Tag Archives: uav training

Remember to register your drone by 19th February or else!

Register your drone now!


The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) have issued a statement reminding Americans to register their drones by 19th February or else they could face the following penalties:

Civil penalty up to $27,500 (£19,225)
Criminal fine up to $250,000 (174,776)
Imprisonment for up to 3 years

Don’t forget to register because you don’t want to face that penalty. For drones 0.55lbs (~250grams) to 55lbs (~24.95kg)in weight. It is simple and easy, unlike the UK where we have confusion and talk.

FAA article is here:


#flysafe #dji #faa #guildford

Serious about flying a UAV?

Want to fly a drone a little more seriously?

So you just buy a UAV off the shelf right? Pop it up and off you go?

Okay, so you can do that. Lay out loads of bucks on a nice looking drone in a shiny box.


Better idea? Look for a second hand model, such as an old Phantom FC40. It still has the same basic controls, it has GPS and can fly in ATTI mode. It is well worth taking out your initial failings on something of less value than your newly prized purchase.

With this you can throw it around and see what flying is about without breaking the bank. Logging precious flying hours as you go. Learn about basic flight manoeuvres, maintenance and battery maintenance before leaping in.

Then, when you are more comfortable with flying, order your new machine and you will be ready for the next step.

Going for your PFAW? Read my other posts about UAV training. Look around, there are some good courses out there. Check the CAA website for up to date information.

However, even with practice we do make the occasional mistake! Always know what is around you! Or this will happen:

Of course, when setting my way points I forgot about the tree in the middle!

Safe flying everyone!


A lesson to all UAV operators, always prepare.

Always check your airspace before you fly


So before you decide to pop up you fantastic quad, check your airspace limitations. It isn’t difficult and worth the effort. You should always be checking.

You can obtain information from several sources, including:

For airspace:

For weather:


Safe flying to all.

simonshoes #FlySafe #DJI #RUSTA #Drone

Cops charge man after drone incident at Calgary airport



City police say they’ve brought to earth their first drone offender.

Police say last Sunday evening one of their officers spotted a man in a park near 2616 16 St. N.E. operating a UAV, or unmanned aerial vehicle.

After the suspect realized he was being watched, he attempted to leave the park, but was intercepted by police in a vehicle containing the quad-copter UAV, said Sgt. Colin Foster.

“It’s illegal to fly five nautical miles from the airport — he was within the airspace of the Calgary International Airport,” said Foster.

“I believe this is the first charge of its kind in Calgary.”

While it’s not known for sure if any aircraft were descending while the man operated the drone, it’s possible at least one of them did during the 15 or 20 minutes he was flying the craft, he said.

“The aircraft there come down to 200 feet and the UAV can fly at 500 feet so the potential for catastrophe was there,” said Foster.

“The officer who spotted this did an awesome job and potentially stopped a collision.”

The UAVs could be sucked into an airplane’

Read more from Bill Kaufmann at the Calgary Sun:

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.