Heliguy's new commercial drone pilot training course
got off to a flying start this week with all students, including an EMMY award winning cameraman, passing their ground school exam.
Heliguy now has National Qualified Entity Status from the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out training that leads to pilots or drone operating companies gaining a Permission For Aerial Work. From April to November 2015 Heliguy hosted other NQEs' courses at our headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne but now we are qualified in our own right.
Heliguy's training room
Our first full course this week (December 2015) saw all 13 drone pilots pass their ground school theory exam. We limit our course numbers to 16. The students came from a wide variety of backgrounds and they plan eventually to use their skills for filming, stills photography, historic building inspections, education, events, telecom and site surveys and thermal efficiency work. It just goes to show how useful drones are.
One of our students was EMMY award winning cameraman Keith Partridge from Fife in Scotland. Keith won an award for 'Outstanding Cinematography 2012' for Human Planet BBC / Discovery. He's even been to the summit of Everest and also worked on classic mountaineering film "Touching The Void" so a classroom on Tyneside on a mild week in December probably wasn't too challenging for him.
The course curriculum covers everything you need to know to fly safely, legally and efficiently. Subjects include Air Law, Meteorology, Aviation Charts, Principles of Flight but, because Heliguy sells and repairs drones, we also offer solid and relevant tuition on how drones work and how you can set them up to fly the way you want.
After three days of tuition, students have a practical flight planning exercise on the final morning before the all-important theory test. They have 70 minutes to answer 56 multiple choice questions. The pass mark is 70%. After getting the results there's a debrief before students head off home to begin writing their vitally important Operations Manual.
The good thing is they don't have to wait until that's complete before they take their practical flight assessment. It's only the Flight Reference Cards that have to be finished. The Ops Manual still has to be finalised before it's submitted to the CAA with an application for the PFAW.
If you just want to be a qualified pilot who can work for a company with a PFAW you only need to pass your ground school exam and your flight assessment.
Heliguy runs one course per month in Newcastle but from February 2016 we'll be holding drone pilot courses in Manchester and London too. (N.B. South East courses will be in Farnborough from March 15th 2016.)
We'll also be offering flight assessments in all three locations with an all year round 2 days notice test on offer in Newcastle. We'll be expanding our flight test network in the future. When you're comparing courses bear in mind that ours is the cheapest per day and when you read our first testimonials your mind could well made up.
12 of our 13 happy, successful students
Already our students have given us brilliant feedback, using words like "Awesome" and "Amazing" but it's worth repeating an e-mail from photographer Graham Berry.
"Bloody marvellous", he says. "A well constructed course which focused on my needs and goals as a photographer using a UAV as a camera platform, rather than the needs and goals of a fully fledged pilot.
"Do not get me wrong here as I left the course with a good foundation knowledge and confidence of what I need to do to become a competent and safe pilot first and a photographer second (already applying it to my flight training area with new eyes).
"This is in no small part due to your ability as an instructor, well done mate! In addition I was very impressed with the atmosphere in your office. You could almost smell the energy and willingness to support and assist your clients from the whole HELIGUY team.
"It was almost a "we are family" feeling (definitely a concept to encourage).
"Yes you guys are part of my business support network now. So thank you all and well done."
Wow! Thanks Graham. What a great start and a strong foundation for us to build on in the future.
Find out all you need to know in our training section
. Our course costs £1599. You can be flying commercially and legally while you pay thanks to our easy credit terms.
Heliguy. National Qualified Entity No. 1011