Do you want to expand your business by flying drones professionally?
We challenged two KOREC ‘first timers’ to undertake the Drone Pilot Academy’s 3day PfCO CAA Drone Training Course and find out exactly what’s involved to become a legally certified, safe and proficient commercial pilot.
Course Duration: 3 Days
Attendees: Amanda Bradshaw (KOREC Marketing Manager) and Helen Gilmartin (KOREC Group Marketing and Operations Director).
Previous drone experience: None.
Aim: Train for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) accreditation. The fundamental aim of the course is to get attendees through the theory subjects but there are also opportunities to go outside and reinforce the lessons with some practical sessions.
About The Drone Pilot Academy: Amanda and Helen undertook training with KOREC’s partner of four years, the Drone Pilot Academy. Established by Jim Ixer, who served for over 17 years with the RAF flying operational tours all over the world including Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Drone Pilot Academy instructors have been hand-picked for their extensive knowledge in training and instruction, especially in those topics the CAA deems essential for safe operations in drone flying. Additionally, they have all operated the Trimble, Parrot and senseFly drones within the KOREC portfolio so have an extensive in-depth working knowledge of the equipment and the industry.
They are KOREC’s recommended partner for anyone who wishes to be a become a qualified drone pilot for amateur or professional purposes.
What can you do with a CAA PfCO: KOREC has been a long established holder of a CAA PfCO and was one of the forerunners in the industry gaining their CAA permission way back in 2014. Anyone who holds this permission is legally entitled to conduct commercial work with drones. If you are offering your drone services as part of your surveying, construction or inspection work then you need to get qualified, have a PfCO issued by the CAA and be fully insured. One of the main advantages of gaining your PfCO is the ability to work within congested areas. Put simply, without this PfCO, you simply can’t conduct drone flying within 150m of a congested area or offer commercial drone services.
What’s covered: The theory course syllabus includes air law, meteorology, charts & navigation, airspace, aircraft knowledge, airmanship and safety, human factors, operating procedures and a workshop on how to construct your Operations Manual so it matches your business model. Although Amanda and Helen were unlucky with the weather during their course, one of the real highlights is how the lessons are reinforced with some practical flying sessions – learning to fly safely and competently from the outset!
What next: Amanda and Helen were unlucky with the weather on their course but will return with the other students on a scheduled training day in the near future to catch up on what they missed. Following that, they should be ready for the flight assessment and then they will be ready to carry out commercial work. They obviously have their own Parrot ANAFIs but if you don’t have a drone then fear not as the Drone Pilot Academy will supply all the drones for the training.
Amanda’s stand out moments: This course was a complete eye-opener reminding us all how important it is to gain an in-depth knowledge of the legalities required for safe and responsible drone operation. It was also useful to learn from fellow attendees about the wide range of applications for the commercial use of drones.
Helen’s stand out moments: Over the three days we were reminded of the level of responsibility that we should have when flying commercially in order to operate safely and within the guidelines. All the content was extremely informative and the diversity of applications is especially relevant to anyone looking towards diversifying their business to include drones.
Take the course: Many courses are available either at KOREC locations or booked through the Drone Pilot Academy directly.
Download the CAA Drone Code
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