Drone enthusiasts and interested members of the public are invited to attend the Lion Fly-In event set to kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Missouri Southern State University.

“It’s in the spirit of an aviation fly-in,” drone instructor Brian Jones says of the event, which will take place on the campus’ south athletic fields, adjacent to the tennis courts.

The purpose of the event is to give a hands-on snapshot of MSSU’s proposed curriculum offerings for drones. Beginning in the fall of 2020, Missouri Southern will offer three courses designed to prepare students for certification to fly small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). The courses will range from an introduction to sUAS operations to their design, production and application, and professional piloting practices.

The event will include demonstrations, training and information for both the hobbyist and certified pilot. Representing a few professional and recreational piloting opportunities, the Civil Air Patrol and Sky Kings RC Club will also be on hand, and a netted drone cage will be available for novice/aspiring remote pilots.

“Our last two presidential administrations have called unmanned systems ‘the next generation of aviation,’ and it is becoming that,” says Jones, who has had a lengthy career in the Air Force and as a commercial airline pilot and will develop the program for Missouri Southern. “It’s also a great sports and recreation venue.

“We’re developing the mantra that the ‘sky is no limit’ for our students.”

In the event of inclement weather, activities will take place in the FEMA shelter, located near the residence hall complex.