Edit ModuleShow Tags

Flying High

Working with recent FAA regulations, Joel Roggenkamp helps to keep the skies open to commercial drone pilots.


Roggenkamp poses with one of his drone planes. Courtesy of Joel Roggenkamp. 

Until June, it was illegal to use drones commercially without an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration. With a lengthy application, a case review waitlist, and exemptions decided on a case-by-case basis, the whole process took months. Many professionals–especially photographers and videographers–hoping to use drones’ capabilities as a revenue stream ended up with expensive equipment and an interminable wait.

Drone sales that have more than tripled in the past year, testing the abilities of an already inefficient licensing program. Recognizing this, the FAA instituted a new program, one that requires a TSA security check and a written knowledge test.

While the first prerequisite isn’t a huge hassle, drone enthusiast Joel Roggenkamp has made the second one a breeze at the Twin Cities Drone School.

“A lot of people couldn’t operate who wanted to,” says Roggenkamp. Now, with his one-day preparatory seminars for the knowledge test, beginners and experienced pilots alike can learn the most vital information.

A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Roggenkamp wanted to be an airplane pilot when he was young. In high school, he received his pilot’s license and continued to pursue flying as a hobby. Due to its cost, he soon turned to model airplane flying. Still, he relies on much of what he learned to get his pilot's license, noting, “remote pilots are required to have much of the same air traffic control, meteorology, and operational knowledge as airplane pilots.”

The first seminar is set to run on September 24 in Lakeville. Subsequent workshops are planned in Minneapolis.

Read more and register online at twincitiesdroneschool.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest

Taste Minnesota wines and ciders, browse through local art vendors, and eat delicious food at Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest, July 21-22

Day Trip to Taylors Falls

A Taylors Falls day trip made up of beautiful river views and a classic malt shop.

Record Store on Wheels

Like a food truck, but for music—and debuting this Sunday at Open Streets Minneapolis

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too

A Day Trip to Hudson

St. Croix River views, hiking trails at Willow River State Park, and quaint downtown eats await in Hudson

Stone Arch Bridge, Saved for the Summer

We don't have to worry about our favorite bridge anymore—at least for the summer
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags