "surprise pass"!

Why did you join SAFE?: To connect with other educators so I can be a better instructor and to get to know and be a part of the aviation community. I want to earn my CFI and can't think of a better way to learn from the best.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: Make training affordable. Reduce the high student dropout rate.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: I've been trying to figure the affordability one out for a long time. Using technology like simulators helps in a small way but the problems go much deeper, like liability and access to training funds. I can't stand seeing people who would make great pilots quit because of the debt load.

To help students to continue training, connect them with mentors who can guide and encourage them. Connect students with other students who can study together and support each other. This is common in the military and works great!

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: Proud to have helped several police departments earn their FAA Remote Pilot Certificates and see them using their drones to catch suspects, find missing children and protect their officers.

Who are your role models in aviation?: CFI's like Rod Machado and Jason Miller who are brilliant at making tough concepts understandable while being humble, patient and respectful. Robert Buck for sharing his incredible skills and experience to keep us safer when flying in weather. Most of all, military aviators, too many to list, who gave all while serving our country and saving their comrades.

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