Rob’s Story: Flight Takes Many Forms

As a part of NCAT’s “What’s Your Story” initiative, we would like to introduce Rob Corbett, Career Programs and Business Development Director for Drone Forward Inc and Adaptive sUAS Advisor for Wounded Eagle UAS, Flight Crowd.

Rob is an Inclusive Flight Advocate and USAF Veteran from Waynesboro, Virginia. After suffering a catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2016, he has devoted his time to educating and training individuals of all abilities in assistive technology, vocational skills, and adapted sUAS operations. Rob is paralyzed from the chest down and has no finger function in his hands.

Through many hours of research and development he has found many solutions in adapting sUAS controllers and systems. He developed a fully inclusive drone training program around the Skydio 2 platform and has conducted training with people from various backgrounds and walks of life. Rob is currently working on ways to expand this inclusive sUAS training and hopes to provide a means of flight for people who otherwise would be grounded.

In effort to advocate for inclusive sUAS operations, Rob has joined forces with two non-profit organizations. He is the active Career Programs and Business Development Director of Drone Forward Inc (DFI). DFI is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing STEAM based education that will engage and empower youth to pursue fulfilling career paths in technology, robotics, and UAV industries. In a very short time, DFI has lobbied and successfully developed plans with the FAA to ensure that test materials and facilities offer reasonable testing accommodations to people with disabilities taking that Part 107 exam. In addition, Rob serves as the Adaptive sUAS Advisor for Wounded Eagle UAS, a non-profit that assists in training veterans in sUAS operations for vocational purposes. Rob is also a Member and Advocate for the United Spinal Association and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

In June 2021, Rob participated in the FAA UAS Symposium panel “Anyone From Anywhere”, where he lobbied for inclusive drone operations and training for individuals with disabilities. His relationship with the FAA has made him the voice for adaptive training and inclusive sUAS operations, consulting with education leaders around the globe. Rob is currently working on an inclusive flight video project with DFI, capturing the various forms of sUAS operations and the people behind the controls. “Flight Takes Many Forms” is Rob’s vision for making aviation more inclusive, diverse, all while creating awareness for the industries sharing the airspace.

NCAT is currently working with Rob on making his content, including the fully inclusive drone training program available as a resource on our website. We believe this is just the beginning for Rob and can’t wait to see how Rob continues his advocacy for making sUAS operations more inclusive, ensuring a diverse, talented workforce.

September 23, 2021 2:42 pm

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