AUVSI Top Level 3 Instructor

Drone Diva Desiree Ekstein Has Achieved AUVSI TOP Level 3 and Instructor Status

Desi Ekstein is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s first female who accomplished AUVSI TOP Level 3 Remote Pilot and Remote Pilot Instructor.

San Diego, California

September 9, 2020

Desiree Ekstein, also known better as Drone Diva Desi, has achieved the AUVSI TOP Level 3 Remote Pilot Instructor status. AUVSI TOP (Trusted Operator Program) is a certification program ensuring that remote pilot training conforms to industry standards and supports safety, trust and acceptance of the use of small unmanned aircraft systems.  She will also continue to reach out to others to provide drone safety and training for the sUAS (drone) community. With the achievement of drone instructor certification, Ms. Ekstein is recognized as able to provide drone education and training for a TOP Certificated training provider. 

Desi has a vast experience as an instructor and commercial drone pilot. She has over six years in the industry. She is an adjunct instructor of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at TCI MiraCosta College, in Carlsbad, California. Besides holding AUVSI TOP Level 3 Remote Pilot Instructor and pilot, she is also an FAA Certified 107 Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC). Moreover, she is a UAS safety advisor for Women and Drones, also a lead representative FAA UAS/Drone Safety in San Diego, CA.

As a Drone instructor, Desi provides educational instruction for the remote pilot Part 107 exam and teaches UAS operations at TCI MiraCosta College and Elementary Science Institute (EIS) for the “Girls Take Flight,” as part of a young female STEM program.  In addition to being a Drone instructor, Desi is an experienced commercial drone pilot. She has been trusted by many industries to perform aerial inspections and land surveying, including performing aerial inspections of power lines, bridge infrastructure, wind turbines, and mapping for construction.

About Desi Ekstein

Desi Ekstein is one of the few AUVSI TOP certified female sUAS/drone pilots in the USA and a renowned speaker at UAS STEM/STEAM events (Commercial UAV Expo, Kids Zone, and Women in Technology). She holds FAA Certified 107 Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) and an AUVSI TOP Level 3 instructor. She has experience with several UAS platforms and software solutions such as DroneDeploy, Pix4D, and MicaSense. Desi’s aerial work has been published in three archaeological books by Kenneth L. Feder. Her goal is to continue her expertise as a commercial drone pilot and instructor as well as promoting UAS safe operations. Desi Ekstein can be reached on her website or follow her contact below.


Desi Ekstein

Drone Diva

951.523.7UAV (7828)


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