This month I decided to get my drone licence – PFCO. I have been using drones as a hobbyist for a while now and thought the time has come to get all the bits of paper from the CAA.
Aerial Academy & Back to School
I signed up with Aerial Academy for the training, it was a 2 day ground school course in Cobham (they have various locations around the UK). I was apprehensive at first, as I really didn’t know what to expect – 2 days in a classroom doesn’t sound that much fun and was it going to be all facts and figures?
To my surprise enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, Jacques my teacher, is an incredibly talented pilot himself and showed us bits that he had worked on and shared his commercial experiences. The class was small (only two of us, but usually no more than 6), we had to work through 8 different modules, the driest being Air Law – but Jacque made it digestible (coffee and chocolate also helped). At the end of each 2 modules you have a exam and by the end of the 2 days, you have completed 4 exams and hopefully, pass!
This is arranged on a separate day, lucky for me Jacques can do Sunday’s! So Sunday morning I set off, a little nervous, to be put through my paces flying my drone. I had to do a onsite theory test first and then I had to fly a series of different manoeuvres set by Jacques in GPS and ATTI modes. I am not sure why I was so nervous as I have completed all of these manoeuvres many times before, just when the teacher/assessor is standing next to you it makes it more serious. Anyway, delighted to say that I passed the operational assessment now as well.
So got your PFCO??? No….
Not yet, now comes the admin bit, completing a number of different forms, ensuring you have your Ops manual completed correctly, drone insurance in place (using Cover Drone) , CAA forms to complete, photo of your drone, upload all of that and the pay the fee…. oh and make sure you have 2 hours flight time in the last 3 months….. (need to get out with the drone)…… hopefully, these will all get the green light and then its off to the CAA for the final seal of approval.
I will let you know when the CAA give me my seal of approval…. almost there…..