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In this video I describe the essential things you need to know about drone training in the UK. If you want to become a drone pilot who operates UAV for hire or reward in the UK’s airspace then stay tuned. I’m going to explain the basics in plain English and mention some websites that may be of use to you in your training and career.
This video is specific to drone training in the UK. In another video I’ll concentrate on the processes for training in the USA. Check my channel and playlist for details and perhaps you’d like to subscribe so that you’ll be the first to hear about new videos on this subject.
In previous videos I have described the many ways in which drones are becoming increasingly numerous in various aspects of daily life. Recent drone market data has confirmed that UAS technology has progressed from the exploratory experimental phase and has now reached the solid implementation phase.
As a result of the burgeoning drone industry there is a growing demand for drone pilots. There has never been a better time to get involved in flying drones. Perhaps you plan to incorporate drone technology into your current business, or you intend to become a freelance drone pilot, or perhaps your goal is to start a drone business.
Whatever your ambitions you will need good quality training provided by companies authorised to provide it by the aviation authority.
Becoming the Pilot In Command
Flying any aircraft requires that the pilot in command obeys certain rules and regulations pertaining to the air law in the country of operation. The same principles apply to pilots in command of unmanned aircraft. The fact that you’re on the ground and not in a cockpit doesn’t alter the fact that you have a responsibility for the aircraft.
There’s an old saying in aviation: Never let an airplane take you somewhere you brain didn’t get to five minutes earlier.
Tip: While on the subject of nuggets of aviation wisdom take a look at the site SkyGod.com. It’s packed with quotations and short stories about manned aviation and by reading these you will develop a sense of what good airmanship is and how you cultivate it within yourself.
Your UAV may be small and light but it’s an aircraft nonetheless. This means that you have to adhere to specific restrictions relating to RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems) operating at low level and often in areas of intense human activity e.g. urban and industrial areas.
To fly a drone safely and legally you need to cultivate situational awareness so that you can anticipate risks and problems before they occur. This will give you the ability to maintain control and bring the flight to a safe conclusion if necessary.
The CAA is Your Friend
One of the responsibilities of UK’s CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) is formulating and administering the rules and regulations relating to unmanned aircraft, whether they are being flown for fun or for commercial reasons.
Becoming a Commercial Drone Pilot
If you want to fly a drone for any kind of commercial work in the UK you need to be over 18 years old and you will need to pass a written exam that tests your knowledge of best flying practices, airmanship, air law, and airspace restrictions.
You will also need to pass a flight assessment in which your flying skills will be tested to see if they meet minimum standards.
Thirdly, you will need to compile an Operations Manual which outlines the basic flying procedures for the types of flights you intend to undertake with your drone of choice.
Once you’ve passed the exam and the flight assessment and completed your Operations Manual you can apply to the CAA for a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation). Formerly called PfAW – (Permission for Aerial Work) from the CAA. PfCO’s are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Applications for renewal are best sent at least 30 days before the expiry date to ensure continuity.
Continued in the video…
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