David King

Founder/CEO of  Steel City Drones 


  • Over 5000 Incident-Free flights of Aerial Client Content
  • Building and Flying Drones Since 2009
  • FAA Part 107 Certified and Licensed
  • FAA 333 Exemption Commercial Licensed
  • FAA Sports Pilots License for flying a Cessna 162 Sky Catcher
  • Board of Director for Certified Remote Pilots Association of America
  • 25 years Experience in the AV-Electronics-Engineering
  • Bachelor Degree in Information Technology and Electronics

David King is a pioneer in the drone industry. He began his career in 2009 by engineering his own custom heavy lifter drone systems, long before there were ready-to-fly drones in the market.

Having the foresight to see the advantages of using drone technology in many business and service applications, David developed leading services and integration technology specified to each of those areas. Such services include: film-making/cinema, real-estate, commercial use, inspections, public safety (law enforcement & fire) and construction. Before long, he started to be called-on for his specialized services across the country.

Since his beginnings, David has worked all over the country performing drone operations for hundreds of clients, individuals, public service industries and corporations alike.

David flys more than just flying drones, he also enjoys flying the Cessna 1620 Skycatcher when he has time.

Training: David King has trained a wide variety of customers ranging from, recreational flyers, corporations, police departments, fire departments and even news channels. To name a few: Pittsburgh KDKA 2, Charleroi Police Department, Allegheny County Police, Fire Marshall Department and many other companies and individuals seeking expert hands-on training from David.

Teaching: In addition, David teaches drone classes and workshops at dozens of universities and colleges such as, IUP University, Carnegie Mellon University, Community College of Allegheny County and dozens of other Colleges and Universities within the Pittsburgh and Tri-State area. This, of course, does not count the many individual drone-operators that have received one-on-one course teaching.

Speaking Engagements: David has been asked to speak for many special events and media outlets about drone operation. Such speaking engagements include t.v. news and media outlets, special events such as, Howard Hanna National convention in Ohio, the Western PA Chief’s of Police at Shannopin Country Club,  Drone workshop for the AOPA at Butler County Airport and many more.

chris adkins - instructor - steel city drones flight academy

Chris Adkins

Chris Adkins has been a police officer since 2000 and currently holds the rank of Captain.  He has hundreds of hours of experience in teaching as a law enforcement instructor and as an adjunct professor at the collegiate level.  He has been flying drones for ten years in law enforcement, commercial applications, and for recreation.

Chris is a FAA Part 107 licensed remote pilot with numerous uses of the FAA waiver process. Additionally, he is the lead for his department’s drone unit and a member of their regional SWAT team where his current role is mostly serving as a drone pilot.

Chris has experience with multiple manufacturers and models of drones and enjoys using his drones for photography in his free time. 

jason costanzo - instructor - steel city drones flight academy

Jason Costanzo

Jason Costanzo joined Steel City Drones in 2019 and has been an important part of Steel City’s UAV Training.  He has brought a tremendous amount of experience to our clients to give great insight into real-world applications.

Jason has also been instrumental in the development and progress of the department’s drone program as he developed the Department’s Policies, Procedures, SOP, and applied for the agency’s FAA Certificate of Authorization.

Overall Jason has more than 500 hours of flight time and has trained multiple clients since joining Steel City Drones. Jason has experience on DJI Phantom 4, Inspire 1, Mavic 2, DJI Matrice 600, Matrice 200, and Matrice 300 aircraft.

brent hannig - instructor - steel city drones flight academy

Brent Hannig

Steel City Drone’s Flight Instructor Brent Hannig recently retired as a Captain from Henderson Fire Department, Nevada. He served a total of 29 1/2 years with the department. He was on the Technical Rescue Team, Fire Training Officer, and was heavily involved in the department’s drone program.

Brent joined Steel City Drones in 2020 for Public Safety Onsite Training projects and has been great access to Steel City Drones with his extensive Public Safety background. Brent has over 600 logged hours of drone flights, specializing in Fire Operations and video. He is a published author for Brady Fire books, Fire Department Hydraulics, 2nd, and 3rd Edition.

Brent also has his own UAV company, SkyEye Imagery LLC. which operates in the Las Vegas Valley. Many of Brent’s flights have been on the Las Vegas Strip creating reels for marketing to major sporting events of the strip and casinos.

Brent has been a 107 pilot for 4 years and holds a 107.29 night time waiver and 107.41 airspace authorization for Class B McCarran International Airport airspace. His hobbies include Kitesurfing, Golfing, Racquetball, and Traveling.

rj mcallister - instructor - steel city drones flight academy

R.J. McAllister

R.J. has closely worked with Steel City Drones since 2017 and completed Steel City Drone’s ‘train the trainer’ program in 2020.

He has been in law enforcement for 27 years. Currently, R.J. serves as the Operations Commander with his Police Department in Pittsburgh.

R.J. started a UAS program at his agency in 2016 by developing Policy, SOP Development, Aircraft Acquisition, and Operational Planning. 

R.J. has Coordinated and flown multiple type operations – interior/exterior for SWAT, SAR, Situational Awareness, Crash and Crime Scene Documentation applications.

Currently, R.J. is actively involved in testing equipment related to UAS operations and assists numerous LE Agencies in starting a UAS program.

gregory pratt - instructor - steel city drones flight academy

Gregory Pratt

Gregory Pratt joined Steel City Drones in 2022 and has a wide variety of experience with Drones. Gregory was an officer in the Navy and spent six years as a Naval Flight Officer, flying in the S3-B aircraft off of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS George Washington aircraft carriers.

After his time in the Navy, he applied, and was appointed to be, an FBI Special Agent. He attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and was then assigned to the San Antonio office, where he spent his entire career (22 years from 1998-2019).

While in the FBI, he worked Counter-Terrorism cases. His collateral (part-time) duties included surveillance pilot, Evidence Response Team (CSI) member and Team Leader, Hostage/Crisis Negotiator, Airport Liaison Agent, and Campus Liaison Agent.

Gregory retired in December of 2019 and started a drone service provider business. He has vast experience teaching UAS/Drone classes to First Responders, and TxDOT employees.

dana rukse - instructor - steel city drones flight academy

Dana Rukse

Dana has been a full time Professional Photographer for more than 35 years as well as a corporate photographer for over 21 years.

He began building and flying drones in 2013 to enhance his photography business as he received his Part 107 certificate in 2017.

Dana has experience with most DJI aircraft platforms including the Matrice line of drones.

Jacob Simkovitz - Steel City Drones Flight Academy Team

Jacob Simkovitz

Jacob Simkovitz joined the Steel City Drones team of Instructors in 2021 to provide his knowledge and experience for Public Safety Training Projects.  Jacob has experience with a wide variety of drones and will be also assisting Steel City Drones for mapping training.

Jacob is a Corporal with the George Mason Police Department in Northern Virginia. He helped found his department’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program in 2017 in response to the events in Charlottesville in August of 2017. Jacob guided the acquisition of equipment and set up training for Officers to obtain their part 107 licenses.

Jacob led the unit’s first operational deployment to assist the University of Virginia, the City of Charlottesville, and all their mutual aid partners during the subsequent operation in Charlottesville in August 2018. Since then, Jacob has continued to serve as the Assistant Tram Leader for the UAS Unit, leading training, testing, and evaluating equipment, and of course, flying as much as possible.

Jacob has flown and provided UAS support in an ever-expanding range of operations such as civil unrest, barricaded subjects, tactical call-outs, and forensic mapping missions.

Jacob has experience navigating airspace waivers and operating in the Washington DC Flight Restricted Zone. Jacob is also a member of the Special Response Team, General Instructor, and Firearms Instructor.

Why Choose Us?

Your complete drone service provider for all-things-drones. We deliver expert drone training, consultation, equipment, online courses, and support for new and advanced drone operators. Our Guarantee is to provide you the highest quality drone services.

We were developing custom drones long before drones became available in the mainstream market. Our pioneer experts understand all-things-drones in all its service applications. Whatever your level of experience, as an individual or company, we can get you where you want to be in the least amount of time.

The Good Stuff. Watch Highlighted Videos Of Our Work.

Steel City Drones can have you producing quality photos and drone footage for your business and/or service in the least amount of time!

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We’ll be happy to discuss your training and consultation needs and how our services may help you accomplish your goals.