READY FOR FLIGHT — Vernon-Verona-Sherrill teacher Tim McKenna, right, works with CNY Drone team members, Nate Angell and Eric Suprenant at the 2018 Team Drone Challenge, Rig Rescue at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in this file photo. The team will travel to New York City to help the New York Police Department with its drone program. (Photo submitted)

CNY Drones to help Big Apple police with outreach

Published Jul 8, 2018 at 9:00am

Twelve CNY Drones mentors and members of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) will travel to Queens, New York on July 14 to work with inner-city teens and officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD). 

NYPD Community Affairs Officer, Sergeant Johnny Hines, requested assistance from CNY Drones after attending the 2018 Rig Rescue Team Drone Challenge at SUNY Polytechnic Institute on April 15. In May, development began on a 4-hour competitive interactive program to introduce drones to teams of students and officer mentors. Teams from all five New York boroughs will compete in a Flight Simulator Zone, Safety Discussion Zone, Obstacle Course and Race Zone.  Mentors include students from SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s AMA Club, students from Vernon Verona Sherrill Senior High School, educators, engineers and experienced drone enthusiasts. Funds received from the presentation will go towards the purchase of field elements and sensors for the Forest Fury Indoor Team Drone Challenge on April 7, 2019.

“We’re honored to be tapped by our friends in law enforcement to kick-start their drone program. We’ll focus on giving the them a fun introduction to drones and safety,” according to Bob Payne, CNY Drones Volunteer Coordinator and AMA Club Advisor.  “Once they are off and running, we’ll keep in touch through virtual meetings and connect them to other teams preparing for next April’s competition at SUNY Poly.  Their goal is to not only grow teams, but to become a competition host site for our annual challenge.”

As New York’s first AMA Model Aviation Student Club and as a regional MultiGP Drone Racing League Chapter, CNY Drones has reached out to thousands of students and adults in Central New York through interactive demonstrations and introductory programs that promote their low-cost, indoor Team Drone Challenge. Program costs are kept low through sponsorships, donations and pooled efforts of volunteers and mentors. 

CNY Drones free summer interactive exhibits include: Saturday, July 7 at the Boilermaker Expo, Thursday, July 19 at the New Hartford Fire Truck Spectacular, Wednesday, August 8 at Drones Over Downtown, Syracuse, Saturday, August 18 at the Masonic Care Community’s Wings & Wheels Cruise-In, Saturday and Sunday, August 25-26 at the New York State Fair STEAM Exhibit and Sunday, Sept. 30 at Drone Info Day on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus.

All events have free admission except for the New York State Fair. Fall and Winter drone programs are currently being planned in cooperation with the SUNY AMA University Model Aviation Student Club.  Student members volunteer alongside CNY Drones mentors and help host programs year-round.  To learn more about local drone events, visit the CNY Drones information hub at: www.CNYDrones.org.