John Buell


John Buell is regarded as an “Expert Operator and Design Specialist of Small Unmanned Air, Ground and Maritime Systems. He has over 26 years of experience as a Peace Officer in Austin Texas working in the Bomb Squad as a Chemical/Biological/Radiological Specialist, Organized Crime Division, Clandestine Lab Response Team, Public Safety Recovery DIVE Team, and Specialized Patrol Division/SAR Team.
John has served 14 years as a member of our Armed Forces serving the last 6 years with the 6th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team Texas Army National Guard Honorably discharged. John has been building and flying radio controlled fixed-wing, multi-rotor, ground and maritime platforms and devotes much of his free time volunteering to promote public safety uses of robotics for life saving.

John honorably retired in Oct 2022 from the Austin Police Department Robotics Unit under the Air Support Special Operations Division as the Robotics Program Administrator. John is a FAA Part 107 certified remote pilot, COA and exception 333 drone operator/instructor since 2014. John holds a masters peace officers license and a certified TCOLE advanced instructor. John has developed a Public Safety Robotics training program currently being deployed by over 57 state, federal and local government agencies across the US which is setting the standard for unmanned aerial operations for first responders.

John founded Drone Pilot Inc, which was registered and established in Texas on April 10, 2014 and located in Austin. Drone Pilot is a Disabled Veteran-owned Small business. Our primary mission is as a professional service provider of unmanned air, ground, and maritime robotics.

Drone Pilot was awarded one of the first FAA 333 exemption for SUAS training. As part of Drone Pilot Inc. completed assignments across the globe for AMD, Malibu Boats, Blue Origin Rockets, Space X Rockets, 3DRobotics, Texas Army National Guard, American Heroes Airshow, NIST, RED BULL, F1/COTA, Natural Resources Testing LLC, Texas State University, US Coast Guard, UCSD, Army CORP Of Engineers, FBI, Texas Rangers, City Of Austin, Austin City Limits and 57+ more. In 2019 I established an agreement with ACC PSTC to team up and offer a comprehensive drone pilot training program.  This 100-hour training is designed to build a professional flight team and train to a high standard of professional UA operation.  This training provides 3 stage flight training customized to meet the needs of the team, general knowledge of drone mechanics and maintenance; FAA required document training, and knowledge required to pass the FAA Part 107 remote pilots test.  Participants of Drone Pilots Inc. training program receive documentation to maintain FAA compliance and continuous support that mitigates the liability risks for the agency.  Drone Pilot Inc. training provides a solid foundation necessary to build a successful drone flight team. In 2020 my drone training program has expanded into an ACC certificate course also being offered to GIS, agriculture, engineering and film-media degree paths. The 100 hour turn key SUAS Flight Team Training Program was developed for professional minded organizations seeking to leverage this technology for in source SUAS operations. The Drone Pilot Flight Team cadre, made up of public safety professionals have completed missions all over the US and overseas for a wide range of clients. DPI has created a copyrighted UA flight team standard operating manual that's currently being deployed by public safety agencies in Texas and across the United States. DPI's program consists of three phases delivered over 3 months in 60 hour lecture/hands on classes and 40 hours self paced logged flight practice totaling 100 hours. The program only moves as fast as the flight teams ability to become proficient. DPI includes training drones for students to complete this program and continue building their remote piloting skills.


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