Tag Archives: uastraining

UAV UK training?

Want to learn to fly your drone in the UK for business?


So you want to go into business flying UAVs? Or just want to be qualified with an RPCS certificate (Remote Pilot Certificate SUAS)?

What do you need to know?

First things first, do you need to actually need to know how to fly? No, you do not need experience. It helps, of course, but you do not need to have completed any hours in order to take the courses. I had 3 hours experience when I applied.

Do you need a drone to take the course? Before taking the course it is worth investigating what UAV will suit your purposes best. Whether that be a 4 rotor, single battery, 4k camera equipped smaller UAV such as the DJI Phantom or Yuneec Q500, or something more advanced. In order to complete certification with the CAA you will need the full technical specification of the UAV to be used.

The UAV really needs to be under 7 kg in weight fully laded with payload. There is a grey area between 7 kg and 20 kg, but most people will be flying UAVs under 7 kg. For instance, my DJI Phantom 3 is around 1300 grams.

The courses available differ in various ways, but the basic ingredients are the same. You will be taught CAA law as it applies to remote controlled aerial vehicles (this includes fixed wing, helicopters and quadcopters), basic knowledge of weather and it’s effects. You will also be taught principles of flight, basic knowledge of LiPo batteries, risk assessment, site surveying and mission planning.

Typically these causes are 3 day intensive courses with a multiple choice exam on the final afternoon. In order to progress you will need to pass the exam by at least 51%. As long as you pass you can progress, you don’t get extra for achieving 100%.

It is worth noting that you do not need to sit the exam every time you buy another drone. You will be the qualified person, not the drone. You can have two drones, you only need to qualify once.

The next stage is compiling your Operations Manual. Although you normally receive a template guise to the OM, you really need to write one yourself, from scratch, using the template as a guide. As this will need to be submitted to the CAA for final approval, it is quite a technical document and you should allow 2 weeks to complete the task. You will need your UAVs technical specifications to complete this. You can incorporate one UAV, or multiple UAVs in the document, but you must provide the technical specification of each UAV in the document.

There is no extra charge for incorporating additional UAVs in the OM, it just makes the manual a bit longer to write. I started with one UAV in mine, and if I wish to add another I will need to update my manual and re-submit it to the CAA for approval.

Any major amendments made to the OM will need to be submitted to the CAA for further approval.

UAV roof inspection

So, now you are nearly there. You have your manual, you have taken the exam, what is next? Next is usually the flying test. So here is where you really need to start practicing and getting some hours clocked up. In order to take the test you must be fully insured. It is worth contacting an insurance company a month before you need to set up your insurance to start the ball rolling.

The test is a series of missions given by the instructor on the day. You will be expected to have completed a site survey of the area, a risk assessment, weather forecast and a mission briefing prior to arrival at the site of the test. On arrival you will need to complete a site check, looking for anything which was missed in the planning stage, such as pylons, trees, weather etc which may affect flying.

The test itself is relatively straight forward with various exercises, tricky maneuvers and landing.

Passed the test? Now, armed with your RPCS certificate and rating from the training company, you will apply to the CAA through their online application service. Once the application, manual and fees are submitted and acknowledged, you will have to wait for the CAA to confirm your Permission to Fly for Aerial Work, or PFAW for short.

It does currently take the full 28 working days for your PFAW to come through. But once you have it, you are an aviator. A commercial operator. You can turn your hobby into a job.

Good luck with your mission.


Can’t fly your UAV because of Bad weather? Grounded?

Bad weather? Rain? Wind? Can’t fly?

Okay, so you have your fabulous new toy. It’s a fairly expensive little UAV with all the tech, but, it’s raining, it’s foggy, it’s snowing, it’s windy. Yes, it’s not good flying weather!

So now it’s the ‘flying inside’ time. Want to practice? Want some idea of what you are letting yourself in for in the big, bad world out there?

Bring on the Hubsan X4 H107C. Yes, it’s small (no payload at all!), it’s dinky, it’s a toy. Right?

No. If my trainer taught me anything, he taught me that practice is everything, and it doesn’t matter about size, it’s all about control. And if you can master this little beast, you stand a great chance of handling bigger, and badder UAVs. With finesse!

So, what do we have? It’s a mini UAV. It has LiPo batteries. It has a camera. It flies! Yes, with included remote control and a few spares, at under £60.00 it’s a great way to practice flying, especially when weather does not permit outdoors aviation.


Complete with remote control, which provides control over acceleration, pitch, yaw and ascent, it really is great fun way to practice. Control is a bit ‘sharp’, and I do advise purchasing the ‘protection ring’ and the ‘crash pack’ as this will prolong the life of your propellers and your walls, or pets for that matter, from aerial attack.

Hubsancrashpack hubsanring

To put it in context, my 12 year old daughter took control of the Hubsan X4 and she was not only able to gain control inside, but also, on a still, dry, summers day, surprised me while I was flying my Phantom in the garden, by flying the Hubsan at great speed and agility around trees and bushes without crashing.

For such a small UAV, it packs a punch. And it’s great fun, and you can record your experiences. The camera is not great, but then it’s about as good as an old phone, so don’t worry too much.

Happy winter. We love it.


Look for

Hubsan X4 H107C

on the internet for purchase options.

Can EU act on UAV regulation?

Can we act in unison?

Can EASA work with each country to come up with legislation acceptable to all EU member states? If our own individual countries are unable to advance regulation to keep up with US legislation it seems unlikely that we are going to see a united set of regulations in the near future.

After all, although commercial operators in the UK must be certified and have Operation Manuals commensurate with CAA legislation, hobbyists are still largely unfettered by rules and regulations.

With the technology for UAVs advancing at a helter skelter pace, it seems more likely that a drone will land on the moon than regulations be introduced which can accommodate all our needs.


Regulations on drone use failing to take flight almost one year later

Drones flying over Malta have become a common sight. But it’s still a free-for-all, with draft legislation yet to be finalised. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Drones flying over Malta have become a common sight. But it’s still a free-for-all, with draft legislation yet to be finalised. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Almost a year has passed since the authorities published a draft notice on the use of drones but, in spite of public consultation, the regulations have not been finalised yet.

Originally, the proposed legal notice was open for public consultation until March 31, 2015. Under this proposed notice, drone use would be limited to designated areas and specific flight levels, considering the proximity of any aerodrome, aircraft flight paths and other dangers to aviation, persons or property.

The reaction of drone operators and hobbyists to the proposed legal notice was not favourable. During a public consultation meeting held on February 28, 2015, operators and hobbyists expressed their concern over the proposed system of designated areas, weight classification, and the burden of obtaining insurance coverage.

On July 6, 2015, Captain Charles Pace, a member of the Transport Malta board, told the Times of Malta that following the public consultation on the proposed legal notice, changes were being considered, including amending a blanket ban on flights within 7.5 kilometres of the airport. Captain Pace had also said that changes would be made to clearly distinguish between hobbyists and commercial operators.

On October 5, 2015, in reply to a parliamentary question, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said that another public consultation would be held. However, in comments given to the Times of Malta, a Transport Malta spokesperson said that no second public consultation was held or was planned to be held.

Read more from The Times of Malta:

Fantastic new DJI HQ – Shenzhen

DJI Opens Flagship Retail Store in Shenzhen


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Shenzhen, China, Dec. 20, 2015 – DJI, the world leader in unmanned aerial vehicle technology opened its first flagship store today at OCT Harbour in Shenzhen. The 800-square-meter store will feature a full range of DJI’s consumer products and aims to let consumers see, touch and learn firsthand about the company’s innovative and creative platforms.

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“The DJI flagship experience is an important touchpoint to connect people with our cutting-edge technology and get a sneak peek into the future,” said Frank Wang, DJI Founder and CEO. “Whether you are curious to learn how to fly or a professional looking for the latest aerial imaging technology to create your next big idea, the flagship store will provide you with the opportunity to really experience the DJI brand up close and in person. More importantly, it will allow us to engage our customers in a deeper and more meaningful way.”

Read more:

DJI to train pilots – JPN

DJI Japan to train 10,000 pilots in next 3 years

MARIKO TAI, Nikkei staff writer

DJI’s Phantom drone

TOKYO — DJI Japan, a unit of the world’s largest drone maker, on Wednesday announced that it will begin offering corporate training programs next month.

“We decided to offer [certification programs] in Japan because there were many requests from our customers,” said Tomoko Kakino, an event manager at the company. It will be China-based DJI’s first training program anywhere in the world.

Three certificates will be offered — DJI specialist, DJI instructor and DJI master. The company is planning on training 10,000 drone pilots during the next three years.

Read more:
DJI to train 10,000 pilots – Japan